Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, as you heard, Heston just read on this program back in 1995 from the prologue of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. He has this little passage: ‘A hundred years ago, we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers, or vaccines.’ A hundred years. He’s right. We didn’t have those things, and I mention this because here we are in a so-called recession or on the verge of a so-called recession.

We have the most prosperous country in the history of human civilization, and in particular, the last 100 years, the last 50 especially. Only because of people’s point of reference beginning life as Americans and having expectations, do people get mad, depressed when economic downturns (which are certainly cyclical) occur, because their expectations are much higher than any other people on earth. Just to show — and, by the way, when we hit a recession, what do people want? Well, they may not put it this way, but they want economic growth. They want to grow out of a recession. They want something. They want whatever. They haven’t been taught economics in school. I talked to a friend over the weekend from Texas, who told me a story about another friend of his. He sent his daughter to Stanford to major in economics. She came home after two years. He asked her what she had learned, and he pulled her outta there. She hadn’t learned diddly-squat two years into an economics major at Stanford. This man is huge in business. She’d learned some things, but she was way behind where he thought a college-educated, intelligent person should be in basic economic understanding.

It’s the same in the public school system. So gasoline prices are rising. Food prices are skyrocketing and in some places the prices are causing riots, any number of calamities. The mortgage crisis — even though almost 96% of Americans are paying their mortgages, a lot of people think that nobody has been able to pay their mortgage, that we’re on the cusp of a total meltdown and disaster. The only way we’ll have a meltdown and disaster is if the federal government is able to bail out all these losers in the private sector. If they do that, they set a precedent. They set expectations of everybody else that when their business goes south, they will get bailed out — and that’s not going to be the case, but it’ll establish that expectation. I heard stories of people speculating in the housing market. You know, not everybody’s who’s got caught up in this mortgage crisis is poor, and not everybody was lent money that had no business being lent money. A lot of these people were speculators. They were buying houses and flipping them, never living in them, just buying them and flipping them. When the whole crisis hit, bammo!

They got caught in the flip. Several of them, I can’t give you an exact number, but there were speculators in the market who purposely, consciously, decided not to pay their mortgages when this happened, betting on the fact that they would be bailed out, because they knew that a lot of people got caught up in these adjustable rate mortgages. They had no business being lent money in the first place, had no business borrowing it, but they were because government policy, and they just thought, ‘Okay, if we hang around here, if we lurk and we don’t pay, and the threat of foreclosure comes up, we think we’ll get bailed out eventually.’ That was some of the thinking on the part of the speculators. Now, if that kind of thing among wealthy risk takers begins to take hold, if they think they’re going to get bailed out, then they’re going to be less conscious of any risk and there’s going to be less responsibility in the risk that they take, and this is going to have sort of a geometric progression or sort of a domino effect if this keeps going.

But, anyway, back to the last hundred years, or last 50 years, people want growth or whatever they think is going to get us and them out of a recession. The telephone. It took 71 years after the invention of the telephone for 50% of the American people in homes to be able to afford one, to get one; 71 years before half the country had a phone. It took 52 years before the half the country had electricity. Think of that. Electricity is invented. Fifty-two years before half the country had it. Radios. Twenty-eight years before half the country had radios. Personal computers. Nineteen years before half the country had a personal computer. Can you see the progression? Seventy-one for telephones, 52 for electricity, 28 for radios. You know what that is? That’s prosperity, folks. That is rapid economic growth. Color televisions: 18 years before half the country had a color tube in their house. Cable television: 15 years before half the country was wired. Cell phones: 14 years before half of American homes had cell phones. VCRs: 12 years before half the country had VCRs. CD players: 11 years before half the country had one. Internet access: 10 years.

So we go from 71 years for half the country to get a phone to ten years after it’s invented, for half the country to get Internet access. DVD players: five years. After five years, half the country had DVD players. Number one, at the top of the techno list: iPods. Four years is all it took for half the country to have iPods. In real dollars, they’re no more expensive than what telephones were or electricity. Four years. So you can see, 71, 52, 28, 19, 18, 15, 14, 12, 11, 10, 5, 4. That represents massive economic growth, massive prosperity, massive discretionary spending on the part of at least half of the country — and for this kind of growth to continue, energy prices have to be market related, and energy has to be plentiful and so forth. All these things are just… Whenever I find evidence of the absolute power and greatness of this country economically, I love to pass it on.


RUSH: There’s a rule of thumb in marketing when a new product is introduced, and I just want to mention this to you as a follow-up to the number of years it took major technologies to reach 50% of American homes: telephones 71 years, electricity 52, radios 28 years to reach half of American homes, iPods4 years, DVD players 5, Internet access 10, great examples. Here’s the rule of thumb here. When an innovation reaches 10% of the population, that’s when the floodgates open, and the acceleration to mass demand kicks in. When 10% of the population accesses a new technology or a new product, that’s when the manufacturer says, ‘Okay, we got something here, we got a hit on our hands,’ and that’s when the mass marketing begins, the prices start coming down. Now, if that figure is still relevant, 10%, think of how long it took, if it took 71 years for the telephone to reach half the American homes, how long did it take for 10% of them to get a phone, or any of the other items on the list? It took a long time. Because the floodgates open after about 10%, that’s when the prices come down and a vast majority of people can afford whatever the new technology is.

We just had a guy on the phone who hung up, and it was a good caller, he was a Democrat, was a nice guy, but I guess he got frightened. I’ve had this happen to me as a caller way, way back before I was a host sitting out there waiting on hold. The call screener says, ‘Stand by, you’re next, Rush really wants to talk to you.’ ‘Oh, no!’ And then hangs up. He said, ‘I’ve been listening to Rush through this whole campaign say he doesn’t want Democrats having anything to do with the Republican Party, doesn’t want to work with Democrats, get anything done. Is that true?’ No, not quite. I’ll be happy to work with as many Democrats as possible, when they join us, not when we join them. I’ll give you a great example. This Algore initiative, $300 million initiative, global warming. Newt Gingrich is going to do a commercial with Pelosi, I think. That’s working with Democrats while compromising our own beliefs. Newt’s not the only one. There’s a bunch of people doing it. I don’t want liberalism to triumph. The Democrat Party is the home of liberalism. I’m all for bringing Democrats and independents into the Republican Party, but not as Democrats and independents. The problem with working with Democrats is it’s never that way.

Republicans always work with Democrats. Democrats never work with us. There may be compromises on judges now and then, but in terms of the real, meaningful policies and definitions of, say, the role of government, there’s no reason to work with Democrats on that! They have nothing in common with us on that; nothing of substance. So I look at it as a sellout. When Republicans want to work with Democrats, to get things done, generally, it’s the Republicans, or the conservatives, that are compromising everything. The Democrats never do, or very rarely, unless you have a powerful presence like a Ronald Reagan who was able to get a lot of things done working with Democrats, but it was the Democrats who caved with Reagan. We’re the ones caving now. Burns me up! That’s the answer.


RUSH: This is Henry in Youngstown, Ohio. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Rush.

RUSH: Yes, sir.

CALLER: I was listening to you talk earlier about you were saying how the fact that Americans 50% got iPods in the last five years.

RUSH: Four years, yeah.

CALLER: And you said that meant the country was better off or wealthier, and the only point I had to make was if iPods are made in China, and then we borrow the money from the Chinese to buy the iPods, it means that the Chinese are wealthier, not us. We’re just in debt.

RUSH: Is that how you figure it? We’re borrowing the money from the Chinese, the American consumer is, to buy iPods, which are made in China, so it’s actually the Chinese whose wealth is growing and not ours?

CALLER: Yeah, especially when you have a massive trade deficit like we have. That’s bad. We’re borrowing millions, if not billions, from foreigners, that’s bad — and that’s what’s keeping this economy going. It’s borrowed money. We’re in debt up to our wazooooo.

RUSH: The trade deficit is a separate argument from the point that I was trying to make in terms of American prosperity, the prosperity of the American people. Now, if you want to talk about the Chinese buying up T-bills and propping up the US government, I’m not going to argue with you about that, but I’m also not going to agree that it’s necessarily a bad thing. The genie is out of the bottle here on protectionism. We’re not going to go back to it. It’s not possible. I would venture to say that the fact that the world economy is now linked to us, that will limit any downturn that we have. The rest of the world cannot tolerate, it cannot survive if we go down. They’re not going to let it happen. There will not be an economic war for China on this kind of stuff. There’s too much linkage now. But just in terms, Henry, of the prosperity of the American people via their hard work — the amount of money and wealth the average American family has, as opposed to a hundred years — there’s no comparison.

I just was using the statistics of how long new technologies take to reach half the American homes, regardless where they’re made. It doesn’t have anything to do with where they’re made, to illustrate here the point. I know a lot of people in northeastern and upper Midwestern states are suffering from a downturn, like Michigan. Michigan is in a single-state recession, and it has been for a while, and there are pockets of Ohio that are in just as bad a shape. The average income, per capita income is lower than the national average, but I’m going to tell you. This is due to the fact that those people have been voting for Democrats. You have Michelle Obama going in to I think was Zanesville and telling people, ‘Don’t go into corporate America. Don’t go into corporate law. Don’t trying to be a hedge fund manager. Stay away from it. Don’t earn a lot of money. Stay in these businesses that serve other people. Do not become a member of the middle class. Avoid middle classness,’ right out of the same mouth as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. So the Democrats… The dirty little secret is, Henry, Democrats love as many people as possible not becoming prosperous, because that means they will need the government to get by.

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