Archive | September 30, 2008

Not Worthy To Unloose

outcast leper unclean I just heard James Taylor’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” Abomination! Abomination!

I Warm So Easy So Reason Me Loose

I just heard Sarah Palin saying that she doesn’t blame all human behaviour on global warming. Okay, let’s be charitable and assume she meant that the other way around. But then she said we should stop arguing about what causes global warming and just focus on how to fix it. As Rachel Maddow pointed out – if you don’t know what’s causing it, how can you know what would fix it?

Incidentally, I like Maddow more than most of the punditti, but her suggestion that we should respond to the current financial crisis with “New Deal” style legislation that helps the poor, as opposed to a bailout plan that helps the rich, makes me tear my hair out. What was the New Deal if not thoroughgoing crony capitalism that shafted the poor on a massive scale? She really needs to read Robert Higgs’ Depression, War, and Cold War and Butler Shaffer’s In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938.

Risky Business

Just saw Keith Olbermann opining that it’s racist to blame the mortgage crisis on a rules change that encouraged the making of riskier loans in order to attract black customers; this, proclaimed Keith, is the equivalent of “blaming the crisis on black people.”

Um, no it isn’t. If the law forces you to make risky loans to black people that you wouldn’t make to white people, it’s the fact that the loans are riskier, not the fact that the recipients are black, that causes the problem. If the law had mandated lower risk standards for left-handed borrowers than for right-handed borrowers, that too could lead to a greater number of risky loans – and pointing that out would not constitute prejudice against left-handed people.

Mind you, I don’t think affirmative action in the lending market is anything like a major cause of the mortgage crisis; and focusing on that as opposed to more fundamental institutional problems might itself be a symptom of racism – but it hardly need be.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes