Posts tagged regulations

Left Icon Henry Waxman Leaves Tarnished Legacy of Crony Capitalism

0

 

Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

Left Icon Henry Waxman Leaves Tarnished Legacy of Crony Capitalism

 

Waxman-cc-464x565

 

Henry Waxman, who just announced his retirement after 40 years in Congress, may be the most powerful under-the-radar screen person in Washington.

President Obama calls his fellow Democrat “ one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era.” The Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson calls him “liberalism’s legislative genius” who “decisively consigned the Republican right’s favored ideology—libertarianism—to history’s dustbin.” He did so, Meyerson went on, by proposing “common sense” laws. “Who could be against “ Waxman?

In fact, many people were against Waxman– and for good reason. For one thing, he was the acknowledged master of underhanded legislative tricks. He learned how to write amendments that not even a lawyer could understand and then slip them into unrelated bills when nobody was watching.

For example, he drafted a bill written in no known human language that was intended to restrict the sale of dietary supplements, a longtime crusade of his. He then waited until House and Senate were about to reconcile their massive Wall Street reform bills and at the last moment slipped in his supplement bill posing as an amendment to the finance bill. Fortunately the totally unrelated amendment was discovered just before one of Waxman’s famous all night conference committee meetings, and after heated discussion was rejected by the other conferees.

The odd part of this story is that Waxman’s district, which included part of Hollywood, must have teemed with health food stores selling dietary supplements. It is doubtful that many of the voters supporting him even knew about this and similar behind-the-scenes gambits.

On another occasion, Waxman stopped the progress of legislation he didn’t like by offering 600 amendments. The paperwork was wheeled into the House Energy and Commerce committee room in shopping carts.

The Congressman knew how to raise money from corporate and other special interests, who feared him, and since he was in a safe district himself, he could spread his money among colleagues, thereby garnering support for his own bills. Each bill he introduced raised more money for him, either from special interests supporting it, or interests who were afraid to cross him.

In many cases, what Waxman actually got from his many successful bills was unintended. For example, he succeeded in mandating that either an additive MBTE or ethanol be added to gasoline. It later developed that MBTE contaminated groundwater and that ethanol raised the price of corn and other grains without helping the environment.

The congressman deemed himself a staunch environmentalist but passed a clean energy bill that was eventually supported by coal companies and opposed by Greenpeace before eventual defeat in the Senate. When he decided that toys needed to be safer, he passed a bill that put small and artisanal toymakers out of business, which mainly helped giant corporations.

Waxman continued to think of himself as a defender of the “little guy” against big special interests. But how did he help devastated families by passing legislation shielding big corporations from vaccine injury lawsuits?

And how did he justify imposing 10 year jail terms and massive fines on small farmers and organic farm producers who violated even minor (and often vague) FDA record keeping or other administrative regulations, a provision of the House’s version of the Food Safety Act? Or the large fees small farmers would pay as they were swept up in the net of FDA regulation for the first time, fees high enough to put many of them out of business? Fortunately, the Senate said no to this provision of the bill.

Helping the “little guy” invariably meant for Waxman increasing government regulation. But this more often than not just opened the door to crony capitalism.

For example, he not only wanted more federal control of dietary supplements. He wanted more federal control of drugs as well. His solution, incorporated in a successful bill, was to charge drug companies for the costs of the Food and Drug Administration.

This might sound like a good idea at first glance, but think about the public policy implications. Do we really want industries paying their own regulators? If I am a regulator, and my salary is paid by industry, not by the public, to whom will I answer?

It seems clear that Waxman arrived in Washington all those years ago intent on serving the public good. But, like many progressives, he failed to understand one basic truth. The more government gets involved in the private economy, the more government tries to substitute its own rules and regulations for the market system, the more corruption results.

Public figures are not saints; they want lucrative jobs and campaign contributions. Private interests in turn want government assistance in bending the rules or in defeating their competitors. Deals are struck, and both our economy and our public morals suffer.

All of this might be described as the progressive paradox. Henry Waxman no doubt wanted to make the world a better place, but ended up making it a worse place.

Waxman himself once said that “government should act as a referee so that people play fairly.” If only he had paid heed to his own words. Obamacare, which Waxman helped create, was not refereeing the medical system; it was a federal takeover, and it is causing more of the negative unintended consequences that we have come to expect from his legislation.

With Waxman retired, there will still be plenty of supporters of monopoly and one-size-fits-all medicine on Capitol Hill. But let’s hope that none of them will be so skilled at sneaky legislative maneuvers.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

 


Hunter Lewis
About Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is co-founder and former CEO of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, LLC and author of 8 books on moral philosophy, psychology, and economics, including the widely acclaimed Are the Rich Necessary? (“Highly provocative and highly pleasurable.”—New York Times) He has contributed to the New York Times, the Times of London, the Washing­ton Post, and the Atlantic Monthly, as well as numerous websites such as Breitbart.com, Forbes.com, Fox.com, and RealClearMarkets.com. His most recent books are Crony Capitalism in America: 2008–2012, Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed, and Where Keynes Went Wrong: And Why Governments Keep Creating Inflation, Bubbles, and Busts. He has served on boards and committees of fifteen leading not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural and global development organizations, as well as the World Bank.

 

G Edward Griffin – Agenda 21 – Save Long Island Forum 1/18/14 (Video)

0

 

G Edward Griffin – Agenda 21 – Save Long Island Forum 1/18/14 (Video)

 

2-6-2014 9-48-42 PM

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

( H/T Liz Abbott )

Published by wearechangect

The legendary author G Edward Griffin was the headline speaker at the Save Long Island Forum talking about the eugenic plans of the UN’s Agenda 21 to covertly exterminate most of the world’s population.

Learn more about Save Long Island: http://savelongisland.org/
Check out the Save Long Island Forum website to see a list of all the speakers: http://savelongislandforum.com/

DOT: Smart Cars to Communicate Wirelessly to Avoid Crashes

1

 

Source: http://www.occupycorporatism.com

By Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism

DOT: Smart Cars to Communicate Wirelessly to Avoid Crashes

 

Orig.src_.Susanne.Posel_.Daily_.News-smart.cars_.talk_-600x372

 

The Department of Transportation (DoT) announced the agency will push for the development of a short-range radio system that will allow cars to “speak” to one another in an aim to prevent car crashes and other vehicle mishaps.

Referred to as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), the device uses 3G and 4G cellular networks that are dependent on internet-based services.

Funded by the Joint Program Office (JPO), the DoT and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), this move toward tying vehicles to the internet of things is being sold to the public as a way to ensure “safer driving”.

This technology, called vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) would facilitate one car to communicate with another and trigger the braking system to activate and steering to avoid collisions while warning drivers to avert the potential danger from 300 feet away.

Light-weight vehicles will be required to have wireless chips installed in order for cars to “talk” to each other as they travel down the road.

Anthony Foxx, secretary of the DoT told the press : “This is just the beginning of a revolution in roadway safety. I don’t think you can understate the significance of having vehicles that are smart enough to recognize that an accident is about to happen and can step in to stop it.”

Foxx stated that before Obama leaves office, rules and regulations will be in place for installing this technology in vehicles that travel on the roadways and highways.

The DoT secretary claims that “the benefits here will clearly outweigh any concerns about cost” while also keeping silent about the estimated initial monies needed to implement this endeavor.

Fox stated: “Keeping drivers safe is the most important advantage of V2V, but it’s just one of many. V2V can also help reduce congestion and save fuel. The potential of this technology is absolutely enormous.”

The DoT asserts that the application of V2V technology will help drivers with:
• Blind spot warnings
• Forward collision warnings
• Sudden braking ahead warnings
• Do not pass warnings
• Intersection collision avoidance and movement assistance
• Approaching emergency vehicle warning
• Vehicle safety inspection
• Transit or emergency vehicle signal priority
• Electronic parking and toll payments
• Commercial vehicle clearance and safety inspections
• In-vehicle signing
• Rollover warning
• Traffic and travel condition data to improve traveler information and maintenance services

David Friedman, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commented that V2V will “prevent crashes in the first place” and ensure accidents are survivable.

Friedman also said that the federal government has not mandated that automakers install these devices.

During the next 3 months, automakers and the public will be allowed to voice their opinions and concerns to regulators while a draft of the new standards is being written.

This move toward interconnected vehicles and the use of the internet to ensure partial control over the cars will cause car manufacturers to “rethink how they design and construct cars because they will no longer be constructing cars to survive a crash, but building them to avoid a crash.”

Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com


About the author:

Susanne Posel Chief Editor, Investigative Journalist OccupyCorporatism.com Radio Host: The Region 10 Report, Live Thursdays 1-3PM PST on American Freedom Radio.

 

Is This Applebees’ Answer to Higher Minimum Wage Laws:Touch Screens?

0

 

Source: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com

By

Is This Applebees’ Answer to Higher Minimum Wage Laws:Touch Screens?

 

One unintended consequence of higher minimum wage laws will be more automation. It started years ago when attendants at gas stations were replaced by self-service gas pumps. The new round of talks about higher minimum wages, coupled with the burdensome Obamacare regulations,  is now forcing fast-food and casual dining restaurants to think automation.

Some automation is good, helps productivity and increases a country’s standard of living, but other automation is the result of firms simply trying to get around onerous regulations placed at the foot of employers by government intervention in free markets.

 

article-2517665-19D13F7800000578-440_634x349

 

FULL STORY

Get Konnected With The Kronies

0

 

Source: http://www.bcpublicrecord.com

By Tona

Get Konnected With The Kronies

 

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programing to bring you more of the same, but in a manner that you will enjoy better than the real thing.  Get Konnected at http://www.thekronies.com.

 

1-26-2014 10-11-05 AM

 

YouTube Preview Image

Published by The Kronies

The Kronies are in action…Mandating, Tarrify-ing, Inflating, and Boondoggling their way to profits powered by their special konnection to the G-Force. Watch Big-G and his team stomp out competition!

###

Video capture added to original post.

 

The Level Of Economic Freedom In The United States Is At An All-Time Low

1

 

Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

The Level Of Economic Freedom In The United States Is At An All-Time Low

 

Photo-by-U.S.-Senator-Mike-Lee-300x300Americans have never had less economic freedom than they do right now.  The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom has just been released, and it turns out that the level of economic freedom in the United States has now fallen for seven consecutive years.  But of course none of us need a report or a survey to tell us that.  All we have to do is open our eyes and look around.  At this point our entire society is completely dominated by control freaks and bureaucrats.  Our economy is literally being suffocated to death by millions of laws, rules and regulations and each year brings a fresh tsunami of red tape.  As you will see below, the U.S. government issued more than 80,000 pages of brand new rules and regulations last year on top of what we already had.  Even if we didn’t have all of the other monumental economic problems that we are currently facing, all of this bureaucracy alone would be enough to kill our economy.

Yes, every society needs a few basic rules.  We would have total chaos if we did not have any laws at all.  But in general, when there is more economic freedom there tends to be more economic prosperity.  In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was during a time when the federal government was much smaller, there was no Federal Reserve and there was no income tax.  Most Americans do not know this.

Those that founded this nation intended for it to be a place where freedom was maximized and government intrusion into our lives was minimized.

If they were still alive today, they would be absolutely horrified.  We are literally drowning in red tape.

The photo posted below was shared by U.S. Senator Mike Lee on his Facebook page.  Study it carefully…

Photo-by-U.S.-Senator-Mike-Lee-425x425

The following is what he had to say about this photo

“Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”

I didn’t even see the small stack of paper at the top of the cabinet until I read his explanation.  Most of the time everyone is so focused on what Congress is doing, but the truth is that the real oppression is happening behind the scenes as unelected federal bureaucrats pump out millions upon millions of useless regulations that are systematically killing our economic freedom.

On Tuesday, an article about the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom was published by the Wall Street Journal.  As I mentioned above, the United States has fallen for seven years in a row

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

That same article mentioned some of the reasons why the United States is falling…

It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

And of course the results are predictable.  Our economy has been steadily declining for many years, and that decline appears to be ready to start picking up speed once again.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dave in Denver

In the latest retail sales report for December, auto sales were nailed – down 1.8%. The only reason overall retail sales from November to December showed a slight “gain” that November’s number was revised lower. Electronics fell off of a cliff. The housing market is about to get crushed. Feedback I’m getting from my Seeking Alpha articles and blog posts on housing from housing market professionals all around the country tells me that the housing market hit a wall at the end of 2013, as I have been forecasting.

What he said about the housing market is definitely true.  In recent months, mortgage originations have been falling like a rock.  Just check out this chart.

And as I wrote about the other day, there has been absolutely no employment recovery since the end of the last recession.  In fact, 1,687,000 fewer Americans have jobs today compared to exactly six years ago even though the population has grown significantly since then.

Unfortunately, these are not just “cyclical problems”.  Long ago we abandoned the fundamental principles that once made our economy great, and now we are paying a tremendous price for that.

Posted below is a story that has been circulating all over the Internet for quite some time.  It is a fake story.  Once again, let me repeat that.  This is a fake story.  But I think that it does a great job of illustrating what is happening to America as we march toward full-fledged socialism…

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
 
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
 
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
 
The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
 
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.

But of course it would be disingenuous to pin all of the blame for this just on Obama.  The truth is that our nation has continued to march toward socialism no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has been in control of Congress.  So if you want to place some of the blame on a “Bush” or a “Clinton” or a “Boehner” or a “Pelosi” please feel free.

And the American people are getting sick and tired of this one party system that has two heads.  According to a recent Gallup survey, only 29 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Democrats right now.  And the news was even worse for Republicans.  According to that survey, only 24 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Republicans at this point.

A staggering 45 percent of all Americans now consider themselves to be Independents.  Deep down, most Americans know that something is seriously wrong with our nation and that they are being lied to be our politicians and the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, there is very little agreement about how to fix things because Americans do not have a set of shared values that we all agree on anymore.

So what do you think?  Do you believe that you know how to fix things?

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here


Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

While economic freedom declines in the US, it rises across the globe

1

 

Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

While economic freedom declines in the US, it rises across the globe

 

Liberty-cc-cc2-565x565

 

The wealth of nations has increased by astronomical amounts over the last 2 decades. Literally billions of people have been brought out of poverty thanks to economic freedom. It is as if once the Soviet Union died, once the scourge of international socialism was utterly and completely decimated both economically and intellectually, humanity couldn’t help but lurch forward.

 

The Berlin Wall “death strip.”

The Berlin Wall “death strip.”

 

Actually that is what happened.

Sadly we have gone in the opposite direction over the last 2 decades. Instead of freeing our economy we have wrapped it ever more in welfare state red tape. We have regulations on top of regulations on top of regulations. We make it harder for businesses to start. We make it harder for businesses to hire. We promise completely unrealistic pensions to government workers which are paid for by workers and businesses and crush the finances of our great cities. We nationalize car companies. We bail out banks which should be dead. Our government picks winners and losers of all kinds in the economy (and is almost always wrong – at great cost). In short, the United States which for so long was a beacon of liberty and economic freedom has dimmed dramatically. A system of crony capitalism has taken hold. The state (often the corporate state) is ubiquitous.

We must again embrace liberty and economic freedom. This is the way to an American Renaissance. We can again lead the world. We can again be a source of hope to the world.

You know, REAL hope.

(From The Wall Street Journal)
 
It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.
 
But as the U.S. economy languishes, many countries are leaping ahead, thanks to policies that enhance economic freedom—the same ones that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world. Governments in 114 countries have taken steps in the past year to increase the economic freedom of their citizens. Forty-three countries, from every part of the world, have now reached their highest economic freedom ranking in the index’s history.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

How does money move between the States and Feds?

0

 

How does money move between the States and Feds?

 

1-11-2014 1-58-40 PM

 

YouTube Preview Image

Published by NextNewsNetwork

Constitutional scholar Dr. Edwin Vieira sits down with Gary Franchi and answers the question… How does money move between the States and Feds?

Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…

LIVE: http://NextNewsNetwork.com
Facebook: http://Facebook.com/NextNewsNet
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/NextNewsNet

 

Government Policies Hurt Low-Wage Workers

0

 

Source: http://the-free-foundation.org

By Ron Paul

Government Policies Hurt Low-Wage Workers

 

Fast-food workers across the county have recently held a number of high profile protests to agitate for higher wages. These protests have been accompanied by efforts to increase the wages mandated by state and local minimum wage laws, as well as a renewed push in some states and localities to pass “living wage” laws. President Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to ten dollars an hour.

Raising minimum wages by government decree appeals to those who do not understand economics. This appeal is especially strong during times of stagnant wages and increased economic inequality. But raising the minimum wage actually harms those at the bottom of the income ladder. Basic economic theory teaches that when the price of a good increases, demand for that good decreases. Raising the minimum wage increases the price of labor, thus decreasing the demand for labor. So an increased minimum wage will lead to hiring freezes and layoffs. Unskilled and inexperienced workers are the ones most often deprived of employment opportunities by increases in the minimum wage.

Minimum wage laws are not the only example of government policies that hurt those at the bottom of the income scale. Many regulations that are promoted as necessary to “rein in” large corporations actually hurt small businesses. Because these small businesses operate on a much narrower profit margin, they cannot as easily absorb the costs of complying with the regulations as large corporations. These regulations can also inhibit lower income individuals from starting their own businesses. Thus, government regulations can reduce the demand for wage-labor, while increasing the supply of labor, which further reduces wages.

Perhaps the most significant harm to low-wage earners is caused by the inflationist polices of the Federal Reserve. Since its creation one hundred years ago this month, the Federal Reserve’s policies have caused the dollar to lose over 95 percent of its purchasing power—that’s right, today you need $23.70 to buy what one dollar bought in 1913! Who do you think suffers the most from this loss of purchasing power—Warren Buffet or his secretary?

It is not just that higher incomes can afford the higher prices caused by Federal Reserve. The system is set up in a way that disadvantages those at the bottom of the income scale. When the Federal Reserve creates money, those well-connected with the political and financial elites receive the newly-created money first, before general price increases have spread through the economy. And most fast-food employees do not number among the well-connected.

It is not a coincidence that economic inequality has increased in recent years, as the Federal Reserve has engaged in unprecedented money creation and bailouts of big banks and Wall Street financial firms. As billionaire investor Donald Trump has said, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policies are a great deal for “people like me.” And former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar has called QE “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”

Many so-called champions of economic equality and fairness for the working class are preparing to confirm Janet Yellen as next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Yet Yellen is committed to continuing and even expanding, the upward redistributionist polices of her predecessors. Washington could use more sound economic thinking and less demagoguery.

By increasing unemployment, government policies like minimum wage laws only worsen inequality. Those who are genuinely concerned about increasing the well-being of all Americans should support repeal of all laws, regulations, and taxes that inhibit job creation and economic mobility. Congress should also end the most regressive of all taxes, the inflation tax, by ending the Federal Reserve.

 

Does fighting crony capitalism necessarily involve fighting the growth of government?

0

 

Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

Does fighting crony capitalism necessarily involve fighting the growth of government?

 

Obamany-cc

 

I have to say that I enjoy articles like this one by Mike Konczal in the New Republic. He argues that all the focus on crony capitalism is a “Right-wing” ruse. He argues that it is just a smear used by reactionary idiologues to tarnish this progressive president. Obama is no corpoartist he explains. All the regulations which have been used to enrich a certain group of campaign donors and otherwise connected individuals? This is a side issue. Such enrichment was certainly not done on purpose. It’s just the nuts on the “Right” who have a problem with this stuff. He argues that the small government anti-crony capitalism critique, which highlights how business and government collude to screw the taxpayer, is nothing but flack. There’s no real concern for people, or the Republic, or justice. It’s nothing but a meme created to derail the bright and shining day, corpoarti…, er I mean fascis…, I mean progressivism will one day deliver to us.

It not an unfamiliar charge. Many people who believe that government can make the world a better place, have a very difficult time coming to terms with crony capitalism. Often people think that fighting crony capitalism means passing new regulations, but sadly as many people dig into the issue they come to realize that this has never worked and that it always seems that regulations (and I speak in the broadest sense right now, there is a limited place for regs), and government are always manipulated by the powers that be for their ends.

Anyone who doesn’t understand this is deluding themselves. Where there is government there will be corruption, and once government reaches a certain size there will be crony capitalism. The size of government and the amount of crony capitalism correlate very closely.

The state is not some benevolent force. It is not “the people” as we have been taught by our civics text books. It is SOME people. People who are interested in power for one reason or another. A sophisticated and modern understanding of politics demands an understanding of this.

The state is many times the most efficient means by which private interests can to derive power. Goldman Sachs for instance should be dead. It should be long gone. It leveraged itself out too much and then the market caught the bank with its pants down. But because Goldman had the right connections in Washington they were bailed out by the US taxpayer.

Mr. Konczal would like us to believe (following the logic in the attached article) that the Wall Street bailout was only the result of a well-meaning state seeking to keep the world economy from imploding. It wasn’t crony capitalism. So what if Goldman Sachs benefited and took all of the TARP money and spent it on bonuses for its people in 2009? Obama would never do that on purpose. He’s a “progressive.”

But “progressivism” is fundamentally a corporate ethos going right back to its birth at the turn of the 20th Century. At progressivism’s core is the idea of doing well and doing “good” (which is a laudable goal and one I strive for within the market) using government, while consolidating power for connected interests. That is fundamentally what “progressivism” is.

Notice how all the “progressive” reforms of that era and beyond seemed to end up working to the benefit of large private interests.

Take for instance the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was sold to the public as a way to bring the era’s “robber barons” to heel. It was the first big regulatory effort by the Feds and it set the tone for regulations to come.

This is what Richard Olney, Attorney General under Grover Cleveland had to say about the “reform.”-

“The Commission… is, or can be made, of great use to the railroads. It satisfies the popular clamor for a government supervision of the railroads, at the same time that supervision is almost entirely nominal. Further, the older such a commission gets to be, the more inclined it will be found to take the business and railroad view of things.… The part of wisdom is not to destroy the Commission, but to utilize it.”

Whether a “reform” is intended to help private interests or not, it is only a matter of time before that institution is captured.

Who befefits most from the Federal Reserve system? The big banks.

Who benefit’s the most from the FDA? The big drug companies.

Who benefits most from farm subsidies? Big agriculture.

Who benfits most from the Federal Communications Commission? The crony media and intellectual property zealots.

Who benefits most in the Obamacare scheme (if it worked)? The health insurance companies which were licking their chops at the prospect of a vast new group of customers subsidized by taxpayers.

And on and on.

It would be nice if government was some disinterested party which existed only for the greater good of all. But it is not. At best, government is to be tolerated, and kept small. When government is given power the crony capitalists start jockeying almost immediately. It’s like pouring tuna entrails into a shark tank.

I know that many people want to believe that government is here to help us. I am fairly sure that Mr. Konczal is one of these people. It is a nice thought, and limited government does indeed have its place, but benevolent government is not even a dream, it’s a delusion.

It’s a delusion- which one could understand in the days before the Information Age. People only heard one perspective. People were told that the government worked in their best interest. That government and evil corporations were opposing forces not complimentary ones. That taxes were “the price of society.” That wars were fought for “democracy.” And so on.

But there is no excuse for holding such naive views of government today. All one has to do is dig just a little bit to see that throughout history, probably since the dawn of history, the state (government, whatever) has been a tool by which the powerful have manipulated things in their interest. It is how monopolies survive – they don’t ever survive in a free market. It is how serfs were kept in their place. How slaves were kept in their place. It is how young men are drafted to fight wars. It is how our modern system of debt servitude is perpetuated. Ideally, for the average person who is not part of the “club” the state should be kept small and watched with a weary eye. The state is a drain on resources for most people.

The temptation of course (and the song of “progressivism”) is that the power of the state can be turned for good. Just think of the utopia which would blossom if the power of the state could be harnessed for the “people.”

But sadly government doesn’t work that way, history has shown us this over and over. At this point Mike Konczal, and many other “progressives” should understand this.

And Mike, it’s not the “Right-wingers” calling Obama a corporatist these days, it’s the “Lefties“. 

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
 

 

Go to Top