Bill me Check enclosed It’s what’s him that counts. out it the Observer I . I want to subscribe to The Texas Observer. did you find this issue of the er? ss tate/Zip Add ity/ abolished because they do more harm than good \(especially by allowing able-bodied mothers to stay home with their kids when they should be on the job market keeping saying the same thing about public education, since certain children are, well, ineducable. \(We all know who they suspects Murray is right, although he says he wouldn’t go that far the requisite political will is unfortunately lacking, and perhaps in the short-term, “casualties would be too great.” He counsels instead the usual draconian measures to force welfare mothers \(only the deserving widowed or dithough with surprisingly liberal provisions for day care and Head Start programs. \(One wonders what he might say, in 1999, now that his recommendations have largely been adopted by the Clinton administration and the states reassuringly unencumbered by his soft-hearted qualifications, which would It’s worth noting in passing that Mr. Magnet’s diligent work on The Dream and the Nightmare was supported by those friendly folks at The Manhattan Institute, one of the more notorious conservative think tanks dedicated to advancing the right-wing agenda with the help of tax-deductible donations. Apparently welfare programs for conservative hacks are beyond reproach. But why you and I should be asked to underwrite Magnet’s Hymn to Complacency is just one of the more painful conundrums of his thoroughly meretricious book. Welcome to The Bush World Theme Park which I rush to acknowledge has been sponsored and de signed by the reigning political orthodoxy, Republican and Democrat, and which is likely to persist until the end of this particular economic bubble. The natives may not yet be restless, but their masters certainly are. Magnet himself bravely resists any plausible economic explanation for the parlous situation of poor people. He repeatedly dismisses as discredited “Marxist” doctrine the notion that unemployment and poverty have anything to do with the ordinary working of the capitalist economy, and that an “industrial might be useful to capitalists “by imposing a discipline on regularly employed workers, who must rein in their just demands when so many stand eager to replace them.” Magnet finds this utterly conventional economic notion preposterous, of course. But I had just read this passage when I happened to pick up the May 23 Sunday Times magazine, and found M.I.T. economist Paul Krugman worrying that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had been a little too “explicit” recently in suggesting that interest rates might have to be raised, because too many unemployed people are finding work which might eventually mean wage increases for those already employed. Krugman didn’t disagree with Greenspan that we must maintain “a suitably high rate of unemployment” to avoid inflation \(i.e., diminishthought Greenspan should keep his mouth shut, because “when the Fed acts to cool off an overheated economy, what that literally means is that a group of comfortable men and women in suits are deliberately acting to limit the job prospects of some of their worst-off fellow citizens.” If Krugman had read Magnet, he would know whom to blame: the sixties, whose cultural legacy mysteriously tricked that shiftless slacker Alan Greenspan into telling the truth. 28 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JUNE 25, 1999
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