Saturday, December 10, 2005

Support Evil!

That's the latest from neoliberal Daniel Gross. No, really.

'Cause it'll make you money, and greed is good. And his advice isn't directed to wingnuts, who would of course answer him with a hearty "well, duh," but to liberals.

Why would he do that? I think he gives the game away here:

Charles Fombrun, the founder of the Reputation Institute, notes that his surveys have uncovered anti-capitalist feelings in a large chunk of the population: "When we do detailed analysis of public perception, we find that a significant portion of the ranking is negatively affected when companies do too well."


Um, anti-capitalist is not necessarily synonymous with "moral," but I think I see what he's getting at.

There is a large chunk of the population that is turned off by the Exxon-Mobils of the world; these people are not necessarily anti-capitalist, but rather anti-kleptocrat, anti-Robber Baron, anti-laissez-faire, anti-libertarian, anti-neoliberal, anti-pollution, anti-monopoly, anti-oligopoly -- which all amount to the same thing: they are anti-evil.

Anyway, plainly Gross The Neoliberal can't bear this attitude, so he does a little research that he hopes to bribe you with: Evil companies make money, and if you invest in them, they'll make you money, too. More to the point, companies that are percieved as evil, that go against the decent opinion of mankind, might be relatively undervalued. Ohh, a bargain! No good liberal should pass that up, according to Mr. Gross.

In other news, it's 1939 and Mr. Gross recommends that you invest in Mitsubishi, IG Farben, Messerschmidt, Mercedes-Benz. What? Fuck your moral qualms. They're bargains!

Mr. Daniel Gross of the Springfield Daily Shopper recommends that you invest in Montgomery Burns's Nuclear Industries.

Mr. Daniel Gross, Esq. of the London Times recommends that you invest in the exciting new companies the Belgian government has set up in Congo, and Mr. Cecil Rhodes has set up in South Africa.

Or add your own historical or fictional analogue. Same difference.

***

Can I lay a guilt trip here? Brad DeLong, like Paul Krugman a neoliberal with a decent reputation, cites Gross as a matter of habit. Yet no comment on this column. Would it be too much to ask that people like DeLong distance themselves from the likes of Gross? Just so we know, as they say, where people stand. It'd be useful for when we're back in power.

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