March 15, 2016
NEW Taki’s column on a rare disagreement within the Shaidle/Lemaire household — actually, two…
There will be “JOOO!!”-y comments about NAFTA (or something) for sure…
So while Arnie and I both applaud Donald Trump’s (frankly, well, Sinatra-esque) middle finger to political correctness and find his comments about Mexicans and Muslims painfully obvious and sensible—but his ideas about the First Amendment and Kelo troubling—I’m the only one who gets a rash when Trump talks about tariffs and trade and “bringing back manufacturing jobs.”
Look, I have the same generic nightmares as anybody: I’m naked in the shopping mall; I didn’t study for finals. But I also dream, with alarming regularity, that I’m screaming whole paragraphs of Economics in One Lesson in some unfortunate’s ear.
Left out for space reasons (behind the same firewall mentioned in the column), but relevant and amusing:
In Baton Rouge, a campus town about an hour’s drive from New Orleans, the audience was patently composed of college kids, and even in Texas the kids seemed brighter, less like downer freaks, than the blue collar workers who tend to form the audience for boogie and heavy metal bashes.
A poll, indeed, carried out at the Atlanta gig by sociologists Dr. Richard Dixon of the University of Carolina and Dr. Richard Levinson of Emory established that the mean age of the audience was 24, that only half of them worked full-time, that a quarter were students, and a third indicated a family income of more than £13,000 a year.
About two-thirds were familiar with the Pistols’ records, and one-fifth were confirmed fans of punk rock. These statistics do not suggest under-educated, disenfranchised people, and, actually, one of my memories of Texas, whose vast, open spaces ensure a great reliance upon the automobile, is of kids rolling up to Randy’s Rodeo and the Longhorn Ballroom in flashy wheels.
Music was scheduled to begin at 8:30, but by the time my contingent arrived at 7:30 there was already a long line, and a team of sociologists led by Dr. Richard Dixon of the University of North Carolina and Dr. Richard Levinson of Emory was distributing questionnaires. I filled one out myself, thus joining a sample of 122, and later telephoned Dixon, a specialist in the sociology of leisure, for results of the preliminary print-out. The respondents were about three-quarters male, I was told, with a mean and modal age of 24. Half worked full-time, a quarter were students, and a third (presumably including lots of people who let Dan [sic] do the breadwinning) indicated a family income of over $25,000 a year. About two-thirds had heard the Pistols’ music on record, and one-fifth said they attended solely out of an enthusiasm for punk rock. 72.9 per cent believed premarital intercourse was “not wrong at all”; 67.5 per cent thought the same of homosexual intercourse; only 30 per cent felt marital infidelity was “always” or “almost always wrong”; and 76.2 per cent had never been married.
Although I’d guess that the proportion of women attending was somewhat higher, these figures sound right to me. This was not only an affluent, well-educated crowd, it was also “hip”–which means that its concept of leisure included stimulation as well as relaxation and escape. There were plenty of curiosity-seekers, but their curiosity was generally sympathetic and often informed.