Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Aeon J. Skoble
Jane S. Shaw
But Ron Charles misses the point. It's not that students aren't reading his favorite books, they are not reading serious books at all. They seem to have lost the interest and ability to imaginatively create mental worlds or to compare alternative explanations of cause and effect.
That is the import of Mark Bauerlein's book The Dumbest Generation and of Tom Bertonneau's series on the Pope Center site (which I have mentioned previously). Dissecting the responses of middle-of-the-road college students on exams in his classic literature class, Bertonneau finds that students are confused about the B.C./A.D. distinction, mix up the Odyssey and the Aeneid, and even misspell words listed on the" cheat sheet" he gives them at test time. They haven't done the reading (even by the end of the course); all that they know they picked up in class, and apparently they weren't paying much attention then, either.
Jane S. Shaw
He argues that the rule caused and is causing much of the financial crisis. He notes that banks have"twice the amount of cash on hand that they did a year ago," but the mark-to-market rule makes them leery of lending it.
While no single fix will solve all problems, Forbes' position highlights the dismal misdirection of the policies of the last few months. Something needed to be done to avert a liquidity crisis; but it has mostly been an exercise in raiding the Treasury and putting our children in hock to satisfy current favored constituents.
Forbes' proposal might be a good step -- but if things got better, how could the administration and Congress justify multi-trillion-dollar budgets?
Aeon J. Skoble
And, sure enough President Barack Obama's overall Budget will generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the Government sector, people who will be grateful voters in the next election. Here is the Washington Post's piece on that: I'll bet readers thought the opening quote above was perhaps by our President Barack Obama, an admitted admirer of the New Deal.
Actually, it was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda chief, in 1933, speaking admiringly of the New Deal as the way for National Socialism to follow. In the economic realm, Hitler's chief Economic Minister was Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, a Corporatist to the core.
Schacht's reformist parents had spent time in America, and were great admirers of Greeley, the journalist who coined the phrase"Go West, young man!"
Today, Corporatism in its many variants, is in the saddle in virtually every major nation on the planet, not only the US and Europe, but Russia, China and India as well. One can observe how easily these ideas spread, often only associated with Mussolini's Italy or Peron's Argentina, by exploring the American occupation of Japan after WWII. Corporatist New Dealers on Gen. MacArthur's Staff did not want to deal with Japanese businessmen, who were viewed as having cooperated with the Military, although this had often been done at the barrel of a gun. Some New Dealers suggested hiring the recently"unemployed" bureaucrats who had been running the puppet-state, Manchukuo, since 1931, and who were then placed in the Finance Ministry, where they have greatly influenced policy ever since.
That Corporatism was already greatly expanding during WWII, and did not need to wait for President Eisenhower's warning about the dangers of a"military-industrial complex" in 1961 at the height of the Cold War. For early accounts of this, see, among others, Robert A. Brady, Business as a System of Power (1943) and Bruce Catton, TheWarlords of Washington (1948). Mr. Catton soon learned he had better stick to writing about the American Civil War, a much safer and more financially rewarding subject!
Corporatism is now deeply embedded in the whole fabric. I rather doubt it could be rooted out, even if our political leaders wished to do so, which is hardly the case, with the legion of lobbyists still on the increase.
As our own Federal and other levels of Government hire these new legions of bureaucrats as predicted by economists in the article above as a major aspect of the President's overall Economic Plan, one can be sure their views on the"virtues of Corporatism" will be a major factor in whether they receive a job or not.
Pressed by advisers, Roosevelt decided to go on the offensive to dispose of this point against him. In a speech in Pittsburgh on October 1, 1936, he explained:
The only way to keep the Government out of the red is to keep the people out of the red. And so we had to balance the budget of the American people before we could balance the budget of the national Government.
A few days ago, while introducing the Obama administration’s budget for fiscal year 2010, President Barack Obama said:
While we must add to our deficits in the short term to provide immediate relief to families and get our economy moving, it is only by restoring fiscal discipline that we can produce sustained growth and shared prosperity.
Many people have been calling for a new New Deal. The Obamistas seem to have heard their plea.