Thursday, September 15, 2005

Another Clown Steps Forward

Rabble News: “A U.S. view: Common sense revolution goes south” by Keith Gottschalk

“This disaster and its aftermath was the intended consequence of countless policies implemented by a ruling American élite that looks out solely for itself and its allies and couldn't give a tinker's damn for the suffering of the less fortunate.”

Wild rhetoric is common place in politics and North America has its fair share of extremist views, but does Gottschalk seriously contend, and does anybody believe him, when he asserts that the recent Hurricane and its aftermath was “the intended consequence” of US Government policies? (!) The idea is so ludicrous that Gottschalk must have taken leave of his senses, for no sane person would suggest that any government would intend such an event to happen, and certainly not one so carefully watched by its free media as in the US, the major opposition aspirants to high office, and, of course, the open legal system.

Let us put the above down to an excess of political license and look at what he says about Adam Smith:

“Bush, acting as the new American Caesar used an executive order (how to make law without that pesky legislating branch) to allow contractors to pay workers on Federally funded projects whatever the hell they feel they can get away with. After all, the “market forces” we worship in the U.S. say that if desperate people can be made to work for paltry wages, then somewhere Adam Smith is smiling and all is right with the world.”

From wild rhetoric, Gottschalk, goes to completely inverting the life’s work of Adam Smith, who spent large sections of “Wealth of Nations” berating those who exploited the common labourers and their families, conspired against their employees to prevent them combining (i.e., forming what we now know of as trade unions) to fight wage cuts, and generally advocating policies to enable the poor to share in growing opulence. I can only conclude that Gottschalk has never read Adam Smith, or he is a clown.

Another paragraph will show him to be both unacquainted with Adam Smith and also a clown:

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust, the cruel invisible hand of the free market will be used as a mailed fist to the working poor of America. Needless to say the so-called “opposition party” in the U.S. will roll over like puppies after having rolled over for so much before.”

His allusion to the: “the cruel invisible hand of the free market” is meant to link, cleverly to Adam Smith, but readers of “Lost Legacy” will know (see previous posts on the invisible hand nonsense perpetrated mainly by US academe of both far left and far right persuasions, plus the clowns) that Smith’s lonely metaphor had nothing to do with markets, free or otherwise.

Rabble News editors tell us that “Keith Gottschalk has written for daily publications in the Midwest U.S. and was formerly a radio talk show host in Illinois. He frequents babble as the Américain Égalitaire” (babble is the controversy column of Rabble’s website).

Judging by his website picture Mr Gottschalk is not one of the starving poor of America – he looks like a well-fed media personality - whose acquaintance with the lives of the poor must have long since passed and he is now a distant observer of their lives. What the poor need is jobs, regular wages and access to the opulence presently enjoyed by Mr Gottschalk and his ilk. Adam Smith showed how this could be done - so far his views largely have been ignored.


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