Friday, October 31, 2008
Brian Simpson on Gold
Over at Capitalism Magazine, there's a column by Brian Simpson on the origins of the financial crisis and the need for a gold standard:
The first thing that [Alan] Greenspan and most other commentators on the crisis must do to understand why the crisis occurred is to learn that the free market did not cause the crisis because the U.S. is not even close to being a free-market economy. Massive government interventions in the market in the form of myriad regulations and financial irresponsibility on the part of the government are really to blame. This makes the "solution" being imposed doubly absurd: more government controls, borrowing, and spending to solve the problems created by government controls, borrowing, and spending.The best thing about this column is that Simpson does not just stop at refuting Alan Greenspan's ludicrous claim that capitalism caused the crisis. He swats Greenspan aside like a gnat and directly goes on the offensive!
This isn't just intellectual activism. It's leading by example.
Amit Ghate quotes Abraham Lincoln on fighting the good fight uphill:
I have not allowed myself to forget that the abolition of the Slave-trade by Great Britain, was agitated a hundred years before it was a final success; that the measure had its open fire-eating opponents; its stealthy "don't care" opponents; its dollar and cent opponents; its inferior race opponents; its negro equality opponents; and its religion and good order opponents; that all these opponents got offices, and the adversaries none. But I have also remembered that though they blazed, like tallow-candles for a century, at last they flickered in the socket, died out, and were remembered no more, even by the smell. [bold added]The fight against slavery is an inspiring and informative precedent indeed.
Barney Frank, Octopus
Galileo, on the heels of an excellent post about Alan Greenspan's pragmatism, notes that Barney Frank, as a new part-owner of our banks, wants to dictate executive compensation:
The real price of the $250 billion partial nationalization of America's leading financial firms will be much larger than just this dollar amount. We are only seeing the first signs of it now. Barney Frank and his minions are just fashioning the bibs to their bellies. Their feasting on America's leading banks and investment banks -- starting with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Citibank -- has just begun.Allow me to make an easy prediction: Our new, self-appointed "captains" of industry will very quickly live up to all the tired old stereotypes about businessmen the left has foisted on America for ages. Hell, Frank is already being chintzy with pay to workers whose initiative is vital to the work of the companies he's trying to run!
Every stereotype has an element of truth to it somewhere. In this case, the element of truth comes from the fact that the stereotype exists in the minds of people engaging in psychological projection.
Rational Jenn has a couple of very amusing posts up. One starts out with, "The other day, Ryan asked me how to spell 'ass.' Okay, let me back up."
The other is also funny, but got extra points because it contained the word "hobbit", reminding me of my hobbit-like wife, whom I really miss right now.
Adam Cooke hosts the 68th Objectivist Roundup (scroll down), and C. August an Alan Greenspan roundup.