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May 10, 2010
Why don't we all move to La Mancha and change the world
Paul B. Farrell of Marketwatch bemoans the charade known as political reform of the financial markets:
Obama is now Wall Street's best asset, their new Trojan Horse replacing Hank Paulson, a troika with Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner. Wall Street always gets what it wants.
And you can bet they'll cough up yet another $400 million keeping lawyers and lobbyists busy fighting SEC regulations, to make sure its back to business-as-usual with free-market Reaganomics capitalism. Spending $400 million is chump change compared to the hundreds of billions Wall Street gets cheap from the Treasury and Fed, by playing us taxpayers for suckers after screwing up the economy and triggering the 2008 meltdown.
Farrell's advice appears to be to accept and enjoy the status quo:
1. Accept that Wall Street money calls the shots in Washington. Period!
2. Accept that population is a ticking time-bomb set for 2050
3. Accept that commodities growth rate lags population demand
4. Accept the same ethics as the Goldman/Paulson Conspiracy
5. In acceptance you discover Peace of Mind
6. Accept life and live to the max, knowing the end can come any time
His advice is practical and may be reasonable and acceptable for most. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am not in that group. It is not that Mr. Farrell's advice is necessarily wrong. It is probably correct for the majority of people. However, I am not wired that way. I would be miserable following his advice. For me, incurring the frustrations of trying to change the system is less onerous.
I have too much Don Quixote in me to accept the status quo. Like Cervantes' gallant knight of yore, I enjoy flailing at windmills (real, imagined and solar-power generators). Inequity and injustice are important and should not be ignored. So is the future of our country. Our grandchildren and their grandchildren deserve better. If I gave up or gave in, I would be miserable.
I think Richard Weaver said it best at the end of his classic Ideas Have Consequences:
... it is the duty of those who can foresee the end of a saturnalia to make their counsel known. Nothing is more certain than that we are all in this together. Practically, no one can stand aside from a sweep as deep and broad as the decline of a civilization. If the thinkers of our time cannot catch the imagination of the world to the point of effecting some profound transformation, they must succumb with it. There will be little joy in the hour when they can say, "I told you so."Will I or anyone else have an effect? My idealistic knight says yes. My mind is less optimistic.
For me, like the knight from long ago, it is the quest that is important. Personally, I would be happier failing in a noble cause than capitulating and coexisting with a perceived evil.
I hope there are fellow, foolish knights out there. Why don't we all move to La Mancha and change the world?
Monty Pelerin blogs at www.economicnoise.com or can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org