Saturday, September 20, 2008


Cheerfully (Economically) Illiterate

In the past 20 years it hasn't been easy to get anything like a well grounded education in economics.

Even the academy has been an ivy-covered breeding ground of narrowness and intolerance, the free market neo-cons driving everyone else underground. The free market has been the altar of the secular side of culture: it's as infallible as the Pope. Don't regulate the market or its minions; the market will always correct itself.

Except when it doesn't.

Last week the president lashed out at Congress for allowing the current mess to happen. What a hoot. Congress hasn't done anything on its own since he assumed his unfortunate position at the helm of state. And from that helm Dubya has sent one hell of a message.

Having pushed the government into staggering debt and dumped it into the fiscal arms of the Chinese, Dub has let anyone who would take advantage of his permissiveness, from the heads of Halliburton to the naked short-selling asses of the stock exchange floor, that any little thing they might want to do is fine with him, as long as they contribute heavily to the campaign coffers of Republican candidates.

The more than a trillion dollar bailout is consistent with Dubya's personal history: someone will always step up and front your losses. Daddy will always provide. Daddy, and then the taxpayers. Even his Texas Rangers fortune came at the expense of the taxpayers of Arlington, Texas. Look it up.

It's a pity that the economy can't become born again, just as Dubya was. I guess the current bailout is an attempt at economic resurrection.

That a significant percentage of the current crop of voters sees fit to trust the economy to another free market extremist shows how far we have to go in the correction of our own economic illiteracy.

John McCain and George W. Bush share a level of ignorance about economics that has led to their over-reliance upon advisers to do their thinking for them.

The rest of us aren't much better off.

A friend of mine tried to pull her money out of her money market account yesterday and they wouldn't let her.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Meanwhile, I am searching for some metal coffee cans that can survive burial in my back yard.
It's my new retro savings depository.
So the do-nothing Congress did it? Hmmm, sneaky little bastards.
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