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  • JulieKahan

    Odograph, maybe you’re right, but that’s all the more reason to criticize it and discuss it. The more political presure we can bring in the opposite direction, the greater the chances (admittedly slim) that the powers-that-be will limit government’s interference in the economy. Of course, it’ll be a lot easier if the President is actually looking for an excuse not to interfere than if he’s looking for an excuse to interfere.

  • Y. Kahan,

    Calling auto bailouts “fascism” does not help bring political pressure against them. It is only useful if you want other users of public transport to sit somewhere else.

  • FWIW, I think my comments above, though they may have rankled, are actually in line with Tyler Cowen:

    One thing I like about Bryan Caplan’s book is an interpretation which he will probably hate. The truly decisive actors are people directly in the political process. Maybe the “libertarians” who are or have been in politics are not just “sell outs.” Rather they are implementing the net-liberty-enhancing policies that a real libertarian would favor if he or she were truly a decisive agent.

  • lxm

    According to Simon Johnson writing in the Atlantic:

    “But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.”

    Is he right? Is America all ready governed by an oligarchy. Are we already a fascist, corporatist state?

    You all are worried about Obama, yet the coup may have already occurred.

    Where were you all anyway?

  • hp

    I side with those who have suggested that fascism is too closely associated with genocide to be a useful description of what is transpiring now . . . the real problem is that people equate freedom with anarchy.

  • LarryM

    You have officially jumped the shark.

    Too bad, another fine mind ruined by insanity.

  • LarryM

    Oh, sorry, I guess you just jumped the gun a day early on the April Fools post, my bad.

  • Dan

    Does anyone else hate–like, really hate–analogizing government intervention to a sporting event?

    Barack Obama is not Randall Cunningham. And for Christ’s sake, the recession is more complicated than a cornerback blitz. Rojas, and others who do this, just feed into the idea that the government can survey the situation, gain an omniscient awareness of what’s happening, and then rationally choose the correct course of action.

  • sourcreamus

    What happens to Ford when it finds itself competing against a GM with a bottomless pit of money behind it? It is going to be awfully hard for its executives to resist a drink from the government’s free money fountain. How long before Congress starts to demand more fuel efficient vehicles and less SUVs?
    We have flirting with economic fascism before and always pulled back. I think we will pull back again but early warnings like this one are very useful just in case.
    My guess is that the Administration is going to throw 30 billion down a rat hole so they can say in 2012 they did all that they could.

  • Arjuna

    Would the amount of money spent on lobbying in D.C. be a useful proxy for a measure of clientelism? Why or why not?

    If Rojas’ is correct that we should be concerned about government intervention in the economy insofar as it results in clientelism, how would we know whether or not we are becoming more or less clientelistic? What concrete ways do we have for measuring this sort of thing?