Friday, August 5, 2011

Adam Smith's Invisible Hand

Dean Baker has found yet another invisible hand in the market of ideas with this post on his Beat the Press blog:
Erskine Bowles Gets $350,000 a Year from Morgan Stanley

For some reason the media never find room to mention the fact that Erskine Bowles is a director of Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley (an otherwise bankrupt beneficiary of the bailout). Bowles was a co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission and is now apparently one of the people whose name is being mentioned as a possible successor to Timothy Geithner if he were to resign as Treasury Secretary.

If Bowles was getting $350,000 a year from the United Auto Workers it seems likely that it would be mentioned in news reports. It's not clear why the media do not think his ties to a major Wall Street bank are relevant.
Call me a cynic, but I think people sing for their supper, I suspect Bowles' "advice" on the Debt Commission and as an advisor to Obama probably went like this: "Sir, do this-and-this-and-not-that to help our friends [the ultra-rich]". This was a wonderfully "invisible hand" that helps the rich in magical ways inside Washington and is amazingly effective at ensuring that government actions surprisingly favour the ultra-rich.

I find it funny that Dean Baker can spot the obvious while the rest of the "journalists" covering Washington don't see this kind of stuff.

Here's another example from another post by Baker:
This one is almost too painful to write about. The Post tells us that:
"Even some of the recent bright spots in the global economy are starting to dull. German economic growth, for example, appears to be slowing. Germany exports heavily to the European nations that are experiencing a debt crisis."
Is there anything in the world that was more predictable? Why on earth didn't the people making policy at the ECB see this?
Isn't that surprising! When you choke people to death, they don't hop up and ask you what they can do for you next.

Germany has been "reluctant" to help cover the bonds that are running up in price because of the threat of default by Greece and the other PIIGS. So these economies are being forced (choked) by Germany into austerity which cuts their GDP. Now, isn't it surprising that as they are gasping for air (austerity), they don't jump up and ask what more they can do (suddenly show a GDP growth spurt that demands more of your exports)? The world is a complex and nuanced place where only the subtlest minds -- Dean Baker -- can gaze through the murk and see these obscured truths.

I'm thinking the world wouldn't be so mysterious, dark, and unintelligible if the media presented real facts rather than their usual song and dance show, their magician moves, their propaganda for the rich.

Everybody should read the Beat the Press blog to discover just how beaten up they are by a press that only half covers "the story".

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