Let them who gave us the republic do their job. It, the republic, is theirs to keep or to change.
My response to Benjamin Franklin.
The rodeo of economic recovery after the crisis of 2007-2008, 100 years after The Panic of 1907, has occurred because the panic was prematurely treated as a crisis by the political tango in Washington in the run up to the November election of 2008, “[H]illarious” at least to laugh because Americans are tired of being despondent about their past, present and future.
The positive sigmoid function that is the historical process when viewed through the lens of normative value judgments indeed appears to move in periods of rectitude and immorality.
We are living through another such period of dissolution as we had in the past when the former Professor of Government at Harvard and the late senator from Upstate New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, had expounded in 1993, coining the phrase which titles this essay.
The conscience of a previous member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Kevin Warsh from Albany, New York, had very astutely alerted the country to this pathology creeping into the profession of economic policy making in a speech on June 16, 2009 to the Institute of International Bankers in New York, New York, echoing the sentiment of some of us at the Fed during that time.
Tolerance of policy makers to failure of policies, in a lenient self-evaluation of their jobs, constitutes intellectual and professional indiscipline at best and, at worst, abuse of power if not outright corruption. To any onlooker with an ounce of commonsense about feasible and legitimate alternatives, it makes no sense as to why the country has to put up with extended periods of prolonged unemployment, its most accurate government measure made up of the unemployed, under-employed, holdouts, part-timers and dropouts.
As a trained applied economist-consultant, I suppose I am “unqualified” to explain the Freakonomics of John Bates Clark award-winner Steven Levitt’s econometrics which blissfully ignores the intellectualism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan in this period of mass murders at a frequency of 1 per week across the country, committed by educated and trained white men when black and Hispanic unemployment is close to 40% and also nearly perfectly correlated with their poverty or is it the unintended consequence of maintaining social stability by technology instead of policy?
In fact, the story of the soiling of our national conscience begins in 1993. Howard Kurtz, the critic of his profession, journalism, wrote a book many years ago called The Spin Cycle along the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) linguist Noam Chomsky.
In 1997, new to the cacophony of the nation’s capital – from the relative solitude of Hawai’i – despite being able to discern its rhythms, and between jobs – as a man staying home watching CNN while the wife was at work (now former) trying to figure out the Asian Crisis as a young International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist – I watched the twin idiocies of cultural deviance unfold live as Eurasia was falling apart, its miracle denied: Bill Clinton’s lying body language while wagging his finger spinning the news cycle of Chomsky and Kurtz and the accidental death of Princess Diana after being chased around Siene tunnels in Paris by the tabloid news media when about to prospectively make history: a British aristocrat could marry, after divorcing a future king, an elite Egyptian Muslim. Perhaps, Buckingham Palace had feared another break after Henry VIII, this time from Christendom itself, after the Khobar Towers terrorist bombing in 1996 in Saudi Arabia.
The soap opera, from the controversy over Savings and Loan (S&L) in Arkansas while Bill Clinton was governor to Ken Starr, President Clinton, Cigars and Monica Lewinsky’s Vagina Monologues recorded in anxiety on a friend’s telephone answering machine only to [T]rip[p] the president, was but a blockbuster distraction in the political theater of Washington to obfuscate the deviancy of a presidency which was claimed by the promise to “[Put] People First” only to climax in economic crises around the world and a domestic prosperity built on borrowed household spending: wealth has turned out to be an “effect” – of the magic of the political David Copperfield to create the make-believe of the Clinton economic miracle which has ultimately succeeded in vanishing economic liberty from Asia to America – but not a persisting reality: political consent was manufactured to manufacture the unbridled locust of financial innovation, in a convoluted subversion of economic science, at the expense of American agriculture and manufacturing.
America’s tryst with [its] destiny had commenced as frivolously in its execution as the trysts of its president with the young White House intern Monica Lewinsky, furtively using the classified pages of The Washington Post, trying to cover up its policy failures of radical economic globalization looming as a twister to hit home in a few years. The levees were makeshift because the global economic miracle was make-believe, the economic moral hazard and the political moral turpitude going hand in hand.
The new and old elites, the Clinton noveau riche and the royal riche, had heralded a new culture, unprecedented in its brazenly public risque and ribaldry, sporting the social more of fashionable jealousy and intolerance for morality, corrupting the world into neocolonial submission in premeditation because they cannot control it, defining, perhaps forever, deviancy down.