Saturday, December 18, 2010

So, It’s Not Just Me



I know some readers wonder how I ever veered so far left -- off course. Call it a case of bad timing. I retired right when our economic world was starting to collapse (although I didn’t know it.) You see, I was always too busy being a controller and safety rep. to pay attention to....well, hardly anything else. But suddenly, when I retired, I had a lot of time.

You can see right here how far behind the power curve I was.

”What I found most interesting (and what inspired me to write this post) was that we are able to talk politics. I mean talk -- as in a real discussion. No yelling, no sound bites, no ill will. It was refreshing.

No one was ridiculed. No one was belittled. Not even me, when my new friend Ian pointed out (gently) that I was probably the last person on the planet that hadn’t read Paul Krugman of the New York Times. ”


That was December 27, 2006, before the recession started. Before Wall Street fell. Back when I thought I was pretty much middle of the road -- politically speaking. Well, except for that union thing, of course.

Today, I was reading James Fallows’ take on Peter Orszag leaving the Obama Administration (he was budget director) and going straight to work for Citibank. Mr. Fallows has been around a long time. He’s off-the-chart smarter and more knowledgeable than me. And he’s vexed by the lack of outrage/acknowledgment/concern about this.

Peter Orszag: The Shoe That Didn't Drop

”What I meant was, "Politically this is damaging and should be shocking." Because the real point is that official Washington should notice this instance of structural corruption -- but won't.”

Washington is corrupt. (Ho hum) People are stealing your money. (Yawn) They’re ruining your country. (ZZZzzzzzz) I don’t know what will wake people up either.

Mr. Fallows continues:

”If you're wondering just how taken for granted such arrangements are in today's Washington/ Versailles, here's a data point. The Washington Post, still aspiring to be official journal of politics, has not published a single story about Orszag's new job.”

It reminds me of controllers that see local managers go to work for Delta et al. and national managers go to work for Lockheed et al. And we just shrug our shoulders -- at best. At worst (and I do mean worst) we ask, “Hmmm, I wonder how I can get some of that action?” It’s easy. You start by finding some small way to betray the people you work for -- the American Public.

A really smart guy from a long time ago said it best. “No one can serve two masters.”

I could transition into a discussion about assuring decent pay and retirement for government workers at this point but I’m going to shoot pictures. Go read James Fallows thoughts on the subject.

Don Brown
December 18, 2010

1 comment:

Charles Pergiel said...

The last person to read Paul Krugman?
Well, maybe, out of the three people in the US who still read.

There are a bunch of people who enjoy getting worked up about stuff. It doesn't have be important stuff, it just has to get their attention and irritate them and they are off on a tear. Unfortunately, they vote.

Protect your own, make common cause with your allies. Remember who your enemies are. Don't waste time on rabble.

Boy, listen to me babbling.