The Opportunity Cost of Cloverism

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The other day I was waiting at one of those lights that never changes – or at least, takes a really really long time to change. Of course, there was no traffic around, so there was no reason to just sit there; just The Law – and fear that there might be a cop nearby just waiting for someone to ignore it. Multiply such things by the several times each day our lives are interrupted or delayed or made more expensive for no good reason and you will begin to have some idea of the opportunity cost of Cloverism.

Businesses have what are called “compliance costs,” a reference to the endless paperwork that must be handled in order to comply with equally endless government ukase. Now, of course, much of the paper has been dispensed with. Instead, businesses have to hire drones to sit behind computers all day, entering data instead. But the work remains and the costs are the same, if not more so.

Our doctor’s office, for example, has more sour-looking fraus up front than MDs in the back. Each frau – whose presence there has zip to do with diagnosing or treating medical problems – probably draws a salary of around $40,000 a year (plus benefits). I counted four fraus.  So, there goes at least $160,000 annually from the practices’ bottom line. The doctor must cover these expenses before he has earned a single cent for himself.

And people wonder why “health care” is so expensive. Actually, it isn’t. The actual medical care, that is. But the opportunity cost of Cloverism sure takes a bite.

Cars. Last week, I wrote a review of the 2012 Chevy Camaro SS, which is a very nice car but also a very expensive car, to a great extent courtesy of Cloverism. The base price is almost $32,000. As a fan of these cars – and having owned several of them in years past, I thought to myself, wow, they have sure gotten pricey. And it turns out, they have. I used to own a 1980 Camaro – a Z28, which at the time was top-of-the-line. Its sticker price, new, was $7,120. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $19,000 in today’s money. And $19k will not even get you into the base model 2012 Camaro, which starts at $23,200. The difference then vs. now is the relentless advance of Cloverism. My 1980 Z28 did not have to have multiple air bags, or elaborate fuel injection (or even a computer). The 2012 version must have these things – and more. Because the Clovers, who run the show, insist.

But we are the ones who pay.

It is very, very hard to just do something today. In almost every instance, one must first comply.  There are rules – often arbitrary – everywhere. And people whose sole function in this life, other than producing fecal matter and C02, is to codify, administer and enforce them.

Clovers.

They did not ask our consent. Such a thing is impossible. They simply presume to speak for each and every one of us, subsuming us into a Cloveronian blob, a mass, some agglutination of their own creation. “The public.” Or “consumers.” And of course, “our children”-  even if your children are not their children anymore than “we” won the NFC Championship this year.

And so it goes.

Many of you will be traveling next week – or a few weeks after that – to spend the holidays with family (or they with you). But your trip will be much longer – and filled with countless unnecessary hassles – because of Clovers. If you are driving, you will be forced to operate your car at a speed much lower than the highways (and your car) were designed to safely handle – adding perhaps 20-30 percent to your transit time. You may be forced to halt and present your papers, too. And air travel is unspeakable now, courtesy of Clovers – who require each and every one of us not only to submit to degrading treatment but also extract billions from us  to fund the process, to feed the useless eaters who bark “Opt out! We have an opt out!” at the terminals.

Cloverism has become so pervasive that we hardly notice its presence anymore. We fill out forms as a matter of course; we wait in line; we Submit and we Obey. Hence, many of us have become indifferent to its costs – even though we are now much poorer in our pockets as well as our humanity as a result. And likely to become even poorer than that, as the proverbial wheel continues to turn.

The question I have – the question many of you probably have too – is simply: How do we stop Cloverism’s further advance? How do we roll Cloverism back? I wish I knew. I am hoping some of you do know – and will share your answer with me… .

Throw it in the Woods?  

 

 

 

 

 

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Author of “Automotive Atrocities” and “Road Hogs” (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

19 COMMENTS

  1. How do you get rid of Clovers and Cloverism? That’s a question I’ve dedicated a lot of thought too, in fact I started trying to answer it long before I learned the meaning of “Clover”. I can’t say I’ve come up with much of an answer.

    The problem as I see it is there are more of them than there are of us and they know it. Where would those four Fraus you talk about work if the reason for their jobs went away? How would they eat? What would all those TSA folks do for a living if you took away their monkey suits and told them to take a long walk on a short pier?

    Dynamic, growing societies don’t need make-work and they won’t tolerate it, but decaying, moribund societies demand it. The only way we’ll ever be free of Clovers is to make them obsolete, which can be done in one of two ways; a massive reduction of population (making labor scarce) or a equally massive increase in available resources (also leading to a labor scarcity).

    As long as there are more people than the labor market requires there will be make-work. The alternative is war and the associated destruction and de-population it accomplishes. I’ve never heard of an alternative to “the people’s paradise” that inevitably rises from excess labor capacity.

    • The make-work will exist even in a society with a labor shortage. The reason is because government work such as that represents the most income for the least work. It always has. Why work hard when you can use the political system and social climbing to get what you want?

      The reason welfare doesn’t function is because the labor required to get welfare is nearly zero. Just the effort to learn one’s way through the system. Why don’t people get off welfare and get a job when they could improve themselves? This is the question asked over and over again. It’s because labor is zero, the ratio of income to labor is infinite.

      Much the same with a government job. Low amount of labor for a high salary and huge benefits. Take a typical federal government employee making a and offer him a job in the productive sector where he would have to actually work hard for twice as much. More times than not he won’t do it. Too much work for the money.

      The problem is that as a society becomes more productive the few parasites live the good life and others want to join them. The number of parasites grows and grows and eventually kills the productive sector outright or the productive just give up because there isn’t enough left for them to keep.

    • (Fill in this area with whatever Ultimate Reality you believe) has lost faith in mankind. The Clovers are here to destroy our last natural rights. They use legal rights to tighten the noose. We are outnumbered and out powered. We are experiencing the “Falling action” of this drama and it’s far from over. I think the only satisfaction we’ll receive is the fact that we are not alone in our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Clover IS driving and we are passengers.. Like it or not!

      • Clover thinks he is driving, but he lives an illusion.

        The real drivers are much like we are in that they see reality but they are not good and many times not even honorable people. Instead of trying to educate the clovers they manipulate them and the clovers love them for it. Clovers love their illusions and the real drivers of this society make lots of illusions for them.

        The clovers won’t listen to us because we hurt their feelings by spoiling their illusions. They are emotionally invested and will not tear away. Plus the clovers don’t want to drive themselves, to be responsible for themselves, they want someone else to do the heavy lifting for them. We by and large don’t want to do it for them, but evil people looking to take advantage of them step right up to it. They listen to the manipulators who are stealing from them (and us). Clovers will by and large believe the lies right up until the time they are in the camps and wonder why their friends didn’t return from the showers.

        • I agree the REAL drivers do see clear and well. Yes, also agree the REAL drivers steer toward their own selfish interests. Whether Clover lives an illusion or not we’re in it with her. She may think she’s doing good buying into the illusion. Problem is we are forced to live with the purchase. I just can’t understand why she won’t open her eyes! I think it’s seriously a mental handicap!

  2. Nobody “owes” the gov’t anything, regardless of the statutes. When I go out to eat, I choose the restaurant, I choose what I eat, they bring me the food, I eat and now I OWE them for the meal. That’s an honest trade.

    When it comes to the gov’t, they’ll tell me where to eat, what to eat, they’ll shove the food down my throat, whether I like it or not, and then demand payment. That’s hardly owing anyone anythng.

    The gov’t says everyone has to pair their fair share. Yet the IRS couldn’t tell you why you paid as much as you did nor what you got for the money you paid nor if you got your fair share since you paid your fair share. There is absolutely no connection between how much you pay and what you supposedly get for that money.

    Plus everyone knows how inefficient the gov’t is which means that they took more than your fair share and you got less than your fair share guaranteed.

    The whole concept is absurd. In no other aspect of our lives would we accept something so ridiculous and obviously unreasonable.

    Nobody just calls the grocer and tells him to fill up a basket with whatever he wants and to bill them whatever he wants. When we go shopping we know exactly how much everything costs – and at market prices – we know exactly what we’re getting and we know exactly how much we spend.

    What the gov’t does and people accept is beyond comprehension.

    • I share your frustration with the logic of it all, Don.

      But it’s perfectly understandable; THAT is the power of indoctrination. Statism is a religion, and utilizes the same meme-infecting pathways as standard religions. It bypasses reason and logic and shoots straight for the amygdala, hippocampus, and temporal lobes…no frontal lobe action at all.

      It’s so hard to eradicate once it’s established in those centers. You have to fire up those atrophied frontal lobes–a painful exercise for Boobus Americanus–and go hunting for the falsehoods in your own beliefs, which requires another disused skill, introspection.

      I think it’s triply difficult for baby-boomers. They have to
      a) overcome the indoctrination first,
      b) then face the existential discomfort (generativity vs. despair) of accepting that the world’s NOT the perfect 1950’s Mr. Sandman fantasy they imagined,
      c) then swallow the bitter pill that it’s largely their fault because all this decay happened on THEIR watch while they were filling up on Ho-Ho’s and debt.

      I don’t like generalizing, and there are plenty of awake and aware baby-boomers; but from what I’ve observed it’s hardest to approach people my parents’ age (60-70) and I think those three are reasonable explanations.

      • You are right. It’s a scary, scary thing to realize that everything you’ve thought was true your entire life was a lie and that the gov’t, who you believed was protecting you, was actually the biggest perpetrator of violating your rights. That takes courage and character. Two things Americans aren’t real big on. They’d rather keep themselves marinated in delusion, warm and safe inside their big SUV, and $500,000 house in the suburbs where they can curl up at night on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie and feel good.

  3. You know my response: just stop obeying! Period. Done. What’s not to understand? I haven’t paid and will never pay that statutory reckless driving charge I got in “great state of Virginia”. I’ve upped my allowances on my W-4 to 25 for the last three years so I keep the majority of my income – doesn’t that sound stupid even saying it? I blow the red lights when it’s clear and safe to do so. Every chance I get I simply ignore the state which is a peaceful way to nullify them which violates no one’s rights.

    Of course I have to be prepared for when their attacks become more violent and I’m working on that. But we have to work together as a community, as a society. No one person can do it alone.

    We outnumber them 1000:1 and when we realize that their way of life will be over.

    Who’s in?

      • Actually Dom, you probably don’t owe them a dime! They couldn’t show me a single law or regulation back in ’96 making me liable for the so-called “income tax”. The problem is that won’t stop them from singling one of us out from the herd, trumping up charges, bamboozling a jury with hours of pseudo-legal (i.e. very boring testimony), taking our stuff and putting any one us in a cage, that dares buck the system.

        What’s legal, moral or even reasonable is irrelevant. The end result is the same if you happen to be the one black sheep culled from the flock. If you don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort in your own defense (with a strong possibility your fellow countrymen on a jury will sell you up the river), compliance or abject poverty are our other choices at our socio-financial stratum.

        Don, I respect your refusal to pay the beast. I really do. But rest assured the Communistwealth of Virginia will have their pound of flesh before it’s over with. That’s another reason I left the area. That’s the beauty of living in (what’s left of) a Pan-archic republic: Don’t like the state laws / taxes / schools / etc. where you live? Then move. I did. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than the Land of VA. Definitely.

        My point is if the enforcers will steal your friend’s chicken coops and money for “zoning violations”, how much more will they do to you for ignoring the “Court’s” edicts? (think of Court as in the King, Ladies in Waiting, Knights, etc. sense). Resist them and martyrdom awaits thee. You have too fine a mind and too much to offer to be a martyr IMHO.

        Let cool heads and common sense prevail. Read up on a man named William “Bill” Cooper and his shortwave radio show “The Hour of the Time”. He was gunned down in his front yard simply for telling the truth to a relatively small audience of our slaves. He doesn’t do that anymore. He can’t do it anymore. What a waste….

        I prefer to remain on this side of the turf for now Don. I still have a lot of work to do on the Liberty front that won’t get done if I’m incarcerated, incinerated or interred. My Patrick Henry moment may come, but not today my friend. Not today.

        • If Don was a poor illegal and didn’t talk about “freedom” they would leave him alone.

          If Don played the game with the system he would be largely left alone.

          But those who see the system for what it is… those are the ones who are dealt with most harshly. Of course a person can know the system and pretend to be one of the sheep to avoid the harshness, but the point is that a threat to their way of life is a priority.

          Any of us (but clover,gil, etc) would be in prison for driving like this guy: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-taxi-hearings-20111118,0,1242941.story

          Selectivity… that’s what I resent most about this system. If only the clovers got the same treatment, got nailed for every little thing… change for the better might happen tomorrow. But by the time that happens it will be too late or the clovers will believe its for the best.

      • Yea, they’re trying to extort another $8000 out of me. Eventually they’ll contact my employer and – being the spineless, little pussy that he is – he’ll garnish my wages and send it to the IRS because he’s a bottom dwelling mudfish.

        In actuallity ALL businesses are complicit in gov’t coercion since they could easily tell the gov’t to piss off but they don’t. They have the resources necessary to fight the IRS in court and if enough of them did so we could break these chains. And I have to believe that if they invested in this fight the present value of the return on their investment would be magnitudes greater than what they make now since they pay so much in taxes of all kinds.

  4. What can we do to stop cloverism? Direct action, nuts and bolts, rubber-meets-the-road kinda stuff right? First and foremost, educate those around you. You’ll meet a lot of resistance, but be persistent. Over the course of the last few years I’ve seen a hard line “Reagan conservative” turn more libertarian. Why? At least weekly I show him a bit of truth he cannot refute. He’s intelligent and analytical. It makes sense to him and his outlook changes.

    Now you might say “Well Boothe that will work with coherent thinkers that have been misled by the media. But what about clovers?” They aren’t completely unreachable either. I also work with a dyed-in-the-wool “democrat” with exceptionally cloveresque mannerisms (although he sees himself as a “liberal”). By constantly pointing out the remarkable similarities of the the republicrats and demoplicans on a frequent basis and then asking him to demonstrate any sustantive difference between this sock puppet and the last few that have put a load on the White House air conditioning, he’s even starting to come around. Reason or osmosis; both will work over time if you speak the truth.

    Personally: Grow a garden, build a greenhouse, raise small stock and fowl. Eat what you raise; you’re already paying a tax on that land. Do somethng useful with it and you avoid sales and income taxes on what you produce. If you rent, so much the better; you’re landlord pays the property taxes. Don’t have enough yard to garden? BS! Grow stuff in five gallon buckets on the roof. Gather rain water. Live in one of those areas where you don’t have “water rights”? Build a rain bench instead of using barrels and practice civil disobedience on the sly while cutting your water bill at the ssme time. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

    Go to garage sales, flea markets and auctions: it’s the ultimate in recycling. You avoid taxes, high prices and get to know your neighbors. Pay cash for everything. Starve the beast every way you can think of and be self sufficient. Prove that we didn’t need Leviathon to start with by keeping out of your pocket any way you can.

    Buy a gun. Learn how to use it well. Provide your own security. Don’t call the cops if you can at all avoid it. In fact avoid contact with government at all levels unless you’ve got a way to make them lower your taxes or you’re telling them what you expect them to do (or not do). Some here advocate not voting. I advocate writing in third party liberty minded candidates. So what if my vote doesn’t really count? If we can get enough folks to write in people the establishment doesn’t like, we change the rules of the debate. They hate Ron Paul, but everybody’s talking about him and the issues he raises. He’s already won even if he doesn’t make it to the White House.

    But most importantly, use your mind. Be creative. You have an imagination and the ability to reason; exercise them. But mainly be proactive: Once you figure out what you personally need to do, get off your ass and do it!

    • Editor’s note: Post flushed; try again, Cloveroni – you might eventually rise to the level of a half-bright 5th grader and be allowed through.

      • Thanks Eric, but it was early, I was in a hurry and my editing and spelling sucked! I did get the last two gussets on the front of the greenhouse shortly after that and now we’re almost ready for polycarbonate panels. Then we laid out the new fence extension and marked where the wood pile is moving to (that was after I cut the latest batch of Brocolli). I still had time to take my young friend fishing (the one that had the recent run in with the local government thugs). Of course I’ve had a great opportunity to explain to this young soul the how and why of what’s happened to him at the hands of the state, so we have another libertarian in the making!

        So, Gil old buddy, as they say; living well is the best revenge. And I’ll bet if you’ll tell us what you actually do for a living, Eric will let that post through. If you want to run with the big dogs, you’d better think it over.

        • I have a friend who tried to do all that and the state took her to court for zoning code violations. In the end they took her chicken coops and fined her.

  5. As King Canute demonstrated with the tide, there is no turning back the Clovers. They have settled in like a deep cancer, and only radical surgery (in the form of a revolution or a collapse-take your pick) will dislodge them.

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