Monday, February 9, 2009


I am now 84 years old and not inclined to write memoirs.
I have some things to say and they might possibly be of use to others but I came by them the hard way over a lifetime and the details are not always important.

This is the time for a little feedback: a few fragments of recent American history, a few songs, and a few personal observations that seem important to me. I make no claims of originality for these posts. I am merely trying to express my thoughts as concisely and correctly as I can.


Just kidding.

This video, made by my wife, shows where we live. It is a good place to die.


One more thing. Our present economic system is not very stable. It is subject to frequent bubbles and to crashes which disrupt the lives of the innocent in sometimes catastrophic ways. In discussing this and related topics, it might be thought that I am exercising some animus against the wealthy. That is neither my intention nor my pattern of thought about them. They are, in fact, of the same species as the rest of us and they are largely just some of the more fortunate specimens of a very flawed species.

Many of our wealthy contemporaries are successful entrepreneurs. Some of them have contributed to our civilization in important ways. In other respects, they may be much like the rest of us, which is neither a compliment nor a condemnation.

Others of the wealthy are more like props of socio-economic evolution rather than actors. They are the place holders for aggregations of capital, surrounded by swarms of lawyers, money managers, accountants, politicians, hacks, flacks, quacks, preachers, foundations and charities. However passive or active they may be, they are important components of our society.

Well, very few of us are perfect. Our society has growed like Topsy and there are many ways to game the system. Some of these are clearly anti-social. There are the sponsors of yellow journalism and those who support violent groups of racists, xenophobes, or terrorists. There are the overpaid CEOs who sometimes shamelessly sell defective and even deadly products, the insiders who pump and then dump stocks, the Ponzi schemers and other white collar criminals. One distinguished group is the banksters, who inhabit the boom and bust dimension of our economy. Some of them actually serve the government in important positions. They require special attention because they can cause such egregious harm. When society has all but forgotten the last Really Big Bust it may be set up for another one, preceded by years of de-regulatory ideology. Over-regulation can be a damper of economic activity but deregulation is a thieves' paradise.

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