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    how not to hack voting machines..., 2008-10-28 01:31:00 | Main | you know that farting sound kids make when they deflate a balloon?..., 2008-10-28 13:00:51

    the federal reserve legislates from the bank:

    Yves Smith observes unauthorized mission creep in the Fed's mission statements.

    related: Jamie Galbraith discusses improvisation with Bill Moyers. Since our free market fundamentalists have rejected market discipline, he suggests public discipline. Fair enough, but surely he's joking about lining up a technocratic management factory in the government?

    Alternatively, Reason magazine and its libertarian ilk seem to have dedicated themselves to repeating the nonsensical conventional wisdom that a couple of privatized mortgage insurance corporations were the instruments of statist intervention that forced private brokerages to the top of a speculative real estate bubble. All evidence of who lead the charge or absurd arguments about "explicitly denied implicit guarantees" to the contrary, they've got their scapegoat and they're sticking shit to it. It's making my eyeballs cloud up every other post, which is about how often FNM or FRE are dragged mercilessly out of nowhere for another rotten vegetable toss.

    I'm sure glad they've all taken Econ 101.

    Mainstream - pardon the oxymoron - libertarianism never had much to offer economically, but it'd be nice to have anything with any traction at all left to moderate the Galbraithian solution. I'm not sure the liberalism we have is up to the task his post-war liberalism shouldered, myself, and I don't think all that much of it in the first place. The crucible requires a hotter fire, and Galbraith is just talking about supergluing the crucible back together. To get this to work they're going to need a real international crisis within the first six months. Like, say - and don't quote me on this - another Pearl Harbor.

:: posted by buermann @ 2008-10-28 02:07:11 CST | link


      We have plenty of crises, I think on at least the scale of a transoceanic, transcontinental war. Problem is that addressing the most easily tackled of them doesn't entail killing a lot of people. Not directly, anyway, though I'm sure the Poindexters of Death at the Pentagon could come up with something.

    posted by Zomg @ 2008-10-28 06:39:06 | link

      Well, if we're going to re-invent the National Resource Planning Boards they're going to need something. For all the talk about a generational recession I really don't think it'll do the trick. It's making most people retreat to their particular over-simplified fantasyland models of how the human universe operates, and where does that leave the corporate wing of the Democrats? More confused than anybody else and shoveling hard coal to friends in credit worthy places, probably, just look at Barney Frank.

      OTOH, maybe Jamie is just talking about taking some voting shares and I'm making too much of the apparent enthusiasm for rebuilding the post-war taylorist phantasmagoria.

    posted by buermann @ 2008-10-28 12:32:40 | link

      I was thinking, or really stumbling around the concept, of using global warming and the environment as the source PR material for the needed megakeynesian jihad. They're both suitably terrifying, and there's only a small minority of nutters who would turn down the cash sweeteners. Really, though, I just don't know what -- if anything -- goes on in the heads of any of the political class. They seem bugfuck to me; pants-shitting terrified of losing a sense of control.

    posted by Zomg @ 2008-10-28 14:11:00 | link

      Like most pollution problems, global warming is a fairly straight forward pricing and measurement problem: how much does carbon need to cost to stabilize the climate system and how do we measure specific anthropomorphic sources of emissions? Start by determining a sustainable level of emissions, parcel the quotas out on a per-capita basis, and let the market do its work. Or just start hiking up taxes on it until you hit your target, but either solution needs to be international in scope without reward or penalty for past emissions.

      Conservative opposition to Kyoto et.al. because it didn't penalize China heavily for not having polluted enough in the past should probably be seriously countered to start with by the more logical proposition that OECD countries should be penalized for their past emissions. Maybe that'd get them to back down from the ledge.

      The measurement problem ought to be a fine enough puzzle to keep any qualified group of eggheads occupied for a nice long while.

      Carbon related revenue can just be poured back into energy consumption to negate the negative impact of the tax and/or offset purchases. After that whatever zero-greenhouse solutions there are are appropriately incentivized and there's no reason for targeted subsidies to particular production demand - like the stupid and over-specific wind and solar tax subsidies we have now - or bogleg regulatory regimes, or, for that matter, any significant increase in public spending, deficit or otherwise.

      The path of least resistance for re-allocated and increased energy and efficiency R&D is through the Pentagon system.

      Megadittos on the bugfuckery though. It's completely opaque to me as well.

    posted by buermann @ 2008-10-28 14:41:50 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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