The First Neoliberal President

“Government cannot solve our problems, it can’t set our goals, it cannot define our vision. Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy or reduce inflation or save our cities or cure illiteracy or provide energy. And government cannot mandate goodness.”

No, it wasn’t Reagan who said this. It was the first neoliberal American president Jimmy Carter, inspired by his friend and neoliberal muse Ralph Nader.

Of course, now everybody will tell me this is widely known but I had no idea. I’m only finding this out from Gary Gerstle’s book The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order.

See? It’s what I keep saying. Political parties aren’t that important. There’s no difference between Carter’s words and Reagan’s later quip about the scariest words in the English language being “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” And guess who started the massive deregulation of the airline, trucking and railroad industries? Also Carter. Then Reagan carried on in the same vein.

It goes in waves. Neoliberal Carter, neoliberal Reagan, neoliberal Bush, neoliberal Clinton, and so on.

I’m only on page 67 out of 406 but it’s an excellent book so far. Reads very easily, no academic jargon at all. I’m on pins and needles to find out how the story ends because I’m now really doubting my earlier disagreements with Gerstle.

Hard Choices

I received the CVs of my Ukrainian candidates and I don’t know what to do. They are all amazing. One’s from Bakhmut. Another from Gorlovka (my mother’s native region.) One is from Irpin. One is from Mariupol and is studying at my former university. Three have a PhD in literature. All are multilingual, with very interesting languages.

I won’t be able to choose.

Taking Down the Soviet Flag

It’s pretty unbelievable that we still need to win wars to be able to take down Soviet flags. Whoever was it that “won the Cold War” did a piss-poor job of it.