November 19, 2008

Can Paulson Even Make Coffee?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's testimony yesterday before the House's Financial Services Committee was pathetic. How did he ever manage to get an MBA from Harvard, let alone become a big cheese at Goldman Sachs? If neither of these august bodies, nor the Congress who approved his appointment, noticed that he was incapable of answering even one simple question with a straight answer, what hope is there for the dream of meritocracy? (And aren't they worried about their reputations as institutions of higher learning or investment analysis?)

The automotive CEOs didn't get very far either, partly because they weren't willing to give up their company jets and drive like the rest of us.

None of them realize that true economic value is primarily about meeting people's actual needs--clean air and water, healthy food, etc. Cars can drive us to the store, and investment funds can offer annuities when the economy is in equilibrium. But moneymen and engineers know little about living off the land, which is the only dependable foundation for any of these pyramid schemes. The store has to have food before you can drive to it to spend your pension.

The holy grail of economic growth is nothing but a wild goose chase.
'It's not the money, stupid.' It's the clean air and water, healthy food, etc.

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