Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, August 11, 2011 7:51 pm

Why you don’t want to try to run government like a business

Because business people haven’t the first clue what they’re talking about, observes Sir Charles at Cogitamus:

One of the things that has kept occuring to me over the last couple of weeks — and with particular potency on Thursday as the stock market tanked — is the consistent uselessness of the American business community in matters of policy.  Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce continuously push to elect Republicans to office despite the fact that they are committed to harmful cuts in government expenditures, cuts that will ultimately harm the Chamber’s own constituency.  The Wall Street community, which got its collective nose out of joint over the all too tepid criticisms levelled at it by President Obama, helped to elect Republicans so out of touch with financial reality that they allowed the prospect of a governmental default to spook the markets.  All of this despite the fact that historically the economy experiences much greater job growth under Democratic administrations and that the stock market has performed far better under Democratic presidents.

Business leaders could have played a useful role in the recent debates over both the move towards austerity and the debt ceiling.  It would have been extremely helpful to have arguments made for expansionary policies posited by the business community, which rightly or wrongly, continues to have a ready microphone in the mainstream media, particularly on cable television.  They chose instead to sit on the sidelines and let the crazies in the Republican Party have their way.  Only after the fact have they reacted to the bad policy decisions foisted on us by the extreme right, past the point where they could have any positive input in the debate.

To be fair to business, not all business groups are alike. The national Chamber of Commerce, which represents primarily the largest corporations while claiming to speak for all business,  is so insane some local chambers are disassociating themselves from it, while groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which represent more small and medium-sized businesses, have been more reality-based.

But the poster’s larger point stands: Big Business has supported political candidates whose party’s performance history is objectively inimical to its interests. It has supported politicians who are killing it, not politicians who have helped it. And that, friends, is one good reason not to run government like business.

Saturday, April 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Don Blankenship: Not just a pretty face

Filed under: Hold! Them! Accountable! — Lex @ 11:24 pm
Tags: ,

He’s poisoning more than just streams, killing more than just miners.

Saturday, March 20, 2010 3:02 pm

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

… which is a pretty significant mistake if, like The Washington Post, you are in the word bidness:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, already one of Washington’s largest lobbying groups, is gearing up to play a major role in this year’s midterm elections on a scale that rivals the nation’s two main political parties.

Modeled in part on Barack Obama‘s 2008 campaign juggernaut, the group has built a grass-roots operation known as Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has a member list of 6 million names, aimed at lobbying on legislation and swaying voters to back preferred candidates, primarily Republicans, in battleground areas, officials said.

Interesting that the Post article even links to a reasonably workable definition of “grass-roots” while using the term to describe a top-down, centrally funded, $50 million effort. I’m sure there’s some Professional Journalist reason why they’re doing this that I’m just not enough of an insider to understand.

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