So which is it?

On the one hand, it's going to be terrible, your son will have a violent alcoholic daddy, your wife will no longer recognize her ruined, spent and joyless man. Sackcloth and ashes:
There is unemployment, . . . and there is unemployment—chronic, all-consuming. The former is a necessary lubricant in any engine of economic growth. The latter is a pestilence that slowly eats away at people, families, and, if it spreads widely enough, the fabric of society. Indeed, history suggests that it is perhaps society’s most noxious ill.

On the other hand, we just didn't have enough confidence in what really works, we took our eyes off the ball, and we listened to the hucksters, disbelievers and naysayers, and we need to just buck up and smile:

When equity prices were falling in 2007 or 2008, the first time the market closed 10.0001 percent below its previous high, they were putting brightly colored banner headlines on television announcing the official onset of a bear market. But this didn't happen on the way up.

I'm confused.

Though as I read to the end of the gloomier article, the policy prescriptions therein have the ring of untruth. Gotta finish the cheerier article and come back.

how things have changed

I had to rent a car this week. In the compact lines, the only makes Alamo offered were Hyundai and Kia.

Back in the salad days of salarymanhood, they were always Buicks and Pontiacs. Earlier, they were Hertz Thunderbirds. Those days I stuck with one rental agency all the time, and usually rented mid-size then, but I still don't recall seeing Oriental imports on their lots at all in the late Nineties or early Aughts. Now they have crowded Murcan makes out the lowest rungs of the rental fleets as well as some prized places in luxury classes.

Not that I'm complaining, the compact handles competently if a little stiffly, and my favoritest-ever car was a Golf. Rental agencies surely have access to the numbers about durability, cost of ownership, and (ahem) brand loyalty. They wouldn't be renting Korean cars if it didn't make sense, and there were too many of them for it to be an experiment.

When did this happen, and where was I looking instead?


Actually I like Dan's better

Dan Hurwitz in Liberty, April 2007, p14:
What if Iraq were to model its new government not on the representative democracy of the United States, nor the parliamentary democracy of Great Britain, but rather the direct democracy of Switzerland? ... both are composed of fiercely independent, culturally diverse local communities......

The Swiss system is probably the most democratic on earth. It consists of a federal government and 26 semi-independent cantons (or states). The federal government — more properly called a confederation — provides a political umbrella guaranteeing individual rights, safeguarding property, and overseeing functions that are inherently national in scope, such as defense, public works, freedom of movement, and economic matters.

Your humble narrator, 4 years beforehand:

Don't try to build or rebuild a democratically governed Iraq. We should, instead, partition The Country Formerly Known as Iraq along those ethnic lines again. While the country is still reeling from its violent recovery from Saddam Hussein, we have the opportunity to draw some wide chalk lines on the map, to shove these people back into ethnic/religious cantons.

My submission was a lot weaker on the freedom of movement stuff and a bit more hawkish overall.