When I read Gretchen's piece over on the NYT, I immediately went to Calculated Risk because I was going, I just gotta believe they ripped this sucker to shreds over there. I was not wrong:
QOTD for Sunday would have been, had I blogged about, which I didn't because I couldn't get my act together enough to type on Sunday I was laughing so hard over stuff like this:
"Nobody much likes seeing the punch bowl go away when the party is still going strong. Nobody much likes seeing the punch bowl stay on the table until everyone has passed out and thrown up on each other, either." I made R. read/listen to a huge chunk of that post because the analogies were so amazingly on target in stark contrast to a lot of the analysis of That Obama Cartoon on the New Yorker (guys: MOST New Yorker cartoons are Emperor's New Clothes things -- they expose the reality to humorous effect. Not precisely what was going on with the fist-bumping 'fro'ed up Michelle and berobed Barack. Right? _Right?_ Now, if you'd framed it with a TV and put a FOX NEWS label on it, that'd be different.).
Anyway, the beat goes on with Brooks going right over the top in a little Victorian screed about the sin of spending and Tanta has at him over it. Nicely done, as usual. All very entertaining, particularly in view of having recently read _Financing the American Dream_, altho as H. has noted (and Tanta notes) all you need to have done is read anything from a hundred or so years ago and paid some attention.
If you actually read Brooks article and give it a little thought, the complete absence of mention of regulation and regulatory institutions I think gives more insight into (a) Brooks and (b) the problem under discussion than any of this moralizing. People do what they can do. To some degree, you can cut down on speeding by giving tickets and talking about saving the planet. But if you want to cut down on highway deaths, you redesign the roads so they aren't lethal to people who are traveling at higher speeds. And if you want to cut down on speeding, you freaking make the manufacturers build the cars so they don't _go_ that fast in the first place. Or, at least, not easily.