Saturday, 3 December 2011
I haven't posted recently, not because I haven't had thoughts and impressions to share but because I've had too many. Like a child on the playground, I just couldn't decide where to jump on the merry-go-round: The European debt crisis, the inability of the U.S. Congress to get anything done, the Occupy movement, the Cain Train, Newt, Hillary in Burma, Egypt & Syria, China insinuating itself everywhere. I thought I had a way in with a quote from Jürgen Habermas, "Our politicians have long been incapable of aspiring to anything whatsoever other than being re-elected. They have no political substance whatsoever, no convictions." Well, we've suspected that for a while. But I think I may have found it in a quote from Catherine Mann of Brandeis International Business School on the PBS NewsHour this week. She said, "Nobody is making investments in the stock market thinking they're getting a long term investment in the company that they're buying a stock for." I've wanted to believe that the stock market is where companies go to raise capital to be used in productive activity which also advances the common good. Maybe it never was. But even Andrew Carnegie, ruthless cutter of operating costs and financial manipulator, left us beautiful libraries all over North America. I can't imagine J. P. Morgan Chase doing anything comparable. Now that I'm finally on the carousel, maybe it's time for me too to put my body "upon the gears and upon the wheels" and make Mario Savio proud. It's just that, these days, it's so hard to know which part of the apparatus to start with.