Wednesday, January 04, 2006


American Ignorance and Laziness

A friend of mine who is an immigrant to this country pointed out to me that Americans by and large don't realize how good we have it in this country. Not only that but we are almost willfully ignorant as to why we have it so good: because, when push comes to shove, we are smart enough not to fully trust free markets and we have, since the days of Jackson, believed in a tough regulatory regime. As much as we may foist our free market snake oil on other nations, in spite of what their people want (and then we question why people hate us ... why our efforts at spreading "democracy" are unsuccessful? because it is neither bound by a constitution but on the other hand nor do we allow any real popular sovereignty should it threaten the new world trade order -- just ask Allende), we have so far been smart enough not to try it at home.

But now, thanks to those who would just assume bring back feudalism, enough Americans are convinced that regulations don't need mere tweaking and streamlining, but are inherently bad, that we might undo what has made this country great.

Americans should see how other people have it. They should try to take a cab in India and realize that, without a powerful government system of cab regulations actually enforced by police and bureaucrats, a cab driver can get away with charging you whatever as why should cab drivers compete when if they simply don't compete, they will all make more than enough money off of fairs from airports and other crowded places. Before Americans push for continuing down the path to truly "free" markets, they should see what a real free market is like -- what it's like to have to bargain for everything and still get shoddy workmanship (by people who aren't getting paid enough for what they do and hence don't care) and pay too much.

My girlfriend's Rabbi is very keen on the proper role of being thankful in religion: religious expression is not about being holier than thou but thanking God for what we have. But being thankful is also important in secular society. We Americans need to learn to be thankful for the system that has built this country -- and not try to undermine it with monetarist and free-market narishkeit!

Keep up the good work film editing schools
Here is an interesting article on whether Americans are actually lazy:
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