Economic darwinism and bleeding hearts

Tomorrow, the stock market will crash. The fact of this crash is already written in the future’s market, but the depth and duration of the coming recession it may herald is the realm of the astrology and numerology that is part and parcel with macroeconomics.

Like Krugman, I’d like to mark this point in time with another one:

“The Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”
Bill Clinton, 1992

The “greed is good” of the 80’s has become resurgent in this decade under the banner of libertarianism. It has provided a rationalization for our irresponsibility with a wishful-thinking outlook via such self-deluding sloganeering as “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.”

And the cornerstone of this Economic Darwinism has been the myth of Reaganomics.

I can only hope that it is among the first casualties of coming recession.

[Bleeding hearts after the jump]

The bleeding heart epithet

I told someone recently that her bleeding heart was easily her best quality.

Somehow I feel we can not have too many “bleeding hearts” in our generation to undo the damage we have wrought with our own selfishness.

But perhaps, there can never be too many of them, whichever the generation?

10 thoughts on “Economic darwinism and bleeding hearts

  1. Update on the election (IEM data).

    Huckabee is trading at 5% so is effectively out. McCain is beginning to pull away from Romney and Giuliani in such a manner that the organized conservatives have already started to pave track for his presidental run in the press. He’s trading only at 50% though.

    In the Democratic party, IEM says it is a two horse race with Clinton at 63%. The general interpret is that the Clinton campaign (and damn near everyone) miscalculated on the impact of the younger voting population in Iowa and have since adjusted their strategy—in the Democrats case a GOTV on seniors and throw some voter suppression/doubt on the young (a tad ironic).

    It’s sad, because I think triangulation is a stupid strategy and feel the “Clinton mythology” has been just as bad for the Democratic Party as Neoconservatism has been for the Republican Party. I don’t see people thinking Bill Clinton’s attacks can be good for their party, unless they rationalize that Barack Obama is unelectable. Well, whatever allows him to sleep at night—nobody ever accused Bill Clinton of having an overabundance of political courage.

    In the Presidential Winner Take All, Democrats have 60%, which is pretty good for it being so early.

    I should note that there is probably some political venom in this analysis so take that with a grain of salt.

  2. Here is a tech-related article about the Crunchies:

    It’s a weird feeling reading this article since, had I not been tired and getting sick, I would have crashed “the Crashies” if only to say hi to some friends. My commentary is that the last crash was led by the popping of the internet bubble, my guess is that this one will follow, not lead.

  3. You should try reading some of the things you link to 🙂

    For example, your link for Economic Darwinism points out that Libertarians are opposed to it. It quotes one of the grandfathers of classical liberalism, Ludwig von Mises, saying that social Darwinism contradicts the principles of liberalism, a.k.a. modern Libertarianism.

  4. No I link “Social Darwinism” under “Economic Darwinism”!

    The fact that libertarians of the 1940’s were opposed to the “Social Darwinism” of the turn of the century is absurd. In fact the term Social Darwinism didn’t exist until the 1940’s when economists used it to cast aspersions onto the practice that justified imperialism and corporations strong-arming governments to further their aims (hence the von Mises reference).


    “Economic Darwinism” doesn’t exist. It’s a term I made up to describe what is basically modern day libertarianism because I believe 40 years ex-post-facto, people will use this term to describe libertarians just as libertarians used “social darwinism” to describe unfettered capitalism.

  5. Great blog post Terry. I had to read it twice to fully understand it, but I agree.

    Great Clinton quote. Which presidential hopeful can get us out of an economic depression?

  6. I doubt it will be a depression, probably a recession. And the answer is probably none of them. But some might be better than others. 😉

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