Mark Drobnick
Mark Drobnick

Perry-Savage-Salem (part 2a)

2)     Michael Savage (MS) - "Stop the Coming Civil War" (Oct., 2014):  266 pages to Notes 

 

 

"Remember, we are all in this,...Alone."  ---- comedian Lily Tomlin

 

 

(a.  Caveat:  toss that "brief" adjective I began the trilogy with; 
this 2nd-third, it took on a life, and extensiveness [21,000 words, 52 sections], all its own!  


"Sorry 'bout that, let it all hang out."  --- B.B. Cunningham [The Hombres].

 

(b.  "Roadmap":  not exactly a digression, but rather, parts here speak less directly to Savage's book, namely sections (§'s) 21-26, 28, 30-40, 41a-41d, & 41f-42; their slant is more auto-biographical. 
On your "trip" thru my review-essay, kindly feel free to make detour, and rest stop(s), if, and when, you see fit.  

 

 

1.  Primer
a.  Savage writing style
Stylistically, the book proves the adage, "when it rains, it pours."  Although it's about 130 pages briefer than Perry's [supra], its readability can be more challenging, depending upon which part.  Some segments of "Stop War" are so condensed, that one needs to switch to hyper-drive concentration to assimilate content.  
It's like a university textbook where you need a professor as tour guide of the assigned readings.  This is so you don't get too swamped and detoured, thereby missing the course's main points.
There are parts of "Stop War" where MS introduces a new concept, it seems, with every additional 20 words; which, at that rate, could yield up twenty-five hundred "talking points", by book's end.  But, thankfully, that "high G force acceleration" eases back into comfortable "cruise control" during substantial portions of the work.
Corollary:  reviewing this book was challenging too, as in my organizing and editing the presentation, in particular.  Also, certain assertions made by MS were so disconcerting, as to warrant "getting out the magnifying glass" for verification in the "Notes" section.  Thus, one could better see what MS was relying upon, to be able to say what he said.

 

b.  Reviewer's auto-biographical insertions
Although I call this a "book review", I beg your indulgence for the variation in traditional, expected format or guidelines.  That is, herein is inserted substantial narration about my own experiences participating in "American legal advocacy", to put it one way.  
Specifically, you may understand better how I view controversy, of any sort, based upon my graduate formation at university, and experience in life.  In other words, how do I decide what is "the truth"?


"All I want is the truth.  Just gimme some truth." ---  John Lennon.  


My system, I find, comes in handy to work through the assorted, controversial assertions made in MS' book.  
Further, I consider my approach additionally pertinent, as it is fundamental to one of my main themes.  That is, I demonstrate why it is natural to me, and imply that should be for you too, to seek out various perspectives about anything, before you form an opinion.


Relatedly, it is true, that in "Perry" [supra], the first part of this review trilogy, I reminisce about my concert and album experiences.  But, that was not as much a leap, since "Rocks" (book), devotes segments of itself to the review of various Aerosmith concerts, and albums.  
Among several possible, alternative, presentation approaches, how I ended up writing about JP's book, seemed, all things considered, the best way.  Rather than review second-hand (my take of Joe's anecdote), I found to be of more resonating impact, to give first-hand testimony (mine --- naturally, readily available).  That's why I added in personal "memoirs" there.


Back to MS, my theme of our advocative system, it is a cornerstone in how I seek to understand all that's involved here.  I (and many) believe that one needs recourse to multiple perspectives in order to arrive at an informed opinion of how to proceed, whatever the issue.  
This I am comfortable with, from a good decade of law study and work experience; and, also because I was raised by a father who practiced law.  It makes good sense to me as a practical way to approach the world. 
So, that's how happens here, insertion of my law school experiences, while, in this review, I strive to conquer "the monolith".  Or, as MS is a Clint Eastwood fan --- Clint certainly has made his share of very good movies --- it is my way of coming to grips with that geological formation, the north face of "The Eiger" (from "The Eiger Sanction").  

 

c.  Recommended reading strategy for book
Before you open MS' book, sit down for a few minutes and reflect upon government.  What aspect(s) would you like to know more about, or, are of concern to you? 
Note buzz words you think of, e.g. homeland security, education, environment, defense, Obamacare, Defense of Marriage Act, solar energy, etc.  (There, just right now, that was uniquely me off the top of my head, spontaneously.)

 
The reader then, goes open to the contents of chapter titles, to find one or more references, to what he/she was thinking.  In my case, chapters 9 & 4 reveal themselves first, specifically, dealing with "Schools" (education), & "U.S. Military" (defense).  Chap. 8 "Science" would be another (environment).  
After I had encountered those chapters, then a trip to the back of the book, its Index, revealed "homeland security", "Obamacare", "marriage", and "solar", the remainder.  In my case it turns out that all are treated by MS, thus a seven for seven result.  [My "reading strategy" tactic is] Firing on all cylinders, one might say.


Now, I recommend, you land upon your very number one, favorite "buzz word", similarly.  Begin there.  
Read that chapter; or, all pages referenced, should it be an index topic.  Thus, you have tackled what MS has to say about your first, specific concern.  Next, proceed according to what, thereupon, strikes your fancy.  
I started with chapter titles.  Bit by bit, as one thing led to the next, I got thru the entire book that way.  
You, of course, would read whatever's relevant to you.  That way you might find yourself too, eventually getting thru all, cover to cover.  How much of the book you cover would depend, ultimately, upon what's important in your world.  

 


2.  Local "Talk Radio"
Around Chicago, I find it easy to tune in to conservative talk.  On AM radio, it's right there in your ear, broadcast by one of the local powerhouses.  I cannot say the same for progressive radio.  It's out there, somewhere, but oft-times seems to be hidden.  So, if my experience is common, what is the consequence?

 


3.  Dexterous law school debaters
When I was new at law school, I was simply astounded, and at times envious, how some of the star, student colleagues, were dexterously able to flip-flop between opposite arguments or points of view.  They worked like light switches.  On or off, instantly!  
I had come from a scientific background which seeks universal truths, and, one right answer to every question posed.  That made it more complicated for me.  
Nevertheless, I developed much of this legal, argumentative ability as time went by.  But, I'll always remember my first impressions of those debaters.  
It was an uneasy feeling, among various emotions.  Was it all show, just to occupy time?  What useful purpose could be served by such protraction?  Was this a demonstration of civilized, conflict-resolution, in practice?  That, at least, would have been of redemptive value.

 


4.  Clint converses with chair, literally
Now, recall Clint Eastwood's speech to an empty chair, at the 2012 national Republican convention.  I could follow all of it, and, for showmanship, his approach was quite novel.  
But, Clint perplexed me when he decried how lawyers look at both sides, and, weigh everything before deciding.  That's how they're taught, and, for that reason, a "businessman" would be preferable, to lead the country, he said.
I think what Clint meant, is that we need someone more like a stellar, sports coach.  We need someone with the mind-set of leading a pro hockey, basketball, baseball, or football team, to a national championship.  With this, I would completely agree.  
The leader has to unify and do whatever it takes to realize focused initiatives.  So, in this way, Eastwood found BHO lacking, when it comes to unemployment.

 


5.  One  Man's Time-tested Unemployment Solution 
Really, unemployment under our economic-political system, is a perennial problem.  Check out comedian/ impressionist David Frye's 1970's magnum opus, "I Am The President".  
There, "President Nixon" is asked about unemployment to which he replies:  one's perspective is largely influenced by whether he or she has a job.  Further, Frye/Nixon goes on to say, "and make no mistake about it, all of my friends are working!"
(I believe Frye-Nixon's attitude is very much still practiced today.  I don't have to look too far away to spot politicians practicing nepotism and favoritism.  
(Do there exist exceptions?  Are there politicians beholden to no one?  If you know one who professes to make deals with no one, here is what that translates to.  That is simply code for he/she has no job for you, once elected.)

 


6.  I Miss David Frye
Six other highlights from that album are:
     Hubert Humphrey's inner voice imploring him to shut-up; 
     Nelson Rockefeller's hair-raising, fact-finding trip to South America;
     Nixon's flip-flopping on gay rights;  
     William F. Buckley Jr.'s dreaming up, what should be the historic words uttered by Neil Armstrong as he steps onto the moon;
     Nixon's solution to the segregation problem --- "Instant Forever!"  (Geo. Wallace take note [the politician, not the comedian]!)  
     and, Nixon's "bum voyage" before "acceding" to the chief executiveship of the state of California.  
Plus, there's much, much more.  All, very funny stuff!  
Don't we have these kind of talented impressionists like Frye around anymore?  With the exception of SNL (Sat. nite live), that kind of material is not to be found.  
Surely, it would work splendid wonders to deflect some of the negativity and un-braked partisanship which wears upon and wearies the voting public daily, in its incessant bickering.

 


7.  Bill Buckley---one of a kind
Footnote on Frye's William Buckley.  If you have access to YouTube, here are three, recorded broadcasts you simply should not miss:
(1)  Buckley's series of debates with Gore Vidal, in 1968, connected to the Chicago, Democratic convention---very, very combative, but, handled in a most civilized way [15 minute, or less, clips] - "Topic --- Republicans vs. Democrats";
(2)  Buckley's interview by comedian Woody Allen---very funny [about 10 minutes] - "Message --- UNCLE's smooth master-spy, Napoleon Solo, has got nothing over Buckley, who is also a very charming, resourceful fellow";

 


8.  James Baldwin's benchmark remarks about our American experience
(3)  Buckley's debate at Cambridge (England) against James Baldwin.  Baldwin, interestingly, steals the show.  
I have never heard so excellent an explanation of what it means to grow up, and exist as a minority, in the U.S. of A., as in this exchange of ideas.  N.B.:  Baldwin's "minority" paradigm can be extended, as being instructive regarding various minorities.  
Who are they?  How would you define them?
Melting pot is the panacea?  All problems solved?  Is it really that easy?   
Question answered in debate:  What are the inevitable, endemic pitfalls of having to survive how our culture is (year 1965)?  Baldwin, in 25 minutes, makes it vividly clear.  
Throughout can be seen that Baldwin is possessed of a remarkably stellar intellect.  That's obvious.  "Topic --- Is the Negro ostracized from the American Dream?"

 


9.  The Monolith
When I go thru Savage's book, I am struck by how monolithic it is, adhering consistently to its perspective.  If I was the judge in an appeals case, hearing only his arguments, without recourse to rebuttal, I'd "punt".  
In other words, I'd remand it to the lower court for retrial.  That would be the only way I could make an informed decision, if it came back to me.
Not so much with Savage, but yes with some of the other, talk radio programs which occupy the same channel during other time slots, I am taken aback by their reflexive partisanship.  Ditto as to another, political talk show occupying the same hours, consequently broadcast on a different channel, and, hosted by a man who attended my high school, back in the day.  One of his recent accomplishments is to have served a term in Congress.  
He is a "tea partier", to give you an idea of his philosophy.  Savage, on the other hand, labels himself as being "independent".  But, that term means different things to different people.  The commonality invariably would be, that independents find working thru the current set-up of two major, political parties, non-productive.  
Coincidentally, last time I ran for something, I ran "independent".  So, again, my personal experience supports my functional definition.
Now, as for Democrats --- Savage's default mode is "vote Republican" (p. 19, ¶3; p. 265, ¶13) --- here's how MS & his ilk advise their disciples to proceed.  As to the Dem party leadership, here's their modus operandi for handling them.   
Come what may, if Obama says day, these radio commentators say night.  If he says yes, they say no.  If he says black,...  
If he likes something, they hate it.  And, about him, they can't wait for his term to end.  

 


10.  "Civil War" title
These are times of nascent insurrection, Savage builds the case for.  So, MS says we must, "[s]top the coming civil war".  Maybe his "call to arms" is too much an exaggeration of what really is?  
Now, in the capacity of author myself, I can empathize.  Writers always search for that hook title, something irresistible which shall pique curiosity and draw in readers-listeners.
Back to local, "talk radio":  all commentators on the omnipresent, local channels, apparently read from the same primer.  It's as if they all were actors being coached by the same director, starting from the same script.  
I mean, on any given day, you can hear the same news issue, re-digested and regurgitated in a virtually similar way, over and over, and over again, across the gamut of talk shows.  That is, expect to be served up the same opinion as to why something is bad (or occasionally, good), as regards any of several, major, current, news items.

 


11.  Mind-bending Propaganda
My first knowledge of the power of media in war-time stems from my youth.  We heard about Japan's Tokyo Rose, Los Angeles-born Ms. Iva Toguri.  She demoralized American soldiers against their patriotism, during WWII, via regular broadcasts of her English language, "Zero Hour" radio program.  Globe magazine, vol. 62, no. 2, p. 29, col. 2 [re:  Henry Fonda].  
Axis Germany employed Jos. Goebbels as chief propaganda minister in its war of intelligence and counter-intelligence.  He campaigned to win over the hearts and minds of Deutschland, and, the world at large.
Korea was a strange place with its brainwashing techniques, in the early 1950's.  We got a glimpse of it in the Frank Sinatra movie, "The Manchurian Candidate."
During my youth, I remember broadcast advertising about "Radio Free Europe", to spread our message to Soviet satellites and foment discontent.  And, I recall when Reagan was President, his vision for establishing a Radio Martí, to broadcast into nearby Cuba, to win them over.  Much as our opponents had operated against us some forty years prior, so now we were to adopt their tactics on the home front. 

 


12.  Pro Wrestling
Even today, a plausible scenario is that one side could take control of the narrative, either purposely to win, or lose elections.  Something like professional wrestling, which customarily is scripted, the result would be known, a priori.  Only implementing the mechanism to achieve it, would be what remained to be worked out.
Why would the powers that be, purposely throw an election?  Of course, to retain power, long-term.  That's why!  
Conservatives could purposely throw the challenger a bone or let an opponent win an election to, long-term, mollify the electorate, lull them into tranquility.  Much better to have a known, manipulable opponent, than to risk the ascendance of an unpredictable, more powerful, unbraked one.
Keep the natives from becoming too restless, as revolution would have the whole house of cards tumbling down.  It would be a balancing act, stacked in favor of the side which had the tools to pull it off. 
 

 

13.  Ideology rules
When there is no "ideology", then money becomes the de facto ideology.  Money rules.  
Understand, by definition, power always rules.  It's simply that money has become the power.  Wealth has become the power.  
Is it even productive to ask, money from whom?  For what?  Does it matter?  Well yes, for starters, to comprehend "The Force's" agenda.  
Which would only support MS' case for borders, language, and culture.  "We", in order to retain an identity and cohesion, must stand for something --- sorry if that sounds like a tautology.
Otherwise, "democracy" here would only be a facade.  The electorate would wield no real power.  They would be mere puppets propagandized to react as mass media had drilled them.  They would "choose" as the powers-that-be had coached them to do. 
But where could such a thing happen?  Which brings me directly to the book.

 


14.  FCC Agents Installed at Media Sources
Obama spies is one of the insidious proposals for him to surreptitiously infiltrate into FCC approved licensees!  Which could only have a chilling effect upon these crusading purveyors of the First Amendment.  Obama professes innocuous motivations.  MS has serious doubts.  
Whether the licensee is an objective news outlet or one with a decidedly slanted agenda, the result is un-Constitutional.  The licensees should be free of these interloping agents.  Is Obama looking merely to level the playing field?  Is there no other way?
{Cf.:  --- Re FCC (Obama) spies.  p. 51, ¶3.  Shackled press.
     --- Abridging freedom of press, exactly what Clyburn & FCC intend.  p. 52, ¶3
     --- Index of freedom of the press.  p. 50, ¶2.  Fallen from 32d to 46th, und BHO.}

 


15.  Global warming hoaxers
The conservationists and environmentalists spout twisted, scientific "data" in order to, ultimately, line their own pockets with filthy lucre.  It's "bad science"; it, objectively, doesn't measure up.  What the real facts are, is counter-productive, in their flim-flamming of us.  
Does MS advocate reliance upon oil and carbon emissions?  The answer is yes, since global warming is a hoax.  The emissions have no adverse impact, contrary to the dissimulations of Al Gore & co., he alleges.
In fact, the misguided progressives inadvertently kill off innumerable wildlife with their way of doing things.  Bringing theory into practice has been catastrophic for wild fowl.  They are whacked by windmill blades and sizzled by solar panels, whenever proximity combines with their flight patterns, to bring them down.

 


16.  Federal centralization of Education
In my experience, money is the best way to buy quality education, diplomas, and, where applicable, license eligibility coupled to adequate preparation.  Just like in pro sports, talent goes to where there's the best paycheck to be had.  
An excellent teacher is worth his/her weight in gold.  A bad teacher only wastes time and misleads, and, is definitely---note this well---worse, than no teacher at all.  
But, what of Jimmy Carter's effect upon public schools?  Removing local control has only been a detriment.  That is the major result of Carter's creation of Washington DC's Department of Education, says MS.
Public education certainly is a positive good in obtaining a literate electorate.  To teach the three R's (reading, 'riting & 'rithmetic) is its basic mandate.  
But, also important is what the information purveyors are disseminating.  The computer truism:  garbage in garbage out, operates here with unerring exactitude.
The alternative of no public education would bring truck-mounted speakers blaring away their suggestions to listeners, traveling up and down the street.  This I have experienced in Latin America, where "analfabetismo" (illiteracy) is more problematic.  That's how voters there receive orientation about whom to elect.  
But, either way, written or spoken, if the message is defective and corrupted, and the recipients don't have alternatives to consider, then the result shall invariably be one-sided, a foregone conclusion, and tyrannical.

 


17.  Rampant Financial Illiteracy
At least as to economics comprehension on the "macro" level, our country (USA), by and large, is functionally illiterate!  So, when MS gets into "QE" (quantitative easing) page 107 ¶3, bank financing and mega bail-outs, and how our government is capitalized, i.e. as to the amount of debt it continues to accumulate, and interest on "the loan" it continues to pay, I am afraid he "throws his pearls before swine".
Barnyard animals among us?  Who, in particular, feeds at that "trough"?  Well, I'm reminded of comedian Moe Howard's upbraiding of Larry and Curly:  "speak for yourself"!  Who here wants to undertake step one of habilitation, by admitting ignorance, so as to begin to ascend the tower of learning?  
When MS essays this macro-economics tangent in "Stop War", he's got his work cut out for him.  While most of us can balance our checkbook, run our household and small business, fill out our income tax, and succeed in accumulating savings of money and capital, we generally are ignorant of the machinations of the government, domestically and internationally, under whose aegis we all make our livelihoods. 
That our public schools succeed in teaching "the three R's" is an accomplishment worthy of hearty applause, whenever and wherever it's successfully realized.  But, from personal experience, I know that the average, USA high school graduate is practicably illiterate about one of the most important operators throughout anyone's life:  money.
Whatever lip service is made about "economics" and "accounting" at the high school level, invariably misses the mark.  Graduates, unfortunately, are sent out into the world lacking a working knowledge of how their government runs, financially.  Nor are they taught how to invest and accumulate wealth on a personal level, so as to provide comfortably for their families, and ensure security in their golden years.  
Let me interject an aside, an observation about what average people see come into the mailbox of their front porch, on a weekly basis.  And, mind you, this has gone on "forever".  Question:  where does all your mail originate?


In my experience, 97% of it is domestic.  That is, there's virtually nothing that comes to me from outside the country.  Yet, there indeed exists an abundant world beyond our borders, possessed of vigorous, vibrant economies, producing varieties of goods and services anyone may find useful.
Language barriers cannot be the complete answer.  Even from Canada, outside of Quebec, I get very little correspondence.  Maybe there's an update from an author I've met, or, an electronic product from an internet vendor who offered the best price.  
Or, moving more beyond our culture, maybe I get letters from a penpal in Latin America, or some collectible item that's offered by one of their governments.  And, most lately, my teenage kids receive clothing direct from mainland China.  But, that's about it.  
So, what kind of red herring is it that MS is worried about when he decries the apparent chaos and mis-direction of the current, BHO administration?  I would submit that everything is planned, and according to formula, much more than any politician's detractors would deign to acknowledge.  
MS is a very smart man.  I can only wonder about his agenda when his professed concerns about macro-economics morph into harangue.

 


18.  Solutions:  albeit fanciful
a.  Richie Rich.  

So, how do the über-rich know so much about high finance, while the rest of us don't?  I think the Macaulay Culkin, "Richie Rich" movie offers a humorous, pertinent perspective.  The middle school he attends, with Ben Stein as headmaster, might be the answer.  
While the rest of Culkin's plebeian contemporaries in modern society fritter away their hours during schooltime, at fingerpainting, field excursions, study hall, and home room, here's how the Brahmin progeny are being educated.  Each rich kid is dressed to the nines as a Fortune 400 CEO, chauffeured to school by limo, there to be given practical exercises by Stein.  
"How shall I acquire this new company, or bring about a hostile takeover of another corporation?  How many employees must I be rid of to adequately downsize and eliminate troublesome red ink from my balance sheets?  
"How many new shares of stock shall I create to adequately finance a new direction my company wants to take?  What shall be the terms of the debt bonds I am issuing and how may I maximize their ratings with Moody's, Value Line, and Standard and Poor's?  
"I am being audited.  How am I best able to distract and detour the investigators in order to camouflage my malfeasance?"  
You have to see the scene in the movie.  [It is] Outrageously funny, and done to perfection.  From attitude to execution, covered superbly from start to finish, it amounts to an institutional study in passing of the gauntlet to the next generation, honing into them, superbly directed, legerdemain skills.  

 

b.  Bowfinger.  

Or, from another movie, as Eddie Murphy's nerdy alter-ego in "Bowfinger" observes, "so that's how they do it!"  (Said between tachycardiacal breaths, even as he implores merciful God's intervention and safekeeping.  "No Eddie, that's not how they do it.  You're being conned.")  
This is while he narrowly avoids being run over, as he's repeatedly being directed for another take, to zig-zag across a multi-lane super-freeway, on foot, as part of his filmed, stunt-double work.  Cause of the actor's high anxiety peril, it's easy to understand from context, is none other than unscrupulous, conniving director Steve Martin.  
Also, [again, it's] very funny stuff.  However, in either example, with us observing Stein/Culkin, or, in seeing Eddie acquire thespian experience from Steverino, the lessons derived are, in comic and epic proportions, impracticable, and, misleading.

 

c.  The Answer.  

Rather, what public high schools nationwide should do, universally, is to recruit local talent from nearby universities and junior colleges to visit as adjunct faculty.  A course or three could be made part of the required curriculum, to teach banking, finance, and macro-economics.  

 

 d.  Georgetown U. et al., dissed.  

Now, in contrast to "Richie Rich" and "Bowfinger", here's an excerpt from the MS book which definitely goes beyond entertaining, and, which I find both relevant and useful.  I think the author does us a very great service in alerting, where not to obtain the faculty members I advocate for.  
 Specifically, MS warns us to steer clear of the following courses, and sites where they are pathologically hosted.  Unfortunately, in the afflicted situses, this tripe persists in being served up to a sizable number of our college students, even as late as last Fall (2014):
  1.  GaGa for Gaga:  Sex, Gender and Identity (University of Virginia),  
  2.  Philosophy & Star Trek (Georgetown University), 
  3.  God, Sex, Chocolate:  Desire and the Spiritual Path (UC San Diego),
  4.  The Feminist Critique of Christianity (University of Pennsylvania),   
  5.  What if Harry Potter is Real?  (Appalachian State University).  Page 210, ¶2  

 


19.  The actual state of financial perspicacity
Again, high school grads in this country, generally, are financially illiterate, especially as to macro-economics.  What MS decries about government money printing and debt accrual, is incomprehensible to the average man or woman, due to their (lack of) preparation.
Ever much worse, for the sake of argument, let's say that half of our freshman Congressmen and women, both houses, in Washington, D.C., suffer the same ignorance.  Hopefully, they have on board savvy staff and consultants who can edify them about what they need to know, so they can intelligently cast votes!  That is my prayer.  
This lack of "macro-econ" education persists, chronic, and impacting us all, all the while as we fail to perceive and understand its insidiousness.  I daresay that as many as 90% of the populace do not comprehend what MS is ranting about.  Obviously he is consternated, but, specifically, why?  
What is the short-term, or long-term, detriment to us?  How, exactly, are we being harmed?  
He belly-aches that the sky is falling?  What on earth does that signify?  How does that work out, as to the particulars?    


Let's contrast military war.  Now that's something we all much more easily understand.  The weekly body counts and whose families they're related to, bring it very much home.  Also, the survivors psychologically traumatized, others, victims of mayhem, serve as chronic reminders of the damage sustained.  
In my twenties, I worked over a five-year period in the local Veterans' Administration hospital, two thousand bed facility, psychiatric, and, general medical and surgical wards.  I experienced close-up, first-hand, how some of these service people came back damaged.  
Some were so dependent that they had become institutionalized for twenty years!  The hospital had become their home away from home.  
So, this kind of military fall-out can be very vivid and graphic.  But, how is the government's much more abstract, monetary and fiscal policy affecting us all?  There, indeed, for the vast majority, is a mind bender.
Let me add more perspective.  The econ., finance, and banking MS frets about is learned by many of our government officials in on-the-job training.  It is no talent or skill set they bring in as newly-hireds.  
Specifically, I am referring to lawyers, depending upon their pre-law formation.  This is the group who generally runs government, at all levels.  

 


20.  How we spend our time in school, being "educated"
If they studied accounting in pre-law, and/or are CPA's, then fine.  They arrive pre-qualified, knowing appreciably more.  But, consider my case, for instance.
I bring to the table undergrad diplomas in pre-med Biology, Chemistry, Business (Real Estate), and Spanish.  Nevertheless, after seven years of university, the only courses, other than some undergrad econ. and accounting under my belt, which are of even remote help in what MS analyzes, are three courses from law school.  They are "Corporations", "S.E.C." (securities and exchange commission), and "Federal Income Tax".
But, these only scratch the surface of MS' macro-economics gripes.  So, lawyers are running the country, but, after seven years of university, some have no more than three courses, and, which serve merely as primers, of what to do to solve our nation's financial problems.  
These courses, unfortunately, fall dismally short of equipping me to deal with the kinds of questions MS introduces as being instigative of fomenting war.  His preoccupations include our foreign trade imbalance and whom we're doing business with.  He vociferously decries our deficit spending, and the ascending interest we continue to accumulate on the national debt, which future generations will be responsible for.  
Printing more paper money, bailing out mega-banks, and "QE",...what do they all portend for the common man or woman?  Seven years of university, and, three from high school --- I skipped out a year early --- never sufficiently enlightened me about these. 


How does it all impact upon our quality of life?  Who knows?  Should we worry about it?  These financial developments are relatively recent phenomena, some coming into play, to a large extent, with the administration of Bush II (approximately since "9-11").
Again, are they merely abstractions without ramification in our daily lives, or real threats?  What, if anything should we be doing about them?
Now, take heart.  Self-education is a lifelong endeavor,...for everyone.  MS, our resident critic here, certainly didn't acquire his financial acumen by completing doctoral studies in epidemiology.  Although he must've had to deal with statistics and probability in his formal studies, so, that would be of some help to him in pursuits actuarial.  
But largely, it can be inferred that his expertise came to him, extra-curricularly.  Thus proving, if a person wants to understand something strongly enough, it can be done.   

 

 

{Music metaphor:  this has been disc one, of my "triple-album"; disc two, coming up!}

 

(posted:  22 April 2015)

 

 

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