"Poor people don’t have clutter because they’re too dumb to see the virtue of living simply; they have it to reduce risk. When rich people present the idea that they’ve learned to live lightly as a paradoxical insight, they have the idea of wealth backwards. You can only have that kind of lightness through wealth. If you buy food in bulk, you need a big fridge. If you can’t afford to replace all the appliances in your house, you need several junk drawers. If you can’t afford car repairs, you might need a half-gutted second car of a similar model up on blocks, where certain people will make fun of it and call you trailer trash. Please, if you are rich, stop explaining the idea of freedom from stuff as if it’s a trick that even you have somehow mastered. The only way to own very little and be safe is to be rich."
I’d been wanting to write a response to the obnoxious New York Times op ed piece this is referring to, but this pretty much nails it.
Sometimes the government will set up a new regulatory agency, like a Mine Safety and Health Administration or something to keep watch on the mining industry. And off they go, investigating the mining industry to make sure they’re being safe.
Only something funny happens. It turns out all the people they talk to all day are mining industry officials. And whenever they hold meetings to ask for advice, the only people who show up are mining industry officials. When they make proposals and ask for public comment, all the comments are from mining industry officials. And pretty soon, they start thinking like mining industry officials.
Academics call this regulatory capture — an office was put in place to regulate an industry, but it ended up just being a tool of the industry.
But what’s striking is that the problem isn’t just limited to regulation; the same thing happens to journalists as well. Call it journalistic capture."
I’ve heard this term mentioned in reference to tech journalism recently so I had to look it up. Specificity of the CNBC complaint aside, this seems like the most succinct explanation of the phenomenon on the web.(via buzz)