This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 23, 2002 1:09 AM. The previous post in this blog was Thank God, they found her. The next post in this blog is Scary thought for the day. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Sounds right to me

Princeton economist Alan Blinder had a nice piece on the op-ed page of The New York Times on Sunday. (Painless free registration required to read it online.) He notes the current paradox -- economy doing fine, stock market tanking -- and concludes: "While changes in private-sector behavior will eventually fix many of today's accounting and corporate governance problems, the markets are clamoring for decisive government actions now."

Will the Bush administration respond in a way that will satisfy the markets? Unlikely, for two reasons.

First, it's too beholden to corporate interests to take them on. The Dick Cheney ad for Arthur Andersen says it all on this score.

Second, even if the Bushies wanted to clean up corporate America, there's a real question about their competence to do so. The accepted wisdom about this administration has been that, while the President may be dumb, he's surrounded by bright people. Maybe. They surely are stubborn people, ideologues who seize on times of crisis to make hay on their pet issues. A new super-domestic-security agency? Domestic police powers for the military? A year ago, these would have been laughable concepts. That the loss of thousands of innocent lives has somehow made these respectable ideas is a chilling thought. Is this what the 9/11 victims died for?

Anyway, the jury is still out on whether this group can lead. Their creativity and priorities have so far earned the same kinds of grades that the President got at Yale.

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