Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mish Almost Gets It Right

I'm hard on Mish from time to time because - well, he deserves it.  But I have to give him credit where it is due, and this article, Rant of the Day: No Ethics, No Fiduciary Responsibility, No Separation of Duty; Complete Ethics Overhaul Needed, is 100% on target for over 90% of its content. He blasts Goldman Sachs for fraud, and calls out a sad litany of prominant financial gurus (sadly, many of whom are in direct control of the economy.)

Alas, though, unfortunately, and characteristically, he blows it at the end, with this asinine comment.

Some misguided souls will blame the free market for this.

Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the legitimate roles of government is to protect property rights, prevent fraud, and level the playing field so that everyone has an equal chance and equal protection under the law.

Instead, we have rules, procedures, and taxpayer bailouts specifically designed to make sure the playing field is not level. This is not a free-market concept and desperately needs to change.

While the last paragraph has a lot of credence, Mish ignores the simple fact that this failure of regulation has allowed what "free markets" will always accomplish: property rights protected only for those with the most property, fraud of every stripe and color, unequal playing fields, chances favoring the privileged, and legal protection skewed toward the rich.

As always, when ideology collides with reality, it is reality that must become the movable object.


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