Thursday, November 3, 2011

Time Horizons: Jeff Sachs Bugs FLG Edition

Here's a passage from his new book:
Though I can’t prove that America’s mass-media culture, ubiquitous advertising, and long hours of daily TV watching are the fundamental causes of its tendency to let markets run rampant over social values, I can show that America represents the unhappy extreme of commercialism among the leading economies.  To do this, I have created a Commercialization Index (CI) that aims to measure the degree to which each national economy is oriented toward private consumption and impatience rather than collective (public) consumption and regard for the future.  My assumption is that the United States and other heavy-TV-watching societies will score high on the CI and that a high CI score will be associated with several of the adverse conditions plaguing American society.

The Ancient always says FLG should aim his angst higher. It's late tonight, but Jeff Sachs might have to be that target of an all out bloggiddy onslaught. Although, it looks like somebody else might have beat FLG to the punch.


The Ancient said...

Thirty years ago, Jeff saw himself in a generational competition with Larry Summers and Paul Krugman. Now he seems to be competing with Mary Poppins.

This is not a good career trajectory.

(And for a guy who bears at least some part of the blame for the rise of the post-Soviet oligarchs, he's oddly complacent about the ability of government to do new things competently.)

The Ancient said...

But this is fair enough:

If there was an urgent crisis, it was in the money markets. We absolutely needed emergency central bank responses to that. But the idea that we had to bet the administration on a two-year grab-bag of measures worked out in two weeks, a hodgepodge of spending and tax cuts, was politically toxic.

(Compare with Krugman, who still won't say much about the composition of the stimulus.)

Anonymous said...

Now he seems to be competing with Mary Poppins.


Ancient is it me or does this whole Cain brouhaha remind you of the last conservative sex scandal?

The names shall not be named but it involved a guy attacking his ex-girlfriend in front of of a giggling Jonah Goldberg.

Mrs. P

The Ancient said...

Mrs P --

No, it seems very different.

First, it looks orchestrated -- which is not the same thing as premeditated. That other matter was like a car wreck that everyone slowed to watch. This seems more like a drive-by shooting.

Second, this goes to the possibility of serious professional misbehavior, which matters quite a bit in a candidate for public office, rather than poor personal judgment in ones private life, which everyone exercises from time to time.

The Ancient said...


Mauvaise idée: "Un coup de des jamais n'abolira le hasard."

Cain would be much better off had he spent the past several days getting the facts straight in his own head and then holding a structured, focused interview with, say, Brett Baier. Instead, he's raised the stakes without any of the relevant facts being fully in play. And they all will come out, one at a time, for days and days and days.

Full disclosure: I don't think Cain is remotely qualified to be President -- by experience, knowledge or temperament.

Anonymous said...

When you've got a professional political class, it's darn near impossible to have a non-politician become a president. Only one person has succeeded so far - Obama. And look at what a good job he's done...

Did you see this:

"Noting that Cain had met with Cold Warrior and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to discuss foreign policy, host Joe Scarborough asked Albright if she had met with Cain and how that meeting unfolded. It turns out, they haven't met.

"Well, he didn't call me," Albright said, "I'm the wrong gender."

hahahahhahaha. So now Cain is gay?

I agree this a a driveby. A Detroit Police department style driveby. Their last one ended up with a stripper dead in the street that the mayor's wife had taken a baseball bat to when she found her dancing for her husband in their soon-to-be-occupied mansion.

As for Cain being a sexual predator, so far it doesn't pass the smell test. It just doesn't. As it stands we've got more hard evidence Clinton is a rapist and Obama is a Marxist -yes FLG I typed that and Mrs. O is a very unhappily married woman - than any hard evidence of Cain being a sexual predator. The fact that these are Ivy League women making the claims makes me think there's nothing in any of this near to the level of using a White House intern as his own personal cigar humidor. And the Democrats have fervently maintained that does not disqualify someone for the Oval Office.

I can still recall them all on the lawn of the White House affirming this.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

I figured out why Herman's troubles remind me of that other conservative sex scandal - both contain real and serious vibes of manipulation : Party A is trying very hard to make us dislike and then shun Party B based on sketchy at best evidence involving inappropriate behavior.

And in both cases, National Review blew it. Completely. Panty waisted gigglers.

Mrs. P

arethusa said...

Full disclosure: I don't think Cain is remotely qualified to be President -- by experience, knowledge or temperament.

Seconded. I like the man, but he too often seems befuddled - and not over gotcha questions, either. Also, the pizza is mediocre.

Anonymous said...

I've never had Papa John's because it always seemed mediocre. Cain is very likeable - the kind of guy you'd like to have drinks with - but take your own taxi home -alone- afterwards.

I thought the guy never had a chance after not knowing what "right of return" meant. The sex scandal actually -and most unfortunately- hid his really scandal the week:

"So yes, they're [China] a military threat," he said during a recent PBS interview. "They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat."

Really Herman? And China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty back in the 70s because why?

The funny thing is Papa John's has franchises in China so he should know something about the government.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

Not Papa John's -- Godfather's.

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