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No Imperfections Noted
The Jeff and Casey Show
Jeff and Casey Time
Casey Muratori
Seattle, WA
The Stinky Dishwasher Situation
"The only reason that I'm doing this wrong is because you are doing it wrong."
Original air date: June 16th, 2014
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Transcript
Jeff:
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Jeff & Casey Show.
Casey:
Hello, and welcome to the Jeff & Casey Show.
Jeff:
So you know, like, professional athletes, how they have their little rituals before each…
Casey:
Yeah. You talked about this in that podcast. You said basketball players wash their hands or tie their shoes or whatever the fuck.
Jeff:
Yeah, tie their shoes a hundred times or whatever… So we have gone back to a lot of our old rituals, the MegaTimer…
Casey:
The MegaTimer, the Thai iced teas…
Jeff:
One of the things that starts the show on a thing is you count down with your hand…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And on 1, you flip me off…
Casey:
Well, no. That’s not what…
Jeff:
And now you do a double flip off so it’s kinda two, like, 1, 2, 2…
Casey:
Yeah. Well, this is what I used to do. I remember…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
This was when I was researching things that we used to do that we stopped doing to try and get the magic back, you know, is I used to count down on my hands. And instead of going “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” where you’re like, you hold up 5 fingers and you close the thumb, close the index finger, close the middle finger, close the ring finger, close the pinkie; I just make sure that it counts down towards the middle finger which I believe…
Jeff:
Then you do a rotate.
Casey:
And then I rotate it into the double birds. And I feel like this was from “Wayne’s World” or something, right?
Jeff:
Oh, okay.
Casey:
It’s from some movie, I feel like, a late 80’s/early 90’s…
Jeff:
The thing that I saw recently was somebody doing the…
Casey:
Okay, right, we reeled out the middle finger… Yeah, that’s been a long time…
Jeff:
Yeah, you wind it and then you go and then you’re like, “I didn’t know.”
Casey:
That’s a real… That’s classy.
Jeff:
Old school.
Casey:
All of this is very classy. But no, I don’t do it for me, Jeff. I do it for us.
Jeff:
Okay, I see.
Casey:
I do it… It’s for us. It’s to make sure that… It’s a good omen, if you will.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
Now, granted, that obviously doesn’t work because the last podcast, right in the middle of the podcast, your phone went off…
Jeff:
Yeah, the phone went off.
Casey:
You’re not supposed to have that on.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
You had it on and it went off.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
You looked out the window and started talking about a container ship which was completely unrelated.
Jeff:
So one thing that I thought was funny about the phone thing…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Is, like, I can put it on silent.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But the vibrate on my phone is so much louder than the ring.
Casey:
But that’s not… Just turn off the vibration. Turn it off.
Jeff:
No, I have to turn everything off.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
I’m just saying I like the idea that somebody engineered a vibrator that’s louder than a ring when the vibration was supposed to replace the ring in quiet scenarios.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
You’re like… “You were so good at your job.” Like, he’s sitting there in his basement working on vibration materials, like, new ways to shape shit. He’s got all these prototype ones and then you come down to his lab and he’s like, “Oh, don’t get too near on that. Nobody’s ready for that.”
Casey:
I feel like what we want is not vibration. Like, it shouldn’t be like, “Oh, what’s the volume level?” Like, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, you know, vibrate, silent. Vibrate should not be a thing. It should be like a tingle. Like, it should be something that exudes a little electricity in your thighs so that you can feel it tingle but it doesn’t move. So nobody else can experience it but you, if you will. It’s your own private little ring…
Jeff:
Yeah. I don’t know what… Yeah, I don’t know…
Casey:
Vibration’s no good. It’s just… Silence… Sound is vibration.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That’s what that is. Vibration and sound aren’t different things. They’re the same thing. You’re just talking about the size of your speaker.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
One is a very powerful motion back and forth, that’s vibration. And what lesser motions back and forth are sound.
Jeff:
You just want someone to just, like, tap you on the shoulder, just like a little virtual, “Hey, hey, hey…”
Casey:
“Hey, what’s going on?”
Jeff:
“Hey, I gotta whisper something,” you know?
Casey:
“Excuse me, don’t…”
Jeff:
Like, you know when you whisper in his ears like, “Yeah, there somebody that ran into the building. There’s 2 planes,” and you whisper into his ear.
Casey:
“Hey, I want…” Did you just… Did you just bring up 9/11?
Jeff:
I brought 9/11 into it.
Casey:
You brought 9/11 into it.
Jeff:
You just need a little whisper like when you have bad news, you’re like tapping on your toes…
Casey:
So you’re thinking George Bush reading a storybook to kids.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
The amazing thing about that which we’ve talked about recently is that the person whispering into George’s ear is actually the father of one of the programmers at RAD now.
Casey:
Oh, yes.
Jeff:
So it’s, like, a funny thing of, like…
Casey:
Excellent.
Jeff:
Yeah. We can find out… We can get some deets on that.
Casey:
I don’t want any deets on that. I feel like there’s some taint there.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
There’s some taint. Like, if you’ve been close enough to George Bush to whisper into his ear and you didn’t whisper, “You’re a horrible person”…
Jeff:
Well, maybe that’s what he was whispering.
Casey:
If he did… If he was like, “You’re ruining the world”…
Jeff:
Hey, all I can say is the last 8 years have proved that even somebody who I think is intelligent and is a person that, like, legitimately wants to make the world better can still be corrupted by [ the… ] And whether he was corrupted before or after, he’s definitely now made the world worse…
Casey:
Well, I don’t know if I…
Jeff:
And so…
Casey:
I don’t know if I believe you. This is one of those… You are threatening to make this a podcast about selection theory (which I am totally willing to do) but beware if you go down that route. You will unleash the Casey. The Casey may be unleashed if we go down that route because I don’t agree with that at all.
Jeff:
We have more to talk about, anyway. We have something more interesting to talk about, anyway.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Wait. So just to summarize that…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
You don’t think Obama’s been worse than George?
Casey:
No, no. that’s not what I’m objecting to. What I’m objecting to is I feel like there is the prevalence of the opinion that the sociopolitical machinations of this country are strictly forward-looking. Meaning, “Oh, we can tell a story about who Barrack Obama is and what he wants to do.”
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
And the reason why, when he got into office, that those things that we have told the story about did not materialize is because Washington was too hard to work with or he was corrupted or he was influenced by the wrong people, etcetera, etcetera…
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
That is the narrative that would be told. And that narrative was not told about George W. Bush. The narrative that was told about George W. Bush was that he just is this bad person or he’s stupid or he doesn’t… Whatever… Like, those are the narratives that get told. To me, I don’t feel like those… I feel like those are very… There are ways of looking at human behavior that don’t super fit the extrapolations one might make from history and/or nature in general.
Jeff:
Okay. I think it’s a more interesting… My opinion there is that the narrative of a good person corrupted just feels better than what it is more likely.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But it doesn’t really matter what that story was.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
In an important way…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Like, who cares why it is? Like, none of that matters. It is a matter of George Bush was, like, actually an asshole.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
I actually don’t think he probably was. I don’t think he’s very smart.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
But whether that affected his policies any more than Barrack who’s supposed to be intelligent affected his… Like, what you have to look at is where we’re at. That’s a shitty zone. And then, you go… But yeah, I mean… I think that’s not a super interesting thing to talk about just because it ends up all being, like, “Well, if the Republicans stayed in power, it would’ve been this worse plus,” but I don’t necessarily buy that.
Casey:
So that’s the thing. The way that I look at these things is very different from any of that, right? I look at it… And we’ve talked about this on the podcast before but just not maybe with this specific bend. I look at it more as a selection machine.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So what you have basically, when you set up societies, right, is you have… With political… You know, when you talk about the sociopolitical organization of society, what you have are selection machines for people.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
They are machines for elevating or demoting the influence of a particular person over that society, right? And they will find the people who are best suited for this machine to operate. And each round that this machine goes through, it’s self-modifying, right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So the machine changes over time, right? So you could imagine this is… I see it very similar to… And people use the term “social Darwinism” to talk about something that I think is an inaccurate portrayal of Darwinism. But it’s very much like Natural Selection where you have an environment, the environment selects certain specimens out of species to promote, basically…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
And then those, because you are sort of changing the makeup of the organisms there and their influence on the environment, the environment itself changes which then produces new selection criteria and so on, right?
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
And so usually, the way I see the political process (at least in this country) and the people who tend to be selected by it is they are currently selected for a very specific purpose. And that purpose is to get people to support this individual person whilst still having that person be completely ineffectual. That’s like, what the selection criteria is, right, meaning you want someone who will make absolutely no changes to anything and who people believe in and vote for. That is the only thing that we’re selecting for currently, right? The machine is not set up to select a person who will actually make any changes, right? Nobody wants that who actually has any influence over the actual pre-selection process..
Jeff:
And when there are changes, that just causes…
Casey:
Oh, yeah.
Jeff:
Like, if you try to do ObamaCare, as ineffectual as it is…
Casey:
Yes, it is. It’s a huge…
Jeff:
It’s, like, that’s considered to be the devil…
Casey:
Right. Yeah. So the way I see it is George Bush and Barrack Obama are just both products of that. They are weak-minded, ineffectual individuals who both have strong sales pitches, I guess, or whatever reason to enough people to get them to get elected.
Jeff:
I actually think that the…
Casey:
And that’s about all you can say to them.
Jeff:
I mean, none of this matters because it’s just trying to decide how they do things, how we get into the situations we’re in. But I actually don’t think Obama is weak-minded or dumb at all. I think he’s actually quite intelligent. And I think he uses that… I think…
Casey:
Well, weak is not the same as unintelligent.
Jeff:
No, no. I understand.
Casey:
Oh, okay.
Jeff:
I just don’t… I feel like he believes he’s making compromises that are really hard to make. I think he thinks about, like, “Boy, it’s hard being President, making these tough calls but…”
Casey:
Well, I mean, I think the best you could say for that then…
Jeff:
But none of that matters because that’s just putting a narrative on some shit that’s already happened.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Which is always… Which is what CNN, which is what modern news is of, like, where’s the story, where’s the narrative. And you’re like…
Casey:
But here’s the thing. I kinda do want to underscore this a little bit, though, because I feel like there’s a little bit getting lost here. Maybe I’m not explaining it very well. I guess the thing that I’m trying to get across, though, is this is actually different. This is a new stage of American political economy. And the reason that I say that is because in the past, our political machine has actually selected strong-willed individuals. We no longer do that at all.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
We have not selected a strong-willed individual since probably Richard Nixon, I want to say. It was, like, the last time that somebody who was actually… And not necessarily saying there was anything good about Richard Nixon but he was a dude who had his own agenda that he was going to do, right?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And we don’t do that at all anymore. Like, that is not a thing that we do. And so if you contrast, for example, like…
Jeff:
Well, the agenda of the Presidents nowadays mostly, starting with Kennedy, was… Their real agenda of what they wanted to do happens in secret now. Like, their real agenda of, like, what the Kennedy’s wanted to do was, like, just start fucking around with other countries behind the scenes…
Casey:
Yeah, well…
Jeff:
And if we do that, we don’t need to get the Congress involved. We don’t need to have this whole debate. Like, we can do this all…
Casey:
But to be clear, there’s a difference between an administration having an agenda and the person having an agenda. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, I believe had an agenda. Him. The dude had an agenda that he was going to fucking do. And, like, every day, I think he got up and was like, “How am I gonna do this thing?” And it shows. It shows in the speeches that he made. It shows in how consistent he was at pursuing a particular vision. It shows in the results he fucking got, as well, right? I don’t… I certainly haven’t [ lived ] through any President who was that effective himself which is different from saying that there isn’t an agenda to the administration which is the people around the President, right, which we have plenty of that. Like, the political machine sure as shit has an agenda but the person doesn’t. And the reason that that’s actually someone important, right, is because the person is articulating a particular vision to the public. And that is the one part of the political process in America that sort of works democratically, in a sense. Like, when Barrack Obama came out and said, like, “We want change and all this sort of stuff,” that is sort of… That is presenting a vision of the future to America which they can then vote or not vote for as a confirmation or a refutation of the idea. Do we want these kinds of changes that this person is proposing, right? And to some degree, as flawed as our democracy is, that part actually works relatively well. The critical thing that is broken now… And I feel like this is hard to understate, the reason that this is important or how important this is, I should say…
Jeff:
Yeah, [ it’s ] the money…
Casey:
Well, no. I’m ignoring the causes. I’m saying the fact that it’s broken, that then makes that one part (which is the only part that works) irrelevant because if I vote for you because you’re selling an idea that I believe in but you’re not going to be able to execute that idea because you are weak, then it doesn’t matter. And that is what our political system is now so effective at doing. It’s selecting people who sell you on a good idea that is probably actually a good idea…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
For some segment of the population, and then not delivering that idea at all. That is who we’re selecting for.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And we select very well. I guarantee you that our next President will be another one of these people. It will be somebody with a message that people want to hear that may very well be a positive, useful message that we should engage, and they will do absolutely zero about it which is exactly what Barrack Obama’s done. In many cases, they’ll do the opposite. So if you look at Barrack Obama’s thing, right, you know, peaceful, Nobel Peace Prize, let’s not have these wars or whatever we’re gonna do… Meanwhile, we’re like, “Hey, on Tuesday, we’ll decide who we bomb with the drone,” right? Single-payer healthcare… Didn’t even mention again after being in office, right? Most transparent administration ever, prosecuted the most… It’s like, he is literally the perfect Janus-faced individual. And I think we’ve seen that for quite some time and we’re just gonna see more of it. So I think we’re gonna keep seeing that exact thing.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And how you break out of that process, I’m not exactly sure. I think it’s very interesting. Recently…
Jeff:
You might need… Like, we have had Presidents who, like Microsoft a little bit, grew at the folly of their competitors. Right? We have had Presidents who just got into a lucky zone…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Where, like, their counterparts in the other party just lost it and they were like, “I can do whatever I want for a period of time,” right? And so we could run into a period of time where, like, the Republicans try to hold on to the social side of their platform too long and they lose everybody. And then the Democrats can go banana cakes for, like, 5 years.
Casey:
But that won’t mean anything…
Jeff:
No, it may not mean anything positive. I’m just saying that might let somebody slide in there and do whatever the fuck they want for a while. Whether that’s positive or not, who knows? I’m just saying I can see that being the only way things really, whatever, happen right now in Washington because everything is so gridlocked. Like…
Casey:
Well, I don’t know how much that’s true, either because… Again, there is currently this assumption that, like, “Oh, it’s so hard to work with Washington nowadays,” like there’s never been a time in history before when it was hard to get stuff done in Washington which I think is a useful thing to tell people if you’re an apologist for some of these politicians. Like if you’re an apologist for Barrack Obama and that sort of thing, right? And that’s fine, right? I understand where that is coming from. But the reality is that there have been plenty of times…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Like, if you think that currently, where there are billionaires who have a lot of influence on how the country runs, is some super crazy, wild anomaly that never happened in history before, then really, you haven’t read much history is basically all that means, right? The truth of the matter is strong leaders are what solved that problem. And as long as we keep voting for people who are not strong leaders, it’s not gonna get fixed, right? I firmly believe… And maybe I’m wrong but I firmly believe that if Barrack Obama had been FDR, if it was magically FDR’s fucking ghost, I believe that half of Wall Street would be in jail right now and none of this shit would be happening because people who get shit done, get shit done. I mean, at some level, I would almost say that you look at someone like Dick Cheney, right, you get someone in there who’s actually a serious-ass manipulator, gets shit done, and shit happens. Now, unfortunately for us, he was a pretty negative dude. But the fact that… I think he demonstrates a little bit that when you are fucking serious about getting shit done, shit gets done. And we just need to find positive people who have that same kind of like, “I will work this shit and make it happen,” as opposed to, “I will just steer clear of the controversy because it’s controversy and it’s so hard to get things done in Washington.”
Jeff:
Yeah. I mean, there are things…
Casey:
And you know, there’s lots of things that we can do behind the scenes like fixing the campaign, finance and all that stuff makes it easier for these people to arise. But fundamentally speaking, I think one thing that people have to remember is the only thing the campaign finance fixes is sort of a, if you will, an ambient temperature problem. The bottom line is people still vote. And the only thing that this money gets used for is to advertise to them.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
So, it’s not like the money is buying the election. It means that everyone is very gullible.
Jeff:
Yeah. Well, also…
Casey:
There’s still a problem there…
Jeff:
It does… Yeah…
Casey:
There’s a problem across the board where… It’s hard to pin it entirely, the fault…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
On just the money. It’s more than the money. There’s problems deeper than the money.
Jeff:
Yeah. It’s also really hard to tell how people… How good of a leader they’ll be… That’s not like… It’s hard to tell that. And giving the voters some degree of credit here, it’s like, it seemed like Obama was the real deal, right? It felt like he had a mandate. He went in there. He said all the things you wanted him to say. Before the election, I didn’t feel like he was going to be like how he was.
Casey:
So…
Jeff:
So I can see like, “Hey, knowing how absolutely stubborn, how [ scorched earth ] the person’ll be to make sure these things get done…”
Casey:
So here’s what I’ll say. I will say I agree with you that it is difficult to know, perhaps. I don’t agree with you that it was hard to know in Barrack Obama’s case. I think you had a canary in the mineshaft. There was no question of what Barrack Obama was gonna do when he got in office. And the reason I can say that is because all you need… The only thing, if you were only paying attention even a little bit, the instant he said, “I had to vote for Telecom Immunity because otherwise, they’ll use it against me in the general election,” done. You know that part… If he can’t even vote in the senate against Telecom Immunity when supposedly, he was gonna be this person who was against the spying, against all this stuff, against the Bush regime, that told you everything you needed to know. And every single thing that Barrack Obama has done in Washington has been that repeated. So you got exactly what you needed to know before the general election even occurred. You know what Barrack Obama was. He was somebody who’s only concern is the appearance of the thing. He’s not gonna make public opinion. He’s gonna follow it. And that’s what he did. So I feel like that was an open and shut case. But putting that aside, I feel like I agree in the general sense. Like, in the general sense, you can imagine if Barrack Obama had voted against Telecom Immunity. Let’s say he had. Maybe it would’ve been very difficult to say, “Well, I don’t know. He seems like he’s sort of taking a stand. Maybe he would,” and the he goes the other way…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
That’s totally possible, right?
Jeff:
Well, and also, he had that… What was the name of the Chief of Staff that was the super [inaudible 22:29] that was like, just burning, like, “We will do this,” and after 6 months, they got rid of him. They were like…
Casey:
Oh, I’m sorry…
Jeff:
Like, Raoul…
Casey:
There’s so much politics these days that it flows out of my memory, unfortunately, and I’m… Like, I feel like…
Jeff:
You could say, like, hey, firing the guy who was like, everyone said got stuff done but made a lot of enemies was probably also…
Casey:
Chief of Staff…
Jeff:
I think it was…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Emmanuel…
Casey:
I’m sure you’re right.
Jeff:
I think he’s the brother of the guy portrayed in “Entourage”.
Casey:
What?
Jeff:
Yeah. It’s a weird…
Casey:
Okay. I don’t know “Entourage” but okay…
Jeff:
He’s a Chicago politician. He…
Casey:
Oh, Rom Emmanuel?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Yeah. He was his Chief of Staff and…
Casey:
Okay, yeah. I’m sorry. I didn’t know we were talking about… You think that guy was a bad fire?
Jeff:
Well, no. I mean, they got rid of him because he was just too brusque with… Like, he just, like, “Fuck you. If you’re not doing this…” He was onboard the, “We have a mandate. We’re gonna do whatever we want,” kind of thing.
Casey:
He must be the only one because everyone else… Like, Timothy Geithner, not exactly the case, right? You had pretty… Or the… Oh, fuck, I’m blanking on his name there. The attorney general. . . The fucking milquetoast attorney general…
Jeff:
Oh…
Casey:
The current one. The guy with the crazy mustache. You know what I’m talking about.
Jeff:
Mustache…
Casey:
You know what I’m talking about.
Jeff:
Mustache…
Casey:
so one of the things that’s so difficult these days is that, like, basically, there isn’t enough room in my brain to keep current events… Like, there’s so much happening that I just can’t remember everyone, who they are, what they’re… It does become more of abstract mush than I would’ve liked it. And it’s definitely true that I know more about certain historical things than I do about what’s currently happening, right? It’s like there’s… And I feel like sometimes I do wish… Although not practically because I look back at my life and go, “What a wasted life,” or something… But sometimes I do wish that I was one of these people, you know, like Glen Greenwald or somebody who is spending all of their time focusing on politics so that I could know every--… ‘Cos I’d be up to speed, right? If you spent every day here, you wouldn’t forget who the fucking attorney general was.
Jeff:
Well, also if you wrote about it and, like, yeah…
Casey:
Yeah, you’d know because it’s all in your working set. Like, I don’t forget anything about programmer feed, right, or like… You know… So…
Jeff:
Well, the other thing that’s different about history is the books on history that tend to stick around are the ones that are well-written and awesome. And so, like, you’re comparing, like, a well-written story like “Legacy of Ashes”…
Casey:
[ Versus the news hoes ]…
Jeff:
[ Versus the news hoes ]…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And…
Casey:
And just sprays it everywhere…
Jeff:
And then, you’re trying to… Yeah…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Anyway…
Casey:
Yeah. It’s bothering me now because I can see his face. I can see the attorney general’s face talking at me and me getting angry at him in a very deep, personal, psychological way. And yet, for some reason, the name has completely left my brain which is frustrating to me. Not that… Who cares… I mean, not that anyone gives a shit what his name is…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
But I’m just saying that, like… It’s frustrating to have that little piece…
Jeff:
I know that. You have an iPad, right, you can look it up.
Casey:
No, we’ll let it sit. It’s the penance. It’s the penance for forgetting.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
You have to have a hair shirt sometimes for these things so that next time, your brain will know that it needs to keep it at the ready.
Jeff:
Should we talk about this other frustrating thing since we brought up frustration?
Casey:
Sure, what is the other frustrating thing?
Jeff:
The frustrating thing is you… So the pedigree of frustration, I would say, starts with you…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
Move to Dan Thompson.
Casey:
Okay, I know what you’re talking about now.
Jeff:
And then move to me.
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
Which is something that’s happening nowadays…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
Across America.
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
And I have a funny little story part of that which is just thinking…
Casey:
I know exactly what you’re talking about but I don’t actually know the story.
Jeff:
Yeah. So this is the stinky dishwasher situation.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Which is we all have new places.
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
The 3 of us.
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
All brand new expensive dishwashers that were placed in there.
Casey:
Which were not selected by us, by the way…
Jeff:
Not selected by us but they’re like…
Casey:
But Dan selected his.
Jeff:
Well, I think he’s…
Casey:
’Cos he replaced his…
Jeff:
He’s gone through some, yeah.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And which is these new… It’s Miele… I don’t know how you say that.
Casey:
It’s Miele but I don’t know how you pronounce it either.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
It’s M-I-E-L-E. But there’s also… Bosch makes similar ones. There’s a number of different dishwashers like this. They are dishwashers… If you have not seen them, they are a flat metal exterior with no markings of any kind. It literally just looks like a flat piece of metal.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And you open it up and the controls are actually on the lip…
Jeff:
On the top, yeah.
Casey:
So that they’re not actually exposed.
Jeff:
Oh, right. Right.
Casey:
Keep going.
Jeff:
Yeah. And so the interface for these are terrible. And I think I’ve even joked before about how modern dishwashers are… Like, I have to open and close the thing and then turn it off… ‘Cos it doesn’t like… You don’t turn it… You don’t say go. It’s got some weird little thing where you do a dance, open, close it…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
And get it started… Anyway, so what’s been happening with all these dishwashers for the 3 of us is what’s technically known as the stinky dishwasher situation.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Which is you run a load of wash.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
You open it a couple hours later and the actual dishwasher just stinks… And it smells…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Now online, if you look this up, the smell is described awesomely as, like, “garbage smell” or “diaper pail” or “sewer”.
Casey:
It’s not good. It’s nothing good. It’s not fresh flowers.
Jeff:
No. It’s not fresh flowers.
Casey:
It’s not fresh flowers.
Jeff:
So this had not… I mean, you had mentioned before, like, oh, yeah, you got the problem. Like, you opened mine and smelled it…
Casey:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jeff:
I never really smelled that.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
3 days ago, I opened it and it was enough that it triggered my throw up reflex…
Casey:
Oh, whoa! So you were like, “Oh, my God.”
Jeff:
Oh, my God.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
It was that stinky. I shut it again and I’m like…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
“Okay.” Hold my breath, put more soap in it, run it again, hoping, like…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And it’s been better and worse.
Casey:
Alright, yeah…
Jeff:
But like, all of a sudden, I now have the stinky dishwasher situation. And now the stinky dishwasher situation…
Casey:
So now, I’m…
Jeff:
When people have this…
Casey:
To be fair… Let me just put something out there for you. So one thing that I will say is welcome to the club. I am glad to have more people in this club because I feel like only in numbers will we finally be able to do something about this ridiculousness…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Of suddenly, a problem that had been solved has become unsolved in the past 10 years…
Jeff:
Completely. Yes.
Casey:
Which I ridiculous but keep going.
Jeff:
So it started happening. And then there’s also the problem… The other problem when you have stinky dishwasher syndrome is that you start thinking maybe it’s in your head because once you have the stink…
Casey:
Oh, okay. I see.
Jeff:
Then you’re like…
Casey:
You were sure…
Jeff:
Now I’m like, “Am I just imagining? [inaudible 29:37] remember this and…”
Casey:
No, wait. Okay. Really? I’ve never had that. I know when I smell something. I don’t imagine smell. I know that I’m smelling a stinky dishwasher.
Jeff:
I definitely have the sensation of when there is an… If, like. . . You know, when I had dogs, if the dog had an accident in a room…
Casey:
Okay. Alright.
Jeff:
And you clean that thing [inaudible 30:01]
Casey:
You still think you still smell it or whatever, okay…
Jeff:
I still have the phantom…
Casey:
Okay, alright…
Jeff:
Yeah, the phantom smell. So I was like, “I don’t know what’s going on here,” and so I turn, as most people do, to the internet to look at this.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And there are hundreds of forums talking about stinky dishwasher syndrome…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And what to do about it. And they actually have various explanations.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And then one important one that I think actually is the issue…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But for me, what was interesting is they all said, “Talk to Miele tech support. Here’s the number. They are fantastic. They will always talk to you.”
Casey:
Really?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
That surprises me because usually people are very dismissive of tech support.
Jeff:
Yeah. They’re all like, “Yeah, this person really went through this stuff with me or whatever.”
Casey:
Huh?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
So it turns out… Now we’ve all talked about talking with him but it turns out the big difference in dishwashers…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
The reason why they do this now…
Casey:
It’s [ venting ]…
Jeff:
It’s actually not that.
Casey:
Oh, [ basically not ] temperature?
Jeff:
It is… European dishwashers versus dishwasher…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Okay, so there are 2 kinds.
Casey:
Okay, so hit me.
Jeff:
Yeah. So European dishwashers wash at a much lower temperature.
Casey:
Okay. That’s bad.
Jeff:
Than the American ones.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And so, that has some ramifications.
Casey:
Yes, it’s very bad.
Jeff:
So one is they need a special… Now, the reason they do this is because they use less energy and whatever, it’s supposed to be greener.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Now, in this turning to green-ness…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
In the same way that I have to flush my goddamn toilet 3 times…
Casey:
Right, right, right. Yeah.
Jeff:
It turns out that you actually have to use a very special set of chemicals to do this because you are not using heat only to clean them, okay.
Casey:
I see.
Jeff:
So what you have to have is… If you use the normal dishwasher soap, that I’ve bought for my entire life with my American ones…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
You have to use ones that have these weird enzymes in them…
Casey:
What?
Jeff:
Yes. And you look on it and it’s like, “Contains enzymes,” or whatever. And there are these little enzymes that work on the dishes.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And you’re like, “Okay, that’s something.” But here’s the important part. I went and looked at my dish soap.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
It was, happened to be, enzyme-cleaning soap. So I was like, “I don’t understand the stinky-ness…”
Casey:
I’m not sure I’m with you on any of this but continue.
Jeff:
I mean, they say on there, on the back, if you look at the enzyme ones, they’ll be for European-style dishwashers. Like, they’re using chemicals that are supposed to do that.
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
So I’m like, “Alright, you know what, I’ll give the fucking tech support a call. I hate calling anybody but I’m gonna try it.”
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
And what happens is… Now, he was very knowledgeable.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But there was definitely a sort of…
Casey:
Attitude problem?
Jeff:
Raymond Chen situation of, like…
Casey:
Yeah, [inaudible 33:16]
Jeff:
Of just… Of a, “What do you mean you’re doing that kind of thing?” Right?
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And if you don’t know, Raymond Chen is a super knowledgeable guy about Windows. Like, if you want to know how something in Windows works…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
He’s the guy you want to ask, [ hopefully answers ] or whatever…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
But in his answering, he’s sort of famous for being like, “What do you mean you’re doing that?”
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
When the thing he is so surprised at you doing is totally… There’s no way you could’ve known that. Like, “What do you mean? That’s because if you did that, there’s no way for the kernel to have known to delete the handle before you deleted the window.” And you’re like, “I was just trying to…” You know…
Casey:
The other thing, too… And this is a criticism of Raymond, as well, who I actually love…
Jeff:
He’s amazing.
Casey:
Is, “Yeah, but that’s just because your kernel is fucked. Like, they put your… Don’t forget the fact that most of the shit in Windows is completely fucked and you are doing it wrong.”
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
“The only reason that I’m doing this wrong is because you are doing it wrong. What I’m doing should’ve been right. And you fucked it up. So don’t blame me for that.”
Jeff:
So, it was definitely…
Casey:
That’s the same situation here… Yeah.
Jeff:
A situation when I start talking to the guy where it felt like he’s like, “Well, no. That’s because Windows… 16-bit Windows did it that way.” It was like…
Casey:
Yeah. Right.
Jeff:
I go on. I say, “I heard about the enzyme…” He’s like, “You have to have enzyme soap.”
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And I go, “Okay. Well, I have that.” And he’s like, “Let me ask you this…”
Casey:
Oh, no.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
I don’t want to hear that.
Jeff:
“Are you rinsing the dishes?” And I go, “Of course I’m rinsing the dishes.” And he says…
Casey:
What does that mean?
Jeff:
Rinsing off the food off the dishes. You know, when you take a plate, you wash it off, you put it in the dishwasher. And I said, “Yes,” like I thought he’s like you’ve got rinse them. He’s like, “You don’t do that with European dishwashers.” And I go…
Casey:
What?
Jeff:
“What are you talking about?” ‘Cos I think he’s fucking with me.
Casey:
Yeah, that does sound…
Jeff:
And he goes, “Here’s what happens. The enzymes in that soap, if they don’t have anything to eat, will turn on each other and they give off this gas.
Casey:
Nope, nope, nope. I am totally not okay with even a single thing that he said.
Jeff:
Let me finish the story because I will tell you…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
That I have now had no stink for 3 days.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Okay? So he says, “Okay.” Now, he says there’s 2 ways to fix that. If you rinse the dishes, you need to use a dash of soap. You’re like… He says if you fill that thing up…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
All that soap is just going to turn into the stinky garbage smell.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
So he said, “What I recommend people do is you take the plates and you put them in there. Don’t even rinse.” He’s like, “Just leave the food on there and you’ll be happy.”
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
“If you do do that, use way less soap than you think is even humanly reasonable.”
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Like, you use none.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Then he said, “The other thing you want to do is use that fucking rinse aid bullshit.” And I go, “Okay, so just to be clear, in your quest for green-ness, I’m now using double the chemicals.”
Casey:
Chemicals, yes…
Jeff:
And he says, “Alright, so here’s what the rinse aid does. The rinse aid is the thing…”
Casey:
This is totally the Raymond Chen of dishwashers.
Jeff:
Yeah. And I’m like… None of this. Like, I’ve been using dishwashers since I was, like, 8.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
So… So he says, “What the rinse aid does is… If you look at it, when you get it…” He says, “It’s not soap. It’s more…”
Casey:
Right, no, it’s not.
Jeff:
Yeah, he says, “It’s more… It’s not a filmy stuff. It’s more of an alcohol-y kind of sensation…”
Casey:
Yeah. They make it so that I doesn’t adhere, the water will evaporate, right?
Jeff:
Yes. It is so that, like, heat… And that is the venting thing. He said, “The other problem with these is they’re completely shut. And so the water sits there and just gets…”
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
He said, “Now, if you just use less soap, it won’t be stinky but you’re still gonna have all that water sitting there.”
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
“If you use the rinse aid, the water will go out of the dishwasher and then you won’t have either…” He said two things. One is you’re not gonna have the stinky-ness.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Even if you over-soap.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
The second thing is when you take your stuff out, they’ll be dry which I’ve always, in these dishwashers, you take out your stuff and they’re always soaking wet.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Even 6 hours later, because there’s nowhere for the water to go.
Casey:
No, there isn’t.
Jeff:
So I’m like, “You know what, this is a 16-bit Windows kind of thing. I’m just gonna order this shit on Amazon and do it.”
Casey:
Alright, so you did? Did he recommend to you soaps and rinse aids?
Jeff:
He did not. He said, “You can use anything that is a rinse aid or whatever,” he said, “but Miele brand is very good.”
Casey:
Oh, is it?
Jeff:
So, yeah. They’re into that whole combo.
Casey:
I’m sure they are.
Jeff:
But I will say the first time I washed the dishes with, A, very little soap and the rinse aid, I opened it and it was like… Ahhh… It was so clean. It had no stink. And I’m like, “Goddamn it.”
Casey:
Now, you didn’t rinse the dishes? You just put them in? Is that what happened? Or…
Jeff:
I didn’t rinse the dishes…
Casey:
You just put them right in?
Jeff:
I just threw them in there. 2 dishes, I had to put in and leave in there because they did not completely clean them.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
I mean, they left a little…
Casey:
That’s what I was gonna say. That was next thing I was going to say.
Jeff:
That is a problem. I just left them in there, though. I didn’t re-rinse them. And the second time, they were clean.
Casey:
But that’s not success.
Jeff:
No, no. I’m just saying for me, that’s a huge success, getting 98% of the dishes out and not having that stink when I opened it. I never found the thing that you and Dan complained about where the cups actually smelled bad after going through.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
But it was more me when I opened the door, the waft, the initial blast…
Casey:
Right, right.
Jeff:
Hit me.
Casey:
So, I don’t believe a word of any of this is the first thing I’ll say.
Jeff:
It is totally data-free in the sense that I’ve had 3 of these things, 3 washes and I have no idea if it’s fix. The more funny part was, like, him just exasperated…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Not knowing things that are, like, really esoteric for someone like… That should be a big red sticker on the inside of the washing machine saying, “Don’t rinse your fucking dishes.”
Casey:
But here’s the thing. The reason that I find none of this to be compelling is because these dishwashers do not wash dishes that are not rinsed. It I put an un-rinsed dish in the dishwasher, it will not clean it. So there’s one of two things that could be true there according to Mr. Dishwasher Tech Support’s statement. Either, A, I am not using an enzyme… Correct enzyme soap. But if that was true, it shouldn’t smell. Or I am using an enzyme soap and it’s not cleaning my fucking dishes. So as far as I’m concerned, it is a fail in one or the other ways.
Jeff:
Or you’re using… Yes.
Casey:
But it’s a fail, not a success. There’s no… Nothing that he has said could produce success.
Jeff:
I will just give you my brands…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And then you could try that and see if it magically [inaudible 40:38] this. I will say for almost 2 weeks, it’s been bracing to change the dishes in the dishwasher. And the very first time I had both actions and did all that, I opened it and it was perfect.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
So, you could try…
Casey:
Now, you could be facing a slightly different problem, as well, than Dan and I.
Jeff:
Yes, totally true.
Casey:
I don’t really know.
Jeff:
Yes. I mean, it is funny also just to go on the forums to see people losing their minds because… I mean, you’ve got a lot of grumpy people about this whole situation.
Casey:
So this is, again… So I suppose in many ways, this is actually very much like Windows. So I don’t need you to tell me what temperature I’m gonna wash my dishes at.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Asshole, right? It’s like, I will tell you what temperature to wash my dishes at. And if I choose to wash them at 130 degrees so that bacteria proliferates inside my dishwasher because I really fucking like rampant bacteria on my eating surfaces, so be it. But if I actually want to fucking do it at, like, 220 so that it’s steaming the dishes effectively, then I want the capability to do that.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And I’m not really interested in you telling me one way or the other. I will make that decision.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
And I will be the one who arbitrates the power versus cleanliness tradeoff that I make in my household. Thank you very much.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
And that is all I have to say about that.
Jeff:
Okay. Yeah, that is very Windows-y of just assuming a [inaudible 42:08]
Casey:
Plus, I’m very interested in these enzymes… What exactly are these enzymes? How safe are they to ingest would be my other question.
Jeff:
Yeah. I have no idea.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
No idea. I was… It was all a surprise to me. Like, I didn’t know that the Euro and the Americanos were all that different. Apparently very different. But I will also say just as a separate thing, the fascination with high-end appliances and their complete lack of correlation with being good at what they do…
Casey:
Yeah, we talked about that before. It’s bad.
Jeff:
It’s pretty embarrassing.
Casey:
Well that’s why I don’t… I hate this trend now of places… If it’s a nice place, it has to have the upscale… Because I would never, ever purchase a high-end dishwasher.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Ever. I mean, I’m never doing that. That’s the worst idea ever because they can’t wash dishes.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The same with the washer and dryer. They can’t wash clothes or dry clothes. And so, I would never ever buy those. But now, it’s like, if you move into an apartment that’s somewhat nice… If you rent an upscale apartment… It’s sort of like the thing that we’ve been talking about where if you pay for a fancy hotel room, you don’t get any internet access.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It’s the same as ‘cos you pay more and you get less. It’s like… I feel like when you pay more, you should get more. That’s what I… I want a world where I pay more and I get more.
Jeff:
So you go to a fancy hotel and you get, like, your own fiber connection.
Casey:
This isn’t game design.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
This is not… I don’t want to live in a world of tradeoffs.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Right? I don’t want someone to have to balance it so it’s like… So that I’m sitting there going, “Oh, well… Okay. So I could have the nice room. I could have the… It’s like a nice, clean room, no bugs…”
Jeff:
The clean…
Casey:
“But I won’t get internet.”
Jeff:
The room cleanliness doesn’t come with internet.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
But then the room with the internet has bugs…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And then…
Casey:
So I’m thinking like…
Jeff:
But if I can combine the room with the internet…
Casey:
I gotta [ debug ]. I’ll [ debug ] the bugs by using my bug spray and the thing…
Jeff:
With the spray… Yeah.
Casey:
It’s like, that’s not… I don’t want my life to be “Binding of Isaac”, right? If I want to play “Binding of Isaac”, I’ll play “Binding of Isaac” for an hour on my computer.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
I don’t want that to be my normal… Like, what I’m just trying to do to have a normal existence should not be this crazy set of no-win scenarios.
Jeff:
I hadn’t really thought of that as really a personification of game-fying.
Casey:
It is.
Jeff:
The game-fication of life.
Casey:
It’s like a really well-tuned… Life is… And I think maybe this is capitalism, right?
Jeff:
But it’s not well-tuned.
Casey:
This is how cap--…
Jeff:
Because it’s all…
Casey:
It’s very well-tuned. It’s tuned so that you cannot win.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
That is what capitalism is doing, right.
Jeff:
But that’s a different tune.
Casey:
Capitalism is basically the incentive structure for all corporations to push down to the point where all choices are equivalent.
Jeff:
Right. Yeah.
Casey:
That’s how it works. That’s exactly what it does, right? So it’s constantly putting that pressure on everything so that the maximum amount of profit is extracted and the least amount of value is delivered, right? That’s how that system works so that basically you know. It’s like, “It doesn’t matter…”
Jeff:
Have we talked…
Casey:
Where do you want to go to dinner? It doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be bad no matter where you go. It’s fine.
Jeff:
Have we talked about that airline? What is it called?
Casey:
Oh, yes. It’s, like, Spirit Airways or something like this.
Jeff:
Yes, it’s Spirit? I want to make sure we get them…
Casey:
I don’t remember.
Jeff:
Okay. Don’t quote us on the name because we don’t want to make… Their whole point is to be the absolute cheapest worst experience…
Casey:
Well, it’s an FTP airline. The idea behind the airline is you pay almost nothing for the ticket. But if you want anything else like a seat or something…
Jeff:
It’s free to fly. Right, free to fly…
Casey:
You have to actually pay money…
Jeff:
Yeah, it’s a microtransaction for everything.
Casey:
It’s a microtransaction-based pile.
Jeff:
There’s a microtransaction for…
Casey:
Bags, [ weight ], you, everything…
Jeff:
Yeah, like the…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Even at your seat…
Casey:
Yeah, overhead bins are charged. Everything’s charged.
Jeff:
And their customer satisfaction is the lowest of the low by several huge amounts…
Casey:
Yeah, yeah. Right.
Jeff:
And yet, their growth rate is faster than any other airline.
Casey:
Is it? Oh, really?
Jeff:
Yes. They’re like… And it’s just like…
Casey:
Oh, I didn’t know that. Okay.
Jeff:
Because… And they have directly antagonistic PR people.
Casey:
Well, right, they don’t apologize. They don’t apologize.
Jeff:
Because they ask about them and they’re like, “Listen, people bitch about this shit but they come back next time.” I mean, they’re like, they embrace it.
Casey:
Well, no. But they say more specifically… They’re literal… I mean, this is exactly what they say. They’re like, “Look, if you buy a Ford Focus, don’t complain that it’s not a Ferrari.” That’s what they say. They’re like, “Look. You are buying the cheap fucking car, okay? It doesn’t have features, doesn’t have a radio. Get in the car and drive it. If you want more shit, you’re gonna have to buy it.” Here’s the thing I’ll say (and I feel like this is absolutely the case)… I don’t know. Maybe I’m projecting but I feel like this is a problem that actually sort of infects a large swathe of American business now basically which is because we have such an incredible amount of wealth concentration upwards…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Right? And we have kind of set up our society to ensure that this will continue, right? So meaning, the majority of people will have less and less money going forward. They will not have more. This is not 1950 anymore. This is 1910 or something.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
We are going back beforehand, right?
Jeff:
I think it’s just like a contrast button. You’re just pushing things to the edges.
Casey:
Well, okay. So starting in 1950 and running through the 1970’s, wealth accumulated at the bottom.
Jeff:
Okay. I don’t know enough about it. I thought there was still the crazy…
Casey:
I do. And I’m telling you.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So what happened starting in… Basically, after the new deal and going forwards, right, what we basically had was the actual, you would call real capacity for purchasing, the actual value or wealth, not just Dollars but adjusted for inflation and other things.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Starting at that time, grew. So the average family had more and more ability to make purchasing decisions and to purchase things.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Starting.
Casey:
[Doorbell] Okay. Seriously?
Jeff:
We better pause. I don’t know what that’s about.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
That was odd. Alright.
Casey:
That was… I didn’t know you had neighbors who came over and asked to borrow ice.
Jeff:
It’s the first time anyone’s ever come to my door.
Casey:
So I would put a stop to that right off the bat. I’d open the door. They’d be like, “I need to borrow some ice.” I’d be like, “Find it somewhere else.” Slam. Like, we don’t…
Jeff:
We don’t solve problems the same way.
Casey:
“You and I aren’t on an ice-sharing… You know, this is not an ice-sharing relationship. Okay? You make your own ice, damn it.”
Jeff:
Well, what’s funny is she was out of ice because she’d been away.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And I’m about to leave so, like, “Take my ice.”
Casey:
Right. Right. Yeah.
Jeff:
Alright, whatever.
Casey:
It’s fine.
Jeff:
Very strange.
Casey:
Well, it’s the interruption that was the problem.
Jeff:
Well, I assumed that she was having a big party and needs ice.
Casey:
No, no, she just hadn’t turned it.
Jeff:
And then when you asked her, she’s like, “I just need some ice.” I’m like, “Okay.”
Casey:
Yeah, she’s making calamari. I can understand. She’s probably boiling it and she want to chill it and…
Jeff:
Do you remember what we were talking about?
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Okay, continue.
Casey:
I was explaining to you that from 1950…
Jeff:
Growth was in the…
Casey:
The actual…
Jeff:
Middle class or the lower class?
Casey:
So the average family.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Which means across all… The median, let’s say.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So, I don’t know how you want to interpret that exactly because I don’t know what the standard deviation is on that or something like this. But yes, let’s say middle class for now because that probably is the most accurate way to portray that.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So somewhere in the mid-1970’s, that stops. And it hasn’t reoccurred again for pretty much the past 40 years. So we had 40 years of good. And now, we have 40 years of bad, right? So what we’re looking at now… Oh, and coincidentally, we’ve kind of known for a long time, economically speaking, that countries are prosperous when this is occurring and not when it’s not. So it’s like, you want your low end to be heavy. You do not want your top end to be heavy. Top end heavy, bad. Low end heavy, good.
Jeff:
Is that because before the 70’s, the tax rate used to be 90% when it was sky high, and so that moves the money, keeps it from concentrating? Or is it more complicated than that?
Casey:
So I feel like you can… There are… I would not say that I know that anyone has put together the complete explanation for why it happens, right? But if you forced me to produce the explanation, smoking gun, honestly, it’s computers. My feeling about it is that people just aren’t that necessary anymore. So globalization… The fact that computers have allowed us to, A, replace people with robotics, with data systems, with whatever plus have allowed us to stay in contact with disparate empires of, you know, corporations sort of thing… Has allowed us to basically…
Jeff:
Move money immediately…
Casey:
Not care about the working class in America because they’re just not relevant. Like, what do they do? We don’t care what they do. We can manufacture shit elsewhere. We can replace them with databases. We don’t need that many people actually doing shit here. And that’s why we have a 70% service economy or whatever they always quote. It’s like, the only thing we actually need people to do is fucking man the store, right? And eventually, we won’t even need that because we’ll just buy everything from Amazon, right? So in my mind, automation and globalization kind of have made it so that people just aren’t that necessary. And when people aren’t that necessary, you start to get all these pernicious forces coming back. And I think you can start to create a wider picture of all the ways that this happened, like, you know, union busting and this sort of thing. So now, they can’t advocate for themselves anymore. There’s a series of things, obviously, in terms of the political culture that also allow people to be taken advantage of that is separate from this. You know, NAFTA… All these sorts of things are certainly part of it but it’s hard to say what was the primary thing that occurred. But I think in general, if you looked at it and if you took away a lot of these things like the ability to have international globalization of markets and automation and all this sort of stuff, I think it would’ve been a lot harder and a lot slower. But who knows? It’s hard to put together a complete picture. The other thing that definitely helped in terms of letting the problem go before anyone really realized, it was credit cards and women’s liberation. I mean, that’s a weird thing to say, right? But the fact that there was somebody in the house who wasn’t working who now could go to work and the fact that there were ways for people to buy on credit meant that you had this push forward of the realization that you are getting poorer. Because if suddenly you get a second income and you don’t fully realize how much of a toll it takes on you that you’re doing twice as much work, right? It wasn’t like women went into the workforce and then the men worked half as much.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
What a wonderful world that would be. “You work Mondays and Tuesdays. I work Thursdays and Fridays.” Whatever. That would’ve been great. Now, everyone gets to have a career if they want one and we’re not working more hours so the other partner in the family or whatever gets more time with the kids, whatever, you know. Because previously, the husband didn’t spend much time with the kids, right, because they were working all the time. You could’ve had this nice… You could’ve had women’s lib come in and be a great thing for everybody. Instead, you might argue that capitalism went ahead and said, “Oh, good. We can use this.” And it was not volitional.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
“But we can use this to extract more out of these people.” So even though they were making 2 wages in the household and a lot of women were going to work, their actual real earning power stayed the same. They did not… They used that to depress the amount that the household could buy by basically making sure that people earned less — Giving them less raises, making sure that as they got more productive and as there were more people working and working long hours, they weren’t actually earning any more in terms of real Dollars, right? So anyway, putting all that together, basically what you end up with is you end up with a situation where most of your wealth, as it is generated, goes to people who do not spend it.
Jeff:
Yeah. Right.
Casey:
Or if they do spend it, they spend it on things that are completely worthless to society like yachts. Yachts is not really doing anything for us, right? That is not keeping a vibrant town square. That is not doing… It is not culturally enriching the area. It is just putting a yacht out in the water.
Jeff:
I think the yacht thing might be a bit of a red herring.
Casey:
But it’s not that relevant because it’s not much of the money.
Jeff:
Yeah. It’s zero percent of the money. The problem is really once you get over a certain standard of living, it’s impossible…
Casey:
It goes in the bank, yeah. It’s just in the bank.
Jeff:
You can’t… No matter how stupid you are, you can’t spend it unless you invest it poorly, right, which is certainly a way to lose it. But that’s not helping [inaudible 56:01] if you’re losing your money through that. So yeah, there is that problem of once you get to a certain level, it’s impossible… It’s literally impossible to spend enough of your money to actually…
Casey:
So I would say…
Jeff:
It’s going to… And you make money on interest.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
So it just is this thing that, whether you mean for it to or not, it’s going to explode once you get to a certain nest egg.
Casey:
So what I would generally say is that I actually don’t believe that taxes on the rich are the primary problem. Meaning you were sort of [inaudible 56:34] tax on the rich were 90%. I don’t actually that’s that much of the problem. I think that that could be something you should look at as something you might want to do. It’s true that higher taxes on the rich are probably a good idea but I think that really, it’s less about the tax rate that the rich pay and more about the tax structure that the rich pay it in. Capital gains, for example, is the worst idea that anyone has ever had. The fact that the capital gains tax is less than the income tax is by far the single most problematic one…
Jeff:
That’s not… There’s one worse.
Casey:
Or carried interest is the other bad one.
Jeff:
There’s the very worst one.
Casey:
Okay. What’s the very worst one?
Jeff:
It’s real estate rollovers.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
It’s inconceivable, there is no public benefit, to the fact that there is one kind of appreciation…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
You do not have to pay any taxes on as long as you buy something else.
Casey:
Right. Yeah.
Jeff:
It’s like… That’s like, “Well, wait. Yes, you made a billion Dollars on stock and you sold it? As long as you buy another billion Dollars…” It’s like, the only people that helps are massively wealthy developers.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Real estate developers. There’s no reason… That is not a helpful thing to people buying houses.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
It’s not a useful thing to the elderly. It’s literally helping maybe two to three thousand people in the country. And if you look at the very wealthy, the crazy wealth that’s there, it’s like, there’s a predominance of real estate developers.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
The people… They had this thing because of the Donald Sterling stuff…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
They’re talking about a lot of the other kind of weird owners in the NBA.
Casey:
Right, right.
Jeff:
And like, there’s a huge number that, guess what, are real estate developers because, hey, they got…
Casey:
Yeah. If it’s tax-free. It’s pretty handy. Yeah.
Jeff:
Escalation over and over and over again. Yeah. So…
Casey:
Estate tax would be another one but that’s a separate issue.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
So looking forward… Anyway, the point being the tax thing, where you add friction into your system is incredibly important, right? And so, one of the things that I’d say about the tax rate on the rich is there is some truth and some falsehood to the myth of the job creator and that whole thing that they say all the time, right? And so, the thing that I think is worth emphasizing that I never see anyone mention but is probably the most important thing in my opinion for the entirety of that whole system, for our system, is that if… Like, I don’t really know if it’s just because people don’t… You know, most people don’t run companies. They done… But the tax rate on job creators in this country is zero percent.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And it’s never not been. If you take your money and pay an employee, you don’t pay any tax. It’s gone. That’s a loss for your business.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The business doesn’t pay taxes on the money it hands to other people.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
So the only “tax” that you could say was on that are actually the taxes that the employee themselves see on their paycheck.
Jeff:
Yeah. There’s a tiny one…
Casey:
Like Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Tax…
Jeff:
There’s a tiny matching on Social Security…
Casey:
Exactly.
Jeff:
But it is…
Casey:
Tiny…
Jeff:
7%. . .
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Of what they earn up to a point.
Casey:
Right. It’s hardly anything.
Jeff:
So it is nothing.
Casey:
It’s negligible. So the condition--…
Jeff:
I would just say it’s a separate thing. As a business owner…
Casey:
Yes, you are a business owner.
Jeff:
I’ve run 2 businesses in my life.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
I have never made a decision based on what the tax would be.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
I’m gonna make it like… And I know a lot of entrepreneurs, the tax is the last thing on their mind. They’re always thinking like, “Oh, I’ll evade that later.” Like, “I’ll worry about…”
Casey:
The other point that… Again, but the point also is… I mean, I think it’s a little more straightforward than that. The tax code in this country, that part of it, is set up well. If you give your money to an employee, you don’t really pay taxes on it.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And that’s great. That is a good thing. So the concept that when people say they’re gonna raise taxes on rich, that they’re taxing job creators, no. They’re taxing non-job creators…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Or the portion of the thing that the person was going to do that wasn’t creating jobs. That’s the part that’s being taxed.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
If they found someone to give money to to do a job for them, they wouldn’t pay taxes on it.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
So actually, you could say raising taxes on the income of the rich is actually a way to force them to spend it on creating jobs…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Because that’s good… So anyway, that’s a separate issue, kind of. What I was going to say was that going forwards, the currently prevailing wisdom, if you believed Thomas Piketty, which most people do (I guess)… Economics is a tricky thing.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Because most people who do economics are completely full of shit.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Especially macroeconomics.
Jeff:
Well, it’s…
Casey:
Completely full of shit.
Jeff:
Yeah. It’s just… It’s an…
Casey:
No, that has nothing to do with it.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
It may be a hard problem. That is not part of it. It’s one of those things where you go in and people are like, “Wow, this programming problem is really hard.” And you just look at it and it’s just like, the crazy C++ wankers who have a giant hierarchy drawn on the board of who [ inherits what ]. You’re like, “Maybe the problem is hard but you guys are all idiots.” That’s macroeconomics, right? They do all this shit that you’re just… You walk in there and you start looking at it and you’re like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” They try to do stuff, like solve economics problems, with standing partial differential equations or stuff like this. And you’re like, “Guys, this is a large-scale sim problem. You get that, right?” Like, you’re not gonna write an equation on 5 lines that’s gonna capture any of interesting things that happens here like, you need large-scale sim for this. That’s what this is for. And like, only recently has anyone even thought of that. Like, that was like news to them. They were like, “Oh, wow. You mean we can start simulating people actually doing things and see what that…” Right? So it’s full banana cakes. Don’t ever go read any macroeconomics because all it will do is just frustrate you with how fucking backwards these people are that policymakers are listening to, which is the worst part of it, right? But anyway, if you believe Thomas Piketty… He published a recent book. And he’s one of the few people who studies these sorts of things, apparently, who is well-respected. His finding was that historically speaking, if you just look at the behavior of societies and how they end up going in terms of the money supply, his argument was that actually, it’s inheritance tax really is the primary thing to worry about. He was like, “When you do not have very high inheritance tax, basically what ends up happening is the money just pools into families over time and those families become very powerful.” Period. Like, end of story.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And that is what will happen. It’s what’s happening now in our society and it will continue to happen. And whether you believe that or not, like… Hey, you could go read his book. It’s got a lot of data and it talks about… It’s called “Capital in the 21st Century”. You can look at it and whatever. But point being, so going forwards, if you believe him, we also have another problem which is that we need to jack the inheritance tax massively to prevent wealth accumulation in individuals. Now, you’ve got… Because there’s wealth accumulation in corporations which is a separate problem. But wealth accumulation in individuals like the Walton’s or these sorts of things, that’s… You’ve got to fix.
Jeff:
I think that’s a hard one because it’s really hard not to… To address that in a way where you don’t have people do the counter effects of, like, “Oh, I set up a foundation. My family runs the foundation,” and blablabla… Like, there’s so many methods that you’re, like… That’s really hard.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Short of just, like, you die, 90% of it goes right to the government.
Casey:
Right, right.
Jeff:
Like, period. Like, we don’t even talk about it.
Casey:
Well, that’s kind of what I was saying.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Like…
Jeff:
It’s just hard because you might set that up before you die. “I’m gonna gift you a billion Dollars,” and that’s taxed at 50%, like… So okay, now you have to do gifts and, like…
Casey:
Right, right…
Jeff:
There’s a whole bunch of weird… You know, you end up having a lot of weird scenarios that you’re dealing with but…
Casey:
Well, I mean, part of it, too, is… Again, you can look at it more holistically and say, “Well, if we really want to stop these patterns from repeating, we’re going to have to start thinking post-capitalism,” right? And that’s something that I think we definitely do need to do. The problem is we just… Like, I don’t feel like we have a lot of real momentum behind smart people working on new economic models and we also don’t really have good ways to test them because the classic thing of, like, “Oh, well, it’s capitalist,” or, “It’s socialist,” or whatever. It’s like… That’s a very tunnel vision way of looking at things. It’s like, the concept that we’ve already discovered, the set of the best economic systems for the world, it’s almost certainly not true. Like, we probably haven’t… Because we haven’t tried that many.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
We probably haven’t hit upon the most effective ways to structure societies to avoid these kinds of problems. But it is definitely true that capitalism has a lot of these bad standing wave patterns that occur in them. And if we want to start addressing those, maybe we have to start looking at how do we get past those. And I don’t know what that looks like.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
But it’s definitely true that all of these other things that we’re talking about are really just ways of putting bandaids on the inherent problem of money is, like, the catchall thing in capitalism. It’s a thing that lets you do everything. So it’s not only the measure of wealth. It’s also the measure of control and power and all these other things. And so, as a result, you end up in all these situations where, like you say, we can shuffle it around or create alternate ways of using it whereas maybe in systems where there’s more than one sort of number that occurs, where people have a wider staff-base, maybe you got more to work there.
Jeff:
Well, no. You just need more tech trees.
Casey:
Tech trees, yeah. We need tech trees.
Jeff:
We have the money tree but we need manna. We need archery…
Casey:
Yeah, exactly. Gamers will solve this problem. “League of Legends” players will lead the way.
Jeff:
I’m pretty sure they won’t lead the way. I’m pretty sure that they’re going to stay at their desk…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
With headphones and clicking.
Casey:
We are over time budget, speaking of that.
Jeff:
Yes. And I think we are over time, period. Yes. So we’re getting close.
Casey:
What does that mean?
Jeff:
We have to stop podcasting today?
Casey:
Aw…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
I was just getting started.
Jeff:
That’s true. Well, our [inaudible 67:16] Alright, everybody. If you have…
Casey:
This political economy minute was brought to you by…
Jeff:
Miele dishwashers.
Casey:
Miele.
Jeff:
Miele?
Casey:
I like that it’s Miele. I don’t know where you…
Jeff:
I say Miele.
Casey:
It’s M-I-E-L-E. You think that’s Miele?
Jeff:
Miele.
Casey:
Maybe. Could be.
Jeff:
I don’t know.
Casey:
I don’t… Like I said, I don’t know how to pronounce it. So you could very well be right.
Jeff:
Yeah. I have no idea. Anyway…
Casey:
I want it to be Miele, like a French, you know…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
But that would probably be… That would be M-I-E-L-L-E. So I don’t know what M-I-E-L-E… Do we even know where these dishwashers are from?
Jeff:
No. I have no idea. I know the Bosch are German. That’s all.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Yeah. But…
Casey:
Germans are supposed to be good at engineering.
Jeff:
That’s what I thought until… I have thought that…
Casey:
That’s not true anymore?
Jeff:
And I have owned a BMW car and that’s definitely not true of that car.
Casey:
I see.
Jeff:
Yep, it was a driving experience of a kind. I don’t know if I would have used the “ultimate”…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But it was an experience.
Casey:
BMW — For A Driving Experience.
Jeff:
A Driving Experience, yeah.
Casey:
The most driving experience you will have…
Jeff:
Supposedly, the really high end ones are still good.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But…
Casey:
You did not buy high end enough, is that what you’re saying?
Jeff:
That’s my understanding. So the problem…
Casey:
What is the high end… What is a high end BMW?
Jeff:
My understanding of the BMW problem was simply that they very consciously went for bigger and bigger markets in the United States and pushed the cost of their cars down, down, down, down, down.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And then they start having huge manufacturing problems.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And so, if you didn’t get anything but, like, an $180,000 BMW, you were [inaudible 68:58]
Casey:
Okay, so they bifurcated their line into high end and crap.
Jeff:
They were always high end.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And then all German cars have really gone… Like, I mean, I bought a very high end Porsche in 1996 for I think $75,000. And that was a fortune.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Now, there are Porsches that are $250,000.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
911’s, the same car, right?
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And so, they definitely have gone, “Hey, we have very exclusive stuff.”
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
But they also are going just more mass market now. Both of them.
Casey:
I see.
Jeff:
And apparently, that’s the problem with BMW. But I don’t know…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Anyway…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
If you have a dirty dishwasher story that you’d like to tell us…
Casey:
Right, or if you have some political economy opinions… Obviously, there are a number of ways to look at that and you may…
Jeff:
If you’re a macro--…
Casey:
Yeah. If you feel like macroeconomics is not a load of horseshit…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And you would like to write in with that opinion and have us discuss it on a future podcast, you can send your macroeconomics apologia to Podcast@JeffAndCaseyShow.com or @CMuratori on Twitter. And we will take a look at it.
Jeff:
That’s right. Alright, thanks, everybody.
Casey:
Thanks for listening.
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casey muratori
the jeff and casey show - season 4 - episode 17
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