Thursday, October 4, 2012

It indeed takes two...

It forever fascinates me how highly intelligent, highly-credentialed, individuals can be as easy to capture by special interests (of the private and public sector varieties) as your everyday, less [formally] educated, bloke. Perhaps easier in all-too-many cases. I am especially taken when a college professor writes of the ills of cronyism as if, during the courtship, it's a one-sided affair—the bad guy (in today's example) being the gift-bearing baron.

Take MIT's Simon Johnson for example. In his NY Times article Money, Power and the Rule of Law—along with pointing an accusing finger at business and blaming 19th Century monopolies on the "market mechanism"—he applauds the efforts of NY Attorney General Schneiderman in bringing a case against JP Morgan. He makes no mention of the circumstances under which JP Morgan came to acquire Bear Stearns, nor how the timing might serve to legitimize President Obama's January pledge to crack down on those (ex any sitting politicians) who brought on the worst recession since the Great Depression.
 And while I share (passionately) the disgust over big business exploiting every opportunity to tilt the playing field in its favor, (as I wrote here) not holding the politician equally (at least) accountable is like absolving the cheating spouse of blame in the extramarital affair.

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