My best friend posted this on Facebook last week:
Andy Rooney: ‘I Don’t Know Who Lady Gaga Is’
Andy Rooney waxed on Lady Gaga and the country’s other pop music stars Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” saying that the rise of singers he’s never heard of has driven home to him that he’s out of the American mainstream.
“I consider myself to be an absolutely dead-center, normal average American,” Rooney said. “The things I write and read on television are for regular, normal, average everyday Americans….My question then is this: if I’m so average America, how come I’ve never heard of most of the musical groups that millions of other Americans apparently are listening to?”
Now, my friend may have posted with with the caption “Just die already,” so my natural inclination was to try and be a little less harsh. However, I made the mistake of watching 60 Minutes last night (it was on after the Celtics game), and any charitable attitude I had towards Andy Rooney was quickly swept away by his vast misunderstanding of how the economy works.
On the up side, his ignorance got me a Huffington Post article out of the deal. An excerpt:
Where Rooney really gets it wrong is in his claim that, at casinos, “people fritter away money so they don’t get to spend it on things that someone else has been paid to produce.” The reality is that, according to the same report that Rooney quotes, the U.S. gambling industry employed 328,377 people in 2009 and paid wages of $13.1 billion. These numbers make it hard to refute the fact that the money that people are supposedly frittering away is actually spent on entertainment services that people are in fact paid to produce. Moreover, the claim that “there’s only so much money in the world and if it’s lost at a gambling table, it’s money that isn’t spent on things America makes” is completely unrepresentative of how the economy actually works.
You should go read the article…mainly because I have something to say, but also so that the lovely people at the Huffington Post can be fooled into thinking that people actually want to read what I write. 🙂