Iron Man 3 is a runaway hit. The comic book action movie had the second biggest debut of any movie ever. People can’t get enough of the war fantasy concept that pits good guys versus bad. In just one opening weekend, it brought in more than $175 million.
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Now, I could talk about how the precipitous decline of the dollar has skewed box office metrics. Remember a little movie called Titanic? It’s the second highest grossing movie of all time. But such figures don’t factor for inflation, which basically makes such a list a case of apples and oranges.
Adjust Titanic’s $658 million domestic box office take from just sixteen years ago and it would be just over $1 billion in today’s dollars. That’s a tragedy no love story could fix.
Little did we know the captain of the Titanic was actually Ben Bernanke.
It gets worse. ET, the ninth highest grossing movie of all time, brought in $435 million back in 1982. It was a huge hit and helped defined an era. In today’s dollars, it would have brought in over $1 billion. 1977’s Star Wars IV did $466 million, but you’d need $1.28 billion of today’s declining greenbacks to get the same effect.
You can say Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time, but Star Wars outperforms it by 68% when you figure out that dollars were worth so much more back then.
But back to the movie…
There was one line in Iron Man 3 that caught my ear. In the beginning of the movie, Tony Stark is walking with Colonel James Rhodes who talks about the transformation of the comic book character “War Machine” to the more aptly titled “Iron Patriot”. The new name makes Americans feel better about the project, he says.
Big Government is indeed the master of creating memes so Joe Citizen will buy into whatever they’re doing. They re-frame liberty-sucking endeavors more colorfully than the restaurant that served me a “Belgian endive salad with kombucha vinaigrette” on Saturday night.
But then, if we called most government projects what they really are, few would be in favor of government’s mighty hand. Hmmm…
Let’s make a list of lipstick Big Government puts on its pigs:
“Stability levy” on Cyprus bank deposits: Theft
Guaranteed Retirement Accounts: Government Theft of Your IRA Account
Secure Choice Pension: Forced Government Savings into Worthless Bonds Account
Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Government Slush Fund and Diversion Act
Anything “voluntary”: Mandatory
Any law with the word “Fairness”: Stealing from one group to buy votes from another
Any law with the word “Temporary”: Permanent, if they can get away with it
Sequestration: Beg for a tax increase. Beg!
Department of Homeland Security: Second Coming of The French Revolution Committee on Public Safety
Department of the Treasury: Department of Debt
Quantitative easing: Theft
Which other government agencies or initiatives deserve a more honest name? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.