Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From Brother Jim

Krugman - we are living in the age of anti-Cassandras.
What set me off was the matter of Alan Greenspan; as Dean Baker like to remind us, news analyses of the housing and financial crisis almost always draw exclusively on “experts” who first insisted that there wasn’t a housing bubble, then insisted that the financial consequences of the bubble’s bursting would remain “contained.”

It’s even worse, of course, on the matter of Iraq: just about every one of the panels convened to discuss the lessons of five disastrous years consisted solely of men and women who cheered the idiocy on.

Now, none of this is entirely new. Consider what Keynes said in 1931:
A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.
Still, it seems especially extreme now. And think of the incentive effects. What’s the point of taking the risk of challenging conventional wisdom if, even after you’re proved right, only the guys who were wrong get invited to opine on Charlie Rose?
WTF??? What industrialized nation decides to downgrade its roads? This is being proposed for Michigan as they are considering converting some roads back to gravel to save on maintenance costs.

Opening a can of survival.

That's all from Jim for today. I myself am house sitting and have too much Texas Democratic election stuff going on, and I also had a work meeting degenerate into a few people yelling at each other. The problem was two hot-heads in the room and someone there for 18 years who doesn't respect the supervisor. I should have kept my mouth shut as a new person but I pointed out there was a lot of unprofessionalism on display, particularly by the guy yelling about it. I am off to a Harris County SD-11 pre-convention meeting and tomorrow after work I've got the precinct challenges meeting.

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