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article imageOp-Ed: Noam Chomsky talking sense and nonsense

By Alexander Baron     Nov 6, 2013 in Politics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky talks common sense, most of the time, but does he understand economics?
Two videos of the world's most famous linguist were recently uploaded to YouTube by Bob Tuskin, a denizen of Texas, like Alex Jones. Apparently that is not the only thing he has in common with the outspoken radio host. Tuskin too has his own radio show, and like Jones he is a complex mixture of common sense economics and conspiratorial garbage.
Both the aforementioned clips can be found on Tuskin's own website as well as on YouTube. They were both taken from the question and answer session following a speech Chomsky made in Florida, and are captioned: Noam Chomsky Has No Opinion on Building 7 and Noam Chomsky Loves the FEDERAL RESERVE respectively.
In the first, Chomsky is asked about Building 7 - yes, that Building 7! The questioner, apparently Tuskin himself, asks about its apparent free fall speed, and the media cover up. What cover up might that be? Like the building was actually filmed collapsing by CNN!
Chomsky fields this question professionally, his comment that there are a lot of people around who spend an hour on the Internet and think they understand physics is most telling. It is truly amazing that this idiocy continues 12 years and more after the day the world changed.
When Chomsky says he has no opinion on Building 7 he is being extremely conservative; it is clear that one thing he does not believe is that Dick Cheney recruited 19 Arab Mossad agents to fly the planes into the buildings along with some super-duper secret black ops team that also wired Building 7 or all three buildings with detonators. Still the idiocy abounds.
For those who have neither the time nor the temperament to trawl through the NIST report on Building 7, here is a short blog that covers some of the anomalies relating to its collapse.
There are also two very good videos made by laymen that throw some light on it. Here is the short one by Edward Current; and here is a somewhat longer video - split into several parts - which covers all three buildings. Incidentally, although NIST calls its report on Building 7 final, there is still work going on to this day on the collapse of the buildings. One major issue that receives but little coverage is the public safety aspect. As Mr Current points out in his video, Building 7 was supported only by 3 main trusses above the seventh floor. This and similar issues have not been publicised by NIST for understandable and entirely unsinister reasons.
One final point, a lot of people who continue to make outrageous claims about Building 7 especially are simply lying, either that or they are total idiots as Chomsky infers but is too polite to say. Again, as Edward Current points out, the damage to Building 7 was no secret, and the people on the ground predicted it would collapse hours before it actually did. It's time the conspiridiots gave up on this garbage for good.
While Chomsky may be sound on 9/11, his views on the Federal Reserve leave much to be desired. Notice he doesn't actually answer the question about debt-free money, which in the US would be issued by the Government and overseen by Congress, rather he goes off on a long waffle about the evils of (state) capitalism. He seems also to think that people can be set to work only if corporations invest their profits in them, ie transfer figures from one account to another, but his biggest faux pas is that America should devalue the dollar in order to import less and export more.
This is actually pretty standard for economists, but what does it really mean? That Americans should give foreigners more for less. To understand how ludicrous is this suggestion, let us remove national boundaries. Malcolm Walker and his Iceland company have around a 2% share of the UK market. The company works on small profit margins and high volume, something that was originally called stack it high and sell it cheap. This policy appears to have worked spectacularly well for Tesco, although admittedly that company had a half century head start on Iceland. If Iceland wanted to increase its market share, it could slash its prices; it could make ridiculous discounts and sell below profit. It could even give its goods away. How long would it last if it did so? The only purpose of trading is to make a profit, or if that is not the absolute one and only, it is the one to which all others must be subservient. Do American exporters want to sell goods way below market price? Heck, does anyone? The more they produce, the harder they have to work, and working harder to export more for less is a ludicrous proposition.
Chomsky is not an economist, and even if he were he would probably hold the same opinion, but nonsense is nonsense regardless of who espouses it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Building 7, Federal reserve, Economics, bob tuskin, debt free money
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