Monday, September 29, 2008

What was that noise?

Did I just hear something crash?



I wonder if there will be another Edward Gibbon looking out over the ruins of New York (or Chicago or Boston or LA), wondering how such greatness could come to such ruin.

9 comments:

Scott Hankins said...

Probably a little too simple, but near the mark.

:(

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Here is the how this New American Enterprise Empire will go down: Superstition.

The Chicago School of Economics (sometimes called Monetarism) which has dominated the world this quarter of a century is Superstition, no less than Creationism is.

Congress rejected the Paulson plan because of idolatrous superstitions about “the Market” and the belief that State intervention is in some way “socialist”.

Look at your Presidential candidate Maverick McCain! Picks an ignoramus who believes Dinosaurs were created 4.000 years ago as his VP.

Superstition is why this New American Empire will fail, and the rest of us probably be thrown into poverty in the process.

Counterlight said...

Gibbon, as I recall, believed that superstition played a large role in bringing down Rome.

That particular school of economics out of Chicago is now called "Market Fundamentalism" in some quarters.

I wonder what happened to education in this country. In my lifetime, we went from having a high literacy rate to the lowest in the developed world (and lower than a lot of the developing world). We went from being the leader in science and technology to a backwater watching with bovine indifference as the Chinese put together a manned space program.

Counterlight said...

The columnists (even conservative ones like David Brooks) are going on about how the government has been taken over by madmen.
I think the whole country has gone mad.
I fear it may only get worse.

BillyD said...

Last night I was at a colleague's house, enjoying a delicious Rosh Hashana dinner, and the conversation turned to the present economic crisis. One of the the relatives, who works in the financial sector, was trying to explain what had happened. I didn't understand it, but it all sounded pretty grim. As I walked home I found myself thinking for the first time that we might be seeing the sinking of the American ship.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Gibbon attributed the decline of Rome to the rise of Christendom which brought with it the accompanying baggage of superstition that continued for centuries and continues to this day. Even now, in the US, the powers govern according to the superstitions.

Plus, we've overreached and attempted to enlarge our influence to imperial proportions. The comparison is not exact, but it is appropriate.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

To get back to basics, Republican Supersittions notwithstanding I think calling the Paulson thing a "bailout" was the mistake here.

The House is up for grabs, not only impopular Mr Lame Duck... Any "Trust Me" is lame as duck as well.

Also, Mr Paulson in his previous Wall Street incarnation, is one of the fellas who got us in this jam in the first place.

Calling something a "bailout" is not the way to get re-elected.

;=)

Scott Hankins said...

goran,

Correct. It should have been called a buy-out from the beginning. Transfer of assets to the taxpayers, who eventually would have recouped and called it a "wash". Congress may still act.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The Swedish Minister of Finance (conservative, a strong proponent of Monetarianism) said yesterday that "Callous Greed in Wall Street had caused this". He added "Not a cent to the Banks if we don't get ownership."

That is how different attitudes go...