Today’s post title is also the title of one of my favorite books and it was written by English economist Tim Harford. Here is a paragraph that seems temporally relevant:
“Another reason that political institutions often last is that many people in society invest in a particular way of doing things. A democracy contains pressure groups and political parties; a dictatorship contains cliques and private armies. Either one will tend to last because powerful people have made their decisions expecting that it will. [emphasis mine] In both respects, political institutions are all in the mind: People rationally invest in them if they expect them to last and do if they do not. They will rationally defend them only if they expect others to do likewise. Confidence in the permanence of political institutions, whether democratic or dictatorial, is self-justifying.”
By the way, the sub-title for the book is “The Rational Economics Of An Irrational World.” Anyway…this opinion as expressed by Harford rings very true to me and is a reason why I think the only solution to American social and political dissonance is dissolution. I know such a move would have many obstacles, but I don’t think a country can survive as the US is currently constituted. The notion that new political parties will evolve is pie in the sky thinking to me because the two ruling parties have a stranglehold on the political machinery.
However, I do not believe that each state should just secede on its own. As I have written before, I think each state–maybe even each county–should be given an opportunity to align itself with other jurisdictions.
Speaking for myself, I really don’t want to live anywhere with either the Lunatic Left or the Ridiculous Right being in charge. I believe in empiricism over ideology.
A sad “truth” has emerged for me: I just don’t enjoy watching “car” auctions that much, anymore. When Charlie Brown cartoons were adapted for TV, on those rare occasions when adults spoke such speech was represented audibly by “Wah Wah Wah, Wah Wah.” When I try to watch automobile auctions all I see are “Pickup Truck, Pickup Truck, Bronco, Pickup Truck, Pickup Truck.”
I fully understand that auction companies are at the mercy of consignors and buyers. However, Mecum made its own niche in the late 1980s by emphasizing American muscle cars when other auction houses were, in the words of Dana Mecum, selling Packards and Model As.
I can’t possibly be the only car aficionado with no interest in pickup trucks and SUVs, can I? I can reveal now that the trip my wonderful wife and I were supposed to take but didn’t was to go to Las Vegas to attend the current Mecum auction. Between the never-ending crime headlines from Las Vegas and the never-ending parade of undesirable vehicles, we decided not to go, even though we had already purchased Gold passes and made rental car and hotel reservations.
One of the appeals of online auctions to me is that I can narrow my search to CARS in which I have interest. One of the appeals of sites like AutoTrader is that I can also just look for CARS I might want to buy.
If you’re interested in pickup trucks and SUVs, then go for it. To me, all pickup trucks and almost all SUVs look like nothing more than boxes on wheels. I also have no need to haul anything anywhere. When the time comes that I buy a companion for the Mustang, it absolutely will not be a pickup truck or SUV, but something like this:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different strokes for different folks; you get the idea.
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