3 February 2009

"Henderson learns nothing as usual", a reflection on the big picture

What a great sinicure it was, setting up little "think tanks" to provide intellectual justification for the massive upward shift in income disparity and state backed private indebtness. If they hadn't been lefty radical shitheads in the seventies, you might forgive creeps like him and Ackerman and Windshuttle and respect them for life long views well defended; rather than recognise them for who they are, which is prossies with pens.

The arguments for labor market liberalisation appeared credible but the resources freed by lowering high fixed labor costs never went to capital formation but were appropriated, immeadiately, by those who made the efficiency argument!

According to Hendo, the crash was not caused by rampant international credit creation under dollar hegemony, a runaway shadow banking system, rating agencies gone mad or the liquidification and spending of illusionary gains in asset prices, no, the cause of the crash was the fault of socialists for trying to help poor people get into homes....

The wanker at large informs us as follows.

"Also, the essential cause of the subprime housing crisis in the US was not harsh neo-liberalism, but rather the misguided attempt to make it possible for low-income earners and welfare recipients to purchase their own homes. This policy was introduced when the social democrat Jimmy Carter was in the White House."

The best thing about the coming depression is that we might see the ass end of creepy apologists like Hendo who tarted up PR and the cant of the self interested as economic theory and used it to balm the worry of the wealthy, for money.

I defend well regulated free markets and the mixed economy, where the natural ability of the educated and motivated to accumulate capital and deploy it is respected, and where private ownership of property is guaranteed by the state, but one where the natural tendency for the wealthy to largely monopolise the use of public infrastructure like water, roads, airports and ports is recognised and the poor compensated for the fact that they make almost no use of these facilities.

Now that the candy floss is melted, its clear the market economy is well served by the rationing of funding for public health, income support and most of all, education and training, based on citizenship.

As a pragmatist with a very long view I note the natural tendency of civilisations to rise and fall and for the tension between the public and private to oscillate widely.

The role of the Australian political class, then, in this view, is to see past the short term demands of both donors and citizens of all classes to their larger long term self interest. Fashions in economic theory and political ideology are largely rationalisations for the status quo, not eternal recipies for a perfect soceity as spruked by the self appointed spokesmen of laughably labeled "Institutes".

Political action drove the struggle for freedom by the merchants over the nobility, the citizen over the state and its now being waged again by the most marginalised; the sexual minorities and the indigenous. I wish them well.

We all have work to do as citizens. That work, must, first and formost, be informed by understanding, it is only if we understand and struggle with the tensions in the eternal human political question and inform that understanding with science, our most important tool, will the relay race of human civilisation thrive and the torch keep passing.


It is not true that the map of freedom will be complete
with the erasure of the of the last invidious boarder
when it remains for us to chart the attractors of thunder
and delinate the arrhythmias of drought
to reveal the molecular dialects of forest and savana
as rich as a thousand human tongues
and to comprehend the deepest history of our passions
ancient beyond mythology's reach

So I declare that no corporation holds a monopoly on numbers
no patent can encompass zero and one
no nation has sovereignty over adenine and guanine
no empire rules the quantum waves

And there must be room for all at the celebration of
for there is a truth which cannot be bought or sold
imposed by force, resisted
or escaped

Copyright Distress by Greg Egan, Orion/Millennium, London, 1995.
Copyright © Greg Egan,1995.

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