Monday, 12 January 2009

"... the 41st guy and the 43rd guy simply don't need to worry about it."

Check out this column about the recent joint interview of the 41st and 43rd presidents, Bush's junior and senior.

If you've ever wondered whether Bush junior worries about how he will be thought of by history, here's the answer:

How would both their presidencies be remembered? Dubya leapt at the question, saying he was still reading biographies of George Washington. "If they are still writing about the first guy, the 41st guy and the 43rd guy simply don't need to worry about it."

The world has been "blessed" for the last 8 years with an incompetent president. It may not be true for much longer, but for that period the US president was the de facto leader of the world. Those 8 years may well have been the very peak of exponential growth of the world economy, the period of fastest growth of fossil fuel use and pollution and the most critical time for turning the world around, to start changing course away from danger. It's an interesting thought experiment to imagine what the world would be like now if the US president had been different.

What I would like to conjecture is that all our minds have been polluted by George Bush for the last 8 years. This is because it doesn't matter how well we know he is a fool, we all had an implicit assumption that either he had a basic level of competence or his advisors did. Then again, maybe we shouldn't be too hard on dubya. If the entire history of capitalism has been effectively a giant ponzi scheme fueled by cheap fossil fuel energy, the guy in charge when it starts to fall apart can't be blamed for just trying to keep it going.

PS If you think that ponzi scheme (good recent example, Bernie Madoff's fund) is bit strong read this
It's by Bill Gross, he heads up Pimco a massive fixed interest fund in the states. Gross is about the number one fixed interest investor in the US. He's not calling the whole of capitalism a ponzi scheme as I am, but he most certainly is calling the current version in the USA a ponzi scheme - quote "ponzi, ponzi, ponzi".

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