Dear Noreena Hertz,
You were the first lady economist I followed, back in the days when I read things like The New Republic and The New Yorker, but before I discovered anything old. We met right after my Chomsky stage, when I flirted with Kibbutz-esque ideas, when I was the only person I knew who could tell you who is John Galt. The internet was still only Al Gore’s hobby then, so nothing pointed me yet to the curmudgeonly stuff I’ve come to prefer.
Noreena you wore white suits with red scarves and worked with Bono, whose music touched my life, and with Yunus, whose investment in investing still resonates for me. You have always been both smart and sexy and you became a role model at that critical time when I started actively to grab ahold of what I was starting to become.
And, perhaps more importantly, it was because I admired you that I started looking into Economics. You might be horrified to learn that I don’t believe, as you do, that Capitalism is dead. So it goes. But it was because you pointed out that Econ is important that I started thinking along those lines at all.
While I’d completely forgotten about you until I read this Jezebel profile today, I’m so glad we met, Noreena. Even if you’d like me less now, I still admire you, still find your scarf-wearing, ass-kicking self an apt role model.
But. That will not stop me from sharing this post dedicated to your communistic sensibilities with an example of the kind of “Government Inefficiency” anecdote I love:
A Chat About Inefficiency:
Speaking of government inefficiency, I was just going to get my car in the FDIC parking lot. It’s 3 levels underground and a HUGE lot.
And they had a worker down there with a broom and a dirt catcher thing.
You’d think that they would have a giant leafblower
not like . . .
a little broom.
Not even an industrial one, but like one you’d use to sweep up spilled rice in your apartment
I mean: Can you get more efficient? And this was 9 pm. And this guy was sorta halfassedly sweeping. Like: “Its impossible for me to sweep all these leaves so im just going to pretend for the 8 hours i work.”
WPA, teeny brooms — this is how we save or create, folks. Oh, and by smashing resources, like cars.