I cannot decide who I find more deplorable--Alan “A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits” Simpson or Alan “Deregulation” Greenspan. Simpson would throw the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor under the bus and Greenspan is “shocked” that his (and Ayn Rand’s) theory about how global markets “self-regulate” is flawed. (Aw, shucks! But what’s a little flawed economic theory and an international economic recession among Masters Of The Universe?)
Alan Greenspan has had an exceptional life beginning with his rather unexceptional birth in New York City. I was surprised to learn [Here] that he is an accomplished clarinet and saxophone player and actually played with Stan Getz when they were in school together. He studied at Julliard but dropped out to play in a jazz band and played a jazz sax in Woody Herman’s band. (!)
He entered NYU after WWII and graduated in 1948, earning a B.S. in Economics summa cum laude and a M.A. in 1950. He went to Columbia University but dropped out of its graduate economics program. (He eventually earned his Ph.D. in economics from NYU in 1977. It’s strange that he got his doctorate while he was chairing Ford’s Economic Council. Hmm.)
After Columbia, Greenspan began a 33-year stretch as chair and president of Townsend-Greenspan & Co., an economic consulting firm in NYC., interrupted by his above-mentioned appointment by Gerald Ford to chair his Council of Economic Advisers (1974-77).
We should note here that prior to Ayn Rand’s death in 1982, Greenspan and Rand were close friends. Some have suggested that Rand was Greenspan’s mentor. He certainly was in Rand’s inner circle and wrote articles for her. (Enter Objectivism in Greenspan’s economic philosophy.)
In 1987 President Ronald Reagan appointed Greenspan Chairman of the Federal Reserve, succeeding Paul Volcker. He was reappointed by Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, and Bush, Jr., serving from 1987-2006, 19 years. (!) I think we can say that the buildup to our current economic collapse occurred during his watch. As the NYTimes reported in October, 2008, during Henry Waxman’s questioning in a Congressional hearing, Greenspan admitted [Here]
I have found a flaw [in free market theory]. I don't know how significant or permanent it is, but I have been very distressed by that fact.
I am certain that the millions of Americans who have lost their homes and/or their jobs are far more distressed than Alan Greenspan. At least, though, he has expressed some dismay. Our other Alan never appears to be bothered by the effects of the hot air that blows from his mouth.
Unlike Greenspan who found his own way into his profession, Simpson was born into a political family. [Here] His father was elected governor of Wyoming and also served as its Senator. Simpson was born, raised and educated in Wyoming. His son, Colin, is currently involved in Wyoming’s political life, too.
Alan Simpson freely admits that he was a handful growing up. (He was arrested for shooting out mailboxes when he was a teenager.) He served for 18 years as a Senator from Wyoming, two of which were as Majority Whip. He did not seek reelection in 1996, and taught for a while at Harvard’s Kennedy School, but soon returned to Wyoming where he practices law with his sons.
We all know that Simpson currently serves as co-chair on President Obama’s Deficit Commission. That position has thrust him back in the public spotlight, a place which brings out the Naughty Boy in him. It’s a role he obviously revels in.
Surprisingly, though, while Wilward Simpson, Alan’s father, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his son is made of very, very different stuff. Who would guess that he an outspoken pro-choice advocate and a firm supporter of gay rights? He also pressed for the repeal of DADT. This is the same man who shoots his mouth off about milk tits and sparrow belches.
Simpson obviously loves the spotlight that his outrageous comments create. It’s a shame that his grandstanding gets in the way of some of his messages.
Which Alan is the more obnoxious? My vote is for Alan Greenspan. His “flawed” market theory and his ignoring dissenting voices, such as Brooksley Born’s, have profoundly hurt people throughout the world. This is more--much, much more-- than a “flawed” theory. IT IS WRONG! It I were Greenspan, I would hide from the press, but he doesn't. He continues to be a proud member of the media punditry.
As for Alan Simpson, my advice is like that from the old woman who was kicked by a jackass.
“Take it from whence it came.”...