And So Many More Questions In Addition to These….

by Don Boudreaux on June 13, 2011

in Business as usual, Crony Capitalism, Curious Task, Frenetic Fiddling, Man of System, Other People's Money, Reality Is Not Optional, Seen and Unseen

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

GE’s Jeff Immelt’s and American Express’s Ken Chenault’s essay on how the President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council – on which these CEOs serve – will create jobs and “improve America’s competitiveness” is little more than a whoop-tee-do of proposals designed to titillate policy-wonks in ways that sexting porn stars titillate certain Congressmen (“How We’re Meeting the Job Creation Challenge,” June 13).  It prompts many questions, such as:

Among their Council’s few (potentially) sensible proposals is that America be made a more attractive destination for foreign direct investment.  If this proposal succeeds, one result will be a higher U.S. trade deficit.  Will Messrs. Immelt and Chenault then explain to politicians and the American public that the higher trade deficit should be celebrated rather than decried?

Messrs. Immelt and Chenault identify “construction, manufacturing, health care and tourism” as being among those U.S. industries that their Council wishes to promote.  Are they aware that propping up specific industries involves shrinking others?  How will government officials weigh the policy-induced gains in these and other favored industries against losses in, say, IT or forestry?  And what if it turns out – as it very well might – that expanding employment in their favored industries can be done only by forcing those industries to adopt less-efficient but more labor-intensive production methods?  Will Washington then applaud the higher employment in these industries?  Or will it decry these industries’ loss of ‘competitiveness’?

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Note that in the letter I resisted pointing out the hilarity of having the CEOs of two companies that each received billions of dollars in government bailout funds holding forth on how to make America more “competitive.”

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{ 80 comments }

W.E. Heasley June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

“….26 private-sector leaders to develop ideas that will accelerate job growth and improve America’s competitiveness. – Jeff Immelt and Ken Chenault

Ah ha! The plans of the 26 vs. the plans of the many.

By-the-way, thought there were 76 trombones in the big parade?!?

Dan H June 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

With 110 cornets right behind.

And interestingly enough, wasn’t Professor Harold Hill a con artist?

The metaphor of The Music Man suits Professor Harold Obama quite well!

How about the epic scene where the professor rides the wagon into town tossing out everyone’s goodies, as entitlement America sings: “Oh the Wells Fargo wagon is a’comin’ down the street oh please let it be for me!”… Unfortunately in this metaphor, I think the Wells Fargo wagon is riding down K Steet in DC to lobby for some more taking.

brotio June 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm

With 110 cornets right behind.

Don’t tell that to Barney Frank.

River June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm

2 things: I hope Mr. Immelt is more successful in this endeavor than he has been in getting GE share price back to pre crash levels. Maybe Jack Welch should help the president and Mr. Immelt stick to improving GE.

Simple guy here but a rose by any other name smells as sweet, industrial policy by any other name smells like cow dung.

nailheadtom June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

“• Train workers for today’s open jobs. There are more than two million open jobs in the U.S., in part because employers can’t find workers with the advanced manufacturing skills they need. The private sector must quickly form partnerships with community colleges, vocational schools and others to match career training with real-world hiring needs.”
————————————-
Let me get this straight, the highly profitable Waldo’s Widget Works won’t increase its production and profitability because community colleges don’t have a program in widget winding? Call me skeptical.

“• Streamline permitting. Cut red tape so job-creating construction and infrastructure projects can move forward. The administration can take a few simple steps to streamline the process of obtaining permits, without undercutting the protections that our regulatory system provides.”
————————————————-
Holding your breath on this one would be fatal. There are no simple steps to streamline a process that involves the rent-seeking of interest groups and their legal representation that live off of challenging permits.

Economiser June 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm

To point 1: Makes me wonder why the heads of the highly profitable conglomerates GE and Amex don’t take advantage of the profit opportunity and start a widget winding training program themselves.

Immelt and Chenault assure us that this is a crucial problem that the government simply must solve, but these folks who directly control billions of dollars of capital don’t want to risk their own funds on the endeavor. Hmm….

Gil June 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

Most firms prefer to “brain drain” because it costs too much money to train people. Doubly so when a successful trainee switches to another firm because of a better offer making the first firm waste its money.

Dan June 14, 2011 at 12:59 am

Any and all ‘Streamlining’ comes with caveats. Kiss the ring of Obama and you shall have your exceptions to any and all rules.

WAIVERS TO OBOMACARE IS THE PROOF!!!!!!!

vidyohs June 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

This post, like the last post, perhaps a year back, on comparative advantage, is stated so positively that I have to wonder how you draw the conclusions that helping one important industry must necessarily be at the expense of another important industry.

What if it is found that aiding the IT industry was only detrimental to the Inside the Egg Egg scrambler manufacturer and other piddly fringe business? Could we live with that?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree and support 100% with your consistent thesis of non interference by government in any way shape or form. I just wonder about your own ability to assert positively (as if you have seen it personally) that aiding the IT industry will harm the Healthcare industry.

I could understand you saying that it is possible, or likely, that aiding X will harm Y; or, even to the more strong claim that it is probable that aiding X will harm Y. And, you speak with such conviction you leave no room for the possibility that the industry(s) that may be harmed could be minor fringe luxury gadget type business, the demise of which would be hardly, if at all, noticed.

Even expressed using qualifiers, the point is just as strong, and strong because of the random uncertainty of where the harm might fall. To my way of thinking the random uncertainty actually makes the prospect even more frightening or troubling.

Ken June 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

vid,

I think the point is that for the gov to “help” any particular industry necessitates taking from some other industry. Government spending in the economy is zero sum. For government to spend more in one area, this means it diverts it’s resources away from another place, or simply takes more from other places and gives to a particular industry.

Using the above logic, I think it’s safe to assert that government “help” in one industry means hurting another.

Regards,
Ken

vidyohs June 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Ken, you said nothing that I did not acknowledge above; and, none of what you said addressed the point of my query to Don.

Tks for trying, tho.

Gil June 14, 2011 at 12:50 am

Don’t you mean “negative sum”?

WhiskeyJim June 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Vids, I don’t understand your question. How can increased government spending (because it sure as heck will not be substituted) and the taxes it implies not hurt everyone else?

By taking those taxes, you rob the owner of the money they would have spent elsewhere, do you not?

Maybe I don’t understand your question.

Eddy June 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Vid’s question makes sense. In many places on this blog, Don and Russ caution against the definitive pronunciations which characterize the scientism that is mainstream economics. So, my reading of Vid’s post is just asking for Don’s comments to better reflect the stochastic aspects of our modern economy.

vidyohs June 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Well amigo, you sent me to the dictionary, but yes if I correctly understand what I read in the dictionaries, then you got it.

Here it is about the modern economy, but in a larger sense it is about how we talk about the future in any field. The education I received in my field in the USN taught me that in writing reports on the intel (possible intel) I had, unless I could factually prove what I was saying, I had to choose among the available qualifiers, could, may, might, possible, probable, likely, and if I choose will, then it had damn well better happen or I’d be moving sand off the beach for the rest of my life using just a teaspoon.

Using the alphabet as an example, for Don to say that giving aid to A and B will be detrimental to C, D, and E, is to ignore the possibility that it may not be detrimental to C, D, and E at all; but may be detrimental to R, U and Y and then only in a minor way. In other words he can not know where the unintended consequences will lead, he can only speculate. And, speculation is never given in terms of certainty.

Anyone can accuse me of nit picking if they wish, but you are also correct in that both Don and Russ caution us against that kind of certainty on the subjects and the people, they choose. They, Don and Russ, have even been known to chastise others for claiming that kind of certainty.

Ken June 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

vid,

“The education I received in my field in the USN taught me that in writing reports on the intel (possible intel) I had, unless I could factually prove what I was saying, I had to choose among the available qualifiers, could, may, might, possible, probable, likely,’”

This would be valid if Don stated specific industries that would be hurt. We know ahead of time that industries will be hurt without looking at the data for the precise reason that we know a person has a mother, even if we don’t know who that mother is. Thus there is no need for qualification that industries will be hurt by government intervention because all government actions start with the taking of wealth from someone. This taking hurts someone, always.

Regards,
Ken

Dan June 14, 2011 at 1:17 am

Good points. But, this activity will CERTAINLY LEAD TO FURTHER CORRUPTION AND DISTORTIONS as the process WILL inevitably be hijacked (if there were any altruism in its intent) for political gains and expediency. The ABOSLUTE necessity is to restrict the federal govt, not expand on its abilities or powers.

Economic Freedom June 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

So, my reading of Vid’s post is just asking for Don’s comments to better reflect the stochastic aspects of our modern economy.

Stochastic? Under conditions of laissez-faire, a division-of-labor economy would be the exact opposite of “stochastic”: consumption goods and production goods would tend, by necessity, to flow to their highest valued uses as determined by the subjective ends of market participants. There’s nothing stochastic about any of this, since everything would ultimately conform to the subjective value preferences of individuals. The process is subjective but not stochastic. Production tends to become more random — i.e., more stochastic — the more government becomes involved, replacing its own central planning for the decentralized planning of individuals.

vidyohs June 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

WJ,

I don’t think you understood. What Don posted above was not about just the simple transfer of tax dollars being the harm he said would be caused.

Don, goes beyond that to the broader harm of aid to X (an important industry) will (his word of choice) harm Y (another important industry) in that Y will lose customers, lose access to raw materials, lose access to good employees, and lose access to an earned place in the markets, and he says this with the certainty that is surprising to me.

My question addresses the question of why should the aid to important industry X, “necessarily” cause harm to another important industry. Does Don see no possibility that the harm could fall on totally inconsequential fringe business(es)?

Chucklehead June 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Who gets to decide what industry is important? If government and not the consumer is the answer than it will cost consumers and the industries they choose to support..

Dr. T June 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Dr. Boudreaux did not say that propping up big industries A and B will definitely harm other big industries C and D. He said: “Are they aware that propping up specific industries involves shrinking others?” He then gave possible examples.

How does government “propping up” of A and B hurt other industries? Through mechanisms mentioned by others:

1. When tax dollars are diverted (inefficiently, as usual) to A and B, that money is not available for taxpayers to spend on goods and services or for businesses or individuals to borrow. Thus, all other businesses that provide goods or services to people in the USA or that borrow money are harmed.

2. Government-funded expansions of A and B reduce the pool of workers for all other businesses, driving up the costs of labor. Also, colleges and trade schools will shift resources towards providing workers for A and B and will cut resources elsewhere, which will further reduce the pool of qualified workers for other industries.

3. Investors will put more money into industries A and B because government favoritism increases the likelihood that such industries will be profitable and decreases the likelihood that they will fail. The funds available for investment in all other industries will be reduced, and that makes it harder for other industries to expand or to increase research and development budgets.

vidyohs June 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Dr. T
Did you notice that I linked the article above from Don with a similar article about a year ago regarding comparative advantage, so an answer to me should recognize and acknowledge that.

“He then gave possible examples.”

Yes sir, he did, and in both instances I addressed, his possible examples were industries of equal importance or station in the economy of the ones being aided. He has never indicated any possibility that the detriment might just hit frivolous minor industries and not major industry. Address the labor pool for instance, there is no real reason to believe that Don has the ability to predict where labor will come from to put into expanding businesses. Shouldn’t we at least consider that they may come from the currently unemployed, or the skilled but employed at low wage make do jobs who are so rather than take public assistance?

“1. When tax dollars are diverted (inefficiently, as usual) to A and B, that money is not available for taxpayers to spend on goods and services or for businesses or individuals to borrow.”

This is going on anyway, always has and always will, how does the situation Don speaks against change the rules of the game? Government takes our money, calling it taxes, and squanders it on shit we wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, so what’s new?

“2. Government-funded expansions of A and B reduce the pool of workers for all other businesses, driving up the costs of labor. Also, colleges and trade schools will shift resources towards providing workers for A and B and will cut resources elsewhere, which will further reduce the pool of qualified workers for other industries.”

That is pure speculation and you might have just as well told me that you and Don know what the invisible hand will write. I have already addressed the potential labor pool in the paragraph just above; but, I’ll make a point of doing it again. Neither you or Don can confidently tell us that the needed labor will have to be raided from other prominent businesses. That needed labor could come from a variety of sources that would not hinder other prominent businesses in any way. The idea that college and universities would shift resources away from teaching specific skills and knowledge simple because of government aid to one or two industries is slightly hyperbolic.

“3. Investors will put more money into industries A and B because government favoritism increases the likelihood that such industries will be profitable and decreases the likelihood that they will fail..”

This is highly unlikely as most intelligent investors would be well aware that nothing the government has ever been involved in has turned a profit, so the only way an investor would favor a government backed project would be if they were able to obtain an agreement of total compensation for any losses incurred. We both know that that could happen.

“The funds available for investment in all other industries will be reduced, and that makes it harder for other industries to expand or to increase research and development budget.”

Er eh, are we talking about strictly government funds here? How would government investment in IT reduce funds available for investment in Healthcare, or forestry, or steel, or agriculture, or etc. et. al, when generally funds for investment come from private individuals through direct purchase of stock or through some sort of investment fund?

I don’t know where the invisible hand is going to write and I doubt anyone else does either.

Slappy McFee June 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I really like this question, but it seems to revert back to the reasoning behind the broken window fallacy.

The shopkeep may have done something more economically efficient (from a macro level) with the money he spent on repairing the window, but there isn’t any proof that he would have. Maybe he was simply going to burn the money lighting cigars.

So then we have to revert to the political argument of libertarians, it was still wrong to break the shopkeep’s window in the first place, regardless of what he was going to do with the money.

Still a good question Vid. It is one of the concepts that has lead me down the behavioral economics path lately.

Josh S June 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Whatever the shopkeeper was going to do with the money would certainly have been better for him than buying a new window pane, even if it was the mere entertainment of watching his currency burn.

Josh S June 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Vid, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Comparative advantage is about how if I do what I’m good at, and you do what you’re best at, and we trade the results, we both end up better off.

Government intervention of the kind here is about diverting resources away from some industry that is satisfying consumers and toward another that isn’t, or at least isn’t as much.

vidyohs June 14, 2011 at 6:06 am

“Vid, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. “

It might appear so and I try very hard to not let that happen, but Josh S. if you did not read the post on comparative advantage I alluded to and participate in the resultant debate then you don’t realize your “thinking” is wrong.

Now Josh S, if you go back and read my question again you will note I said nothing about what comparative advantage is, and only referred to Don’s choice of examples that he gave at the time.

Josh S, you can be quick off the mark, but in the wrong race.

Ryan Vann June 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I also have this concern witht he post; it is a rather dubious if not unsubstantiated claim. I’m surprised Daniel Kuhn hasn’t made an appearance to rail against it.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I know this is old news and off topic, but I was wondering if anyone looked at my posts on the June 6 healthcare debate post. I really want to know what people think. Sorry to self advertise.

Economiser June 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Do you mean the ones on relative cancer survival rates, etc.? Makes sense to me. Despite the mixed messages in the press, America’s healthcare is the best in the world. Just look at revealed preferences: people who have the resources to travel for medical care generally travel to the US.

Another aspect of US medical superiority that IMO is overlooked is our fantastic R&D machine. So many medical breakthroughs originate in the US, and the rest of the world gets to enjoy the benefits effectively as free riders.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Yeah. I also talked about universal coverage in another post there. If only all the single payer acolytes would actually respond when confronted with information like that instead of mysteriously vanishing from the comments section.

dean June 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

From an Australian point of view the fact that people with resources travelling to the US is not exactly an endorsement of the system as a whole, it is very much a select bunch of people able to pay high prices for the best technology who would do that, not a statistic you could use about the system as a whole.

There would be few of middle or lower classes who would go to the US for treatment.

I woudl have thought that the issue, viewed from afar, with the US system is that the wide variation in healthcare standards is the most troubling aspect.

Also advances made in the US are paid for by people around the world via the pricing system, here in Australia pharmacueticals have licensing fees. Much effort from big pharma goes into getting thier products onto the government subsidy schemes – although there is very stringent cost benefits analyiss to jump through. A small increase in efficancy is not justification to get PBS approvals. My wife’s medicine was under this scheme, $2500 a dose each fortnight and we paid $38 dollars.

tdp June 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

And how many medical breakthroughs or new drugs does Australia produce? The U.S. has more Nobel Prizes in Medicine/Physiology than the rest of the world combined, produces more than 50% of the world’s newest medical devices and procedures, and accounts for 71% of the world’s pharmaceuticals.

As for your concern about equality of treatment, read the other post I had on the June 6 article.

What I don’t get is why the health insurance market would respond to prices any differently than car insurance, fire insurance, life insurance, etc. Without heavy government regulation, you have an abundance of cheap car insurance options that provide people with basic coverage and frequently offer great deals to keep customers (Progressive’s numerous deductions in rates for things like safe driving or Nationwide reducing deductibles every year for safe drivers).

Observer Guy1 June 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I wonder where Immelt and Chenault obtained their crystal ball. It sickens me when any pol or rent-seeking corp begins to lecture the American public on the “industries of the future”. Can anyone, much less Mr. Rent-Seeker-in-Chief Immelt, peer into the future to know what our preferences will be 5, 10, or 20 years from now?

Obama and his merry band of Dems (and Bush too in the later years) have tried central planning for the last 2-3 years, and the results are predictably terrible. They have mandated and regulated every single facet our lives all in the name of “protecting” us.

And it will get worse before it gets better. The new CFPB will get underway next month, with regulatory pen in hand. The EPA will soon begin issuing new rules on CO2 emissions for broad sectors of the economy.

Obama must be thinking ~ “Damn! Why aren’t companies hiring? Where are the entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businessmen? I thought I did everything by the Keynesian playbook???”

WhiskeyJim June 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

IF you followed a CEO of a Fortune 100 company for a week, it would frighten you how much time he spends with his Wall St. and tax specialists.

His very ordinary books aside, Jack Welch is the perfect example. Anything but an entrepreneur.

Chucklehead June 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I think the Weiner reference may keep the letter from making the cut. Just saying…, but I couldn’t resist “pointing out the hilarity of having the CEOs of two companies that each received billions of dollars in government bailout funds holding forth on how to make America more “competitive.”

tdp June 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Why is it a politician like Weiner can keep his career for what is technically a sex crime, while the average person would justly be required to register as a sex offender? I also note Democrats have a particularly high survival rate for incidents like this.

Jim in StL June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I think you should “names and shame” the rent seekers. It needs to be disclosed how much companies like GE are spending on lobbying versus R&D.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Name and shame everyone in Washington. The only way things will change for the better in this country is if politicians and CEOs find out they can’t get away with anything anymore.

WhiskeyJim June 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

GE. The most subsidized company in the history of the world.

Don, I am surprised you did not bring up rent seeking, as well as how MSNBC is carrying Obama’s water. Is it a TV station, or a lobbying group for Progressives? GE should allocate their TV operations as lobbying expense.

Eddy June 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Eh….not unless we want to demand Fox be more critical of the next Republican administration than they were of the former Bush administration. Let’s face it….they carried a lot of water there.

kyle8 June 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Perhaps, but Fox is just one network, and the only one with a right of center viewpoint. All of the others are more or less left wing.

So at least if provides a counterpoint.

Dan H June 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

And I don’t believe News Corp engages in rent seeking… at least not to the degree GE does.

Dan June 14, 2011 at 1:22 am

While some shows gave some support to Bush, none do to the degree that Olbermann, Maddow, Matthews (tingling running up the leg), or Wolf have.
The better critique would be on the ‘critiquing’ of their candidates. MSNBC does little to no critiquing of Obama, and Fox often criticized Bush. I used to watch both for perspective. I watch neither, now. You have to have ADD and not want to be bothered with details for those shows .

Chucklehead June 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm

“GE. The most subsidized company in the history of the world.”
I always thought it was Citicorp or Goldman Sachs.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Rent-seeking is truly one of the most disgusting corporate behaviors a government can indulge. All corrupt Third World governments employ rent-seeking in some form or another. I read a short essay on Cato about why Africa is so poor despite 50+ years of independence and trillions of dollars of Western aid and advisers: corrupt governments, no respect for individual rights or private property, and rent-seeking political systems. The same could be said about Latin American regimes until recently, with the added bonus that so many Latin American politicians cough *Hugo Chavez* cough blame their problems entirely on the United States.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Wow that was kind of a tangent. Anyway, I am disgusted at the level of rent-seeking, corporate welfare, subsidies, and misspent money by the federal government under administrations and congresses controlled by both parties.

ben June 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

This is a good letter. Pointing out what is unseen to politicians (which Immelt surely is, if not in name) always adds value.

tdp June 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

It’s amazing how much bullshit gets spread and how much bad policy making goes on because the people who know what to do are not the ones with access to a large media audience or to the public’s attention.

muirgeo June 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

My name is muirgeo and I am stupid.

Sandre June 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

rare moment of honesty!

Observer_Guy1 June 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

LMAO!

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm

You’re the reason why the country’s economy is in the toilet.

Dan June 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha……..oooohhhh, my cheeks hurt and my stomach does…………. ahahahahahahahahaha……………….hehehehe………aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….That’s great!!!!

DMXRoid June 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Spot on again, although I have a small quibble with this bit:

“Will Messrs. Immelt and Chenault then explain to politicians and the American public that the higher trade deficit should be celebrated rather than decried?”

Setting aside the question of whether or not the balance of international trade is even remotely relevant (I tend to think it’s not, and that national boundaries are entirely irrelevant to trade), there’s no reason to prefer a deficit over a surplus, or vice versa. There are different advantages to both from a national economy perspective, but as long as the transactions that make up the international trade ledger are the result of market forces, and not protectionism, every single one of those transactions was to the mutual benefit of all parties involved. Does anything matter other than that? If we had a gigantic trade surplus b/c all of the sudden, foreign consumers were buying tons of American goods, would we be worse off? No, of course not. We’d have happy sellers and happy buyers. Same with a deficit.

Seems to me that the entire argument around trade balances misses the point entirely. Trade is good, whether between neighbors or people across the globe. Who cares what an arbitrary ledger adds up to?

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Just like for politicians, we need term limits for grossly overpaid CEO’s. I would say that one year is plenty long for most of them. Then, let them get a real job, or retire to a tiny deserted Polynesian island, so nobody has to deal with their bloated egos any longer. They are best forgotten like Ivan Boesky, and Michael Milken. Btw, how did these billionaire thieves escape long prison terms?

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

The government needs to take over every industry so we don’t have greedy CEOs. The government must form a vanguard that protects citizens from the predations of capitalists. The government is benevolent and altruistic and its members are far more intelligent and thoughtful than the people. The proletariat will recognize their/our inherent superiority and then will be happy to be ruled by their betters for their own benefit. The bourgeoisie must be destroyed because they are all greedy and exploitative and become corpulent billionaires in cahoots with capitalists in the government. You never see powerful Democrats behaving this way toward the common people. We should become socialist like every decent, thoughtful society.

Observer_Guy1 June 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm

You are joking, right?

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Are you sick impostor joker? The timing is suspicious.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

This country is going down big time on account of people like you who pander to the rich. You’re a gross troll.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I did not write the above. Somebody is using my moniker. You are truly disgusting whoever you are.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

The only thing that’s disgusting is the capitalist system that rewards the greedy exploiters at the expense of the proletariat.

Harrison Nguyen June 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm

@Mao_Dung: are you on drugs?

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

This comment is mine, and I own it. The rest of the garbage is from some twisted troll who is stealing my identity.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I touch myself while watching Sesame Street.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I did not write the above sick comment. You are truly disgusting whoever you are.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I am truly disgusting whoever I am.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Sick troll! Get a job and life, fascist.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm

You wanted to get a rise out me; you got it. Coward.

Dan June 14, 2011 at 1:28 am

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH………ooohhhhhh…. stop it……….. stop it…………….. I can’t take it……………. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

This sounds appropriate for Mao_Dung………………

tdp June 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Perhaps Immelt and Ken Chenault should be out actually RUNNING their companies to make them more competitive/creating jobs etc. rather than bloating the federal budget further by sitting on stupid unnecessary councils. You want to create jobs and improve competitiveness? Stop shackling the economy to the checkbooks of powerful politicians and the CEOs they breastfeed.

The Troll June 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Mao_Dung needs to chill out. Obviously, someone such as The Troll who spends 30 minutes on a website after normal work hours is far more likely to have a job and a life than someone, who, based on a cursory glance at previous posts, appears to spend hours a day on a site they completely disagree with. Why is Mao_Dung so upset? This is no case of “identity theft” as Mao feels it is. The only things The Troll knows about Mao_Dung (or that anyone else knows, for that matter) are that:

1)They have no idea what fascism is
2) They feel insignificant enough to flip their shit when someone insults them on the internet

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm

You’re a loser.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

And, you’ll have a job as long as there is job to be had. Then, you be out on the street digging in the trash for something to eat. You’ll get an infection and die because you’ll have no health care. Like I said, you’re a loser.

Mao_Dung June 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I tried to read Mises, but he used too many big words, and he didn’t promise a paradise where work itself is a pleasure and the division of labor has ceased.

Harrison Nguyen June 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Mises is an economist, not a politician.

Harrison Nguyen Not June 14, 2011 at 5:37 am

How would you like it if some idiot started using your name in the comments?

Harrison Nguyen Not Not June 14, 2011 at 5:52 am

Feel free to use it, i don’t mind.

WhiskeyJim June 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Let me see if I understand.

The government and the largest recipient of taxpayer subsidy are going to ‘partner’ and think of ways to ‘create’ jobs using our money.

Got it.

I’m sure everything will turn out well for some people. Call me skeptical, but I don’t think it will be me.

Molon Lobe June 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm

How does attracting forign investment increase the foreign trade deficit?

More investment equals greater production, innovation, profits and jobs.

How has the lack of foreign investment in Zimbabwe improved the lot of the people there?

Babinich June 14, 2011 at 5:47 am

You’re the reason why the country’s economy is in the toilet.

No, this is the reason the our country’s economy is in the toilet:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/06/029237.php

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