Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The education of David Stockman continues

I have a special interest in a decreasingly tiny sliver of American life—the really smart farm kid.  My favorites includes Thorstein Veblen and Henry Ford but there have been thousands of them and much of the industrial midwest was built by them.

So I was hopeful when one of those obviously smart farm kids was named to be Ronald Reagan's Budget Director.  Of course, he came in spouting supply-side horse shit but I kept hoping that rural reality would show up when it counted.  In some ways it did.  In 1981, William Greider published an interview in the Atlantic Monthly called The Education of David Stockman where he blew the whistle on the supply-siders.  It wasn't a major awakening but it was a start.  And Reagan "took him to the woodshed" over it and eventually he lost his job.

Stockman still doesn't understand things very deeply but it is obvious he is still evolving.  So when he sat down with Bill Moyers to discuss his take on today's economy, it was a good place to see how far he had evolved.  Well, not so much as I had hoped but he does draw a distinction between crony capitalism and the real thing—so there's a start.

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