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Prototypes and avatars

By Owen Paine on Monday April 13, 2009 07:48 AM

One of our original sin's great saints:

One of our original sin's great Satans:

Ole Bill Garrison long ago told us -- our federal government was conceived constituted and consecrated by a motley pack of jailhouse lawyers solely for the happiness of a cabal of high-flyin' card-sharks -- err, or was that maybe H L Mencken who said that?

As we watch this pinched pocket-sized Romulan scurry about the business of paying Wall Street our good money for its bad paper, I'm reminded daily of the tidy man at the top of this post, the first and easily the greatest of all our treasury secretaries, a man who needs no labeling, the bastard genius of our credit-based banking system, Alexander Hamilton.

As big as it is, as soiled and scurvy as it seems, today's great bail can't begin to compare with Alex the original's opening act. No one, and I mean no one, not even the late Paul Harvey, can look that boldly squalid tale in the eye and not secretly gurgle with nausea.

Here's Lady Liberty's languishing public obligations to her very own revolutionary soldiery, almost all of whom long since traded their "holdings" away -- for one night's round of watery grog no doubt -- then suddenly its gonna be redeemed by the newly constituted federal gubmint, and at nothing less than full face value, mind you, for the enduring benefit of a handful of hightoned silk-vested grifters, placemen, punters and shylocks.

What a way to let the federal festivities begin, eh!

So who's that other fellow, Paine?

Why that's Alex's mentor, sponsor, and crooked underworld god beneath every trapdoor, the great patriot financier, thumb-in-your-pie master wirepuller, wild -- no, crazed -- land speculator, and at long last utterly ruined and imprisoned Robert Morris of Philadelphia, a man who might well have been the completest, most brilliant, most horrific incarnation of our nation's chiefest most enduring sin of sins -- the Yankee-Doodle Uncle-Diddle three-cornered hat trick.

Comments (15)


This is probably old news to a lot of you, but I just stumbled across this:


The Hamilton Project launch (with videos)

Peter Orszag
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Panel One: Restoring America's Promise of Opportunity, Prosperity, and Growth

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
Robert Rubin -Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Citigroup Inc.
The Reverend Jim Wallis -Founder, Sojourners; Author, God's Politics


Well, here's a weird one. According to Chang Ha-Joon of _Kicking Away the Ladder Fame_, Alex H is the patron saint of NIC dirgisme. When Chang takes to the stateside (he's an Oxbridge don now) coffeehouse-and-bookstore circuit, he drops Alex H's name and legacy when seeking historical cred for developmental statist industrial policy. His bearded and rumpled audience is expecting a screed against the WashCon con, and they get a helping of Alex H.

Of course Ha-Joon's grey matter may be penetrated by ghouls, demons, or ghosts.


_Kicking Away the Ladder Fame_ = _Kicking Away the Ladder_ fame... too much Cass, Hite, and OB, plied on the Ansan-Seoul-Akita route.


" Ha-Joon's grey matter may be penetrated by ghouls, demons, or ghosts"

blonde ghosts... in invisible bikinis me thinks
all services
pre paid
by a few barons of higher incentive

re reading report on manufactures
or whatever
he called his "bounty systems "blue print

that whip edge minded bounder
from the carribean

damn his deep insights

must be a net site some where
where the full text
only two scholars on a plane

but a start
is of course here

and a chi school sponsored fragment


todays two featured
blast from the past gents
though known mostly for practicing
the quieter forms of cardinal transgression
would easily make it into
my personal
anti mt rushmore

-- a crowded gaggling
gargoyle romp of an affair...
a whirl pool shaped
caldron of a stone cavity
decidedly below grade
and revolving in concentric rings
at proportionately geared ratse

if fully filled to my tastes
a veritable gothic profusion
of loud gaping contending twisting
agonistic bad boy heads
caught right on the fly
at judgement day ---

at any rate
the two artful monsters
would certainly find themselves
down there some where close to the virtual center of things
yes right in there
with marse tom and his dog madison
ring mastering so to speak
the surrounding
panoply of slavers
mill spiders
wilderness desecraters
genocidal maniacs

on odd days that end
1 5 or 7
the janus god of our founding anus
(marse tom and al hammy )
would take the ground zero spot
from ...oh well
like speer's new germania


its a work in progress

Chang ain't a bad guy. Check out his chapter on the non-role of culture in economic development. It's unsurpassed.

Of course, he's quite blind about the limits of both capitalism and his own friends. But he's well worth the candle, unlike Obama's crew of creeps.

Sure, Chang's appeal to Hamilton as the touchstone of "progressive" economic policy is massively naive and unfortunate. But we're talking Ivy-trained vizierdom here. It's remarkable Chang produces anything but nausea. And I have some sympathy for demystifying the founding fuckers. Pointing out that a major one wasn't a free trader is important, even if it's a pipedream as a hoped-for political plankway.


"demystifying the founding fuckers. Pointing out that a major one wasn't a free trader is important"

excellent point

for certain agitprop targets

god forbid anyone HERE point to
the Hammy as the author
of 140 years of protectionist
industrial policy
but at the rotary club
where our nat corporate
( non trans nat)
produced era of protectionism

now at the local goo goo pow wows
marse jeff and his free trade
free homestead free slavers party ....
pay off the national debt
off the t bond tyrants of wall street
and big daddy london beyond ...party

not to plug father S's book
but he has a section on our founding
janus gods
al and jeff
and just how twisted around each other
their respective party's trajectory has been


Michael, I agree, Chang is quite courageous for taking on the orthodoxy, and whatever his limitations, he does indeed rip apart the free trade myth nicely. He's also got a great sense of humor! I just find it amusing that he gives talks before pwoggie US audiences who anticipate, for example, stellar defenses of Chavez-Correa-Morales-etc, and he gives them instead Hamilton. Cognitive dissonance ensues.


chang grill la ???

too much chatter not enough math

where's the killer model ???
where's the currency cannon ???
i could build me his paradigm out of newspaper clippings for god sake

sense of humor
he better have one

more to the point
where's his stuff ???

on line ??

for christ sakes
maybe i ought to read him
a little
now i've called him a house pussy

why am i so allergic
to these oxbridge
rad institutionalists ???

why do i prefer dani rodrik

why am i so frustrated ???

i need the cold embrace
of a leninist apparatus
i need a harness and a task
not this constant tour of the horizon

save me folks
from rococo night mares
like this comment cage

Save the Oocytes:

thesis :

it ain't about the reagan rev really

nixon did it ..err mostly or at least morely

"Nixon found a world ordered through a concert of national governments exerting
sovereign control over their own economies. It was a world managed imperfectly
by men who were not the equals of the system’s great authors. It had its fair
share of villainy, to be sure, and more as it began to fall away, but it was ordered
nonetheless. He left a world that would be subject to ever more frequent and
severe financial crises. Implicit in Nixon’s reforms of the financial system was the
world in which we now live; a ruin presided over by bankers."

lovely and true
but its really john conolly eh ???
from in wrong seat
of jfk car to taking us off gold

revenge theme motivated:

"So we should try to establish exactly what caused the crisis, who is responsible,
and how. And that does require a certain amount of finger‐pointing. Not because
it is fun, although it is, but because we can’t afford to be magnanimous to the
policy‐makers and opinion‐formers who steered us into this."

walt wriston quote quite nice

"What it means, very simply, is that bad
monetary and fiscal policies anywhere in the world are reflected within
minutes on the Reuters screens in the trading rooms of the world. Money
only goes where it’s wanted, and only stays where it’s well treated, and
once you tie the world together with telecommunications and
information, the ball game is over. It’s a new world, and the fact is, the
information standard is more draconian that any gold standard … For the
first time in history the politicians can’t stop it."

nice summation of the hot money effect:

"This problem – a global economy disrupted to suit the short‐term interests of the
finance sector – was what Keynes and the other architects of Bretton Woods had
tried to avoid"
key point

where this rather long and winding tale might have jumped off in media res

"And why did the link break down? America could run chronic trade deficits once
it did away with Bretton Woods"

what is to be done part

too feeeble

"The New
Economics Foundation has worked with others to put together a Green New
Deal, which combines closer regulation of finance with moves to restart the
economy through investment in environmentally desirable projects "

too vague prolly completely wrong
this is dead off course

"Financial engineering gives way to, well,
to engineering, and other materially productive activities, since owners who are
also workers and future pensioners will have little interest in accelerating the
balance sheet by selling assets and loading up on debt"

in fact i suspect the prole cats turned kulacks will want to do plenty of this paper scufflin'
and why

well re read this
"The post‐war settlement collapsed because those who benefited from it were
successfully estranged from it, in part by appeals by narrow self‐interest, but in
part because they felt unqualified to defend it"
what has changed and by how much ??

"Industrial democracy has many
benefits in its own terms. But by providing the means to understand the world of
work more fully, it provides the means to expand and deepen political
democracy. After all, active engagement in the management of an enterprise will
make the citizenry less easily deceived by those who pretend to possess arcane
knowledge of statecraft and high finance."
that could have been written in fact was written 170 years ago
and quite often ever since
what's so diff now
maybe a lot of somethings but what ???

but i like the direction of its
" yellow brick road" any way
a co op based disney land version of our production system

"Employee ownership....The structure of companies has an important, a crucial, bearing on the
opportunities for financial speculation. Employee ownership reduces them to
zero...State bailouts should be followed by
employee buyouts as a matter of course."


"the Fay Wrays of the Adam Smith
Institute now gaze at the destruction and blame the politicians for listening to

great line

the following if vague
points the finger toward the source of inspiration and is dead on correct:

"our public sector should look more like that
which fought and won the Second World War"

only done in a symphony of green shades

To my eye, HJ Chang is excellent proof of how hard it is to survive elite schooling without losing one's bearings. James W. Loewen came out of Harvard, but it was black Mississippi that made him. Chang, for all his contributions, lost something cramming for SNU and being coached as a power-whisperer at Cambridge. He certainly presumes capitalism will go on forever and also has room for all nation-state to become Big Boys. He must also be too well-socialized to talk straight at conferences. Probably knows he'd drop off lists, if he starts doing that...

Still and all, I really like him.


"(Chang)... also has room for all nation-state to become Big Boys"

Yes, one wonders what he makes of Daewoo's (now-rebuffed) neo-colonial misadventure in Madagascar... after all, Daewoo is the progeny of South Korean Hamiltonianism. The whole episode is proving quite trying for that segment of the South Korean left that is nationalist in orientation and always assumed that the Land of the Morning Calm would forever be a victim and never a victimizer.


ahaving neglected dear hilly
will in some sense repeat

'green shades'
sells w/

45 yrs o aerospatially induced
nearly galbraithian tecno
bilged postfodist
señor op

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