All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
-- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
In these days of economic stagnation, misery and insecurity, housing bubbles and the growing precariate, it seems appropriate to speculate on what Shakespeare might have written today were he penning a modern rewrite of Henry VI. In declaring, "first let's kill all the lawyers," his character was voicing support for Jack Cade, whose revolutionary vision cast lawyers as paper-shuffling parasites ruining the lives of the common people. In the past 25 years that ignoble role has been usurped by economists. I liked them better when economics was called the dismal science -- now the profession is simply a self-satisfied apologia for the plunder of society's wealth by the greedy and ruthless 1% -- the "masters of mankind."
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