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Oh, no! Not policy!

By Al Schumann on Saturday November 20, 2010 02:30 AM

When is industrial policy not industrial policy? Why, when you're big enough to call it something else. For developing nations, it requires no euphemism. In fact, the poor things are subject to the full grope and backscatter regimen prescribed for hapless travelers in the Land of the Free. For the G3, however, we get decorous euphemism through central bank-speak.

I do get a kick out of the fan dances that go on in the effort to conceal the fact that winners and losers are necessarily going to be picked. There's no other way to have large scale industrialization. It can either be shitkicking stupid, bugfuck nuts supply side, "la la la I can't hear you" military Keynesian selection, as we have in the full blown neoliberal dispensation, or an activist dirigisme that proudly struts its stuff.

That settled, we can get to the real question: should USian economists be required to adopt stripper names? I think yes, starting with Larry Summers, who looks like a Bonbon du Jour to me. I know that Bonbon, in his heart, would prefer an activist pro-labor dirigisme. Here's a little something to get him shakin' it.

President Obama's chief economic advisor, Laurence Summers, offered the following assessment, "It may be desirable to have a given amount of work shared among more people," he conceded. "But that's not as desirable as expanding the total amount of work." Why is expanding the total amount of work more desirable? From a Treasury perspective, more work increases tax revenues while sharing work could potentially decrease revenues. This treasury view also brings into focus a prime objective of supply-side economics – its magic was supposed to flow from incentives that encourage people to work more hours (or that penalized people for working less).

Excerpted from Tom Walker's The Prosperity Paradox.

Then again, maybe he's not so enthusiastic. Digressing, that could be called the Mother Of All Nudges, making Cass Sunstein look like the miserable piker he is.

Digressing further, why the literal grope and backscatter regimen, and why now? My guess is there's no better neoliberal way to harass and distract people whose social circumstances require air travel. It makes class lines abundantly clear, from the resentful groping class, to the resentful groped class all the way up to the guffawing grope-free class, which loves its Stakhanovite hours. And why not indeed. There's nothing like pushing people around as a means of measuring power and wealth.

Comments (5)


lovely post Moray marat old top

very roaring twenties boy's physics

full of quantum uncertainty

as to position and momentum

This Tom Walker book looks fantastic!


The war on drugs in the 70's and 80's was about pacifying the inner cities where the natives were getting distinctly uppity. The later expansion into the amphetamine business was to get the trailer park trash whites who were starting to look like a threat with the militias. The airport business is about expanding the subservient mindset to the middle class. The reason that all the "terrorist" threats are centered around planes is that airports offer a unique nexus of control of the middles class.

Al Schumann:

MD, I've been reading it. It is fantastic. He also keeps an eye on the media's frivolous misrepresentations of the Lump of Labor; the ongoing canard hurled at shorter hours advocates.


i've corresponded on and off with tw

he's like the henry george
of shorter job hours
with his work less party in british columbia
i think
he's original material made out of
meme's from my generation

a nuts and berries sunny Cal guy
of the post merry prankster era
that migrated
out of a tropic inner decency
to vancouver

goes by nom de net
sandwitch man
former mate of "max" of max speak
the run away blogster

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