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Monday, June 09, 2008


Occasionally you discover that the time is just right for something. Things just bubble up in the common consciousness, suddenly bombarding you with some concept or image that pervades the ether and suddenly you've discovered that collective humanity has crossed some cultural Rubicon and it becomes literally impossible to imagine what life was like before. For your consideration, the following two videos, #1 from my brother-in-law, #2 from SF Signal.


Anonymous said...

The gap between the wealthy and the rest of us is greater than it has been since, perhaps, the days of slavery. Isn't that what the wealthy always wanted, people in such precarious economic circumstances as to have their choices stripped? A labor force, including the professions, so disenfranchised that the collective mood is despair? There's no such thing as job security anymore, and health care is a luxury. That's Milton Friedman's vision of capitalism, which by the way includes raising prices (gasoline.perhaps?) while reducing wages and jobs (outsourcing). This is savage, barbarian capitalism, devoid of social programs and workers rights. It's a feudal state. How long are we going to put up with it?

S Andrew Swann said...

Actually, Mr. Anonymous, that's a rather uninformed caricature of Friedman’s economic philosophy based on faulty interpretation of his premises, his motivations, and the hypothetical results largely based on the assumptions that A) The U.S. economic system is largely unfettered capitalism, which it ‘taint, B) all the faults of the U.S. economic system are because of unfettered capitalism, so C) any proponents of capitalism must therefore desire all the faults in the economic system and therefore conspire to produce them. i.e. this is what the eeeeevil Friedman and nasty capitalists must WANT TO HAPPEN, and therefore it must be our wish to MAKE IT EVEN WORSE (cue manic laughter.)

Frankly, Friedman would probably tell you that most of the problems you cite are due to State intervention, especially in the case of oil. The government is so tied up in energy policy that gas prices long ago lost their informational function, and any alternative means of generating energy has been blocked both by direct State action (Nuclear power anyone) and indirect manipulation of the markets (subsidizing oil and ethanol.) Because of state interference in the market, we now have an insoluble gas crisis that could have been seen coming as far back as 1976.

Before you decide to cede control of the economy to the state to “solve” the current economic shocks we’re having, it might be good to reflect that these are exactly the same nimrods who created the situation in the first place