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The Affordable Cell Phone Care Act

I do not apologize for withholding from you dear feline Zanzibarians the treat of beholding yet again His Face, even though for once it bears a relatively pleasant expression. You will see it anyway if, as I recommend, you follow the link to the whole column. :)

The Affordable Cell Phone Care Act
by EDWARD CLINE February 4, 2014

Groucho Marx had many great monologues and spiels, but this is one of his finest:

“The nickel today is not what it was fifteen years ago. Do you know what this country needs today?…A seven-cent nickel. Yessiree, we’ve been using the five-cent nickel in this country since 1492. Now that’s pretty near a hundred years’ daylight saving. Now, why not give the seven-cent nickel a chance? If that works out, next year we could have an eight-cent nickel. Think what that would mean. You could go to a newsstand, buy a three-cent newspaper and get the same nickel back again. One nickel carefully used would last a family a lifetime.”

Note the absurd application of a Keynesian Money Multiplier effect, where inflation allows a carefully spent nickel to last a lifetime. Of course, the gentleman falls for the muddled logic and obfuscation, responding, “Captain Spaulding, I think that is a wonderful idea.”

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  1. Roue le Jour says:


  2. Julie near Chicago says:

    Those Marx boys had something in the upstairs, didn’t they. Some say that Cuzzin Karl did too, only he lost his noive and was afraid to come out of the closet with it. ;>)

  3. John Galt says:

    Reminds me of the scene from Argo:

    Lester Siegel: The saying goes, “What starts in farce ends in tragedy.”
    John Chambers: No, it’s the other way around.
    Lester Siegel: Who said that exactly?
    John Chambers: Marx.
    Lester Siegel: Groucho said that?

  4. Jim says:

    Hasn’t he got the young vs old bit the wrong way around? Under ACA the young are forced to pay for something they don’t want/need in order to subsidise the old, the corollary under the ‘ACPCA’ would be that the elderly would be forced to to pay for mobile phones they didn’t want in order to help finance the young’s excessive use of the system.

  5. Paul Marks says:

    Very good Julie.

    Animal Crackers, Ducksoup, and on and on.

    Great writing – wonderfully delivered.

    Keynesianism (and other forms of monetary-crank ideas) is indeed a wonderful target for satire.

    As Hunter Lewis points out (in “Where Keynes Went Wrong”) Karl Marx (long before Graucho) mocked what is no called Keynesianism – long before Keynes was born.

  6. NickM says:

    I did post previously on the 7c nickel. Oddly enough after about ten years away from the USA I discovered the truth upon my return. I went from a country roughly 2/3 the price of America only to discover a land more expensive than my native UK. I was fecked off. I used to love the States. It was my Tanelorn, my emperie. Yeah, even Alabama but no more. Give me the Czech Republic anyday. You can get a beer for a quid and they deep fry cheese.

    And you can go here…,31489,1925095_1921770_1921733,00.html

    When I was last in Prague I had a top notch (cheap) steak dinner (served by men in firemen’s hats), excellent cheap beer and a spot-on salad. Outside the Kafka Museum they have two automated sculptured fellows urinating on the map of Czechoslovakia. Only in Prague. My next beach holiday is likely to be Romania or Bulgaria. The hell with Florida (and I used to love FL). Anyway, my next trip is to Amsterdam (my wife’s idea) to see (amongst other things) the Rijksmuseum which has been recently re-jigged. I have been before (a long time ago) but hey-ho. I have been to The Louvre twice as well. And the Prado and Italy and Greece. And Germany and stuff. I haven’t stood at the gates of Vienna (Austria is disturbingly clean) but I have been (twice) to Krakow and seen the tower from which the clarion call to save Christian Europe from the Turks went up. They also have the simple and therefore epically moving memorial for the Katyn massacre. Just a cross. What else? The Poles remember. And we ought to remember them. We didn’t have a hassle with them coming over here and flying our Spitfires in 1940 so why worry about plumbers in 2014? I seem to recall they did very well – the pilots that is – if I get my hands on Andy the plumber (if) we shall see. He’s a spot-on plumberif. Arguably Nick Griffin recalls the Spits!!! Or at the Gates of Vienna where the Polish hussars did brilliant work with wings on their backs. There is a reason one of my heroes, the Doctor, is called the “Oncoming Storm” by his arch-enemies, the Daleks.Those Hussars did it first. The logo at the time for the Museum of Communism (above McDonalds and opposite Bennetton – that’s what the flyer said) had a logo of a Russian doll with fangs. And yes, they do have

    BTW, I stayed at the Black Eagle Hotel in Prague and it is recommended. It is staggering distance from the Charles Bridge. That is central.

    PS. I have seen the scene of the defenestrations of Prague. The first bugger chucked out a window survived because he landed in a pile of horse shit and ran for it – mucky but un-spackered. Second time around they didn’t remove the dung but stationed a section of men with pikes to do the finishing. Job done.

    PPS And I saw Kepler’s house.

    PPPS. And they have a museum of torture but my wife wouldn’t go in! So I missed seeing a “pear of anguish” though if you want to see really freaky stuff the fabulous baroque Church of St Nicholas. It is full of statues of saints torturing demons. It is emotional. It looks like where the final scene of The Omen should have been shot.

    PPPPS. I also saw the blue plaque (quite by chance) for the house where Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík shot each other rather than be captured by the NAZIs. They had offed Reinhard Heydrich who was – even within the NAZI leadership context – a truly unspeakable cunt of the very first water. Very brave men so I saluted them quietly.

  7. NickM says:

    I meant roughly 2/3 the price of the UK as in a $ bought roughly what a £ did. Sorry.

  8. Paul Marks says:

    Nick you are a much travelled man.

    I envy you.

    As for Holland – my fraternal grandmother was Dutch (died long before I was born).

    I hear the art is a wonder.

  9. NickM says:

    Not that travelled really. East of the Miss to West-ish of the Danube with a few excursions like Malta and Asiatic parts of Turkey. Got a photo somewhere of me hugging a statue of a bull on the far-side in Istanbul. I’m gurning like a loon but then that was my first time in Asia! Never been to Russia or the Scandy-lands (all trees) or Africa or the Mid-East (except in utero- which hardly counts). I mean it’s not like you can take a picture can you?

  10. Nick if you went to Gibraltar you could visit Africa as well (it is incredible close there).

    Trouble is that I do not believe that any aircraft go from Manchester to Gibraltar.

    It appears to be a very southern English thing to visit the place.

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