Monday, June 25, 2012

Fishing With Minnows

I happen to be one of those very fortunate souls who, out of sheer zest for life, seldom gets enough sleep. When I was a kid I loved to fish (still do). In fact I was utterly obsessed. I lived inside a parallel Outdoor Life and Field & Stream universe. I ate, drank and slept all things trout. Although slept doesn't much describe my nights before fishing trips. Put me on a stream, any stream, anytime of day and I will catch fish. No kidding. I know what trout do, where they hide, what they eat and how they think. My buddies and I used to have our own little fishing derbies, and, I swear, I don't recall ever losing. Oh the fish stories I could tell. Enough with the bragging (but it is true :))...

Now you'd think a soon to be quinquagenarian would be way beyond that childish event-eve insomnia. But no, it's far worse than ever. These days it's virtually a nightly affliction. It's not that I'm going fishing everyday mind you, that would be impractical (splendid, but impractical), it's my unbridled passion for all things economic. And these days, my goodness, there's, well, let's just say 'my goodness!'

I rise long before the sun, grab my cell, go to my inbox, check the daily message from the New York Times, click the link and begin reading. The article I choose will be the one, based on its title, I expect will jolt me like a double cappuccino never could. I read, I see the glaring contradiction, I spring from bed, I grab my iPad and I lose myself for the next hour or three before the market opens. I feel I must expose my readers to the between the lines reality of the oft-politicized topic du jour.

Today's jump starter was titled Prisons, Privatization and Patronage, by my very favorite antagonist Dr. Paul Krugman. I of course have a different take on the Professor's case against privatization. That is, he exposes the corruption inherent in government, and yet implies that the transparency of cronyism in an entirely government-run system justifies entirely government-run systems. I agree that the system he describes is anything but free market, but what he unwittingly endorses (in my biased view) is the inherent "magical" beauty of free markets. As he states:

"But ifyou think about it even for a minute, you realize that the one thing the companies that make up the prison-industrial complex

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