The McRib Society
The enigma called the McRib is returning to McDonald’s at Christmastime. Americans are as divided on the McRib as our electorate. You may think the McRib is the greatest barbecue you have ever tasted in your life.
I do not.
For the sake of this article take a moment and think about the greatest barbecue you ever had. It could be ribs, pulled pork, brisket, whatever. Regionally barbecue is different. It’s even spelled different ways (barbecue, barbeque, bbq, etc). Here in Texas we also have barbacoa.
Now that you thought about the greatest barbeque you’ve ever had, it’s probably not the McRib.
Here’s my point.
Today America is more McRib than the greatest barbecue you’ve ever had.
The McRib Society is upon us.
What is the McRib Society?
The McRib Society (definition) A metaphor of something once regarded as high quality that has been replaced with something of lower quality, and now generally accepted by society.
The McRib Society isn’t an indictment on processed fast food or McDonald’s. This concept has everything to do with understanding history, quality of life, vanishing value, and individual expectations.
The McRib Society is everywhere.
In the fifties when someone would drive up to a Texaco gas station in their $3,300 Buick Roadmaster and they were immediately surrounded by several helpful car attendants wearing bow ties. They checked everything on your ride. Now, over the course of time, we have pay-at-the-pump with little or no service. Several factors made that tradition disappear: competition, high cost of employees, low margins, maximizing profits, etc. So what happened? Over the years society started accepted this by gradual change. It wasn’t like Monday there were five employees then by Friday there were two. No, it happened gradually or you would have noticed and gone across the street to Esso.
Government does not work this way. There is no consumer to satisfy. But I’ll get to that.
The McRib Society extends beyond products and services.
When America was founded it was the greatest experiment of liberty ever tried in the world. Our Constitution was slow roasted. In plain English, it was some fine barbecue.
Damn, liberty is tasty.
- Liberty is natural and contains no artificial preservatives.
- Liberty is the absence of coercion from government.
- Liberty should always include economic liberty, respect for private property rights, and equal protection and enforcement under the law.
There are many laws and systems we take for granted now that haven’t always existed.
It wasn’t until 1913 that America had an income tax. Before this our federal government primarily generated revenue through tariffs on things like barbecue sauce. Everybody paid, because everybody bought stuff. The highest tax rate then was below 10%. The highest tax rate now is 35%, certainly not the highest in history (thankfully), but far above the original rate and covers the majority of people now. There was no withholding tax money in your paycheck until World War II. Now it’s the gross versus net amount in your paycheck. That’s a major difference in the way people pay for their government.
Government debt in America has skyrocketed up to $16 Trillion now. In 1912 according to President William H. Taft, it was $1.3 Billion. (Side note: William H. Taft was our heaviest President and probably could have eaten his share of McRibs. He weighed 332lbs!)
Free enterprise and markets were the means of pricing in America. No printing money to devalue currency or Quantitative Easing like the Federal Reserve does now. Price controls had more to do with the money you had in your pocket. The deals extending favorable economic policies towards preferred social classes weren’t as evolved. President Calvin Coolidge did call for a Constitutional amendment to limit child labor and guarantee women a minimum wage in 1923.
Giant bureaucracies like the EPA and Department of Education which burden Americans with more regulations haven’t always existed either. I wonder if public schools serve barbecue?
So America, which was once the tastiest barbecue you’ve ever had, is now morphing into The McRib Society.
And only those who pay attention to history see it.
The McRib Society probably wouldn’t exist without Americans being ignorant of history. We wouldn’t tolerate the low expectations of today’s products, services, leaders, laws, and policies.
I won’t settle for the McRib.
There’s better barbecue out there.