Economics, Intelligent Design, and Evolution

THIS is good. It’s very good: A fine madness in the D.C. air, which appears in the Washington Times. The author is Tony Blankley.

We’re only going to give you a few excerpts, with bold added by us, and then you really ought to click over there and read it all. Here we go:

To borrow Niall Ferguson’s metaphor — if finance is an evolutionary process, then regulation is its intelligent design — a cognate of faith, not science.

Well, we told you it was good. We’ve seen Niall Ferguson speak. He’s excellent. (Why do the Brits always have such neat names?)

Let’s read on:

Or, to take the observation of former Federal Reserve Gov. Frederic S. Mishkin that “the financial system [is] the brain of the economy,” then, I would suggest, heavy regulation is its lobotomy: While it removes the emotional highs and lows, it also dulls the perception, facility and adroitness.


A century ago, medical science had faith in lobotomies. Today, it would seem Washington political science has faith in new financial regulation.

Do you know how rare it is to encounter anything in the American media by someone who not only knows how to write, but also how to think? We continue:

However, the current financial regulatory efforts in Washington may not even deserve the honor of being compared to intelligent design or a lobotomy. At least with those two processes, each has the intellectual dignity of an internal logic (even if those logics do not accurately describe the reality they attempt to explain and manipulate).

Did we mention yet that your Curmudgeon thinks this is good? Oh, we already did? Well, it won’t hurt to say it again. We’ll skip the middle of Blankley’s column — which is good, by the way — and just leave you with the final paragraph:

Realists like to point out that most generals think they are fighting the last war and thus lose the one they are waging. So today, Washington is busy preparing to protect our future economy, which is likely to be stagnant, weighted down with excessive debt, high taxes, expensive energy, industrial policy crony capitalism inefficiencies — and risk-averse from yesterday’s financial impetuosity and excessive risk-taking. Thereby, we will increase the stagnation, risk aversion and middle-class poverty such habits will cause. Washington isn’t writing a financial regulation; it is weaving an economic shroud.

So there you are. Now click over to the Washington Times and read it — the whole column. If you don’t understand and agree with it, then … well, your Curmudgeon thinks you’re a poop-head.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Economics, Intelligent Design, and Evolution

  1. Do you know how rare it is to encounter anything in the American media by someone who not only knows how to write, but also how to think?

    Yes, indeed, it is rare. Perhaps the reason Blankley is so unusually good is his British roots.

  2. When you write poop-head on my forehead, can you use purple crayon?

    Deregulation led to derivatives being worth less than the bits they took up in hard-drives.

    Then again, I’m a big fan of that king poop-head, Krugman.