36. David Brooks – psychology
April 3, 2009 § Leave a comment
good place to look at alternative theories, in todays NYT he writes (referencing Simon Johnson’s The Quiet Coup referenced here earlier)
We can agree on that reform. Still, one has to choose a guiding theory. To my mind, we didn’t get into this crisis because inbred oligarchs grabbed power. We got into it because arrogant traders around the world were playing a high-stakes game they didn’t understand.
The difference is motive. hje game was to get rich by playing with other people’s money. “oligarchy” is a descriptive term, not a motivational one. Why split the theory? The answer is there when he writes
The greed narrative leads to the conclusion that government should aggressively restructure the financial sector. The stupidity narrative is suspicious of that sort of radicalism. We’d just be trading the hubris of Wall Street for the hubris of Washington. The stupidity narrative suggests we should preserve the essential market structures, but make them more transparent, straightforward and comprehensible. Instead of rushing off to nationalize the banks, we should nurture and recapitalize what’s left of functioning markets.
Where he wants us to focus on markets, not corporations. Markets are fine and tend towards openness, but corporations are organized for market control. Hence corrective action should aim at corporations, not markets, which is where the conservatives have anted to have the left focus, becuase it is a distraction from the real principle of oligarchy (tending kleptocracy) which is control of institutions.