Most Provocative Sentence I Have Read Today

Protection against fraud and what some call paternalism are inseparable in practice.

That’s from Rebecca Tushnet, It Depends on What the Meaning of “False” Is: Falsity and Misleadingness in Commercial Speech Doctrine, 41 Loyola L.A. L Rev. 227 (2007)

Nice article

In Australia shops are required to display price per standard unit ; for example dollars per Kilo . This dos help work out when the ‘bulky big package’ purchase is not such a a good buy and it helps with comparison shopping in general. There is also a requirement that manufactured foods declare their contents -sugars fat protein so on per 100 grams (and not just by some weird serving size) and thus working out that some breakfast cereals are actually %40 refined sugar is pretty easy . There is also a system to regularly verify all retail weighing devises and a legally enforced standard set for beer glass sizes and so on.

James- Dos a Government regulating basic/pragmatic ‘uniform dictionary’ understandings and standards really count as paternalism?

There is just a whiff of- ‘we know best’- about the articles attitude towards juries , no?

Despite all that is said to contrary, Abe was right about ‘fooling all the people’. Many of the best and biggest marks for the various ‘Nigerian’ email scams are well educated expert academics. I would sooner trust a jury made up of a cross-section of citizens than for example trust the judgment of “old justice, the bull, Bullingham”; a judgment clothed only in a wig and a fig leaf of self importance.

Speaking of mail and fraud; The other day a researcher was going through some 100 year old editions of the Sydney Morning Herald when he came across a report of an country gentleman who had received a letter from a complete stranger ; a Princess of Spain who was in spot of bother, the letter asked this country gentleman if , in return for a share of the loot, he would help her get a lot of money out of Spain.

“The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve.”

J K Galbraith

the following comes from Chapter VIII of Galbraith’s “The Great Crash 1929.”

“In many ways the effect of the crash on embezzlement was more significant than on suicide. To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in – or more precisely not in – the country’s business and banks. This inventory – it should perhaps be called the bezzle – amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks.”

Anybody on for a slice of Ponzie/Madoff ,sub-prime magic pudding?