Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sand in the gears/Songs for our times

Eli is a big fan of throwing sand in the gears, not too much, not too little, but just enough to slow things down to where they can be dealt with, such as stopping before running off the cliff. Recently the world has examples of what happens when you don’t slow the economic engines a bit. The Rabett’s friends have been commenting as they wave goodbye to their savings, for example, Michael Tobis and the Pig. OTOH, a couple of months ago Eli bantered with a very old friend who wanted to retreat to Sayism, if not mercantilism, and this lost post was the result

Eli prescribes sand in the gears as a good thing. Among other things this is regulation and it has the advantage of slowing things up, which is generally considered a bad thing, until, as is inevitably the case one has to spread one’s wings while falling to Earth from a 12,000 Dow or when the the Breakthrough Institute's ideas breakdown or the majic solution to climate change does not appear. Spreading your wings at that point does not help a whole lot.

Below is a songbook for these times with video links, but to yank this back to climate policy, much of the past year, two thirds of the IPCC AR4, the Stern Report and many electrons (Rabett Run is modern) have been spent on the issue of what is the world worth. There is a school (sandbox really) that claims they can find an optimum path for dealing with climate change mostly by doing nothing now. This is also called the Pie in the Sky By and By approach favored by folks like Gary Yohe, our old friend Richard Tol on the economic side, Ethon’s date Roger Pielke Jr. and sundry Nordhausii on the policy side for example, plus the usual clowns . Well, many of the clowns don’t want to do anything ever. Some progress was made when the economists recognized that climate change can be a mighty high cliff, and it might just be prudent to invest more rather that less, or to do something now rather than asking dad for a pony later, which, of course, is the message of the AR4, Stern Report, and Eli Rabett’s Simple Plan for Saving the World..

In turbulent economic times the Bunnies need Rock ‘n Roll with its sweet words, pessimistic outlook and great rhythms, so Eli translated this guide from an old Frankfurter Allgemenie and added some links

Crisis, what crisis?” – Supertramp (1975) The album playing on Hank Paulson’s and Ben Bernankie’s IPod for the last six months. The hit song for Republican members of the US Congress

Money” - Pink Floyd (1973) The calming effect of an endless supermarket checkout line with the background clank of coins in this psychedelic classic will lull anxious savings bank customers to sleep. Still the text perfectly expresses investment banker ethics before and after the crash: “Money, it’s a gas, grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. New car, caviar, four star day dream. Think I’ll buy me a football team.”

Save me” – Julie Driscoll (1967) The song that the Lehman Brothers Band sang in vain in front of the White House, and that the AIG Chorus hit with only a week later: “Save me, I’m in so much trouble. I don’t know what to do.”

Sorry seems to be the hardest word” – Elton John (1976). This song says what so many of us thought when the bankers described their bonus giveaways: “It’s sad, so sad. It’s a sad, sad situation and it’s getting more absurd”

Wall Street shuffle” – 10cc (1974) The song for the good old days when the wise guys were masters of the universe: “Do the Wall Street shuffle. Hear the money rustle, watch the greenbacks tumble, feel the sterling crumble. You gotta be cool on Wall Street. When your index is low. Dow Jones ain’t got time for the bums.”

Take the money and run” – Steve Miller Band (1976) What George, Hank, Ben and Tim said to their friends.

Money for nothing” – Dire Straits (1985) The goal, “money for nothing and the chicks for free” the perfect free market philosophy.

It’s money that I love” – Randy Newman (1979) The ultimate love letter to the God of the Markets: “I don’t love the mountains and I don’t love the sea, and I don’t love Jesus, he never done a thing for me. It’s only the money that I love”

First look at the purse” - The Contours (1962) At the matchmaker’s ball men look for the important things: “A woman can be as fat as can be. Kisses sweet as honey. But that don’t mean a thing to me. If you ain’t got no money. If the purse is fat that’s where it’s at.”

Baby you’re a rich man” – The Beatles (1967) John, Paul, George and Ringo knew how to keep their money even under the influence of mind altering drugs. “Baby you’re a rich man. You keep all your money in a big brown bag inside a zoo. What a thing to do.”

Comments? And here is the rest of it.


Magnus said...

You know...
Money, man, it is a bitch
The poor, they spoil it for the rich

Anonymous said...

Evidence that Eli uses more than just sand:

Anonymous said...

Among other things this is regulation and it has the advantage of slowing things up, which is generally considered a bad thing, until, as is inevitably the case one has to spread one’s wings while falling to Earth from a 12,000 Dow or the Breakthrough Institute's ideas Breakdown or the majic solution to climate change does not appear.

Stop the world, Eli wants get off.

Eli, can I nominate you as the Secretary of the Department Lowering Efficiency.
It's a real cabinet posting and you get breakfast. LOL

Horatio Algeranon said...

J says; "Stop the world, Eli wants [to] get off."

Horatio does not wish to put words in Eli's mouth, but it seems to this anonymuse that Eli just wants to get off the runaway train that some particularly savvy neo-con-men have effectively forced the rest of us to take a ride on.

And Horatio's guess is that Eli wants to get off BEFORE the train reaches the inevitable, in-enviable and proverbial "end".

To paraphrase Richard Feynman, "You can fool yourself, but you can't fool nature" -- and nature will ALWAYS make a fool of you if you try (the only thing that is 100% certain in science).

That runaway train will eventually get to the end of the line -- and if it is still traveling at breakneck speed, the result is entirely predictable.

Broken necks.

Every time.

With Iraq, with the economy and with CO2 emissions.

In the real world, virtual reality always seems to end badly, for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Interesting rant, Hor. You're channeling Eli now?

EliRabett said...

Horatio owns the franchise

John Mashey said...

Speaking of Runaway Trains, Eli isn't he Jon Voight character, though. Who is nominated for that?

Horatio Algeranon said...

Shirley MacLaine "channels".

Mice and rabbits do not "channel". They "tunnel".

There is a difference -- albeit only a slight one.

And if Horatio understands Eli's thoughts on this, it is only because mice and rabbits (and rabetts) have many of the same natural enemies (which, incidentally, is WHY they tunnel)

Hope that helps.

guthrie said...

Maybe we'll need a bureau of sabotage?

tidal said...

Supertramp - Crisis, What Crisis? - link is broken... s/b

thanks, Eli, for this quirky gem of a post... and for all of your larger efforts and contributions...!

EliRabett said...

Guthrie, been there, done that. Eli lives in the past and future. The present sucks, do you blame the bunny=:>

mndean said...

Pedant Point:
The Contours song "First I Look At The Purse" was from 1965 (written by Smokey Robinson BTW), and was their last hit with Billy Gordon, their original lead singer. He was replaced in 1966 by Joe Stubbs (Levi's brother) and had a hit with Just A Little Misunderstanding, then Joe moved to the Originals and was replaced in 1967 by Dennis Edwards, who left the next year for the Temptations.