It’s been an interesting week for news. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, apparently not satisfied with how the Obama administration tore up a legal contract between GM and its investors in order to give the company to the union, is now calling for the government to seize more companies.
“We need to fundamentally restructure our economy and re-establish popular control over the private corporations which have distorted our economy and hijacked our government. That’s a long-term job, but one we should start now.”
Hmmm … are allowed to call these people “socialists” now? I know it was considered unbecoming during the last election season, but I’m pretty sure the label is starting to fit quite nicely.
Unless the common folks are planning to surround corporate offices carrying torches and pitchforks, there’s no such thing as “popular” control of a private company. Mr. Trumka just can’t bring himself say “government control” … probably because he’s noticed the term tends to swell the ranks of Tea Party rallies.
The word “re-establish” is interesting as well. Perhaps the schools I attended used different textbooks than Mr. Trumka’s schools, but I don’t recall government control of private corporations being part of our history, save for the dark ages of FDR’s first term — and most of those controls were struck down by the Supreme Court, which is why FDR wanted to grant himself the power to appoint more judges. (He would’ve simply declared himself dictator for life, but suspected there might be an uprising.)
As for corporations distorting and hijacking the government, Mr. Trumka has a point there. The bigger and more powerful the government becomes, the more it will be hijacked. There’s a reason Archer Daniels Midland has never tried to hijack, say, the University of Arkansas student senate: those senators can’t do anything for ADM. But if you give 535 people in Washington the power to spend trillions of dollars and control several trillion more, you may as well hang up an “Open For Hijacking” sign.
I’m sure Mr. Trumka understands all that. He’s just pissed that the union hijackers haven’t been as successful as he’d like.
There’s an old joke (with various versions) that journalists and media pundits like to tell: Upset with the state of the world, God calls a meeting with key journalists and informs them he’s going to destroy the earth in two days. The next day, headlines appeared in various newspapers:
Wall Street Journal: World Ends Tomorrow, DOW drops 10,000 points
USA Today: World Ends Tomorrow, 87% Disapprove
New York Times: World Ends Tomorrow, Women and Minorities to Suffer Most
The bleeding hearts at the New York Times are now upset that the “stimulus” spending isn’t going to go on forever (assuming it doesn’t):
Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs within weeks unless Congress extends one of the more effective job-creating programs in the $787 billion stimulus act: a $1 billion New Deal-style program that directly paid the salaries of unemployed people so they could get jobs in government, at nonprofit organizations and at many small businesses.
To write for the New York Times, you apparently have to swear an oath that you’ve never read, and never will read, a book on basic economics.
There’s no such thing as an “effective” job-creating program if it’s funded by taxpayer dollars. Sure, governments can hire people. And all they have to do to pay for those jobs is confiscate money taxpayers would have spent themselves, thus creating or supporting other jobs. It’s about as effective as using part of your paycheck to hire your unemployed spouse, then deciding you’re better off since you’re both working now.
Job-creation programs don’t make us wealthier; they make us poorer. When you spend your own money, you support people creating products someone actually wants, such as an iPad or new suit. When the government spends your money, it supports people creating products you weren’t willing to buy in the first place, such as bad theater or environmental impact reports. If you’d rather have the iPad than the environmental impact report, the government’s choice just made you worse off.
Thank goodness there are still some countries in the world where officials understand how private enterprise produces wealth. I am referring, of course, to Cuba — which announced it will soon lay off a million government workers.
Cuba has announced radical plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees, to help revive the communist country’s struggling economy. The Cuban labour federation said more than a million workers would lose their jobs – half of them by March next year. Those laid off will be encouraged to become self-employed or join new private enterprises, on which some of the current restrictions will be eased.
Our newspapers, ruling political party, and union leaders want the government to hire more government workers and seize control of more corporations to “stimulate” the economy. Cuba is sacking 20% of its government workforce to stimulate their economy (thus risking its status as a compassionate paradise in the opinion of Michael Moore).
Something is clearly wrong here. After thinking long and hard about it, I see the path America must take: we need to finally get over the shame of the Bay of Pigs and invade Cuba — like we mean it this time.
JFK invaded Cuba (sort of) in a failed attempt save it from communism. That was clearly a mistake. The right time to invade Cuba is when the country is in danger of turning capitalist. If we allow people there to establish their own businesses, it will only be matter of time before they’re competing with Americans. We simply can’t allow that in an era when our government is determined to make American corporations non-competitive. It’s bad enough that we have to compete with the Indians and the Chinese.
Once Cuba is conquered and millions of Cubans have finished beating statues of Castro with their sandals, we can impose the new American way of doing business on them. Richard Trumka can fly down and explain the need for “popular control” of all fledgling corporations. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd can fly down and explain the wisdom of requiring banks to grant government-backed mortgages to the unemployed, the illiterates, and the illegal immigrants. Obama’s entire economic team can fly down and explain how to create jobs by raising taxes, forcing citizens to buy products and services they don’t want, and spending trillions of dollars created out of thin air by a central bank.
And if we’re lucky, they’ve all love the weather in Cuba so much, they’ll never come home.