A Succinct Explication

There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of many of those complicit in the current economic debacle, they and their political running dogs, to shift the blame off and onto the impersonal forces of market dynamics, or to the government’s “irresponsible” encouragement of home-ownership or to the well-documented sleaze of Bill Clinton. Forget about it. 

The following is the final paragraph in a lengthy piece that appears in the February 12, 2009, edition of The New York Review of Books titled, “How We Were Ruined & What We Can Do,” by Jeff Madrick, editor of Challenge Magazine, Visiting Professor at Cooper Union, and Senior Fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School. 

“This is, as many economists now concur, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Financial market participants created a financial bubble of tragic proportions in pursuit of personal gain. But the deeper cause was a determination among people with political and economic power to minimize the use of government to oversee the financial markets and to guard against natural excess. If solutions are to be found, the nation requires robust and pragmatic use of government, free of laissez-faire cant and undue influence from the vested interests that have irresponsibly controlled the economy for too long.” 

Couldn’t say it better myself. I did try; See The Compost Heap, “Whadda I Know About Economics?”  Posted July 28, 2008. Apparently just enough.

1 Response to “A Succinct Explication”

  1. 1 mick-no-longer-in-philly February 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm


    First, through a long circuitous route (paasing through the Twin Atlas), I came to your writings and I’m glad for that – and also for sending me deeper into John Fahey.

    Aside form that, I have to commend you on a well executed retirement. Good on you. Here’s something I came across in the archives of Harper’s about the last bailout; you might have time to read – it seems prescient:


    And while not an architect, I do think that “sleaze” Clinton, is hardly blameless. What a hollow man.

    Speaking of which – your local paper (DN) has an editor, Will Bunch, who has written an overdue answer to the growing Reagan myth. I’m a couple generations younger, and those years were particularly dark for me, and his argument, especially resonant.

    But since I’m not retired (I have a day-off), let me get back to conventionally productive life.



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