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Optimism, pessimism

February 13, 2017

John Bogle seems overly optimistic to me when he claims:

The fiduciary rule may fade away, but the fiduciary principle is eternal.

The next Bernie Madoff is just around the corner. Financial intermediation attracts conmen even more than real estate. Which is why we need laws setting standards, and why the loss of the fiduciary rule matters.

The late Richard Rorty struck a dour note when he predicted the rise of a strongman like Trump, after which:

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

My sense is that the ground gained by the cultural left is real and generational. Even though Trump’s election gives some respite to those who want racism and homophobia and misogyny, that still is a wave whose destined demise is writ in the age of those most like to want those things.

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