Friday, August 23, 2002

Do not miss Thomas Frank's savage indictment of the whole world... ok, actually just the "business" media:
Maybe market meltdowns are what happen to a country when commentary on matters economic becomes the exclusive province of business thinkers. When labor unions are systematically crushed. When dissent is divorced from matters economic or social and becomes instead a quality of middle-class taste preferences, of "extreme" cars and "radical" packaged goods. When management theorists take it as their duty to dazzle us with a crescendo of free-market worship. When leaders of left parties cleanse their ranks of laborites, of New Dealers, of Keynesians, of socialists. When newspapers refuse to open their columns--on grounds of laughable, self-evident dinosaurdom--to doubters and second-wavers and old-school liberals. Today we are paying for each of these, for all of the ways in which we expunged the common sense of our parents' America from our lives. With each month's nauseating returns, we are making good the intellectual folly of the last 10 years.
and this:
That's when it dawns on you: The market is a god that sucks. Yes, it cashed a few out at the tippy top, piled up the loot of the world at their feet, delivered shiny Lexuses into the driveways of their ten-bedroom suburban chateaux. But for the rest of us the very principles that make the market the object of D'Souza's worship, of Gilder's awestruck piety, are the forces that conspire to make life shitty in a million ways great and small. The market is the reason our housing is so expensive. It is the reason our public transportation is lousy. It is the reason our cities sprawl idiotically all across the map. It is the reason our word processing programs stink and our prescription drugs cost more than anywhere else. In order that a fortunate few might enjoy a kind of prosperity unequaled in human history, the rest of us have had to abandon ourselves to a lifetime of casual employment, to unquestioning obedience within an ever-more arbitrary and despotic corporate regime, to medical care available on a maybe/maybe-not basis, to a housing market interested in catering only to the fortunate. In order for the libertarians of Orange County to enjoy the smug sleep of the true believer, the thirty millions among whom they live must join them in the dark.


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