AKA fascismo

We’ve heard this song before, at least in the economic sense. It’s Fascism without the violence or the Italian nationalism:

The Paulson rescue plan is one chapter. But there will be others. Over the next few years, the U.S. will have to climb out from under mountainous piles of debt. Many predict a long, gray recession. The country will not turn to free-market supply-siders. Nor will it turn to left-wing populists. It will turn to the safe heads from the investment banks. For Republicans, people like Paulson. For Democrats, the guiding lights will be those establishment figures who advised Barack Obama last week — including Volcker, Robert Rubin and Warren Buffett….

The government will be much more active in economic management (pleasing a certain sort of establishment Democrat). Government activism will provide support to corporations, banks and business and will be used to shore up the stable conditions they need to thrive (pleasing a certain sort of establishment Republican). Tax revenues from business activities will pay for progressive but business-friendly causes — investments in green technology, health care reform, infrastructure spending, education reform and scientific research.

If you wanted to devise a name for this approach, you might pick the phrase economist Arnold Kling has used: Progressive Corporatism. We’re not entering a phase in which government stands back and lets the chips fall. We’re not entering an era when the government pounds the powerful on behalf of the people. We’re entering an era of the educated establishment, in which government acts to create a stable — and often oligarchic — framework for capitalist endeavor.

Neither the Paulson plan nor any other plans concocted by the Progressive Corporatists will work as advertised. They cannot work because they fly in the face of immutable economic reality. What they will do, however, is serve the interest of the Establishment of which Mr. Brooks speaks so highly.

Channeling their inner Bane

This Indian response to financial crisis would not only be more emotionally satisfactory for American taxpayers, it would almost surely work better than the administration-proposed “give hundreds of billions of dollars to the guys who created the problem in the first place and pretend there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell that they’ll get it right this time” bailout:

Corporate India is in shock after a mob of sacked workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who had dismissed them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi. Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian-headquartered manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds on Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said.

If Americans are going to have socialism crammed down their throats by so-called “conservative” and “liberal” politicians anyhow, they may as well have the satisfaction of sending to the guillotine all the Wall Street crooks who robbed them blind and are attempting to pull off their largest heist yet.

For the friend I never met

Bane Walks On

He stalked into the shadowed vale
His six-gun at his side,
A twelve-gauge strapped across his back
And boots with knives inside.

He spared no glance for joys behind
Nor for the lurking dark
That shivered as he passed it by,
Eyes ever cold and stark.

A shrouded wight stood in his way,
Its bony hand did twitch
White-knuckled on its wicked scythe.
“Not you, son of a bitch!”

The tall man only grinned and told
His foe to go to Hell.
The Reaper bowed and stepped aside,
A past lesson learned well.

Beyond the darkness, blinding light
Caused his hard eyes to narrow.
And still the man stood tall and proud
His back straight as an arrow.

Then thunder roared high overhead.
“My child, you’re here at last!
Fear not, I have much work for you
A labor long and vast.

“I am the God of Grace and yet
There must be Justice too.
I hear the cries of the despised
The wicked owe their due.

“Some serve with harps and sing My praise,
Hosannas with each breath.
But you shall sing a different song,
My new Angel of Death.”

The tall man kneeled and bowed his head.
“Lord, I shall do Your Will.”
And then he smiled, baring his teeth,
“Just tell me who to kill.”

I sincerely hope the devious old bastard is having us on again. But if he isn’t, he will be sorely missed indeed.