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Education is Ignorance, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Class Warfare)

Education is Ignorance, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Class Warfare)
DAVID BARSAMIAN: One of the heroes of the current right-wing revival... is Adam Smith. You've done some pretty impressive research on Smith that has excavated... a lot of information that's not coming out. You've often quoted him describing the "vile maxim of the masters of mankind: all for ourselves and nothing for other people." NOAM CHOMSKY: I didn't do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There's no research. He did give an argument for markets, but the argument was that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets will lead to perfect equality. He also made remarks which ought to be truisms about the way states work. This truism was, a century later, called class analysis, but you don't have to go to Marx to find it. The version of him that's given today is just ridiculous. But even more interesting in some ways was the index. I want to be clear about this. This is true of classical liberalism in general. It's the same when you read Jefferson. CHOMSKY: ... ...

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Why Americans doubt man-made climate change - Inside Story: US 2012 It was 42 years ago that the first Earth Day was organised in the US, drawing millions of Americans to rallies across the country calling for a sustainable environment. Some consider that day to be the birth of the modern environmentalist movement in the US. Today the day is marked by millions around the world but its impact in the US seems to have fizzled, with only dozens turning out at the National Mall in Washington DC on Sunday. While the first Earth Day helped lead to the establishment of the US Environmental Protection agency, this year it was largely ignored by politicians and the public.

How To [Read/Tip Off] Zero Hedge Without Attracting The Interest Of [Human Resources/The Treasury/Black Helicopters] It seems prudent to make some suggestions about contacting the Zero Hedge team.1. Don't email us directly from work. Somewhere out there, there is a log with your address and ours on it. If your employer is likely to peruse such things (pretty much guaranteed if you work at a financial institution) you might be in for a bit of scrutiny. Hedge funds get cheap homes, homeowners get the boot The program In 2010, HUD launched the mortgage sales program — now known as the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, or DASP — under intense pressure from Congress to improve its finances. HUD can’t reduce the principal owed on mortgages it holds for homeowners, but it can sell the mortgages in bulk to investors at a steep discount — at times as little as 41 percent of the mortgages’ collective value. The agency, through the FHA, insures loans to lower-income and first-time homebuyers.

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Why do people think economists are charlatans? A couple posts back, I talked about the AEA panel called "What do economists think about major public policy issues?". Actually, I only talked about one of the two papers that was presented there; the other was by Luigi Zingales, and was entitled "Comparing Beliefs of Economists and the Public." Unfortunately, I can't find this paper anywhere online, which is a shame, because it was actually the more interesting of the two. Here is a download link to the working paper. Zingales either performed a survey or reviewed a survey (I can't remember which) that compared economists' and non-economists' positions on policy issues. The paper found quite a bit of disagreement, but here's the really interesting part: When normal people were told the position of the economists, they changed their positions in the opposite direction.

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