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January 15, 2005

Gary Becker: Famous Economist And Living, Breathing Joke

Gary Becker is an economics professor at the University of Chicago. (He's also won the faux-Nobel Prize for economics.) Recently the LA Times wrote a story about how economic risk has increased substantially for Americans over the past few decades. Becker is quoted in the story saying this:

"There has been a shift toward people taking more risk on themselves ... and the economy has gained for it."

God, I love this. I LOVE IT. I love when Americans are told about the glories of economic risk by professors with tenure. It's exactly like a Soviet apparatchik extolling the glories of communism while shopping in one of the USSR's free-market, apparatchik-only stores.

Mmmmmm. I always enjoy shamelessness, and this is shamelessness in its purest form.

Also, Becker is certainly unaware he's echoing a famous comment made by Emilio Medici, the head of the Brazilian military junta, in 1971:

"The economy is doing very well, but the people are not."
Posted at January 15, 2005 08:33 PM | TrackBack

What is it with the University of Chicago? First good ole Uncle Milton and then a whole bunch of coconuts. I mean it's not like some rich and famous family has put pots of dough into the place and wants a return.

Posted by: Jim Shanahan at January 15, 2005 09:52 PM

Jonathan, nice disguised e-move to bring up the early 70s. Clearly, your implication is that we must reflect upon how we are heading on the same path; war that can’t end peacefully, an insane megalomaniac president with vain and traitorous, yet somehow sycophantic advisors bent on sucking all hope from the system, but so blinded by ideaology that they merely succeed in leading the country into one disaster after another – the forgotten one being the economic disaster that Ford (do you still have your ‘Whip Inflation Now’ button?) and Carter inherited.

Although one cannot mention Nixon, or his disastrous economic policies, without the liberal press pointing out that you "...are bashing a man who was merely misunderstood, a great man of history with great hopes forced to humiliate himself – and speaking of that, aren’t we all humiliated by what Clinton did with his cock?” (Your 70’s reference also implies that you feel like I do, that there is no number of times large enough for Nixon to be dug up and buried ever deeper. Perhaps that would be a fitting tradition for Martin Luther King Day addition to several other holidays.

But I digress from your point that this headlong rush along a path toward the policies of a more degraded Reagan is beginning to play out in today’s US economy. It is possible that today’s bubble will last another year, but not longer. The next crash will be worse than the W.eenie crash of 2001, after which no one will ever again think about investing their security into the insecurity of the stock market.

Thus, the Bushtras are desperate to act now. So, Option one – which seems to be happening well – work to close off the possibility now (convince the dems to vote in a block and swing a large percentage of republicans by logic, or fear of the consequences of crossing the SS line) and/or Option 2 - drag the discussion out until the imminent and incipient W.eenie crash of 2006...just as you imply in your not so oblique reference to 1971.

Posted by: SiegeState at January 16, 2005 03:33 AM

"...imminent and incipient W.eenie crash of 2006..."

Why 2006? It's happening now. It's been happening for years, despite what the Enron accountants tell us about wonderful numbers. It might take until 2006 for the housing bubble to pop -- or it might not -- and when that happens it will make '71 look like a walk in the park.

Posted by: CL at March 12, 2005 06:32 AM