“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky
You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.
For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi. The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money. Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners. Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy. It’s damned sad, really.
Roger Ebert gives his two cents (for what that’s worth these days; thanks Fed!) on the Occupy Wall Street movement, if you care to subject yourself to the inane political views of a mainstream-leftist movie reviewer. What I found interesting was the comic at the end of his article:
I have a PhD in political science, and I can tell you it doesn’t take passing Poli Sci 101 to realize that electoral politics is no way to bring about radical change.
One would think the left-liberals in this country would understand that better than most. Obama was their great Hope-and-Change candidate, an alleged outsider destined to change the way corrupt Washington works, and look how he turned out: Bush 2.0. But I guess the memories of unthinking, incorrigible statists are short — extremely short. Their great self-delusion: If only we can get the right people into power…
It seems that Nobel Prize-winning economist and reliable regime apologist Paul Krugman thinks he can wave away the Solyndra scandal with a reference to an iconic business failure from the dot-com era:
But it is indeed a terrible scandal, because the private sector never ever puts money into ventures that end up failing:
No truth to the rumor that he's Obama's new campaign manager.
He then punctuates his point (oh so pithy!) by posting an image of Pets.com and its sock puppet. I’m not sure if the sock puppet is equivalent to President Obama or Solyndra backer George Kaiser, who raised significant funds for Obama’s campaign, in this context.
What I’m also unsure about is if Krugman is an idiot, or just disingenuous, if he believes he can refute the criticism leveled at the Solyndra fiasco – not just from media, but from House investigators wondering how the company secured half a billion dollars in loan guarantees and made it all go up in smoke – merely by pointing out that private investors screw up, too. He cannot possibly be oblivious to the huge difference in moral hazard presented when government throws taxpayers’ money at private business versus when private investors use their own money.
It isn’t that private equity is never lost in business ventures. It’s that there’s a level of accountability when it happens. And there is little doubt that venture capital investors learned a lot from the dot-com bubble. Government will never learn the same lessons, because it throws stolen wealth at the ventures which are best connected politically, not those which it thinks will succeed.
Coyote Blog has a few more salient points in a response to Krugman.