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April 7, 2012

Is there a place where ideas aren't for sale? Thomas Frank says, "Money has transformed every watchdog"

Atlantic Yards Report

Thomas Frank, in the latest issue of The Baffler, Too Smart to Fail: Notes on an Age of Folly:

I can remember the contempt I felt when I read [Doug] Bandow’s essay, back in 2006. Of course there was a place where ideas weren’t simply for sale, I thought—it was called the professions. Ethical standards kept professionals independent of their clients’ gross pecuniary interests.

These days, though, I’m not so sure. Money has transformed every watchdog, every independent authority. Medical doctors are increasingly gulled by the lobbying of pharmaceutical salesmen. Accountants were no match for Enron. Corporate boards are rubber stamps. Hospitals break unions, and, with an eye toward future donations, electronically single out rich patients for more luxurious treatment.

Too broad a brush? Or does the Atlantic Yards saga offer some backup?

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Posted by steve at April 7, 2012 2:59 PM