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May 11, 2006

Dean Baker Continues His Disgusting Reality-Mongering

As everyone knows, conservatives favor free market policies. Meanwhile, liberals want the government to intervene in the market to alter the natural course of events.

This is obviously true because the New York Times tells us that it is every day. Why bring the real world into it? That would just make everyone uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, economist Dean Baker has done exactly that in a short new book called The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer. It examines massive government interventions in the market—including immigration, trade, monetary and intellectual property policy—and notes how they all have the curious effect of making America's wealthiest people even more stupendously rich.

And as if this weren't bad enough, Baker has made The Conservative Nanny State available for free as a pdf (or at low cost as a paperback). Clearly he's a madman who'll stop at nothing.

I just thank god we don't have to pay any attention to this garbage. Because if we did, we might begin to suspect the people who scream constantly about free markets are con men engaged in elaborate misdirection to fleece us. That would make us sad, and who wants to be sad? We have enough to worry about just paying the damn rent.

Posted at May 11, 2006 12:21 PM | TrackBack

I prefer being drunk over being sad. Um, are those 2 things mutually exclusive? Right, I didn't think so.

Is posting a conversation with yourself on the internets indicative of something? No? Whew, that was a close one.

Posted by: wkmaier at May 11, 2006 01:01 PM

Sad?! No, I don't want to be sad, either! I want to be rich! RICH!

It's the obvious course. Then the government will coddle me like an egg.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at May 11, 2006 01:12 PM


I have in the past come up with an excellent plan to be sad and drunk at the same time. Here's the scenario:

Let's say the world's about to end and you're gathered together with six friends at a comfortable beach house. Unfortunately, you only have enough money for beer to get one of you drunk.

So what you do is, draw straws for who gets to drink the beer. Then draw straws again. The person who gets the second straw kills the drunk person and drinks their blood, becoming drunk themselves. And so on.

By the end, EVERYONE'S drunk and sad, as well as covered in blood. Of course, that's how I am normally.


Where do think tanks fit into your egg analogy? Are they part of the cardboard egg carton? I guess that's the government. Maybe the think tanks are the National Egg Council, who spend every day explaining to America how we all depend on the continued well-being of eggs.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at May 11, 2006 01:54 PM

dean baker?

that man's a communist who wants to go back to an era where men were men and markets collapsed due to fraud insider trading! just look at that hott graphic. so 1930's.

and Jon, do you offer lessons on how to achieve your state of being wihtout too much police intervention?

Posted by: almostinfamous at May 11, 2006 09:26 PM

Ah, the free market, otherwise known as wave your little flag and give me your money which has had a very personal effect on my life and many others like me in that it has irrevocably changed our lives. For years I worked in silicon valley, I was happy, true I had to get up every morning and participate in the commute on log jammed freeways but I was earning money, gasp, how shallow of me. However shallow that might be it sure worked well enough when I needed to pay rent or buy some food. Life was good if humdrum then it all dried up almost overnight and within a few months of Bush's first "election" life became very exciting indeed. I could not find work, my modest savings evaporated so fast it made my head spin. I was told a pint-sized country on the other side of the world was making mushroom clouds that would soon be imported to cities near me. A strange man named Powell went to the U.N. with a vial of snake oil. I saw new and better versions of NAFTA being drafted and implemented but people told me I should be happy because this was an opportunity to change my life, I could now become and entrepreneur and sell seashells by the seashore thus achieving nirvana.

Life has continued to be exciting as the oil and other energy industries swollen with glut and profit steered America to the brink of disaster. Another strange man Alberto Gonzales said that George Bush could do what ever he wanted because it said so in the constitution though I have never been able to figure out just which constitution he was talking about.

Who needs money when life is so exciting and full of chills and thrills? So let us all wave our little flag along with our tin cup as we recall the halcyon days when we could hold up our head and say "I work for a living."

Posted by: rob payne at May 11, 2006 11:56 PM

A truly free market is one that is free of governmental AND criminal influence in the transactions of honest business between parties. The market is regulated by necessary government intervention as a neutral third party guarantor of safety and security. When the cop is corrupt the gangsters, thieves and pimps take over the nieghborhood.

The GOP is of two minds about free market economics; they want our goods and services available to the world, but prefer our home marketplace to be somewhat closed to international business. Except of course as it pertains to special interests who spend gobs of corporate profits lobbying politicians for earmarks and favors.

I consider myself to be a classical liberal that supports free markets in the classic sense as they used to work in our nation's early pre-corporate history. We had an economic system more agrarian/entrepreneurial in nature that was less concentrated in the hands of the few.

With the potential benefit of crop-based fuel supplies such as ethanol and biodiesel initiatives and the fact that the majority of businesses in America are small businesses, farms and family businesses, maybe our future lies in our past. I would like to see the Democrats return to their roots.

Posted by: Fini Finito at May 12, 2006 12:05 AM

You got it, Fini. The whole civil-rights/labor-laws thing really fucked us up pretty good.

You know what? As aware as I am that corporations are no good for us, this is something Nice Liberals need, absolutely NEED, to understand: there have NEVER been good old days.

Posted by: Sully at May 12, 2006 09:27 AM

Best review ever.

Posted by: Oskar Shapley at May 14, 2006 06:10 AM