Three Economies: Why Liberty Doesn’t Matter to a Hungry Man

The US government, under the control of “progressives” has consciously divided the citizens of America into three distinct economies over the past 150 years. I’ve tagged them:

  • The Locke-Friedman Economy (for John Locke and Milton Friedman)
  • The Huxley-Orwell Economy (for Aldous Huxley and George Orwell)
  • The Hobbes-Keynes Economy (for Thomas Hobbes and John Maynard Keynes)

I’ll attempt to explain why these are important as a driver for uninformed voters and why it is so difficult for the political right to break through to them.

The Locke-Friedman Economy

People in the Locke economy are people who don’t live paycheck to paycheck, have savings and a retirement plan, saving for college for their kids and pay for their own health insurance. They have good jobs and make enough money to have surplus to enjoy or invest; many are successful small business owners. They live in safe, upwardly mobile neighborhoods with good schools. Most own a home, perhaps a second home or timeshare. They buy toys they can afford because they know that toys are toys and not a measure of affluence, family financial security is. These are the people that Obama classifies as “rich”. They think “work first, and then play” and plan for the long term. They have mobile careers because they have skills that are in demand or valuable experiences that companies or the public will pay for and they are financially secure enough to withstand a gap between high compensation jobs. This economy consists of approximately 30% of Americans.

The Huxley-Orwell Economy

People in the Huxley economy are people who do live paycheck to paycheck, have little or no savings or retirement plan, borrow for college for their kids and have little or no health insurance. They have menial jobs and do not make enough money to have surplus to enjoy or invest; they live on credit, cash flowing from month to month and spend beyond their means. They live in less safe, average neighborhoods with some good schools and some bad schools. They may own or lease a small house. Some in the upper levels buy toys that they can’t afford to satisfy the need to be seen as successful. They think “play first, and then work”. They are short term planners, exemplified by the phrase, “livin’ for the weekend”. They can put food on the table but for them steak is a luxury and store brands are the norm. Obama would call these people “middle class”. They have static jobs, no real career, because they do not have skills that are in demand or valuable experiences that companies or the public will pay for and they are not financially secure enough to withstand a gap between jobs. They must work to keep up with the house rent, the boat payment, the jetski payments and are still paying for the vacation they took on the MasterCard three years ago. If they miss a day’s pay, a bill doesn’t get paid. Their difficult financial situation is of their own making for not living within their means. This economy consists of approximately 40% of Americans.

The Hobbes-Keynes Economy

People in the Hobbes-Keynes economy are people who have no consistent paycheck and live day to day. If they do have a job, it is at minimum wage. They have little no savings or retirement plan, don’t even consider college for their kids and have no health insurance. They do not make enough money to live and are long term government benefit recipients. They live in unsafe, poor neighborhoods with bad schools. They rent or live in subsidized public housing. They think “I need to survive until tomorrow”. They can’t put food on the table. They don’t have jobs because they have no skills that companies or the public will pay for. They depend on the next entitlement check to live. Obama would call these people “poor”. This economy consists of approximately 30% of Americans.

There is a reason that high minded concepts like “liberty” are not understood or valued by the 70% of the people who make up the Huxley-Orwell and the Hobbes-Keynes economies.

It is, at once, timeless and simple.

Before mankind learned about agriculture and could produce food in excess of their demand, every day began with hunger, continued with a struggle to survive and a search for the next mastodon herd and ended with the creation of a defensive perimeter so that they weren’t reminded that they weren’t quite at the top of the food chain just yet. In this type of existence, “liberty” was a high concept that was a waste of time. Survival was not. The focus was thinking about and doing only the things that were needed to support survival and nothing else.

  • The inhabitants of the Huxley-Orwell economy have jobs but due to their own choices have had their upward mobility frozen. By trying to mimic the Locke-Friedman economy though poor financial decisions, they are doomed to day to day survival.
  • The inhabitants of the Hobbes-Keynes economy do not have jobs and subsist on government handouts. Upward mobility is rare. They have failed themselves by not believing that they can escape poverty and the government has failed them by designing programs that disincentivze work, they are doomed to day to day survival.

Our government perpetuates the Huxley-Orwell and the Hobbes-Keynes economies simply because they tend favor government, they vote for government programs or they don’t vote at all. The educational establishment fails these people by 1) warehousing the underperformers, 2) fostering the false notion that everyone can (or even needs to) get a college degree instead of a good trade school, 3) promotes cheap college loans that burden people in the Hobbes-Keynes economy who want use school to get out and people in the Huxley-Orwell economy who try to pay for their kid’s college bills with a mountain of debt.

“Progressives” do not want people to succeed and reach the Locke-Friedman economy, quite the contrary. They try to push the people in that economy into the lower two tiers via taxation and regulation. They want more “middle class” workers who are happy to consume and cash flow the bills because these folks don’t have time to think about concepts like liberty. They want a dependent class that exists on government transfer payments to survive because this is a block that will never vote to take them away.

Liberty means little to a man with an empty stomach and no hope for the future.

10 thoughts on “Three Economies: Why Liberty Doesn’t Matter to a Hungry Man

  1. In these times, and due to the economy, I feel there is a blend occurring. I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I read more and more about retirement accounts having to be drained, homes in foreclosure, &c.

    • Kells,

      That is due — largely — to the govt. having to take more and more, even from the Huxley-Orwell class, to feed the Hobbes-Keynes mob so they can stave off the inevitable riots and mass murders (history teaches us this is the typical end of all welfare societies).

        • See the parallels with the Roman Empire? The “poor’s” votes were purchased by the politicians through entertainment and personally controlled welfare…

          Treasure for transfer to the voters soon ran out …

          • Texas,

            More than the poor, it was the middle class that the Roman Emperors were buying off. As Utah has pointed out, the govt. has no need to fear the masses of poor — so long as there is food to fight for. It is when that food dries up that the govt. has to fear the masses. until that food dries up, the poor are under control because they are content to fight for the food that is available. In large part, they control themselves. So it is the middle class, or, in the case of Rome, the merchant class, which must be appeased and bought off to keep the elite in power.

  2. Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak and commented:
    The middle class in Utah’s illustration are shooting themselves in the foot. It often started when they chose to borrow for college rather than pay for it out of pocket. They did that because someone convinced them that they had to. Then when they graduated, they bought a car on credit while paying student loans. They did that because you have to have a nice image to get a good job, right? Then they used credit cards to help with temporary cash shortfalls because that helps to build a credit rating. Then they got married and bought a bigger house than they could afford because their credit score said they could afford it and ….
    There’s a smarter way to do it, but they refuse to see it and so, they drown themselves.
    Often they have an income that could give them a very nice life, if they would get rid of their debt. That’s tough. That’s beans and rice followed by rice and beans for however long it takes. And, many people just can’t do it — not because its impossible, but because they don’t feel that they deserve to have to work so hard for such long-term goals. But when they do — wow, suddenly middle class people can afford a really comfortable lifestyle. The only thing that separates them from their coworkers is that they aren’t paying for past borrowing.

  3. Pingback: 76% Of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck: The Huxley-Orwell Economy Illustrated | The Rio Norte Line


    “…a brilliant book with the sarcastic title “This Time Is Different.” Their point, of course, was that there is a strong family resemblance among crises.”

    I am not familiar with the book, but this time is different. When, in any past recession or period of slow economic growth, has a similar percentage of productive jobs, generating income for U.S. companies, been located outside our borders?

    “In particular, the widening disconnect between profits and production does nothing to weaken the case for expansionary monetary and fiscal policy as long as the economy stays depressed.”

    I don’t read Krugman regularly, but if he is transitioning from a classic Keynesian justification for government stimulus to one based on a “moral” requirement, I guess I’m all for it. However, someone in a position of power and influence will have to, one day, spell it out for the voters.

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