We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
I just finished Trevelyan's 18th C Social History of England, in which he lists the enormous improvements in agriculture and manufacture over that time, in the most prosperous nation on earth at that point. (Okay, maybe Holland too.) At the end, the poverty was still enormous by our standards. Only the very wealthiest had what we would consider even an acceptable standard of living.
Fogel's Escape From Hunger and Premature Death 1700-2100 is highly recommended.
Assistant Village Idiot
Your recommendation is my command! Just found it for under $10 used.