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Showing posts from December 23, 2001
Remora On the Optimism Front We packed our Schopenhauer for our LA jaunt last week -- which should tell you that Limited Inc is not a member of the Optimists club, if you were wondering. However, Schopenhauer's extensive pessimism -- the sort of grief only a philosopher could manage, shedding tears over the pain and irrationality of individuation, and even more tears, acidically tinged, over the incongruous and unheard of reputation of Hegel, the contemporary Schopenhauer most despised -- is not a good guide to short range economic forecasts for first quarter GDP growth. An optimism about such things has reigned in the columns of American newspapers for the past month. One wonders if this is a real boomlet, or if this is mere puffery. Although short term memory loss is the norm in this wonderful land of ours, still, there are those who remember the Y2K year -- the year that the Dow became unhinged, the year that lunatic predictions from George Gilder and James Glassman
Remora As our readers probably expect, Limited Inc is a devotee of William Greider. We loved the Fed book, we loved that it was so thick, so textured, so bought, so little read. We loved the story of Jimmy Carter accidentally causing a crisis in the economy by getting consumers to stop using their credit cards (a mistake we will never make again -- conservative Bushies would rather have consumers max their Visas on porno than not whip those cards out at all). We loved One world, ready or not. We loved to compare it to the Olive and the Lexus Tree, a relic of the nineties that ranks up there, as an artifact of decade delusions, with Strachey's thirties book on the inevitability of communism, The Coming Struggle for Power. Which okay, we probably have readers who aren't exactly conversant with agit-prop from the thirties. So our references are esoteric. Sue me. Anyway, given our admiration, what is it that keeps us from reading Greider's pieces in the Nation? It is, we t
Remora Tyson Slocum in Public Citizen has written an article (malheureusement, reader, it is a PDF document) which states the case against the current form of energy deregulation. He gets off to a rousing start: "If the purpose of electricity deregulation is really to imporve the quality of people's lives by lowering the cost of a critical commodity, it has obviously failed, as demonstrated in every state which has chosen to deregulate. Power companies, free from the oversight of state regulators, have quadrupled prices for Montana industrial consumers, doubled prices in many Northeast and Ne England states, and driven one of California's utilities to bankruptcy. Whereas consumers have been left to pay higher prices, energy corporations in dergulated markets have made record profits." Slocum is not completely convincing, since his case depends on tacitly defending the old system. That old system was, to say the least, environmentally harmful, and as Slocum ac
Dope Limited Inc, with a disgruntled expression on our face, could be found staring out at the jets taxing up and down the concourse at the Phoenix airport yesterday. A considerable portion of our Christmas was lost to the greed of America West. This airline has apparently taken as it's motto the famous words of J.P. Morgan: the public be damned. Damning that small section of the public which had bought tickets on a one o'clock flight from Phoenix to Austin in the naive faith that there actually was a one o'clock flight from Phoenix to Austin, America West gave us a little lesson in corporate irresponsibility that made those of us who had some knowledge of airline deregulation long for the days of the CAB. We approached the representatives of AW, poor sods, who produced this excuse: somehow, a flight crew couldn't be assembled for this flight. Now, let's try to look beyond the implication that America West is run in much the same way as high school plays are moun