Free Markets, Free People
I swear I almost laughed out loud when I read this. President Obama is asked in an interview what the biggest mistake of his presidency has been:
"When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well," the president said, "the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."
Story telling is his biggest mistake? He’s been telling “stories” for 4 years, most of them fictional. It is his abysmal and clueless performance in office that’s been his biggest mistake. OK, poor performance probably isn’t a mistake, it’s, well, poor performance. Perhaps his biggest mistake was thinking he’s done well. No, that’s just ignorance and ego.
No his biggest mistake was concentrating on his legacy while he let the economy go to hell and now it’s all but unrecoverable (in his 1st term, which is all that matters to him). He continually told a story about how he and Sheriff Joe were “focused like lasers” on jobs and the economy.
And here we are.
But all of that is not why I almost laughed out loud.
How many times have you seen the left and Democrats claim that it isn’t the message that is the problem but how it is delivered?
The above quote is the Obama version of that very premise. You can’t instill a sense of unity, purpose and optimism when you’re continually taking away freedoms.
Cluebat for the left: it has nothing to do with delivery, it has to do with the fact that most Americans think your policies (and ideology, at least the part that continually calls for more expensive and intrusive government and sees government as the solution to all problems) suck.
It isn’t the “story”, okay?
Honest to goodness, if this doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will.
Yet the Boeing case has a scarier aspect missed by conservatives: Why is Boeing, one of our few real global champions in beefing up exports, moving work on the Dreamliner from a high-skill work force ($28 an hour on average) to a much lower-wage work force ($14 an hour starting wage)? Nothing could be a bigger threat to the economic security of this country.
We should be aghast that Boeing is sending a big fat market signal that it wants a less-skilled, lower-quality work force. This country is in a debt crisis because we buy abroad much more than we sell. Alas, because of this trade deficit, foreign creditors have the country in their clutches. That’s not because of our labor costs—in that respect, we can undersell most of our high-wage, unionized rivals like Germany. It’s because we have too many poorly educated and low-skilled workers that are simply unable to compete.
We depend on Boeing to out-compete Airbus, its European rival. But when major firms move South, it is usually a harbinger of quality decline.
Wow … really? So all those F-35s being built in Ft. Worth, and all those C-130s and F-22 Raptors being built in Marietta, GA, not to mention the myriad of car manufacturing plants, specialty steel plants, hi-tech industries, etc. all have seen ‘quality declines’ because they’re located in the South?
Good grief, my guess is this guy hasn’t been out of Chicago since 1970? You’ve got to love the correlation he tries to draw between “high-skill” and $28 bucks an hour with “low-skill” and $14 bucks an hour. Yeah, that works, doesn’t it? It’s a bit like saying a guy who opens and closes a blast furnace door at $28 bucks an hour is a “high-skilled” worker. Doesn’t correlate at all does it? But that was an actual wage for an actual job at a steel plant before it went out of business because it was uncompetitive, thanks to unions, years ago.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the guy writing this is a labor union lawyer and he thinks everyone who reads the Wall Street Journal is an idiot.
Here’s his one and only example of why he thinks he’s got this all figured out. As he says, he “represented the workers” in the first plant. He’s speaking of Outboard Marine Corp:
In the 1990s the company went from the high wage union North to the low wage South and was bankrupt by 2000. There are reasons workers in the North get $28 an hour while down in the South they get $14 or even $10. Adam Smith could explain it: "productivity," "skill level," "quality."
Of course the reason it went bankrupt might have absolutely nothing to do with any of that. It might be because the corporation was uncompetitive well before the move and the move was a last ditch effort to save itself. But we don’t know, and this yahoo decides it is “productivity”, “skill level” and “quality” which were the problem. Of course BMW’s plant in SC doesn’t suffer from any of those problems does it? In fact one of the reasons the Germans are making their cars there is because of the productivity they achieve there. Same with all the car plants across the south to include those opened fairly recently by Honda, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, and Mercedes – in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for heaven sake. The reason they’re in the South is they get more “productivity”, “skill” and “quality” for the wage than they do in the North.
But to admit that would be to admit that perhaps the problem is unions, not Southerners.
However, our clueless lawyer isn’t done:
Here is yet another American firm seeking to ruin its reputation for quality. Why? To save $14 an hour! Seriously: Is that going to help sell the Dreamliner? In terms of the finished product, the labor cost is minuscule: $14 in hourly wage, at most. It’s incredible that conservatives claim such small differences in labor cost would be life or death to Boeing. It’s not labor cost but labor skill that is life or death to the survival of Boeing, never mind pilots and passengers.
If the history of runaway shops proves anything, it’s that many go "South" in more than one sense of the word. If that sounds unfair to the South, it is union busting that has inflicted the real unfairness in the region: income inequality and inferior schools.
Yessiree – those airplanes they’ve been building in Marietta GA and Ft. Worth TX have just been falling out of the sky because of all that income inequality and those inferior schools. What, no “redneck”, “hillbilly” or “barely in shoes” included? No NASCAR jokes? Remarks about family trees that don’t fork? Dueling banjoes? He missed his chance, didn’t he?
Of course the reason Boeing is opening a plant in SC has nothing to do with wages per se. His point is correct as far as it goes. The plant is opening so Boeing and its customers aren’t held hostage to the work stoppages that are normal fare in the union plant in Washington. And it is hard to blame them for doing that, isn’t it?
Of course pig-headed ignorance about an area like this simply has to be seen to be believed and he proves himself as the poster boy for that. If abject and unqualified ignorance is bliss, this is one happy, happy labor lawyer.
Wow … 2011 and you find something like this in the Wall Street Journal. Who said their editors don’t have a wicked sense of humor?
Give ‘em enough rope …
[HT: J.E. Dyer]
[First posted at BlackFive.net – but it is a follow-up to a story I posted here recently. This is a guy who has been comfortable in his little echo chamber spouting off about his pet theories and, I supposed, mostly getting affirmation. Then he got outside that little box, his nonsense leaked into the larger blogosphere and he’s gotten absolutely hammered – and deservedly so. He remains completely clueless as to the reason.– McQ]
You know, some guys ought to figure when to just shut up, fold their tent and take their due. Not our boy. Bryan Fischer, Mr. "Feminized the MOH", is back for more. In a follow up post (not even at the same blog – got to hot there I’d guess), our hero says:
The blowback to my column of two days ago, in which I argued that we seem to have become reluctant to award the Medal of Honor to those who take aggressive action against the enemy and kill bad guys, has been fierce. It has been angry, vituperative, hate-filled, and laced with both profanity and blasphemy.
Oh, my. Who needs the skirt now? Looks like the reaction may have "feminized" Mr. Fischer a bit. As for blasphemy, let me tell you something sir – I’m on the side of angels on this one.
Of course Fischer still has no clue about the reason for the outrage he spawned (or he’s chosen to ignore it) and falls back on the age old dodge that most that don’t have an argument use when cornered – ignore those who ate your freakin’ lunch in reply to that bad joke of a post and claim, "these people didn’t read what I wrote". No really – that’s his argument:
What is striking here is that readers who have reacted so viscerally to what I wrote apparently didn’t read it, or only read the parts that ticked them off. I’m guessing a fair amount of the reaction has come from those who didn’t actually read the column, but read what others said about the column. It’s been fascinating to watch.
What is really both striking and fascinating is how clueless this bozo is – utterly unaware and truly out-to-lunch. Hey, meat head, the visceral reaction was to the stupidity of your premise. It had to do with you using "feminized" as a pejorative (look that up if that skipped by you skippy) and in conjunction with the Medal of Honor. It had to do with the fact that you were ignorant about the MOHs that have been given in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, that’s right – ignorant. As in “uninformed”. Don’t know what you‘re talking about. Check?
You have to watch this 3 minute video if you want a clue as to why we’re in the shape we are now as a nation. And Pete Stark obviously isn’t the only one who thinks the “federal government can do most anything.” Also notice he never addresses the questions directly. He hems and haws around, clearly clueless as to how to answer the very specific and pointed questions. Lastly, watch his pathetic little slam at the questioner at the end.
Is it any wonder we have legislation that many consider to be a Constitutional travesty? Is it any wonder that Congress now “enjoys” the worst approval numbers in its history (since polls have been taken)?
I’ve seen Paul Krugman write some pretty dumb things over the intervening years. Jon Henke used to take particular delight in pointing them out in the earlier days of QandO. But I have to admit I’ve never seen anything quite as clueless as this statement by the man:
All of this goes far beyond politics as usual. Democrats had a lot of harsh things to say about former President George W. Bush — but you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials.
“I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence’, because I don’t believe that I am non-violent,” said Ms Williams, 64.
“Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.
Most excellent, right Paul? Nothing at all menacing about that and it certainly doesn’t at all appeal to violence (well unless you think the act of “killing” is somehow a non-violent act).
And, as Greg Polowitz suggests, google “kill George Bush” and be properly chastized.
Not that I actually expect Krugman to do so – it would take an effort and, of course, it would puncture his narrative like nothing before. But just for grins, why not make a short pictoral trip down memory lane that clueless Krugman could have made had he at all cared about the accuracy of his claims.
For instance, here’s a favorite of mine:
Straight, to the point, and with an option I’m sure some would have hoped law enforcement might have availed themselves. Of course the crowds last weekend were just littered with signs like that, weren’t they?
No? Well how about this one?
A bit rambling and long. You have to go all the way to the third line to find the “Kill Bush” sentiment. At least he refrained from spelling out the “F bomb”. I suppose that’s more Joe Biden’s territory anyway. So again, were these the type of things to be seen in the crowd on Sunday?
No again? This then?
A little more subtle than the others. That “nuance” liberals love I guess. So is this more like what has Krugman saw or heard about?
Or did it have more to do with urban legends that he and the left have chosen to believe (even while the vast majority of the supposed incidents seem to have no foundation in fact or require true super human feats of strength – such a chucking a rock through a window 30 stories above the street)?
Oh, I know why Krugman doesn’t remember any of this – you see, this was when dissent was the highest form of patriotism.
Apparently, that’s not the case anymore.