Cronyism, Part I: Prosperity
Well, I suppose we may as well begin the Economic Confidence Index, it’s only good news if you are one of the leeches living around Washington D.C. Yes, I know that not everybody there is a leech, some are very important and necessary to us remaining a free people. Maybe as many as 10%, the rest need to get a real job.
The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death,” but the same can’t be said of Washington, DC.
The bureaucrats, lobbyists, politicians, contractors, insiders, cronyists, and influence peddlers have rigged the system so that they get rich by diverting money from people in the productive sector of the economy.
How bad is the disconnect between Washington and real America?
Well, according to Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, people in every state have a negative outlook.
But there is one outpost of giddy prosperity, and that’s the District of Columbia, where residents have a 20-point gap compared to the most optimistic (or, to be more accurate, least pessimistic) state and a whopping 35-point gap with the average American.
Continue reading The Wages of Cronyism, Big Government, and Corruption | International Liberty.
Cronyism, Part II: Detroit
There’s and amazing story in here. Detroit, not so long ago, had more millionaires than any American city, including New York City. This is the heart of the fabled American industrial miracle. And now? It looks like a third world city and works like one too. Todd Zywicki writing on The Volokh Conspiracy yesterday talked about this, here’s an excerpt:
What comes through in the movie is that the bankruptcy of the automakers and Detroit largely arose from the same forces: horribly inept and unaccountable management and insatiable demands by labor interests that drove both the automakers and the city into the ground. This manifested itself in rising costs and deterioration in quality (cars in one case and city governance in the other, such as failure to supply basic public services). One of the more poignant moments in the film is the observation by a longtime Detroit resident of the differing fortunes of Chicago and Detroit over the decades of the second half of the 20th Century—two large, otherwise comparable Midwestern cities that experienced very different fortunes over a multi-decade period. The parallel between
Detroit and Chicago’s fortunes is similar American carmakers and the challenge of Japanese and other foreign carmakers beginning in the 1970s is similar.
Another interesting thesis suggested by the movie is that GM’s welfare mentality was a long time in coming, dating back to the noxious Poletown case where GM used its political clout to enlist the public eminent domain power to destroy a longtime ethnic neighborhood in Detroit so that it could build a new factory.
Do read it all at: Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit
In addition Mr. Zywicki linked the film made by Ben Howe. It’s here
Cronyism, Part III: Obamacare
David Harsanyi writing in The Federalist had considerable to say about Obamacare as well. Much of what he is writing about is how this lawless regime is modifying the law for political purposes, and to benefit the President’s friends. An excerpt from his article
Another Obamacare fiasco? Guess what? We’ll rationalize that disaster into something awesome, tout de suite. You can’t keep your insurance if you like it? Consider yourself lucky. Obamacare disincentivizes work. Be grateful! The Affordable Healthcare Act will cost three times as much as initial estimates? Spending creates jobs. The exchanges have been a disaster? Stop rooting for the president to fail, for God’s sake.
The Treasury Department just announced it will delay a coverage mandate for companies with 50 to 99 employees for a year. And liberals who grouse about the anarchic tendencies of grassroots conservatives will be prepared to rationalize why this news is not only unavoidable but great for Americans. It always is.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the Obama administration has probably missed half of the deadlines of the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a list of 13 executive alterations Now, if all this haphazard implementation were only a matter of improving what are onerous and poorly written facets of Obamacare, that would be one thing. A bad thing, yes. But what makes this free-for-all an especially blatant abuse of power is that the delays are enacted almost exclusively for political reasons.
Continue reading: Obamacare is Just Another Word for laws We Ignore Together
Lies, Damned Lies, and Government
Angelo M. Codevilla writing on the LIbrary of Law and Liberty had much to say the other day about our media (specifically in this case Bill O’Reilly) letting Obama get away with lying. It’s an excellent article, which you should read, and it is linked below. At the end he talked a bit about Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. I chose to excerpt that part.
This is new and incomplete. But only in America. It is the very routine, the very constitution, of totalitarian society. Returning our attention to the indissoluble link between truth and freedom, lies and servitude, was the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s enduring contribution to our civilization.
Solzhenitsyn showed that totalitarianism works by leading people to take part in the regime’s lies, and that it does so mostly by a host of petty incentives. Then he wrote: “the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.” The lies that hold up corrupt regimes, he noted, like infections, “can exist only in a living organism.” Hence whoever will live in freedom “will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.”
We should all do that. Even Bill O’Reilly.
The article is here: Live Not by Lies
Yesterday we talked of what is right with America, and that is and will remain true. The huge majority of Americans are honest, hardworking people with a strong sense of honor. But, and it’s a huge but, that is mostly no longer true of the Wall Street-Washington D.C. axis, and until that is rectified America is going to have a lot of trouble.