More Steps Towards a European Style Corporate State

In Europe, economies are run by a troika of politicians, leaders of large corporations, and major unions.  These groups run the economy to their benefit and against entrepeneurs, nwe competitors, foreign competition, low-skilled workers, upstart competitors, and (most of all) consumers.   Q&O discovered someone on the HuffPo of all places starting to see what is going on:

When I heard the word "corporatist" a couple of years ago, I laughed. I thought what a funny, made up, liberal word. I fancy myself a die-hard capitalist, so it seemed vaguely anti-business, so I was put off by it.

Well, as it turns out, it's a great word. It perfectly describes a great majority of our politicians and the infrastructure set up to support the current corporations in the country. It is not just inaccurate to call these people and these corporations capitalists; it is in fact the exact opposite of what they are.

Capitalists believe in choice, free markets and competition. Corporatists believe in the opposite. They don't want any competition at all. They want to eliminate the competition using their power, their entrenched position and usually the politicians they've purchased. They want to capture the system and use it only for their benefit.

This applies to workers as well as employers -- just replace capitalists with "free workers" and corporatists with "unions" in the above paragraph.  This helps to explain why Obama is not actually pro-labor, but pro-union.  Via TJIC:

Workers in Barack Obama's new economic order fall into two categories "” those who are worthy of the president's energies, and those who aren't. You may be surprised to learn where you rank.

Obama doesn't weigh the value of workers based on their paychecks, what they do or whether they slip their feet into wingtips or steel-toed boots in the morning. His sole interest is in whether they have a union card in their wallet.

If they do, the president is in their corner, working hard to make sure they don't get the short end of any stick. But if they are among the 88 percent of American workers who don't belong to a union? Ask Delphi's salaried employees what Obama thinks of them.

As part of Delphi's restructuring in bankruptcy court, the Troy-based auto parts maker dumped its pension plan onto the federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.

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That usually means a continued pension check, but one that is much smaller. And for Delphi's salaried workers, that's what they can expect.

Delphi's union-represented workers, however, will dodge that bullet. The Obama administration swooped in and, in an extraordinary deal, is forcing General Motors to make the 46,000 union workers and retirees whole. GM used to own Delphi, and relies on the supplier for much of its parts.

"The U.S. government is taking care of a select group of people and tossing the rest of us under the bus," Peter Beiter, a retired financial manager for a Delphi plant in Rochester, N.Y., told the New York Times.

And it's doing so with the tax dollars of those like Beiter who aren't in the favored class of workers. GM is operating with more than $50 billion in government bailout money.

That gives Obama the freedom to force GM to subsidize the pensions of union workers it has no legal obligation to, and who are employed by an entirely different company.

If you want to see where we are going, read this (and this) about the National Industrial Recovery Act, which FDR modelled after Mussolin-style fascism, whose economic system he greatly admired.

  • Gary

    lol ... lets not mince words on what we are describing here. We could give it a fancy new name, but I think that the dull old name works better. Because at the end of the day it gives continuity for what will become if we follow it's siren song. Forget the old word? Here it is in all its glory ... Fascism.

  • anon

    Gary, you're technically correct -- but common usage has effectively changed the meaning of the word. It no longer means the Mussoline corporate-state, but any sort of dictatorship, and is often expanded to a general-use epithet (fascist, racist, communist, etc.).

    Compare the word "liberal," which used to mean someone with Adam Smith-like respect for autonomy, free markets, etc. Now it means someone who advocates the use of the state to eliminate or restrict personal liberty.

  • stan

    Big Business, Big Labor, Big Government -- welcome to ObamaWorld.

    Who was the venture capitalist who recently said he greatly preferred the current venture climate. In the old days of the tech boom, picking winners was a crap shoot. Now, you can invest in green companies that the government subsidizes. Making money is a slam dunk. Just buy influence with the politicians and cash the checks.

  • http://thebastidge.blogspot.com thebastidge

    Well, unions are an organized power base and therefore worth courting.

    Unions deliver votes and campaign money. Not to mention more (ahem) personal considerations.

  • Ian Random

    Looks like his policies are working. Incarceration up and crime down. Hmmm, locking-up bad guys means they can't victimize in theory.

    http://sonoranalliance.com/?p=4761