ES -- DX/CL -- isee -- cboe put/call -- specialist/public short ratio -- trinq -- trin -- aaii bull ratio -- abx -- cmbx -- cdx -- vxo p&f -- SPX volatility curve -- VIX:VXO skew -- commodity screen -- cot -- conference board

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


the predator state

via mark thoma, a new addition to the reading list.

This is political economy at its best, ...deserving of status as a classic.

The general theses can be simply stated. First, while conservatives toyed with laissez-faire, they quickly abandoned it in all important areas of policy-making. For them, it now serves as nothing more than an enabling myth, used to hide the true nature of our world. Ironically, only the progressive still takes the call for “market solutions” seriously, and this is the major barrier to formulating sensible policy. Second, the “industrial state” has been replaced by a predator state, a coalition of relentless opponents of the very idea of a “public interest”, whose purpose is to master the state structure in order to empower a high plutocracy with nothing more than vile and rapacious goals. Finally, the “corporate republic” created by the likes of Dick Cheney is highly unstable, a formula for national failure. Progressives must wrest control from the reactionaries before it is too late for restoration of America as the world’s financial anchor, technological leader, and promoter of collective security.

yes, yes and yes.

a serious work of political economy that attacks intelligently along paths so worn by the bilious trench warfare of television news "analysis" and "discourse" would be welcome, if only to restore real argument to its rightful place where shallow hyperbole and shouted invective have pathetically come to dominate the postmodern public debate.

but one that transcends the ridiculous archetypes that somehow hold up someone like larry kudlow as either a "conservative" or a proponent of free markets is beyond welcome -- it is a necessary and long overdue restating of the terms of the debate, one which frames the current generation of american conservatives in the most honest light possible: that of a new fascism which (very like the old) seeks to subordinate state power to concentrated interests and minimize or eradicate the dissent and change that makes management difficult but is nonetheless the lifeblood of a healthily functioning civil society.

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