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Never before has the seductive market way of life held such sway in nearly every sphere of American life. This marketing way of life promotes addictions to stimulation and obsessions with comfort and convenience... centered primarily around bodily pleasures and status rankings.... The common denominator is a rugged and ragged individualism and rapacious hedonism in quest of a perennial "high" in body and mind.
The encouragement of light-mindedness about traditional philosophical topics serves the same purposes as does the encouragement of light-mindedness about traditional theological topics. Like the rise of large market economies, the increase in literacy, the proliferation of artistic genres, and the insouciant pluralism of contemporary culture, such philosophical superficiality and light-mindedness helps along the disenchantment of the world. It helps make the world's inhabitants more pragmatic, more tolerant, more liberal, more receptive to the appeal of instrumental rationality.
It seems that we are revisiting the whole argument about a European central bank. Many of us have the deepest misgivings about the establishment of such a bank, with no accountability to member states and an office life of eight years, in which it can do what it likes, provided that it supports the market economy throughout Europe, despite the social consequences. There is no time limit on the period of office of the political directors, and there is nothing about who they would be or where they would come from. But I ask the quite serious question: what on earth are these political directors to do, where do they come from, to whom are they answerable and how do we get rid of them if we do not like what they do?
There are ways to get worse publicity than Tom Wappel, the MP who wrote an 81–year–old, a veteran, legally blind and partially deaf, and told him, sneeringly, in effect to get lost– because the old man had not voted Liberal. [...] Here are some: You could nail a five–day–old kitten to the floor and use it as a doorstop. You could cut off the heat to an orphanage in winter, and insist the little ones dance for stale biscuits, and then not give them any. Or you could take a chainsaw to the last redwood that was also the home of the last eagle and have it fall on the last panda. Outside of these cringing options, however Mr. Tom Wappel has more or less cornered the market in the Olympics of obnoxious behavior.
The right's approach is to release the dogs of the market, throwing all traditional verities into disarray; and then, in this tumult of insecurity, offer themselves up as the last bastion of order and hierarchy, the stalwart defenders of the authority of churches and fathers against the barbarians they have themselves unleashed.
We are accused of all sorts of terrible things, of us wanting to undermine your market, of dumping and so forth. There was no such talk before, but when you had your recession, there were people who wanted to put the whole blame on the Russians. All these fables of us being such terrible devils are not well founded. We want to trade in earnest and well.
The psychological attitudes which are indispensable in the American market place are disastrous to family life. Family life... requires yieldingness, generosity, sympathy, altruism, tenderness — all the qualities, in fact, which lead straight to bankruptcy.... the American family is tragically out of gear with the profit structure which has mushroomed up around it.
The Fed has one power that is unique to it alone: it enables the creation of money out of thin air. Sometimes it makes vast new amounts. Sometimes it makes lesser amounts. The money takes a variety of forms and enters the system in various ways. And the Fed does this through techniques such as open-market operations, changing reserve ratios, and manipulating interest rates, operations that all result in money creation.
Capitalist development requires, as a precondition, that the state foster a general sociopolitical and legal framework conducive to market relationships. An environment of security of property and predictability is basic to encourage investment; in turn, this requires political stability and a minimum degree of social harmony.
The absurdity of monetary system which robs people first of their fair share in the "free market economy" and then - through some of the most inefficient procedures imaginable - returns some of this money in the form of welfare payments to the same people, has rarely been exposed by the "experts" nor been discussed in public.
Nothing did more to spur the boom in stocks than the decision made by the New York Federal Reserve bank, in the spring of 1927, to cut the rediscount rate. Benjamin Strong, Governor of the bank, was chief advocate of this unwise measure, which was taken largely at the behest of Montagu Norman of the Bank of England....At the time of the Banks action I warned of its consequences....I felt that sooner or later the market had to break.
In theory, everybody buys the best and cheapest commodities offered to him on the market. In practice, if every one went around pricing, and chemically testing before purchasing, the dozens of soaps or fabrics or brands of bread which are for sale, economic life would become hopelessly jammed.
This new model of development would be based clearly on the goal of sustainable human well-being. It would use measures of progress that clearly acknowledge this goal. It would acknowledge the importance of ecological sustainability, social fairness, and real economic efficiency. Ecological sustainability implies recognizing that natural and social capital are not infinitely substitutable for built and human capital, and that real biophysical limits exist to the expansion of the market economy.