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Showing posts from March 25, 2012

Newspapers 2

In he classical liberal view of the press, the most important thing, which gobbled up all the attention, was the relationship with the government. The heroic struggle was to escape government censorship of various forms - from outright banning to the state's booted strategy of assessing various taxes - for each copy, or for advertisement - to the newspapers. What the state was doing to suppress freedom of the press was, as well, an impediment to freedom of trade. The classical liberal could thus take up two favorite causes when, abstractly, defending the newspapers Benjamin Constant’s essay (1819), The liberty of the ancients compared with the moderns is an important intellectual link in a chain that goes back through the enlightenment to the British revolutions of the middle of the 17th century; and it made the classical liberal case in the early nineteenth century in ways that were certainly echoed on the Continent, at least. The very title points us back to the battle of the


It is generally agreed that we live in mean and seedy times: the age of the artificial woody, the entertainment-security complex, and a political system that has vanished in a mist of legalized bribery and impression management. Cast a glance at the Forbes hundred top billionaire and trillionaire losers and try to imagine the fun if some world government seized all their money and burnt it – yes, it would relieve the world of a little pain, but it would do surprisingly little good. The system incorrigibly generates these kind of autistic dinosaurs. So – in lieu of the bonfire of their vanities – at least we can, occasionally, peak at their email. This week, as DSK – that’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn to you Americans – gets officially clamped for pimping, his emails got sorted out in the press. Now, this is  a press composed of people who, two years ago, were his BFFs (whatever that means. It is one of those internet acronyms that has the sort of upshifting, Valley kinda ring to it,

A defense of crank economics

Economics is the art of pretending that the dots are unconnectable. Although in God's own time, we will see that they form the image of a balance - equilibrium being the divinity's one and only aim. Crank economics – of which I am a proud purveyor on this here site – is the art of claiming that the dots are so infinitely connectable that you have to be blind, heartless or bribed not to see it. So, today’s item about the plutocrats was cut bleeding fromthe national body politic and served up bloody:   "In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households. Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37