Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bill And Hillary Clinton Rob Inequality Of Its Unrelenting Beauty

By John Tamny

In a McDonald’s recently, a witnessed interview between the restaurant’s manager and a potential new hire was striking for its economic significance.  At one point the manager went back behind the counter to help with a surge of customers, at which time the interviewee took out her mobile phone to send texts, read e-mails, check Facebook…

Interesting about what took place is that 35 years ago cellphones were non-existent.  Worse, as the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Bill Frezza regularly reminds those lucky enough to hear him speak, in the 1970s wall-mounted telephones were illegal to own.  If you wanted a phone your only option was to rent it from the federal government’s approved telephone monopoly.

Thirty years ago mobile phones were finally available, but only the superrich owned them. That was true because the purchase of a brick-sized phone with ½ hour of battery life, terrible reception, and highly limited calling range set the wealthy few back $3,995.  If you had the temerity to call San Diego from Los Angeles with any frequency your monthly bill was measured in the hundreds of dollars. Nowadays McDonald’s applicants can cheaply call anywhere around the country on phones with capabilities that would have floored the richest technology billionaires, Hollywood movie producers and Connecticut hedge fund managers no more than five years ago.

The above is of course the norm in societies defined by personal and economic freedom. What the rich initially enjoy exclusively merely signals what we’ll all eventually enjoy if the economy is left alone.  It’s forever been this way, and the evidence is all around us.

The ‘Mansion’ section of a recent Wall Street Journal featured a ‘car garage’ for sale as an apartment on East 73rd Street in Manhattan.  As the Journal noted about the $50 million Beaux-Arts structure, it “was built around 1905, when only the elite had cars.” Henry Ford grew very rich making the Ford Model T accessible to the non-rich; Ford’s cars powered by gasoline made broadly available by the richest man of all time, John D. Rockefeller.

Fast forward to the present, an overnight stay at supposedly down market lodging chains like Motel 6 includes not just air conditioning, but a flat screen television in each room.  In the year 2000 a ‘’50 flat-screen television cost $20,000, and even the rooms at luxury chains like the Four Seasons were bereft of them.  There’s a detectable pattern here.

Read the rest here.

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