Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The State of the Union. What?

The State of the Union


What do you think the state of the union is?

You heard his State of the Union speech. And you heard his Inaugural Speech.

You heard the words, what do you think they mean?
"So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in America. We can get that done."
What state do you think will come of government 'investment' in industry? What do you think will come of government partnering with business? What do you think will come of government taking over the education of every child, from pre-school through college?

What is it that you think will follow from government planning your life for you?

What do you think will come of regulating the fundamental rights of conscience and self defense? Do you really think there will be no consequences?

Really? Ideas have consequences, do you think that the pretty words will make those go away?

You don't need me to explain it any further; I'm not going to help him to pretend that his earnest intentions will make the reality of his words mean anything other than what they do mean, and I'm not going to help you to deny it. I have no predictions for you other than the obvious, that when the words are gone, the reality will remain.

If you haven't bothered to pay attention to history, don't worry, history will be only too happy to give you a do-over on that.

Too, too happy to.


Anonymous said...

What do you think will come of government 'investment'? What do you think will come of government partnering with business?

Dunno, but you're soaking in it. Where do you think the Internet came from?

Van Harvey said...

The internet? Really? I give you an opening like that, and the internet is all you can come up with? Who are you aninnymouse, algore? Or maybe Vicomte de Valvert?

Something came before the internet, right? What about micro computers themselves? What about rockets? Satellites? Scratch resistant lenses? Freeze dried food? MRI's? Google could provide you with an extensive list of dazzling goodies and even entire industries that have resulted from govt programs, especially for gullible fools such as yourself, who are in the habit of paying attention only to What Is Seen and (ignoring) What Is Not Seen.

But that misses the larger question - Obama was speaking of partnership, not involvement, nor even the proRegressive favorite of 'investment'. Solyndra and the like are the result of simple govt investment, but that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what awaits us with govt partnership in industry.

What he is proposing goes far beyond the corruption and mere financial waste of govt involvement with business, or even the utter darkness of the regulatory state... if you think the corruption that has been spawned from necessary govt involvement with industry, such as the military/industrial complex, or govt/educational complex has been obscene... you ain't seen nothing yet.

But you will.

In the end, even you will.

Anonymous said...

No fucking idea what you are going on about.

You are right that there have been plenty of government-industry joint ventures of various types in the past. The entire defense industry is basically in that category.

So I'm not clear on why Obama's proposals reach some new nefarious level of collusion. If you think it's going to lead to more corrupion than, say the bailout and bribery associated with Lockheed in the past, you are delusional.

Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "So I'm not clear on why Obama's proposals reach some new nefarious level of collusion."

You have never even given it a moments thought. Have you Not even so much as an evenings worth of research and consideration... have you?

Never considered what different types of corruption might be involved, beyond simple greed for gain and status?

Never considered how interests might combine, not just within the bidder and biddee, but through those who might not be able to garner $$$, but still for those all around the edges, who can expand their influence and security within the bureaucracy.... what does securing favorable mentions and priorities for that which has the attention of those with more power than you... what happens with your fine 'for the people!' agencies?

The only power the little guy has against the rich and powerful, is the law. What happens when those who right the laws, find more benefit in writing them so as to favor the rich and powerful, rather than the little guy? What happens when the rich and powerful see that they can use those who write the laws to write them in such a way as it benefits them, and hurts their more nimble competitors?

"The only congressional hearings on what ultimately became the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 were held by Congressman James Wadsworth’s Agriculture Committee between June 6 and 11. A careful reading of the deliberations of the Wadsworth committee and the subsequent floor debate leads inexorably to one conclusion: knowing that a new law would allay public fears fanned by The Jungle, bring smaller rivals under controls, and put a newly laundered government seal of approval on their products, the major meat packers strongly endorsed the proposed act and only quibbled over who should pay for it.

In the end, Americans got a new federal meat inspection law, the big packers got the taxpayers to pick up the entire $3 million price tag for its implementation, as well as new regulations on the competition, and another myth entered the annals of anti-market dogma."

But you've never given that much thought, have you.

Let alone bothered to consider what distinctions there might be between the kind of corruption that follows from seeking bribery & easy money, such as with defense contractors, and that which regulatory controls entail.

Or how either of those might differ from what it takes, and returns, through securing not just govt favors, but actual cash investment.

Van Harvey said...

When those who have political power, trade that, not just for popularity and gain, but who also stake their political power on tying themselves and the public perception of govt 'prestige' to a particular business - that'd be partnership - what do you suppose will follow from that?

What follows is that no longer is a business concerned with only minor issues of product, success, profit - business.

With business/govt partnership, comes those who ever endorsed it... everyone from an assemblymen to the media and every level of govt, there will be entire careers that are openly at stake - what's the effective transparency on that likely to be? When the government itself has its prestige on the line with that 'partnership'... not simply for profits, and not only (at all?) to shareholders, or customers, but to those with every level and degree of political power... what do you suppose that will mean to, not only regulations, but business competitors, businesses who can supply - or not - the Govt picked company... who report on it, authorize loans for it... rate it... and what will happen to the laws, and how they are written and enforced?

You've never even considered it, and yet you expect it all to go just fine. And you want to call me delusional.

Crack open some history books aninny. And if it scares you, you don't even have to look at the most obvious examples, early 20th century Italy & Germany... take a look at the British East India Company.

There's no news like reoccurring news.