Friday, June 26, 2009

Devils in the details

Because the specifics matter. It’s one thing to say that Citi wasted some of the money taxpayers sent its way via the bailout; it’s another thing to say Citi wasted some of the taxpayers’ money by upholstering the pillows on the private jet Sandy Weill took to Mexico over Christmas vacation with Hermes scarves. It’s one thing to say Wall Street bankers felt pressure to chase profits; it’s another thing to say they achieved those profits by systematically robbing a whole generation of pensioners and working-class homeowners, under the noses of the politicians they bought with tens of millions in campaign contributions.
This from Matt Taibbi, at his True Slant blog, on Fareed Zakarias's defense of capitalism as it stands.

The devils (plural) are always in the details, but that doesn't matter to those who trump ideological frameworks as Bibles for how we should lead our lives. To some, the Market is an omnipresent, omniscient force of good will that works for the betterment of all. Really we know that not to be the case. Just as communism isn't a perfect idea, or Christianity still has some kinks to work out, capitalism - as a system - is just as flawed as the rest.

It may be the best way, but it's far from the perfect way. The chasing of money for the sake of greed alone is bound to produce criminals. Period.

To say the system is flawed is an understatement, and one that we keep uttering to make ourselves feel better when this kind of thing happens from time to time.

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