Monday, March 30, 2009

Government Control

Is anyone else at all concerned at the increased roll the government is taking in American businesses? The CEO of GM essentially being forced out by the Obama administration. This is the type of stuff that's happening in Venezuela. How long before the government just starts taking over these industries?

And here are some very disturbing numbers from recent Rasmussen polls. 61% of Americans think the government should regulate pay and bonuses to executives if their company has taken government bailouts, or as they're now known, purchase bids.
Rasmussen Poll

30% of Americans think the government should have a say in how much actors and athletes are payed.
Rasmussen Poll

14% of Americans think people who earn $1m or more a year should have a tax rate of 90%.
Rasmussen Poll

Why are these numbers disturbing? Because they show that many Americans support a more powerful, omnipresent government with increasing say in how our daily lives should be run. This is some scary shit. How far are these people willing to go and how much are they willing to let go of just so they can have a since of stability in their lives?

3 comments:

R said...

A while back ( if I remember correctly) you were not happy about the government just handing-out free $$$ to integral parts of the american economy, now there are 'strings attached'... free money, money with conditions, the only thing the present administration hasn't done is said 'well, you sink or swim on your own' and let GMH and other central players in the american economy 'go to the wall' - taking all those jobs with them.
Yes, as far as measures go, the recent move is more 'left' than the previous response of just handing-out free money.

Let's pretend for a second Chris that you are president, and are faced with banks and industry failing (which will of course take a lot more businesses with them if they go) - what would you do?
I've read you're criticism over the last few months, I hear that you think each solution is wrong - what should obama do (don't say 'shoot himself' or 'resign').
It's easy to complain and say how terrible government interference is if you aren't the one who'll be blamed for any negative outcome, for not doing anything - if obama's got it wrong, what is the 'right way'?

Also, have you seen the doco 'The smartest guys in the room' (it's about how Enron saw the american people/fed gov as suckers to be worked-over)?
Part of the problem is that some banks and other corporate enterprises have aims and objectives that aren't necessarily in line with what is best for the country.
If you've heard of 'the shock doctrine' you'd know that some players create and thrive on disaster, Enron was one, they held california to ransom and made big bucks for a few people... and screwed-over everyone else.
Do corporations have the right to be openly irresponsible if the victims will be the economy and the people?

Over here, banks are trying to 'cry poor' and are hoping for a handout, despite being 4 of the world's remaining 11 AA-rated banks. What do you do if industry is trying to screw the people over, or are not willing or not able to meet their responsibilities?


What, if anything, should the american federal government do about banks and industry failing?

Indian Chris said...

what would you do?
Let them fail. Some here have a little saying they like to tout to whoever will listen. "Too Big To Fail". Bullshit. What about too stupid to continue? It was either American or United airlines that filed for bankruptcy in, I believe, 2002. And they're still here. Going bankrupt doesn't mean the company is gone. It means they restructure and hopefully come back smarter.

what should obama do (don't say 'shoot himself' or 'resign').
I hope that's one of your jokes. If not, I like to know what I've ever said that would lead you to believe I'd want him to kill himself.

have you seen the doco 'The smartest guys in the room
No.

What, if anything, should the american federal government do about banks and industry failing?
Refer to my first answer.

R said...

Thanks Chris for explaining your point of view, for some reason I had expected you'd see it as up to the gov to fix it (I don't know why - you've not said anything like that).
I don't have your certainty as to what the answer is.
I don't think that incompetence and greed should be rewarded with unconditional support gov support either, but nor do I have your faith in the market, but I can respect that you know exactly what you think about what the government/president should do.

"I hope that's one of your jokes. If not, I like to know what I've ever said that would lead you to believe I'd want him to kill himself"
Yes, I was joking, I expected that your best advice for pres obama would be to resign, so I said that in the hope you'd answer directly and seriously (thanks), rather than just saying he should resign...
I know that you've never said anything to wish ill on obama - that comment was not to be taken seriously.

I don't have your faith in the market, but I don't think that the gov should prop-up companies that can't stand on their own feet.
So, from that point of view there isn't really an answer as far as I can tell, the problem is that trouble seems a lot bigger than in 2002. If GM and/or Chrysler fails, it will take a lot of other companies with them, a lot more than an airline. I figure that if enough large companies go, there could be a 'critical mass' at which point the mess becomes like a 'black hole' and drags-in unrelated industries

...anyhow, thanks for explaining why you are critical of current policy.