Monday, May 11, 2009

Career Counseling

John Hussman (my bolds):

The bailout is not something “neutral” that cancels itself out, but instead amounts to a transfer of trillions of dollars of purchasing power directly and indirectly from those who didn't finance reckless mortgage loans to those who did. Farewell to the projects, innovation, research, investment, and growth that might have been financed by the savings and retained earnings of good stewards of capital. Those funds are being diverted to the careless stewards who now stand to be made whole.

Taking money from society's productive members to bail out Wall Street and its bondholders will have deep, lasting effects. When government establishes a new template and states explicitly that no large financial institutions will be allowed to fail again, as Geithner and Bernanke have done, essentially it reorders the country's entire financial and psychological incentive structure. In other words if you do something intrinsically important like teach, put out fires, pull over drunk drivers, develop new medicines, or land airplanes in the Hudson River, you're a schmuck. For now and many years into the future, you'll spend part of every day working for people who sit in front of computer screens in Manhattan trading paper. And what you're allowed to keep will be inflated away for the same cause. Don't like it? Get a job on Wall Street. And please, no more hand-wringing about a shortage of doctors or how the U.S. needs to produce more scientists, engineers, etc. The national priorities are clear. It's terrible public policy.

I wrote a slightly longer post about this a few months ago here.


Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Much better post. Now your speaking my language. Lol

5/11/2009 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

"How many divisions has the Teacher's Union? How many have the pilots?"

5/11/2009 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Literally boggles the mind.

5/11/2009 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Don SinFalta said...

Yes, as one of those teachers and scientists, I've already concluded that I'm a shmuck who really screwed up when I decided not to go to Wall Street (or leave the country entirely) oh so many years ago. At this point, I'm pretty well done with this plutocracy, my biggest regret is that I had children who will have to put up with it for much longer than I will, and who show no sign of going to Wall Street (or leaving the country) either, in spite of my current advice to them.

5/13/2009 2:16 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Leaving the country is not so easy. Other countries actually enforce their immigration policies and try to keep the jobs for their own citizens. Or are you able to retire?

One thing that makes this worse is that the country put the opposition party in power, and elected probably as much of an outsider as who stood a chance of becoming president under the current system, and as far as the bailout went it didn't make any difference at all. Maybe eventually this too will have consequences.

I have to say that none of this seems to have penetrated day to day life. People are keeping on keeping on, and seem to be ignoring the news from New York, Detroit, and Washington. But I have noticed a slow rise in low grade socially dysfunctional behavior, things like not signaling when turning, over the years that could be due to increased stress.

5/13/2009 9:39 PM  

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