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December 19, 2005

The Fallacy of Politics
Babak Seradjeh  [info|posts]

thinker.jpg It is a well-established fact that most issues in the Iranian society are politicized in one way or another. That is, it is virtually impossible to get involved with most issues in practice without having to either directly work through government offices or, relatively indirectly, deal with government officials. This has made virtually all talk and business, from matters of economy to sports to religion and daily personal affairs, political issues. It has also made the political venue the major and most often the only venue for doing things in the country. What has caused this state of affair is a tedious subject for historians and sociologists, but what consequences this has for the well-being of the Iranian society is of utmost importance to the lives of even those who wish to lead a most ordinary life.

Politics is an institution whose major purpose is to allocate social powers. This it does according to some framework, which would shape its character to be anything from dictatorial or totalitarian to democratic. But the most important feratures of this institution versus other instiutions of the society, such as economy and business, when it comes to doing things on the scale of a society are not its framework or its character. The most important common features of all political institutions of various frameworks and chatacters are:

(1) They are categorical; that is, things are done not through incremental processes, which for instance underlie a marketplace, but through categorical rulings of one kind or another. This is as true of a democracy as it is true of a dicatorship.

(2) They constitute almost always a zero-sum game; that is, political powers are acquired by some at the expense of others who lose those powers. Again this is true in a democracy as well as in a dictatorship. The difference between the two frameworks is just in how much anyone loses or gains. This is also in sharp contrast to the economical processes, in which it is possible for everyone to lose or gain overall. In other words, the political powers of the members of a society are always relative to each other, while their economic powers can be given an absolute sense with regards to, say, the conditions and the environment they live in.

These two features make the political institution the worst possible venue for doing many things in any society with any framework of politics, especially if those things are economic in nature or the private business of the members of the society.

Unfortunately the Iranian society not only has fallen in the trap of an all-dominating politics, but also it has done little to enable itslef to get out of this trap. To do so, any society will need enough people with reasonable training in social sciences, and most importantly economics, business, and law to show the way out. It is another well-established fact that the Iranian society severly lacks such trained economists, businessmen, and lawyers. A look at the list of authors of this weblog, for example, shows that most of them are pursuing their studies in, or have studied, hard sciences even though their presence here is testament to an inherent interest in issues commonly discussed in humanites and social sciences. Another look at the category archives of this weblog shows the huge imbalance towards political subjects.

To make matters worse the general education that the most brilliant minds of the Iranian society receive has almost nothing in way of economic training or legal and social systems. Most such minds are led by public and family opinions and the miserably low quality of concentrations and majors in humanities in high schools and universities towards math and natural sciences and engineering. They look down on courses on humanities (and for good reason, since they contain almost no useful and real information) and shun their peers who choose such concentrations and majors.

I do not know how we can invert this trend, but I do know that it will never get us to a better future. The Iranian society is in urgent need of developing a mass of people educated in social sciences and, in my opinion, most importantly economists, businessmen, and lawyers. When a critical mass of such people is developed, it will have a chance at a better future when the first venue that comes to mind for doing something and achieveing a goal is not through the categorical and lose-win venues of an all-too-often disastrous politics.

Comments
Reminder at December 19, 2005 03:50 PM [permalink]:

Some related arguments may be found in the comments following these two articles.

Babak S at December 19, 2005 04:07 PM [permalink]:

Could you kindly link to the specific comments you are talking about (there is a Permalink for each and every comment). that will bring them in the view.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 20, 2005 05:17 PM [permalink]:

I agree with your main point.
There is a small detail though where we perhaps disagree:
Your solution of "developing a mass of people educated in social sciences" itself is based on government action itself. After all the higher education in Iran is state sponsored.
I think the main issues of economy and sociology for which we as a nation are in urgent need are not that sophisticated and follow from common sense, like the free market and a liberal democracy.
The main reason they are missing is because of cultural and ideological utopian (and wrong) ideals that ironically the left-stricken elite have been preaching all along. As the fist step it is only necessary to show the fallacy of such "educated" philophies, concepts and recipes and giving back the ordinary common sense of ordinary people based on the realities they see in their everyday lives the trust they deserved, open the market completely to the entire world with No subsidies whatsoever and let the society adapt by itself. Once the natural venues of communication of needs and resources is restored eventually the specialists will be trained. After all world renowned universities and institutions deveoping such specialists today were themselves gradually developed by societies that were much more primitive than anything we have today.

Babak S at December 20, 2005 08:07 PM [permalink]:

AIS,

I have no plan as to how a mass of educated people in humanities would or should be developed. I do not refer to state-controlled higher education in Iran, though it is possible that some of these people will be educated there. My hope is that the society itself, people like ourselves, will feel the need for this education. If so, there will be many ways of getting that education, which in many cases, as you say, is quite basic.

Of course, as I argue for this education through the fallacy of politics, it is only consistent that it be in lines of less and less state control, and so inherently in the opposite direction to that of the Left. I expect that when the talk of such need is mainstreamed, the post-Communist intellectual atmosphere would direct those who are interested in receiving that education in that general direction.

Also, more importantly, even though the demand for Freedom should still be pursued politcally, there are many other related and entangled issues that should not. Perhaps the push for more free market rules that would necessarily be exerted by forces of national and international economy will eventually be a more effective cause to this end. I understand these are very sketchy thoughts, but I hope you get an idea what I mean.

Armin at December 21, 2005 10:24 AM [permalink]:

Babak,

"It is another well-established fact that the Iranian society severly lacks such trained economists, businessmen, and lawyers. A look at the list of authors of this weblog, for example, shows that most of them are pursuing their studies in, or have studied, hard sciences even though their presence here is testament to an inherent interest in issues commonly discussed in humanites and social sciences"
- Thank you. A very good point.

"I do not know how we can invert this trend"
- The total solution is political-cultural and requires strategic shifts, but personally, I have a broad research interest list (including topics in Theology and Strategic Management) that I have tailored according to the needs of Iran (to some extent) and I am sharing my time on them. I could become a much better Computer Scientist if I focused on it, but not a better human at all without caring for my country and the world, I think.

Best Wishes

American Vet at December 21, 2005 03:32 PM [permalink]:

AIS,
I am sorry to bring this up in this format but this is the only place I have seen you in a long time. Are you the same who used to post on Faramin and Pedram's sites? Have you checked out Faramin's site lately? I would love to see you there again. I miss your great comments.
To all the others here, I am truly sorry to take up space asking AIS. I would like to add, I really enjoy this site and am learning much about Iran and Iranians.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 22, 2005 01:59 AM [permalink]:

Babak,

I understand your main point and as I said I agree with it.
I still think there is a point in what I said before. I don't see why Iran necessarily needs a generation of sociologists and economists at this point. To me it sounds a bit like putting the cart in front of the horse. I was talking about the practical solution.

American vet,

yes. I used to make fun of thsoe idiots. the point is though that these people are hopeless, they are good for an occasional laugh but not more. If you read them, it could be a good case study. People like them are the last added ounce that turned the balance and started the tragedy in 1979.

American Vet at December 22, 2005 08:44 AM [permalink]:

I thought it was you. I still go there and make comments. I think I have taken up where you left off. Once I get a nice laugh after a few exchanges between Fariman,Taqdeerman and me, I come here to actually learn something.
Like I said, I miss you over there.

Bandeh at December 22, 2005 03:41 PM [permalink]:

AIS,

We need economists and sociologists because there are people similar to yourself without any basic understanding of economics, institutions etc. who believe Iran's solutions are "easy". The less one knows, the "easier" things become :) That's why the Farmers in Nebraska, the cattle ranchers in Texas and right-wing ideologues in Washington all have the same clear-cut perspectives on the world.
And then we have economists like Amartya Sen and Joe Stiglitz (Nobel laureates) who are far more cautious about the "easy" solutions :)

Ignorance is power.

Babak S at December 22, 2005 04:01 PM [permalink]:

Bandeh,

I agree that the actual practical solutions are somewhat complicated and may be difficult to implement, but the obstacles that make their implementation and practical application difficult are easy to see. A free-market economy for instance is not that difficult to fathom or devise, but many societies (from communities, cities, countries and sometimes even the world at large) now and throughout history have opted for state-control, most of the time with devastating effects. Why? A major conributing factor is the general mistrust they have felt toward Freedom in general and liberal economies in particular. The problem is easy to state, much more difficult to remedy. For instance, as Milton Friedman (Nobel laureate) says: "If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can only gain at the expense of another." But this simple understanding, that economic activities are non-zero-sum, is missing from many otherwise highly intellectual "discussions."

Babak S at December 22, 2005 05:19 PM [permalink]:

Here is an example:

Morton Davis, a famous game theorist has a book written for general public, "Game Theory" where he discusses in as great detail as it is possible the foundations and different aspects and results of game theory. In the chapter on, "The Two-Person, Non-Zero-Sum Game" he explains John Nash's (another Nobel laureat) arbitration scheme for such games. He explains that due to different utility functions of a rich and a poor woman, if we were to offer them a sure $1m in cash or a chance of $10m with a higher average, Nash's scheme would give the poor woman one-third of the $1m, and the rich woman two-thirds of it. Then he make the following comment: "Nash's scheme tends to make the poor poorer and the rich richer." That comment is made even though all the discussion is made for "non-zero-sum" games. All it boils down to, is that even Mr. Davis forgets that being poor or rich is not only defined relative to others, but more importantly, in absolute terms of human conditions, exactly because the economic games are non-zero-sum. That is, the fact that the poor woman has one-third of a million dollars and she is no longer poor, let alone "poorer" is completely missed.

So such misconceptions are not just confined to the Iran society. They are widespread cultural problems. But things have changed a lot since the 1970s when the book was written.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 22, 2005 08:53 PM [permalink]:

American vet,

Thanks for your comments. Who knows , maybe i'll come by for a laugh or two when I feel down again. ;)

Bandeh,

what are you talking about?!
I never said the solutions to the conditions in Iran are easy. Actually the economy is in such a mess becauseo fall the nice progressive idelas of the last 50+ years of our "elite" that is going to be a frustrating long and gradual period of convalescence.
What I said was pretty simple. The main element that is missing in Iran now is not lack of experts (we actually have too many peopl who consider themselves experts) but lack of common sense! The policis and policymakers are so off the mark that even an ignoramus like me can see through their plannings as long as he is not burdened with "certain" ideologies. So the most important step, the one that would bring with it all the other changes through creating the need for it and communicating tha need to the avergae person is opening up to a comp;lete free market and basic obvious issues of a free liberal (and more rightwing than left! that's your problem, isn't it?) mindset. Having experts in thoretical stuff in a system that is neither willing nor able to use them and accomodate the correct policies that need to be followed won't help much at this stage. After all there have been and still are many great scholars in the rest of the world from which to learn. What is needed is a bit of intelligence that judging from your case for example is clearly missing.


But as i said, i know your problem. it is clear from your very "enlightening" views on the palestinian issue and your tendencies that ytou are a typical lefty. So you yourself are part of the problem, buddy, not the solution and so such "intelligent" remarks from you are hardly surprising.

Give it a rest! ok?

Bandeh at December 23, 2005 09:00 AM [permalink]:

Babak and AIS,

Milton Friedman's assumption is perfection information symmetry, which is not in existence anywhere in the world. In fact the less developed the country, the more the ASSYMTERY. Solow (MIT Economics Professor) got his Nobel showing the destructive role information assymetry can have in exchanges.

In the case of Iran, a free market economy without a welfare/distribution system results in the alientation of the lower-income classes and the tendency to elect populists such as Ahmadinejad or Karrubi who promise them financial incentives. Essentially "free market" economy in developing countries is not very different from "state control", since it's the same limited number of people having the capital and the political power to influence the economy. This is because the political and social institutions necessary to make a free market economy work do not exist. The entire latin American experience wit the World Bank is evidence of this. Even the World bank itself in its 2004 and 2005 publications has retracted it's "Washington Concensus" approach.

In any game theoretic situation, if players are unaware of the actual risk-based costs and payoffs in the short, medium and long-term, they will not choose the equilibrium.

Therefore, by just privatzing the entire economy, taking away tarifs, etc. you may actually cause chaos. Each of these moves (although potentially positive) can be disastrous if carried out incorrectly. And the cause is not the "simple" lack of a market economy. It is the complex comibnation of institutional, social and cultural factors that impact every aspect of the Iranian economy. To get out of this mess an adapted gradual form of private sector involvement may be an important component, but not the only one.

Bandeh at December 23, 2005 09:07 AM [permalink]:

In terms of experts, I only know five Iranian economists who really know what they are talking about. One is in the Central bank in iran and the rest are teaching in the U.S. and the UK. So unless AIS has trained a lot of them himself, we may really need a lot more people who have at least taken eight graduate level courses in Micro and Macro for development and instead of prescribing strategies based on what they have read in a book or two.

So I fully agree with Babak on the need for more economists and social scientists.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 24, 2005 06:47 AM [permalink]:
Bandeh you said : "...Essentially "free market" economy in developing countries is not very different from "state control", since it's the same limited number of people having the capital and the political power to influence the economy..." and "To get out of this mess an adapted gradual form of private sector involvement may be an important component, but not the only one." One important fallacy of your argument is very clear here. Ok, suppose we agree with the firts quote. Now for the second quote, please explain who is going to implement , guard and direct this very sophisticated and intricate "gradual private sector involvement"? Who are those who would be having the final say on deciding how this process is to go forward at every juncture? Who are the ones who will eventually end up calling the shots? It would be the people with power wouldn't it? Now what guranatee would you have that they will be such humanitarian incorruptable Schweitzers that would all of sudden appear among a people with the likes and Ahamdinejad and karrubis ? Yes, if it was the case that such a process could be directed in such a society, of course that would have been the best route. Thewhole point is that that is not going to be the case for a simple reason: Once you make some people as supervisors, once you give them such extra powers you would actually be producing much better opportunities for such corruptions to develope, for such monopolies to from etc. The free market, based on competetion and "natural" selection is the system that provides the least possibilty of such monopolies to form, because the freere the market the more would it be the case that the only arsenal in the competitors' disposal to manipulate and strive for dominance and monopoly is their ability to convince people to come over to them based on their voluntary action. (even if they are fooled, ultimately it is their own choice). Whereas once you give them political power to enforce it on others without their consent you are only paving the way for an emerging monolpoy or monopolies. Even in markets like America where free market framework is still the presominant, the emergence of most monopolies or corporate superpowers can be traced back to some sort og governmental or extra-economical support under one pretext or the other (in many cases it is the support to compete in the international market with state-sponsered rivals, like the steel industry for example). That is why people like Karrubi or Ahmadinejad or others lusting for power are always agains a real free market. As for your point about third world countries liek Iran and the impracticality of a truly free market in its western sense to be sustained there by itself, well I never discarded the roles of governments to provide the minimal necessary infrastructure. But that is different from having governmental plans for the economy or specific laws and guidance. Indeed one major factor is the formation of a corresponding political structure that is compatible with and goes hand in hand with a free market economy: ie a liberal democracy. Yes, I am not naive enough to believe that can be achieved right away, but one resembling a truly functional liberal democracy that could provide the minimum basis for a free market to jump start would suffice, then the two can reinforce each other gradually without the need for a "plan of gradual introduction" to private sectors who needs your supervising angels to work! All th ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 24, 2005 07:02 AM [permalink]:

As for your experts and my having trained them and all that Bandeh,

I am no expert. But that is not relevant at all.

History is filled with great experts, the greates minds of their age, who turned out to be wrong. Plato was wrong, Aristotle was wrong. Galileo was wrong (in case of the origins of tides), Berzelios was wrong about animate matter, Kelvin was wrong about the age of the earth, Russel was wrong about the logical nature of the foundation of mathematics and so on and on...

Look, it's very simple:
You talk about Nobel laureats and experts. fine.
If you have read them and their main ideas and the arguments that they gave to support it was convincing for you, then share those arguments with us, and let us discuss them and learn from them. Only mentioning their names and reputation as if that should close the mouth of impertinent ignoramuses like me to know our place and shut up as do as our betters up there say, that is essentially the way of dogmatic religion, not of rational thought.

I have mentioned the arguments that i find corect and convoincing with my limited knowledge and intelligence and I am not going to give them up because soem expert or wise scholar has said otherwise unless I am convinced that their arguments are correct as good as I can understand them. Furthermore at any given time if I have the power or responsibility of actually doing something, I will definitely do according to my best knowledge. If that is tantamount to "power of ignorance" in your book, so be it.

Simple, really simple.

Babak S at December 24, 2005 07:35 AM [permalink]:

Bandeh,

You said:
Milton Friedman's assumption is perfection information symmetry, which is not in existence anywhere in the world. In fact the less developed the country, the more the ASSYMTERY. Solow (MIT Economics Professor) got his Nobel showing the destructive role information assymetry can have in exchanges.

Now, correct if I'm wrong, but as far as I know (and it is not much - I get my information from a few books, periodicals and a few good web resources) Solow got his Nobel for his work and modelling of economic growth. As to information asymmetry, you should refer to Kenneth Arrow and George Akerlof, both Nobel laureates too. Its destrcutive role is in diminishing markets from which both buyers and sellers suffer. (This of course arising from the fact that economy is non-zero-sum.) It has led largely to extensive market solutions such as warranties, third-party authentications, paid sources of information, etc. and not government action to provide the commodities thus misallocated by the vanishing market. Government itself suffers greatly from information asymmetry: a simple instance is that it doesn't know how much byers are willing to pay for a service it provides and thus has to rely on mostly artificial prices that further misalocate and waste resources. Furthermore, information asymmetry has been on the decline, especially with the advent of the internet and other means of cheaply disseminating information.

Of course, we as human beings are always bound to information deficiencies, not knowing many things. In effect information itself is the scarcest of all scarce resources the alocation of which economy is all about. In fact, the strongest economic argument for a free-market economy is that it alocates information in the most efficient way.

You see, I agree that such "fine" effects need to be taken into account, but that is all after we agreed on having a free-market in the first place. In most cases, the players in a market have the most shared incentive to provide means of reducing the information asymmetry themsleves, otherwise they all lose.

On the original subject of developing a mass of educated people, my hope was in that the society itself first realize the fallacy of politics and the need to do things in other ways.Then there will be a need to such educated people to popularize the basics of these sciences, as is often all that is needed to have a functioning society. We may even need to import some such educated people in the beginning. In some ways, I regard them as part of the "infrastructure" of the economic activity of "building up the economy."

Bandeh at December 24, 2005 10:47 AM [permalink]:

Babak,

Correct, Akerlof (Market of Lemons) got his Nobel on this issue not Solow. Solow was the first to point to it with regards to economic development in his landmark paper "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth". Arrow looked at the issue in the healthcare system but that was from the service provider side.

The information assymetry issue has been ameliorated in the United States in terms of retail consumption by the advent of the internet, but there are extensive studies that show that the role of information assymetry in the capital markets and in real estate are growing rapidly. From an economic standpoint this is easy to explain. Money buys information, which in turn leads to more gains for the entity having the info. The fallacy in many of the arguments is that it assumes equal opportunities for economic agents in path-independent manner. This is not in accordance with observed reality. A postal worker does not have access to the same information as does Donald Trump when investing in real estate. Information is an investment in itself. In simple terms (I know AIS really likes the term simple), you can buy un-competitiveness with money. That in itself has resulted in an economy where richer people have become richer and poorer people poorer. The GINI index in the U.S. has increased over the years. This has been far worse for countries like Russia or Argentina or Mexico, which do not have the basic institutions that break up monopolies.

Markets without institutions may prove to be quite useless. Institution-building is not easy in itself and cannot be done by private actors. That's why governments are there. Governments need not intervene in every aspect of the economy, but they need to set the rules, enforce internalization of externalities and help with social security and social welfare nets that are necessary.


Bandeh at December 24, 2005 11:02 AM [permalink]:

AIS,

The "Power of Ignorance" remark was not directed at you personally, but at the approach of simplifying complex social issues into simple "good"s and "evil"s. While this simplifies the analysis of the world, it leaves out the complex nature of humanity and its social relations. My problem with Neocons is not only because of their idological standpoint, but because of their total disinterest in understanding the world with sufficient depth. I actually do not have the same problem with traditional conservatives who agree that the reason we things differently is because of the difference in our value systems. Neocons on the other hand contrive facts and present them in absolute form (not unlike religion).

As long as you paint the world in simple black and white terms, I will continue to challenge that viewpoint. If i am part of the problem, then you better solve me because I am going to be around :)

Babak S at December 24, 2005 03:36 PM [permalink]:
Bandeh, I am confused with this part of your comment: ... there are extensive studies that show that the role of information assymetry in the capital markets and in real estate are growing rapidly. From an economic standpoint this is easy to explain. Money buys information, which in turn leads to more gains for the entity having the info. The fallacy in many of the arguments is that it assumes equal opportunities for economic agents in path-independent manner. This is not in accordance with observed reality. A postal worker does not have access to the same information as does Donald Trump when investing in real estate. Information is an investment in itself. In simple terms (I know AIS really likes the term simple), you can buy un-competitiveness with money. That in itself has resulted in an economy where richer people have become richer and poorer people poorer. The GINI index in the U.S. has increased over the years. 1) I understand, information asymmetry problem is this: one of buyer or seller in an otherwise voluntary transaction has more information about the commodity that is being sold. Both directions are possible. This then could lead to a market failure, of course not so easily in practice, but in the statment of the problem, the equilibrium is non-existent. But look, this does not mean that if two buyers shopping for the same commodity have different amounts of information, there is information asymmetry. The connection to money is also superficial as reagrds information asymmetry. I think you are confusing these situations. When information, money, etc. are alocated unevenly on the buyer population as a result of voluntary transactions, it is absurd to consider it a poblem per se. A postal worker may not have access to the same information as Donald Trump, but he also does not have the same information-processing expertise either. Most of the time a better alocation of the scarce resource of information is obtained this way; for example, if we spend time or money to give a priori the same information to two people with different understandings of math, we may have wasted our effort, since the one with a poor understanding of math could not use that information as good as the other. We can of course go one step further and spend some time and money to give them the information that leads to a good undertstanding of math; but even there we may have wasted our efforts if one does not have a "talent" for math and the other does. By "talent" here I am coding a very complex tangle, which could include many things, such as an interest in the subject, an analytic mind, a readyness to learn by our methods, etc. We may try to give a uniform opportunity to a common base of information through the education system, but we can hrdly do any better in a collective way. All in all, the best way to alocate information itself is through voluntary transactions. 2) The GINI index is an index of distribution of wealth. Though this is an important issue, it is not the most important. The most important one is the wealth itself and its generation. As I have pointed out several times already, economy is not a zero-sum game, and even if two people who generate $1m together get different shares of the wealth (one gets one-third of it, and the other two-thirds as in Morton Davis's example) they are both rich. The problem most often is that two people in one country and system of economy generate $1m, and in another only $100k. Our standards of "h ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 24, 2005 10:08 PM [permalink]:

Ok, bandeh, if you want to insist on your "simplified ideological"! version of me and of what you call neocons and ignore all I had siad and the point i have raised, fine.
Just one point:
" If i am part of the problem, then you better solve me because I am going to be around"

When I say you in this context I obviously mean your ideas and your insistience on them, and yes they are inbdeed part of the problem. but as a Popperian the main point of all my discussiona and efforts is to get rid of ideas so that we won't allow people to be get rid off. let ideas die and people live.

Bandeh at December 24, 2005 10:31 PM [permalink]:

AIS,

Amen to that :)

Bandeh at December 24, 2005 10:43 PM [permalink]:

Babak,

I should have made the distinction between information assymetry and information heterogeneity and not discuss both under the umbrella of information assymetry (the term assymetry points to a two-party game). Both info assym. and info hetero. create imperfect markets and imperfect competition. They can become barriers to entry for productive agents by non-productive agents with monopolistic/oligapolistic power (which can be due to capital or information). In information hetereogeneity we are not concerned with information processing capacity, but with access to information. Microsoft may not be better or more "talented" than Sun Micrsystems, but having access to the structure of the operating system and not sharing it with other players can make it difficut for others to enter. This situation is far worse in developing countries that lack institutions, for the flow of information is even more limited. Heterogenous information can result in sub-optimal systems choices (while maximizing a particular local utility). In the U.S. this exists extensively in the capital markets and real estate market in the U.S. Information assymetry and info. heterogeneity have also led to moral hazard issues within the the energy industry and led to congressional intervention in assessing potential collusion on gasoline prices in the U.S. In less developed countries, this is a far more serious issue.

Iranian Freedom fighter at February 6, 2006 12:04 AM [permalink]:

We need a smart revolution. People of Iran need to oppose this oppressive government by staying at home and shout the word "Freedom" from their houses every night. It should start on Thursday 9th of February at 8 pm. And again on Saturday 11th Feb 2006 and every two days from then on. Pass this on to all your friends and relatives within Iran. With the help of the West and all decent human beings around the world, and the effort of the Iranians themselves, We as the community of decent humans around the world should be able to get rid of these murderers ruling Iran by force. Remember, Thursday Night, 9th February 2006 at 8 pm

Iranian Freedom fighter at February 6, 2006 12:06 AM [permalink]:

We need a smart revolution. People of Iran need to oppose this oppressive government by staying at home and shout the word "Freedom" from their houses every night. It should start on Thursday 9th of February at 8 pm. And again on Saturday 11th Feb 2006 and every two days from then on. Pass this on to all your friends and relatives within Iran. With the help of the West and all decent human beings around the world, and the effort of the Iranians themselves, We as the community of decent humans around the world should be able to get rid of these murderers ruling Iran by force. Remember, Thursday Night, 9th February 2006 at 8 pm