October 15, 2010

One would have thought

Random animal picture.

One would have thought that market fundamentalism, the worship of "unleashed" unregulated capitalism, would have taken a mortal blow after 30 years of deregulation finally resulted in the worst financial crash since the Great Depression. The Gentle Reader may have noticed that this has not come to pass.

One dogma of the cult of the market god you still hear a lot today is that government action cannot do anything to promote economic vitality (other than cutting taxes for the rich).

Lately I've been reading Felix Rohatyn's Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America and Whit It Must Rebuild Now. In that book he points out numerous examples of how government action helped spur economic growth throughout our history. Examples include the Louisiana Purchase, the Erie Canal, the transcontinental railroad, land grant universities, the interstate highway system, the GI Bill and more.

Not all of those were pretty at the time and some we might now wish we did differently but all show that public investments and policies have always had a major role in moving the economy.

On a different but related subject, he also includes a great anecdote in the book about what it was like to go to college with veterans who had just returned from WWII and were taking advantage of the GI Bill. Rohatyn's family were Jewish refugees from Nazi occupied Europe before the war. While he attended college after the war was over, a representative from his national fraternity visited and warned that their charter could be expelled because they had "unsuitable" members, one black and one Jewish.

As he tells it,

Then the two veterans intervened. Politely yet forcefully, they explained to the visitor that they had not fought a war against the Nazis in Europe to see racial laws enacted in the United States. With the shocked national representative wedged stiffly between them, the two veterans escorted the man out of the house and to the railroad station.

They wound up losing the charter but keeping the house. And their dignity.

THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS was bad enough. The bogus foreclosure crisis is a real mess.

CUT THE CUTS. Yet another poll shows overwhelming support for allowing Bush era tax cuts to expire.

I'M STILL NOT SHOPPING THERE, but in the spirit of budo and fair play, let it be noted that Wal-Mart is going to start buying more local produce.

THE NOT SO SELFISH GENE. Some research suggests an evolutionary basis for altruistic behavior (short version: it's a turn on).

DOUBLE SHOT OF LOVE. A new study suggests that intense, passionate love can be an effective pain reliever. Another study found that couples that had been together for a long time--say 40 years--knew less about their partner's preferences than couples who had been together for a much shorter periond, although they expressed more contentment with the relationship than did younger couples. Maybe Dylan was right when he said, "True love tends to forget."


1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...

Those are some fine looking kitties!