29 October 2009

Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists...

In response to your preferences (and mine!), I sent this out tonight:
Dear Professors Reich, Johnson, Rajan and Besley,

I have met all of you at one time, if only as a listener and appreciative economist.

Each of you has spoken out against the abuses of capitalism:
  • Professor Rajan -- your book (which I have read) gives the subject to this email.
  • Professor Reich -- you spoke against corporate welfare at your 2006 ASE keynote (which I attended) at the ASSA.
  • Professor Simon -- you have come out against the power of the oligarchs on Bill Moyers (which I watched) and elsewhere.
  • Professor Besley -- you have written on the New Political Economy (a paper I enjoyed) about the problems of "government failure"
All of you understand the dangers of crony capitalism and how the current "financial crisis" has done little to restrain it and much to reinforce it.
I know that you all heard Mervyn King's call to break up the banks that are "too big to fail"
And all of you have heard the LACK of reply to this call for radical change, and the silence of those who continue with business as usual.
As you know, the oligarchs are among us; they are not just Russians in tracksuits; and they are destroying our economy, our markets and the welfare of the "other 99 %" They are making Michael Moore look good, but not much else.
I am hoping that you will work together to issue a letter supporting Mr. King. His idea is a good one, and only a first step that we need to take to restore competition and efficiency to our capitalist system.
As you all know, that system has done much more for the poor than any other system, anywhere, at any time, and that system is weak and fading under the onslaught of crony capitalism.
Please do something.
Do it for Mr. Schumpeter.
Best regards,
David Zetland
That's what I said. If you agree that action is a good idea, then please make similar efforts to contact your representatives AND friends (pass it on!)

Addendum: Russ Robert on the incentives driving this madness and more criticisms (via BH).

2 comments:

DS said...

Great letter, David. It's not the Capitalism that is at fault, it's Crony Capitalism that eats up all our best brains and businesses, making morally lacking very wealthy and the rest of us, very poor.

DW said...

Paul Volker is making a strong case for bringing back Glass Steagall and breaking up the big banks in DC, but Obama and the other bankers on his financial team aren't listening to Volker. It's too bad because he's right.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/business/21volcker.html?scp=1&sq=Paul%20volker%20banks%20&st=cse

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/business/economy/26big.html?scp=3&sq=Paul%20volker%20banks%20&st=cse