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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: This is Ed in Philadelphia. Great that you waited, sir. Thanks very much. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. It’s an honor speaking to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: Rush, I am old enough to remember when I graduated from high school there was only one job available, a stock boy in a department store, and you were lucky if they called you for an interview. Now let’s go up to 2004, ‘5, ‘6, 2000, the greatest economy that I ever remember was a help-wanted economy. I drive a limo, one-man limo. I’m the boss. And wherever I went, I saw help-wanted ads, and in the papers, in the news, corporations like Caterpillar, Deere, the coal industry, they can’t get enough help. They were giving signing bonuses, even today. And real estate went up 81%, and people who had 401(k)s, IRAs, they’re not middle class anymore, they’re wealthy. And even today, people do not appreciate how good the economy is.

RUSH: Yeah, I agree with you, but, you know, you have to be careful. I don’t mean you personally, but you have to be careful in talking to people about this because most people’s historical perspective does not begin when you were born, it begins when they were born. Most people in this country cannot relate to having only one job opportunity and that being a stock boy in a department store. They can’t relate to that.

CALLER: Rush, just one other thing, I’d like to change course. The pharmaceutical industry, they just invented a vaccine for cervical cancer; they invented a vaccine for AIDS; they invented a vaccine for bacterial meningitis, on and on and on. I have a stint that was invented by them. And people’s lives have been saved, and yet they despise the industry that saves their lives.

RUSH: I know, I know. I went through this last Friday, must have spent 20 minutes. The theme of last Friday’s monologue was how 30 years ago, we in America were proud of our country, we were proud of the car business, the auto business, and we wanted them to do well. When they made mistakes, we wanted ’em to fix their designs, we wanted ’em to make cars, we were proud of them. We were proud of the medical industry, and we were proud of the US military. We were proud of all of these institutions. Today, people have been told by government and media to hate them. The liberal enemies list is Big Retail, Big Pharma, Big Drug, Big Oil, Big Anything — if it’s corporate. They have convinced people that all of these institutions are out to screw ’em and shaft ’em and do it on purpose. Here’s what I was going to say to you earlier about this, Ed. I remember growing up, when I was in my teenage years, and my dad was hell-bent on getting me to go to college. I wanted no part of it. I hated school from the second grade. I have never been a conformist, and I hated being part of a giant little ant farm made up of human beings. School to me was prison. I’d look out the window and see people driving around, and think, ‘Why can’t that be me?’

I had to do what I thought were stupid things. I had to learn to paste in the second grade, two pieces of paper, paste. I hated paste. I hated the way it smelled, I hated that I had to do all this stuff. I hated being told what I had to do, even when I was in second grade. So I’m just telling you all this because my dislike for school grew every year I had to go to it. Finally my senior year, you know, when they passed out the yearbooks on the last day, I took mine and scrammed. I don’t have a single signature. I couldn’t wait. As I think back on it, that was the happiest day of my teenage life, was when high school was over. I hated it, but my parents said, ‘You gotta go to college.’ I said, ‘Why?’ Said, ‘Son, it’s the only way you’re going to stand a chance in this world is to get an education.’ I said, ‘Dad, isn’t it true that what I really need is a degree to show somebody that I have supposedly been educated?’ ‘No, son, you need to get educated,’ and then he started telling me about the Great Depression. He had lived through it, formative experience in his life, that and World War II. He started telling me how bad things were in the Great Depression. He said the only way that anybody had a chance in the Great Depression was if they were educated. That was his formative experience, and he did not want me to have to experience what a lot of Americans experienced in the Great Depression.

In fact, for a lot of Baby Boomers, the whole notion of going to college is based on the Great Depression, the whole pressure to do so is based on the Great Depression. Nothing wrong with it. But I didn’t want to. I already knew what I wanted to do. But my point to you is this, Ed. When he started telling me about that, I just said, internally, I didn’t show disrespect to him, but I just said to myself, well, that’s crazy, we’re not going to have another Great Depression, I know what I want to do. My point is you have to be very careful when you tell people they don’t know how good they’ve got it. If they haven’t lived through a calamity, a real calamity, and you try to describe one to them, they may try hard to understand it, but they’re not going to be able to relate to it. I could sit here and I could tell people all day, which I have, that I’ve been fired seven or eight times. And the first job I ever had was shining shoes in a barbershop when I was 13, I think I made 50 bucks in three months, and then when I first started radio when I was 16, I got 75 cents an hour. It’s not going to affect anybody, unless I try to put it in perspective and say look what’s happened here. After whatever number of years of devoted dedication to my desires, look what finally happened. I’ve been fired seven times, country’s gotten better all these years, in an attempt to try to tell people, do you realize how great your country is?

Yeah, the price of food’s up right now; price of gasoline’s up. You’re right to demand the government do something about it because they’re the ones responsible for it. But not Big Oil. They don’t set the price. I’m going to tell you something else. These food producers, they would love to sell you as much food as possible, that means as cheaply as possible, but they don’t have control over their price, either. Once the price of energy goes up to transport their goods from the field to wherever it goes, before it gets to your grocery store, it all adds up. As I said yesterday, and this is something that everybody has to stop and consider. The rest of the world is starting, in large places, is starting to modernize. In China, president Hu Jintao, his pressure is creating 25 million new jobs a year. He’s gotta do that or he’s going to face a revolt. His second challenge is to keep the people that don’t live in the cities from coming into the cities. Keep ’em out there in their peasant farms where their demands are not high, their expectations are not high, but he’s losing that battle. More and more of them are moving into the cities, into Beijing, Shanghai. And when they get there, they don’t want to just live on rice; they want to add a little protein to the rice — beef, chicken, what have you. Then they want to drive a car. And so that puts demands on things, and demand is going to raise prices.

It’s a global economy now. The same thing is happening in India. But in terms of the specific economic circumstances in which we find ourselves — well, try this. I read this headline today in the New York Times and a couple other places as I was doing my exhaustive show prep, and I said how in the hell can this be? Here’s the headline: ”Wall Street Shows Optimism That Crisis Is Fading’ — Stocks started the second quarter with a soaring rally on Tuesday that sent the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 400 points, its best performance in two weeks, as investors found reasons to take heart in a fresh round of mortgage-related write-offs at UBS and Deutsche Bank and a capital infusion at Lehman Brothers, the brokerage firm. … Ryan Larson, a Voyageur Asset Management trader, ‘UBS was providing transparency to the market. That’s something we’ve desperately needed in the face of this current crisis.”

Okay, so we’re going to write it off so everybody can see it rather than hiding it. I said, now wait just a second. For the last, what is it, three months, maybe even longer, the Drive-Bys have been predicting economic doom, heading into recession, they say we’re already in recession. Am I right? Am I right? Give me an amen. Then after one day, the news is maybe we’ve turned the corner and we’re coming out of this? And then two hours later the Fed Reserve Chairman, Bernanke, takes to the microphones at another one of these Senate committees and promptly predicts a recession in the first six months of the year, or a serious slowdown. Well, we’re in the fourth month, fed chief. So all of this optimism that was created by a headline, ‘We might have turned the corner. We might have seen the worst of it.’ Then Bernanke goes up there, says, ‘We could face a serious economic downturn in the first six months, and bammo, what’s the stock prices? Well, Wall Street’s at 12,641.50 right now which is down 12 points. It did roar up yesterday after all these firms admitted how in bad shape they are. Lehman Brothers actually is the reason it came back yesterday because they were able to double the amount of money they needed to borrow in order to stay afloat, and they really got credit, so that fired everybody up. But Wall Street shows optimism that crisis is fading?

I’m not criticizing anybody, I’m just saying, wait a minute, how does this happen? In one day the recession’s been turned around, it’s not a recession anymore?

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