8.20.2009

Mont d'Espoir or Mount Despair

Via Yglesias:

Jim Henley is in the grips of despair and I don’t think he even favors universal health care:

I’ve become a pessimist. I think our future is Argentinian: a nation’s elites can have very nice lives for themselves if the commonality is financially secure and healthy, but history shows that a nation’s elites can have very nice lives for themselves even if most people live crabbed, fretful existences. You just need more security guards or, if necessary, paramilitaries. Since the financial crisis of last year, we’ve seen that the FIRE sector will work overtime to redistribute wealth to itself while working overtime to keep from redistributing wealth elsewhere. I think that with the normalization of the filibuster in the Senate, we’ve just about completed a revolution-within-the-form that is a much bigger deal than Barack Obama’s personal failings. The government works perfectly well at ensuring the lifestyles of defense contractors and investment bankers. That is its purpose. America may have one more good bubble in it. Or we may go straight to villas and bodyguards for the comely daughters.

"Don't throw up your hands!" says Yglesias, but he lives in Washington (which is also the capital of Stockholm Syndrome, oddly enough) where everyone has to think that.

(NOTE: the title references this poem by my favorite poet.)

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