Saturday, September 20. 2008
Josh Marshall: Innovative products. Quotes John McCain as saying:
This is wrong on a nearly unfathomable number of levels. It assumes innovation is per se a good thing, which is obviously not true, and in the case of the financial industry of late is almost never true. Their great mission in life has been to suck as much value out of the world as possible, as is demonstrated by the mere fact that they've grown faster and more profitably than the economy as a whole, despite the fact that almost everything they used to do can be done vastly more efficiently with modern information systems. One thing that is true is that health insurance innovations will have the same purpose -- indeed, it strikes me as wrong to suggest that the health insurance companies have lagged behind their financial sector brethren in figuring out how to maximize their take while screwing customers. Moreover, the consequences of this predation are if anything more severe, as should be obvious if you contemplate the question they're so adept at posing: your money or your life?
McCain's comment shows how deeply he himself has been suckered into the party line, and how little capacity for independent or critical thought he actually has.
Paul Woodward: Regulation vs. deregulation. This contrasts a big chunk of an Obama speech to the simplistic idiocy being spouted by McCain. It reminds me of a scene watching some TV "journalist" hammer Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, demanding details on how Obama would react to the current crisis. After several references to a six-point proposal Obama had made, Goolsbee started reciting them in quite some detail, and the interviewer cut him off midway through number two. The lesson is clearly that the GOP talking point will prevail even when its falsity is glaring.