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05 March, 2013

The Profundity of Throw-Away Lines

Looks like the Socialist president may be a Capitalist after all.

Critical thinking is not dead yet, but we're getting close. 

Witness this evening on NPR's flagship news show: while discussing the history of the DJIA (the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index of stocks used to inform/dupe the financially interested but illiterate populace), the reporter was clever enough to point out that there are very few Industrial companies listed any more. True--just like the fact that nearly all of the DJIA companies of a century ago have been dropped--but it ain't news.

But then an expert noted that the companies dropped since the onset of the Great Recession were eliminated due to "government takeover." Had the late Presidente Hugo nationalized AIG or GM, I would understand, but that's not even close to what happened. Had the reporter followed up with, "Well, isn't the government part of our economy?" I would have felt like NPR was paying attention. 

Companies from the biggest defense contractors on down owe a good part of their fortunes to the tax code, federal policy, and orders placed with taxpayer dollars; the fact is that a large part of our allegedly capitalist economy would dry up an blow away without the socialism of our government. But if the feds take on a temporary ownership role (implementing a tightened management, in a massive upending of the conventional wisdom that business knows better), GM must be purged? Why? Hogwash,...gulped down eagerly by the allegedly liberal media.

But another throw-away comment ended up being even more informative (and funny, if you are morbid): "Kraft Foods was eliminated in favor of United Healthcare.*" Mac-n-Cheese and High Frustose Corn Syrup had their run, this aside implies, and now it's time for cardiovascular and diabetes treatment to step in. It's a logical progression, and whether or not NPR intended it, I applaud it's profound commentary on our society.

* Or maybe some other corporate name for a health industry company. I don't give enough of a damn about recognizing one corporation to look it up.

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