A European-style corporate state is typically ruled by a troika of large favored corporations, industrial and public employee unions, and long-time political insiders. Most definitely excluded from power are consumers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, younger workers without seniority, and taxpayers.
I have argued that Obama is not a socialist, but is building a European-style corporate state. Here is a great indicator, from my Princeton classmate Henry Payne:
For the first time in more than two years, SUV sales account for more than half of the U.S. auto market. ...
The trend comes even as Washington issued a new edict that vehicles average an absurd 62 mpg by 2025. The current absurd standard -- 35 mpg by 2015 -- has forced manufacturers to invest billions in new small-car development.
Today, manufacturers are in defiance of their own customers -- their marketing departments churning out small-car ads touting their new green products. This puts automakers in a tough spot: Continue to make cars for the government, or listen to their customers.
For now, manufacturers are sticking with the government, telling the Detroit News that "with a slew of new cars coming out, such as the Chevrolet Cruze, the Ford Fiesta and a new Ford Focus early next year, car sales are likely to outpace truck sales in the coming months."
If you want a deeper look at how legislation is made in the corporate state, read this fascinating (but very long) New Yorker report on the efforts to pass a climate bill this past year. The author writes it in the spirit of lamenting lost opportunities, but I read it as a great inside view of the sausage factor. Do we really want to give these guys more power?
In the same spirit, I commented thus on Kevin Drum's post discussing the growth of campaign spending this year, and lamenting that it is going to the nasty old Coke team instead of the Pepsi team:
There is a really simple solution to this -- reduce the coercive power of government to break individuals or corporations or to hand them windfalls, and all this spending goes away.
The spending has not gone up because the rules changed, because the Supreme Court rules did not substantially affect this kind of campaign spending (there is a ton of sloppiness in the media on this point).
The spending has gone up because Obama & the Democratic Congress has put more of the US economy in play in their attempts to form a European-style corporate state. When Obama and Pelosi engage in populist public speeches vilifying whole sectors of the economy, groups are going to try to defend themselves from the onslaught, either by throwing the current office holders out or buying the favor of those they can't unseat.