The Gaussian Copula Formula (top) used by economists to justify credit default swaps, and the Pareto distribution - used to justify the allocation of most wealth to the richest. These are two illustrations of the bunkum taught at 'elite' universities to subvert economics in our nation and the world at large.
It was actually a comment from a nitwit poster on a Guardian (UK) forum that caught my eye. It was in response to a previous poster’s eloquent contribution and a citation of Prof. Stephen Cohen of NYU. The response comment read, taking on the source of the citation:
But Giroux is only one of many examples of the minds marginalized because of their outspokenness. Hedges also cites those such as Noam Chomsky (linguistics prof from MIT), consumer advocate Ralph Nader, the late historian Howard Zinn and others who are shut out once they critique the system keeping us all down, as serfs in the alleged ‘land of liberty’.
As for the zombie ideas forced down the willing throats of these sycophant students, like: “money is speech”, "corporate personhood", "free markets", "globalization" and “trickle down economics”, they ought to have died ages ago . But all are sustained via the publication of specious, pseudo-academic bullshit for which the dumpster would be the only rightful place in a rationally run institution of higher learning.
At least physics has and uses empirical testing before advancing to hard claims – so the odds are less that physicists will make asses of themselves. Not so with these economic, political elites. Unlike astronomers, who can accurately predict the position of Jupiter or Mars in 2050 or the next lunar eclipse or occultation of a star, the economists can't even predict simple stuff in their immediate domain - say like forecasting the U.S. economic growth would be 3.2 % in 2011 when it was only 1.7%
So why do we keep paying attention to these overpaid clowns? Just because they have Harvard,
Which elicits the question of whether Obama is caught up in this elitist matrix. It was clear in his recent salon.com piece Thomas Frank believes so, as he writes:
The Age of the Zombie Consensus, however poetic it sounds, will probably not recommend itself as a catchphrase to the shapers of the Obama legacy. They will probably be looking for a label that is slightly more heroic: the Triumph of Faith over Cynicism, or something like that. Maybe they will borrow a phrase from one of the 2012 campaign books, “The Center Holds,” and describe the Obama presidency as a time when cool, corporate reason prevailed over inflamed public opinion. Barack Obama will be presented as a kind of second FDR: the man who saved the system from itself. That perhaps the system didn’t deserve saving will be left to some less-well-funded museum."
In other words, Frank's take is that Obama has helped to preserve and sustain the defunct market capitalism system taught at the elite schools, as well as the whole corporate hegemonic infrastructure. What does Chris Hedges think? He writes (p. 113):
"Obama is a product of the elitist system. So are his degree-laden cabinet members. They come out of Harvard, Yale, Wellesley and Princeton. Their friends and classmates made huge fortunes on Wall Street . They belong to the same clubs. They speak the same easy language of privilege, comfort and entitlement. The education they have obtained has served to rigidify and perpetuate social stratification."
Not that Obama is any different from Clinton before him and worst of all his immediate predecessor, Bush Jr., who we learned benefited as a "legacy student" at Hah-Vahd. Hedges observes (p. 102) that Harvard sports something called the "Z-list" wherein 25 to 50 well-connected but borderline applicants "are told they can enroll if they defer for a year". Hmmmm.....nice trick if you can get it. Especially if your pappy happens to be a wealthy SOB that can bestow personal grants on the universiy!
Will this corrupt system ever change to benefit the larger society? Not likely! So long as corporate money, personal wealth and advantage are extolled above principles, honor and moral decency, the myopic, amoral elites will lead their blind, greedy and obsequious students, the blind politicos and the rest of us (who aren't so blind) into oblivion. In this light, Hedges' words are perhaps most trenchant (p. 103):
"A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death."
Will the elites take any notice of this and act to change their ways before the pitchforks really come out? Hardly! They are too smug, self-satisfied and arrogant to take seriously anything an outside critic has to say.
Which more or less resembles the stance of the French elites before the pitchforks - and guillotines - came out (during the French Revolution) , to lop off thousands of elitist heads and send them rolling into large baskets.