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« A Feasible Living Situation - Continued | Main | The Hardest Moral Dilemma of All »

February 21, 2010


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is it at all possible that tom gets inside info regarding upcoming trends and is effectively employed to shape the way these trends will be viewed ...
CFR anyone


I can only agree. Without wishing to sound at all silly, would there be anything wrong with sending this post as a letter to the NYTimes?

Robin Datta

Pardon the cynicism, but maybe the shrewd are positioning themselves for the best chance of getting through the bottleneck without stampeding the herd.


Meh, he's just another hypocrite unless he's moved.

At least into the pool house ;-)

George Mobus


Anything is possible.


Don't know how silly it is. I've tried posting comments on both Friedman's and Krugman's blogs with seeming little success. I see criticisms posted there so I don't know what the problem is. I get stuff published in the Dot Earth blog, which uses the same format/software. The restrictions on word counts in letters to the editor probably preclude this getting published.


Cynicism pardoned! You could be right, and there probably are some 'shrewdies' doing so. But I know a fair number of so-called shrewd folk who haven't got a clue. We'll see.


Joe McCarthy

Doug Rushkoff, author of "Life, Incorporated: How the World Became a Corporation and How We Can Take It Back", might argue that the problem is not capitalism, per se, but corporatism.

The NYTimes is more beholden to corporatists than capitalists (for advertising), so I don't think this dilutes your argument about potential conflict of interest.

Doug argues that for-profit corporations were originally set up to extract resources and transfer wealth from local communities to external shareholders with no intrinsic interest in the welfare of the people and places who were (and are) being exploited.

The energy industry offers an exemplar of this practice. Although he doesn't delve deeply into energy-related issues, he does address what I might call the Agriculture-Energy-Industrial complex (on pages 211-212).

Mark Twain

You have a much higher opinion of Friedman than I do, Mr. Mobus.

I stopped taking him seriously after the third or fourth time he proclaimed that (paraphrased) "the next 6 months is a critical period for the Iraq War" (now referred to as a "Friedman Unit"), and his endless cheerleading for war (the "Suck On This" interview with Charlie Rose is a good example).

IMHO, he has no interest in the truth or doing the right thing.

Mark Twain wrote something about your lament regarding Mr. Friedman (and many others):

"My Dear Sir:

But you are proceeding upon the superstition that Moral Courage and a Hankering to Learn the Truth are ingredients in the human being's makeup. Your premises being wild and foolish, you naturally and properly get wild and foolish results. If you will now reform, and in future proceed upon the sane and unchallengeable hypothesis that those two ingredients are on vacation in our race, and have been from the start, you will be able to account for some things which seem to puzzle you now.

Sincerely yours,

Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, Dec. 21, 1901."

George Mobus


I have written about the origins of capitalism and it's "pure" form. Capitalism as practiced today is joined at the hip with corporatism. So, yes, the arguments stand but with that nuance.


I really don't have a very high regard for Mr. Friedman. I pay attention to what he is saying because there are too many people in influential places that do had such regard for him. That is why I called him my favorite kicking boy.

Mr. Clemens, as always, has a keen sense of perspective on human nature. In other writings, I have pointed out that most of our species foibles originate in insufficient development of sapience and consequent lack of wisdom.


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