Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: October 23, 2009


If You Were A Democrat In Congress, What Would Your First Domestic Priority Be?

Health care reform?

Cap-and-trade?

Or, perhaps, economic recovery and jobs?

On Thursday, Obama’s economic adviser Christina Romer told Congress the administration agrees with other analysts that the economy will grow in the third quarter, and beyond. Even so, she said, “unemployment is likely to remain at its severely elevated level,” and noted expectations that few jobs will be added through the third quarter of 2010.

And what happens during the 4th quarter of 2010?

So why are Democrats fiddling with health care reform and cap-and-trade instead of the economy and jobs?

All I can figure is the radical element in control of the leadership in Congress right now sees the small window they have to push this garbage through as more important than putting policies in place which would enable economic recovery and create jobs.

Politically its a mixed bag for Democrats – push the extremist agenda through but at the cost of seats and possibly a majority in the midterm elections. Apparently they (the liberal Democrats, certainly not the more conservative Democrats who’re actually the one’s who might lose their seats) think enacting the legislation is worth the cost of 2010. And then, they might just be arrogant enough to think they can pull both off.

~McQ


Unsurprisingly, Top Performers Leaving Companies Under Pay Czar’s Rule

It floors me when people who have an inkling of how markets work warn what will happen if pay restrictions are imposed on some of the companies in an industry, but not all, and those warnings are disregarded. And no, I’m not campaigning for all companies to come under the “pay czar’s” control. Instead, what is clear is the “pay czar’s” unilateral pay cuts are now hurting the very companies you and I (and our grandchildren’s grandchildren) unwillingly bailed out. And while I mostly agree with MichaelW’s thoughts on the subject, I also understand that the way it is being done does not help make their profitability (that’s how they’re going to pay back the bailout money) better. In fact, it stands a much better chance of hurting profitability:

Many executives were driven away by the uncertainty of working for companies closely overseen by Washington, opting instead for firms not under the microscope, including competitors that have already returned the bailout funds to the government, according to executives and supervisors at the companies.

“There’s no question people have left because of uncertainty of our ability to pay,” said an executive at one of the affected firms. “It’s a highly competitive market out there.”

It would be a bit like the government getting its hands on an NFL franchise for whatever reason that was failing. After “saving” it with your tax dollars, the powers to be decide that one of the things they need to do is severely limit the salary of players, because, you know, in relation to Joe Six-Pack, what the players make is obscene. So they unilaterally put salary caps on what players can make that are well below industry standards.

Any guess what happens when free agency rolls around? Any idea of how many drafted players are going to say “no” and remain unsigned when their salary demands aren’t met? Why?

To quote the executive, “It’s a highly competitive market out there”, and there are teams more than willing to pay the price for that talent. Why? Because the talent has proven themselves or have tremendous potential (as in the case of high draft choices).

So if it is blindingly obvious what would happen with an NFL franchise if the same thing was done there, how do these people who are doing a very populist political thing endemic to identity politics, think what they’re doing will be the exception?

They’re unilaterally limiting the talent pool in financial institutions we’ve paid to bail out which puts in jeopardy the ability of those companies to pay back the bailout money.

That doesn’t hit me as very bright. But then, a lot of things that have been done recently fall into that category, don’t they?

~McQ


Dumb and Dumbest – The White House’s Irrational War Against FOX News (Continued)

I continue to watch this incredibly dumb public fight the White House has picked with a news organization and cannot fathom why they continue it. At least not a rational reason. I can come up with all sorts of irrational reasons. For an election campaign organization that was touted as being so media savvy, while watching this debacle continue to develop you have to wonder where all the savvy types went.

And some of the media seems to have had a “there but for the grace of God go I” moment. Jake Tapper exemplifies that:

Jake Tapper, ABC News: It hasn’t escaped our notice that in the last few weeks the White House has decided to declare war on one of our sister organizations saying it’s not a news organization and tell the rest of the news media to not treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to say one of them is not a news organization and the rest of the media should not treat them like one.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: We render opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: That’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they’re not a news organization. How are they different from, say another, say ABC, MSNBC, Univision?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight or five this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programs. Or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying that thousands of individuals who work for a media organization do not work for a news organization. Why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That is our opinion.

When you’re reduced to “that’s our opinion” as a defense of your actions, you’ve got nothing. When you have representatives of competing news organizations referring to FOX as a “sister organization”, you’ve lost the battle.

However the White House doesn’t seem to understand that, and continues to arrogantly push this fight they picked. Other that with the extreme left, which has always hated FOX, the White House is the completely unsympathetic actor in this little charade. Here you have the Press Secretary for the President of the United States trying to dictate what constitutes “fairness” of coverage. It is pure arrogance trying to trade on waning popularity and it isn’t working. More overreach by this administration – picking fights that aren’t necessary whichmake them look petty and small and which they will, in the end, lose.

Not too bright.

~McQ

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