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Amazing that Johnson thinks that welfare states are the "victims." Surely he understands the link between welfare states and the pressure to overspend and overpromise? The financial crash is just the crisis that made all the profligacy apparent, not its cause.

It's good however that they recognize how the USA's safe haven status will only encourage our politicos to overspend and overcommit.

Here is an interesting question:

In airplane crashes are fatalities higher in first class or coach? That is to say, in an accident are all parts of the plane equally at risk?? Is the backrow "safer" than the first row?

I have an aversion to book reviews that try to psychoanalyse the author as the review of Hitchens does.

2. We don't have to prove our society is more enlightened than theirs by killing them. But enough about liberals...

A shame the Greeks suddenly stopped paying their taxes not giving the governments time to adjust to it.

I don't play an economist on TV, but Simon Johnson does. Has he not seen the beneficiaries of the Greek welfare state protesting in the streets over perfectly reasonable cutbacks in benefits? Does he not recognize they are not victims, but the creators of the system's own self destruction?

Maybe we should give SS payees government bonds for their contributions. At least they would be likely to be paid off

You would get no argument from me, Bill. Ever wonder why they don't?

@Andrew:
"And Johnson beats me to it, but do I read him right that he even goes so far as to claim it was all predatory lending? "

Yes, he does! it was the typical socialist claptrap.

@Bill,Yancey:

They very good points!

Christopher Hitchens reminds me more of Martin's father, Kingsley Amis,
who too started out on the left and moved to the distant right, except
that Amis pere would certainly not have described himself in his later
years as a Marxist. Like Kingsley, Hitchens is at home with drink. But
Kingsley, though not particularly religious himself,was very aware of
the role of religion in shaping values. But he too made good money by
his writing.
Does Hitchens cohere or is that an unimportant question from his point
of view (or that of postmodernism?)

Shouldn't that be "Simon Johnson misuses Hayek"?

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