“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce,” wrote Karl Marx — who’s making a big comeback these days, with his nutcase notions rebranded as the Value Theory of Bailouts.
In that spirit, we now have history repeating itself, first as parody, then as subsidy. A few weeks ago, the marvelous P.J. O’Rourke wrote an article suggesting that as long as everyone’s getting state money, print newspapers could use a bailout. That was a spoof. Now comes a proposal to actually do it.
I’m thinking that if they’re going to bail out even the press, then at the very least they (“they” is actually us, but never mind) ought to also have bailouts available for people who want to knock off and celebrate New Year’s eve. And in that spirit, let’s counter Marx with one of William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell: “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” I sure hope so. Very best wishes for a Happy New Year!