At some point will all of this Enron style financial
""wizardry"" cause currency to collapse and
all hell to break loose in the USA?
Wouldn't the collapse of currency be the ONE THING
capable of starting an actual civil war in this country?
When currency collapses you get memorable pictures
of people trading a whole wheelbarrow full of worthless
cash for one lousy loaf of bread. It has happened before.
We've had too much big government for way too long.
Government is by it's very nature, mismanagement.
Big government is just bigger mismanagement.
Truth, justice, open government and financial responsibility
have been subverted too much for too long.
Covering up water contamination "for our own good"?
Such extensive dishonesty about finances?
Didn't we learn from the Enron and Katrina fiascos?
Is the US banking industry the next incarnation of Enron?
Some kind of giant whore scamming constantly?
If we avoid the calamity, will we learn or just keep
pushing it and making the inevitable even worse?
If the Iraq war won't do it, after our experience in Vietnam, probably
For different reasons.
Probably not enough, in this case.
Not nearly as bad as Sears, Roebuck.
'Time for regime change, all right.
Investment banking might fit that description. d8-)
Who is this "we"? Most people don't even know what money is, or what Adam
Smith was talking about in _The Wealth of Nations_. How do you expect "we"
to learn anything about how the world really works?
Hope that the next generation gets a better education.
I wasn't thinking about theories of competition so much as theories about
wealth: Smith's section on "the progress of opulence." He didn't think much
of gold, or his metaphor for it, copper pots, as a measure of a nation's
wealth. The fact that the presidential candidates are playing populist games
with trade restrictions -- most particularly the language they use to
describe it -- reflects the fact that most people don't get it. They get the
downside but they can't see the upside; nor are they equipped to find the
right balance and to ameliorate the downside, because they don't understand
Yet these same people, collectively, are all in a dither about the state of
Regarding game theory and equilibrium theories finding their way into
popular education: when pigs fly.
But that leaves us stuck with greed gus grabbing all he can (any way
he can) for himself - and at the same time reducing the value of what he
gets (and what we ALL have). It's probably past the point of
diminishing returns now.
But you are probably all too right - again.
It's very disheartening, Ed.
That so many smart people can be so damned dumb.
It does, if people ignore what Smith actually analyzed and proposed. His
comment about the "guiding hand" is generally misunderstood -- he said,
basically, that the guiding hand *may* keep greed from benefitting only the
greedy one, not that it necessarily *does*. And he believed that government
had to be wary of greed. Finally, he believed that people should be taxed
according to their ability to pay; in other words, he favored a progressive
"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public
expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in
The point being not that Smith was the oracle, but that his principles were
based on a balanced view of how men really behave, and how unfettered trade
and business, while the engine of prosperity, can also run amok. The ersatz
anarchists and mindless laissez-faire types tend to miss that part of the
basic capitalist theories that they think they are promoting.
IMO, smart people are good for ideas and information. They're not
necessarily any better than the rest of us for making judgments about good
Well, somebody has certaintly been working at it...(last paragraph)
Non Cooperative Game theory
In game theory, the Nash equilibrium (named after John Forbes Nash, who
proposed it) is a solution concept of a game involving two or more
players, in which no player has anything to gain by changing only his or
her own strategy unilaterally.
If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit by
changing his or her strategy while the other players keep theirs
unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the
corresponding payoffs constitute a Nash equilibrium.
Stated simply, Amy and Bill are in Nash equilibrium if Amy is making the
best decision she can, taking into account Bill's decision, and Bill is
making the best decision he can, taking into account Amy's decision.
Likewise, many players are in Nash equilibrium if each one is making the
best decision that they can, taking into account the decisions of the
others. However, Nash equilibrium does not necessarily mean the best
cumulative payoff for all the players involved; in many cases all the
players might improve their payoffs if they could somehow agree on
strategies different from the Nash equilibrium (eg. competing
businessmen forming a cartel in order to increase their profits).
In this case I don't think it's a matter of the government not being any
good but instead it's a matter of a government that doesn't believe in
regulating business. Because this government is for allowing the markets to
operate without government interference, the markets are expected to work
out any problems without any outside help. It's not supposed to need any
help because the "market" is supposedly able to solve all problems as long
as government gets off it's back. I think it's clear now that letting the
"invisible hand" of the market handle things without the government's
intervention is a failure. The really stupid thing about this realization is
that everyone but the ignorant and the far right wing free market utopians
have known since 1929 that letting the market run the show all by itself is
a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, it seems we have to keep repeating
this mistake like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Every time you let
republican business people in positions of power they run right out and make
this mistake again as if they have no concept of what went on before they
were born. I guess they don't, having taken nothing in college except
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.