Saturday, July 10, 2010

Obama: don't bow & scrape to business--divide & conquer

An article in Politico says the Obama administration is worried the are gaining an unfair reputation of being anti-business and includes the pitch Rahm Emanuel is making publicly to get back in corporate America's good graces, but only one part of it is on target, the point about reregulation (see highlight in excerpt below).

The fact is, when Wall Street is run like a boiler room scam factory, it's bad for legitimate businesses that produce actual goods and services, who could become the target of the next pump and dump bubble. Worse, without fairly applied regulation, smaller businesses must always be afraid that larger, more politically connected corporations will cheat them in deals or use monopolistic tactics to put them out of business with impunity.

There is also the old Henry Ford case to be made prosperous workers buy more products, and the various scams and exorbitant health insurance costs have meant less money for workers to spend buying electronics, cars, and refrigerators.

Probably the best cases to be made though is a Machiavellian divide and conquer one: not all businesses are the same just as not all people are. There were and are some bad actors who harmed not just the American people but all other American businesses.

Unless a business really believed they could get out of paying for health insurance altogether, health care reform will help them (and it would have helped them more if it had been even more progressive and gave people a public option).

Likewise, the damage BP has done to fisheries, tourism, and probably even some agriculture in the Gulf of Mexico is incalculable. When you add the other hidden costs of catering to the oil industry like the taxes we pay that go to subsidies, tax breaks, and troops to seize and protect oil reserves and pipeline routes, taking care of the health effects of burning fossil fuels, and the suppression of alternative energy to replace it.

Rahm's approach assumes that a business is a business is a business, but that is like saying your corner diner is the same as Microsoft is the same as a tobacco company, ''massage'' parlor, or Tony Robbins get-rich-quick scam.

Clamping down on and holding the bad actors accountable makes it possible for ethical businesses to thrive since the lack of regulation puts ethical businesses at a disadvantage against the unethical who will cut corners in product or worker safety or by giving their customers less than promised.

And just as many conservatives think certain individuals are so dangerous to society that they cannot be allowed to live, so it is with certain businesses and even whole industries that need to be put to death or at least put out on ice floe in the arctic, so that their survival depends on their anti-climate change propaganda being true.

If BP hasn't earned that fate, we should apologize for executing Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer*, and Tim McVeigh.

To do this though, taking care of the public good would have to be a top priority, and if you read up on the DLC, corporate wing of the Democratic Party that Obama has filled his administration with, it is obvious that they would rather replace the Republicans not just in elected offices, but in the hearts of sociopathic CEO's and trust fund babies as their most trusted servants, and if that means grinding us up and using us to chum for sharks off the back of the wealthy's yacht, so be it.

W.H. works to flip anti-business rep

By: Ben White
July 8, 2010 12:51 PM EDT

Obama has been happy to be seen by voters as cracking down on Wall Street but those efforts have had an unintended result: feeding a sense that the president and his party are indifferent or even actively hostile toward big business, whether those businesses are Silicon Valley tech companies, Midwestern manufacturers or Main Street small businesses.

And it is more than just politics: Obama’s aides believe confidence in the general direction of White House policy has an effect on the willingness of corporations to hire, invest and push the economy toward a more solid recovery.

The stakes are high. Nearly every economic report suggests that corporate America, flush with cash and generating strong profits, is waiting to unleash a wave of hiring if only they have confidence there will be no double-dip recession and that consumers will have money to spend.


In a Thursday interview, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel argued that rather than recoiling against Obama, business leaders should be grateful for his support on at least a half-dozen counts: his advocacy of greater international trade and education reform open markets despite union skepticism; his rejection of calls from some quarters to nationalize banks during the financial meltdown; the rescue of the automobile industry; the fact that the overhaul of health care preserved the private delivery system; the fact that billions in the stimulus package benefited business with lucrative new contracts, and that financial regulation reform will take away the uncertainty that existed with a broken, pre-crash regulatory apparatus.


*NOTE: I know Dahmer was only executed by poetic justice not by the judicial system.

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