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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


"Hands-off" Henry

One of the key arguments Henry Paulson uses to defend the partial nationalization of U.S. banks is to disavow any desire to affect the decisions of the banks; we're just going to hope that whatever decisions they do make trickle-down and benefit the people they claim this is all about. Dave Lindorff takes on this "hands-off" concept rather nicely:
It [participating in the decision-making process of the banks] would amount to public ownership of the means of loan production. And we all know where that would lead: to decisions by bankers that might actually benefit the common good.

And we cannot have that! That’s not what America is about. America is about rugged capitalism, where hard-nosed executives make decisions based upon a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that magically ends up putting capital to its most productive use. That’s why we in America have, um, well, that’s why we have car companies that only produce giant, gas-guzzling SUV’s, muscle cars and trucks, cities that are entirely composed of hotels and casinos, houses that are big enough to hold four families, collapsing transit systems, failing schools, and a hollowed-out economy that hardly produces anything the rest of the world wants to buy.

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