Daily Archives: September 12, 2017


Bill Black: Is Politico or Third Way More Divorced from Reality?

Naked Capitalism republished the article Bill Black: Is Politico or Third Way More Divorced from Reality?.

President Obama did not simply fail to prosecute the Wall Street CEOs who led the largest frauds. His Justice Department failed to prosecute even the not-so-elite mortgage banker CEOs and SVPs who led the making of millions of fraudulent mortgage loans. Even worse, to the extent Obama and his DOJ officials said anything about elite bank fraud they virtually always spoke to downplay it and to express their fear that prosecuting fraudulent bankers could harm the world. Obama’s unprincipled failure to restore the rule of law to Wall Street was terrible policy and terrible politics.
.
.
.
George Akerlof received the Nobel Prize in Economics in large part for his 1970 article on markets for “lemons” that introduced and named this perverse dynamic to economists.

[D]ishonest dealings tend to drive honest dealings out of the market. The cost of dishonesty, therefore, lies not only in the amount by which the purchaser is cheated; the cost also must include the loss incurred from driving legitimate business out of existence.

.
.
.
That suggests that Hillary Clinton and the DNC have done a poor job of supporting each program and explaining how valuable each is in creating jobs.

Much of the focus of the article is how the Democrats’ non-prosecution of white collar crime has only fostered the feelings of racism and xenophobia in much of the voting public, The last sentence I quoted above shows how Hillary Clinton could have changed the political environment, but she actually encouraged it to be what she decried.

The article also focuses on how much of our economic and political problems derive from actual executive criminal behavior that the political elites allow to happen. Not only does it ruin the economy, but it gives the average voter the wrong impression of who is damaging the country. None of this is by accident from our political elites.


Hillary Clinton’s book has a clear message: don’t blame me

The Guardian has the article Hillary Clinton’s book has a clear message: don’t blame me.

No real blame ever settles anywhere near Clinton’s person. And while she wrestles gamely with the larger historical question of why the party of the people has withered as inequality grows, she never offers a satisfying answer. Instead, most of the blame is directed outward, at familiar suspects like James Comey, the Russians and the media.
,
,
,
he seems to have been almost totally unprepared for the outburst of populist anger that characterized 2016, an outburst that came under half a dozen different guises: trade, outsourcing, immigration, opiates, deindustrialization, and the recent spectacle of Wall Street criminals getting bailed out. It wasn’t the issues that mattered so much as the outrage, and Donald Trump put himself in front of it. Clinton couldn’t.
.
.
.
But by and large, Clinton’s efforts to understand populism always get short-circuited, probably because taking it seriously might lead one to conclude that working people have a legitimate beef with her and the Democratic party.

The trouble with Hillary is that she can only trust to experts to tell her what is wrong and how to fix it. She has no personal sense of either of these topics. If you pick the wrong experts, you get the wrong answers. Only a correct, innate sense of the situation can inform you of which experts to listen to and which experts to shun.

“I feel your pain, but there is not much we can do in the current political environment.” is not an inspiring message. If you haven’t got an inspiring message, you shouldn’t run for President.


Clinton Democrats Hate the Left – RAI with Thomas Frank (4/6)

The Real News Network has the episode Clinton Democrats Hate the Left – RAI with Thomas Frank (4/6).

Paul Jay: The unions had more clout. There was a mass movement. Frankly, whatever the Soviet Union actually was, there actually was an alternative system, at least in people’s minds. There’s a lot of things going on in the world that made this dynamic between the professional class, the elites, and the system different back then as now. But it is what it is now, which is a Clinton-esque party now.

I picked this quote because that is exactly what I thought about the balancing force that the Soviet Union provided. It forced the capitalist system to put on a human face. Without that balancing force capitalism was able to deteriorate to its current situation. I don’t believe that any one “ism” is able to provide everything that a society needs. There has to be a balance of forces to get the best for a society.


When the socialistic tendencies take the ascendancy as they probably will some day, if I am still around, I will be arguing for more capitalism to balance the system. Right now, I am on the side of needing more socialism to balance raw capitalism (well at least the perverted version of capitalism we have right now.)