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the n-word

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Everybody’s talking nationalization, and of course the whisper of those six syllables makes pinko hearts go all aflutter. It’s been a bad word for so, so long – and it’s nice to hear it get current again.

That said, and persuant to some of the issues raised in the comments of this post, we should tread with caution, for all nationalizations are not created equal. In some cases, they can be great – plowing the profits from Venezuelan oil into social programs is as lovely as it gets, yes. Sometimes, they just simply have to happen, as might well prove to be the case with those strange “government sponsored enterprises,” already neither fish nor fowl, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But if anyone can locate any social benefits that have or will accrue from the takeover of Northern Rock, please do speak up in the comments. All that I can see is burgeoning moral hazard, this time for stockbuyers and bank managers rather than the usual suspects, the poor, and the preordained endstory that comes when the bank has its first profitable year, it will again be privatized lest it interfere with enterprises of the earnest, hardworking, honest gents down in the City. Whatever it is, it’s not socialism – part corporate welfare, part necessary first aid, but not socialism.

So, a modest proposal: how about, if this trend continues, each time the state has to plow money into a steaming pile of shit in the form of a dropped dead bank, downfluttering airline or the like, it by law must at the same time nationalize something really nice, enormously profitable, and potentially socially useful. Like, dunno, Mobil. Or Google. Call your congressman today…

Written by adswithoutproducts

July 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Posted in economics, socialism

One Response

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  1. I have been thinking in recent years that governments need to get away from their reliance on taxation — this is especially true of state governments in the U.S., which are not allowed to run deficits and therefore are always forced to cut services at just the moments when services are most needed (i.e., during economic downturns). The only option, it seems to me, is for the state itself to be directly involved in production. Every time I say this, however, people act like I’m completely insane.


    July 12, 2008 at 7:35 pm

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