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Wolf in the hen house

How have we gotten to the point of sufficient pandering and economic ignorance that the President appoints someone whose job it is to do for the manufacturing sector what lobbyists are being paid to do for other sectors?

Martin Crutsinger of the AP reports (HT: HodakValue):

President Bush has chosen a former U.S. Navy
rear admiral to be his point person in advocating for American manufacturers, the White House announced Friday.

Bush nominated William G. "Woody" Sutton to be the new assistant
Commerce secretary for manufacturing and services, a post sometimes
referred to as the president’s manufacturing czar.

The administration created the position in 2003 in an effort to
blunt attacks that Bush had not done enough to prevent the loss of
nearly 3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs since 2001, a job loss critics
blamed in part on unfair foreign competition from countries such as

We can only hope that it’s just pandering. Why should taxpayers pay to have someone promote one sector’s interests at our expense? Listen again to Adam Smith:

The interest of the dealers,
however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always
in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the
public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always
the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be
agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the
competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the
dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be,
to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their
fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce
which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great
precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long
and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the
most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose
interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have
generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and
who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed