Thursday, March 5, 2009

Anticipatory Revisionist History

Right now in some of the most important right-wing think tanks of the country, well-paid hacks are churning out definitive histories of the current crash. Obviously, market forces are part of the solution rather than the problem. We can agree with many of them that the Federal Reserve played a role.

This work follows in a long tradition. For example, their forefathers already figured out that the Smoot-Hawley tariff caused the Great Depression.

We know how innovative this school of thought can be. They've already figured out that government mandates to lend to poor people caused the subprime crisis.
Surely, excessive taxes will be part of the story, but I can't figure out how they will spin that.

What other kinds of regulations and interference with the market is responsible for the debacle?


Anonymous said...

On the wackier fringes of the right, there will be dark-mutterings on fractional reserve banking being the real cause, so we need to abolish central banking and return to the gold standard.

In other words, some variation of "Austrian" economics -- they will be hoping to get back into the mainstream after they lost the big debates of the 1930s to Sraffa, Kaldor and Keynes (not that they like to mention either Sraffa or Kaldor, of course).

An Anarchist FAQ

Shag from Brookline said...

AKA, Pre-emptive Revisionism of Current Events. (Sounds like George W. Bush's pre-emptive strike policy on attacking potential enemies, spurred on by Limbaugh's "Rush to MisJudgment.")

wellbasically said...

I have read plenty of left-types condemn debt overall and counsel an end to fractional reserve banking. The lefties are just as happy to keep people from buying things as are the miser-branch of righties.

TheTrucker said...

wellbasically, I think you are correct. Both of the fringes are very economically perverse. The left can be just as "rightarded" as the Reich. I call this the "moonbat syndrome". It happens for the left when compassion supplants justice. It happens on the right when justice is supplanted by what rhighties call "natural rights". These are the actual motivations behind the "bent" economics of the two groups.

When we focus on the right (as in Cato) we find an actual attack on political economy, i.e. an attack on utilitarianism. We find the only way that the right can whether the storm of economics is through an overdose of conservatism. This is done with "tickle down" econ because such "economic?" theory focus on inherited authority as "the will of God". This CONSERVATIVE justification for "trickle down" is expanded by the Austrians to insist that greed can only gain if the populous are "served" by what the greedy are destroying. This seems to be the central tenet of "Hayekian Horse Crap". For as the powerful rape the planet in pursuit of heavily advertised "goods" to shower upon the consumers, the consumers are miseducated to measure their own self worth and happiness as the amount of "toys" and "lip gloss" they can command. For the right, political control is based on unearned or stolen power and the economic focus is very shortsighted.

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." - Thomas Jefferson

paul said...

It's all the fault of mark-to-market. If they had stuck with mark-to-model no one would have known anything was wrong, and there would have been no runs. The necessary restructuring could have been handled quietly without impairing public confidence (because that's what drives the economy, not whether people have jobs or can pay their mortgages).

If you don't like that one, try fear of TARP compensation limits and changes in treatment of "carried interest". All the big players knew their compensation would be hurt if things went south, so they pre-emptively withdrew their effort.

Michael Perelman said...

Paul's suggestion of mark-to-market is excellent. I have heard wild yelps about that one already.

cian said...

There seem to be quite a few Galts out there as well, if the Randian moonbats are to be believed.