But the same is true of all of them, with the exception of Ross Douthat. Thomas Friedman wishes the U.S. could be “China for a day,” so we could “authorize the right solutions,” without all that congress and debate and voter business getting in the way. Friedman is also the guy who felt Barack Obama was “leading on national security,” in 2012, which would be after the president withdrew our forces from Iraq. He also wondered aloud whether Obama ”is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most.” Friedman graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis and got an M.Phil from Oxford and — read his columns — he’s an idiot.
The reality is that we have a nation of unscrupulous lawyers, amoral apparatchiks and political hacks whose only area of expertise is manipulating the electoral and governmental systems and getting rich by doing so.
The Progressive myth is that we ought to have a government of experts — top men! — to handle the nation’s problems in a calm, deliberative manner.
So is layaway an improvement in extending credit to customers? For most, probably not. The easy mistake would be to compare layaway free to carrying a credit card balance which incurs interest. In that comparison, layaway is obviously attractive. Nevertheless, to make a direct comparison of rates would be a mistake, as the credit services are different. With credit cards, consumers receive the product immediately. With layaway, they receive the product upon final payment. In a sense, customers do not actually need Walmart to offer a layaway program; they can simply start saving the money themselves. Layaway essentially offers Walmart an interest-free loan. Put another way, while credit cards allow consumers to enjoy their goods today and pay later, layaway reverses this transaction by allowing Walmart to enjoy the customer’s money today and pay back the customer in the form of goods later. Layaway thus represents a shift in credit away from consumers and toward corporations. So much for consumer protection!