During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain waged a quixotic war on earmarks. For years before that, he was associated with campaign finance reforms that eventually became law under President Bush. Few outside of Washington cared about such process-oriented issues.
The logic behind “libertarian populism” does not neatly fall into the same category as McCain’s hobbyhorses, but its impetus is largely the same. Libertarian populism is not primarily about reducing the size of government (though its policy preferences may overlap with that goal); it is about making government “cleaner” and more transparent. It is about making the “system” seem less “rigged.” It’s about treating powerful moneyed interests no better, or at least no differently, than the “little guy.”
In theory, there’s no reason Democrats couldn’t advance their own version of a high wall of separation between government and private business. As an alternative to coopting the private insurance industry, a practical reality that chief #LibPop booster Tim Carney liked to expose as Obamacare developed on Capitol Hill, Democrats could have fought harder for a single-payer system. If by some long shot they had succeeded, the result may not have been a more libertarian healthcare market—but by Carney’s reckoning, it would have been a “cleaner” welfare state. The wall of separation would stand in a different place, but it would be higher than it is under Obamacare.
The libertarian populist mindset is a useful corrective, but it leaves much to be desired as the basis for a governing agenda. To stick with the insurance industry example for a moment: did Obamacare’s architects desire to turn insurance companies into public utilities as a policy end in itself—or was it a means of broadening access to medical insurance (a goal that the public generally favors)? Or consider the case Carney cites in the video above (from an AEI panel about collusion between big business and government): that of an aluminum manufacturer (Alcoa) lobbying for and subsequently benefiting from new environmental regulations on fuel efficiency.
Critics of such self-dealing may be right on the merits. But there is still the matter of the public good being pursued: is it, too, worthy on the merits? And if so, is it not inevitable that some private actors will prosper, and others will not?
After September 11, the Bush administration and a bipartisan majority of lawmakers concluded it was in the national interest to invade two countries. A giant new security apparatus slowly spread its tentacles across American life. Defense contractors and security consultants dine out on this policy sea change to this day. One can argue until one is blue on the face about the wisdom of these policies—but at the end of the day, one is forced to mount an argument about an overarching public good (or ill).
Simply asking “who, whom?”, as libertarian populism would have it, will only you take you so far.
It’s only natural for those who cover politics in Washington to overdramatize the gory details of legislative sausage-making. Elections, however, rarely turn on process. And so, despite how much I may cheer each and every one of Tim Carney’s money-in-politics exposés, I can’t quite convince myself that Republicans are going to have any more luck at this than Democrats had against Halliburton.
Dear Barnes & Noble,
When you announced the resignation of your C.E.O. and Nook failure, some may have called it the beginning of your end. Idea Logical’s Mike Shatzkin said you could only hope to “make the slide into oblivion more gradual.” But take note: not everyone is so pessimistic about your future. The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki argued that print books are still “an exceptionally good piece of technology—easy to read, portable, durable, and inexpensive,” and he referenced Codex Group findings that 97 percent of those who read e-books are still “wedded to print.”
So perhaps you aren’t a dying relic after all, and merely need some revamping. Over the past several days, commentators have burst forth with a cacophony of competing ideas for your revival. The following list contains some potentially promising options for you to consider:
#1. Just be a bookstore.
Rather than trying to reinvent yourself, you should “focus on something truly radical: being a bookstore.”
- James Surowiecki, The New Yorker
#2. Cultivate your ‘secret sauce’: the serendipitous experience of discovery.
Add opportunity for discovery by using more tables than bookshelves. “Physical discovery is the secret sauce of retailing and publishing.”
- Simon Lipskar, Writers House, Wall Street Journal
Create “a special mix of smart curation and easy browsing” with new-arrival bookshelves and interesting sections, to build the serendipitous experience.
- Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg
#3. Hire happy, friendly nerds.
Hire people “with the express intention of making them booksellers, not team members or employees who aren’t excited about what they’re selling.”
- Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
#4. Create more ‘destination activities.’
Create an environment that people want to visit: “That means more destination activities, such as book groups, author readings.”
- Gerald Storch, Target, Inc., Wall Street Journal
#5. Transform bookstores into subscription showrooms.
Separate “the discovery and atmospheric value” of your store from the traditional “book-warehousing” model. Make stores smaller, with inventory limited to “examination copies — one copy per title.” Charge a daily, monthly, or annual membership that allows customers “to hang out, browse the shelves, buy snacks and use the Wi-Fi.”
- Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg
#6. Become a mini-mall.
Turn each store into a “mini-mall,” with each category leased to an “expert in that particular category.” You act as a systems integrator, “putting together a multi-category offering that attracts sufficient customers into the mini-mall.”
- Roger Martin, Harvard Business Review
#7. Downsize your image.
Create a “community franchise,” like Washington, D.C.’s Ace Hardware stores: “The owner names each of them after its neighborhood, but the small chain benefits from the buying power and branding of a national distribution network.”
- Lydia DePillis, Washington Post
Most have greeted the new sci-fi action movie “Pacific Rim” as mindless entertainment, and it certainly is that. But the movie is about much more than just computer generated action sequences and campy dialogue. In fact, it’s an allegory about the effects of globalization on manufacturing employment.
First, some important spoilers. “Pacific Rim” is a film about giant robots fighting giant sea monsters. For reasons that are not clear to begin with, these lizard-like creatures begin to emerge from an inter-dimensional breach deep in the Pacific Ocean, whereupon they attack various port cities. Emerging from the heart of the region most closely associated with globalization anxiety, these monsters represent the forces of creative destruction unleashed: they are unthinking, mysterious, and utterly disruptive.
Today there is growing anxiety about globalization and what it means for many individuals. The ratio of global imports to world GDP has risen from 14 percent in 1970 to just under 30 percent in 2008. At the same time, American manufacturing employment as a percentage of total employment has steadily fallen from 26.5 percent to 9.25 percent over roughly the same time period. Even in absolute terms, manufacturing employment has fallen by more than two million since 2000.
While some of this decline is no doubt due to increases in the productivity of American manufacturing, the recent events in Detroit illustrate the fraught consequences of increased global competition. It’s only natural that these anxieties—like the anxieties of previous times and places—should find expression in seemingly unrelated works of popular culture.
When traditional military forces prove less than adequate against the rising tide of monsters, nations naturally respond by building 250-foot tall robots, controlled by a pair of pilots using a kind of next generation Wii system. As the film explicitly notes, these robots were initially developed using DARPA funding, and represent a kind of industrial policy, each nation deploying its own robot champions. There is a Russian robot team, a Chinese team, an Australian team, and of course an American one, each protecting its home country.
But while the robots are initially successful, the monsters keep growing and invading at an ever-faster pace, overwhelming the efforts of the local industries. In response, the world’s leaders decide to abandon their industrial robot program in favor of literally building giant walls around all of their ports. It is explicitly mentioned that this has cut off trade and forced rationing and other hardships on the population—though it does seem to create a fair number of short-term blue collar jobs actually building the wall. The one city that doesn’t succumb to protectionism is Hong Kong (which happens to be an oft-cited example of free trade success in real life), where the remaining robots all relocate.
Jacksonville, Florida, brings in coal from Colombia rather than West Virginia. Livestock farmers in Texas buy grain from Argentina instead of from America. Puerto Rico’s port at San Juan is losing shipping volume, even as the Port of Kingston in Jamaica is gaining it.
Why? Because an antiquated maritime law, the Jones Act, requires that all transport of cargo between two United States ports be carried by ships that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, U.S.-manned, and flagged in the United States.
That is, a ship from South Korea cannot go to Hawaii and then to San Fransisco. Foreign ships could not help with the BP oil spill cleanup without waivers.
William Keli’i Akina, the president of the Hawaiin think tank the Grassroots Institute, likens the law to a hostile blockade against Hawaii and Puerto Rico. But the vested interests that defend it—U.S. vessel owners, shipyards, unions, overland transporters—are so powerful that the last five presidents have all vocally supported it. Don’t expect repeal any time soon.
But some vivid illustrations of the law’s deep illogic in recent years have gained national attention. The act’s original purpose—in 1920, under the specter of German U-boats—was to ensure a “dependable” merchant fleet for the next “national emergency.” Nowadays, the Jones Act is the first thing to go in an emergency.
After Hurricane Katrina, President Bush waived the act for nineteen days.
During the BP oil spill, the Department of Energy offered a blanket waiver to buyers from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve—they could haul away the crude in any foreign-flagged tankers. When the White House got word of this, Obama’s advisors were “reportedly furious” (the administration switched to a case-by-case waiver program).
Everything about that episode supports the Washington Post’s summary of the law: “The Jones Act may or may not have achieved its original purpose, but shipping businesses and labor unions love the way it shields them from foreign competition.”
And that’s why repeal of the act is all but politically impossible. It’s a textbook example of rent-seeking: the benefits accrue to entrenched vested interests, while the harms are dispersed broadly and imperceptibly.
But Akina is optimistic that incremental reform of the Jones Act can gain momentum as a political cause. Puerto Rican politicians are increasingly vocal about the harms of the act to their island; Hawaiians question its role in sustaining a shipping duopoly on the island; Alaska has successfully carved out useful exclusions for certain industries.
In addition, the death of Senator Inouye of Hawaii, a consistent and powerful Jones Act supporter, “loosened the grip” of the law in Congress, says Akina. “I think it’s a great opportunity to seek reform.”
And last, and probably least, there’s a steady media drumbeat of Jones Act-bashing.
Consider this the most recent beat. Akina stresses that Jones Act reform could be a broad-based non-partisan cause, due to the act’s sheer clumsiness.
Since writing about the plight of the Atlantic City gaming industry last week, I unexpectedly found myself, as fate would have it, in a casino in western Pennsylvania—exactly the kind of cozy venue that is putting the screws to New Jersey’s depressed island gambling getaway.
Open for little more than a week, it was like a glittering magnet in the rural highlands. I found a parking spot not far from the front entrance. And yet a stretch golf cart materialized to save my wife and me the trouble of walking. Once inside, the vibe of favorable first impressions lingered. The dealers at my blackjack table were raw and inexperienced. But the players seemed forgiving and jovial, freely dispensing advice from the blackjack “book.” For my part—I’m hardly an ace at blackjack, if you’ll pardon a pun—I enjoyed the low-intensity setting.
The whole experience struck me as a mostly positive exercise in dynamism. Whatever one’s opinion of the morality of gambling—I am not opposed, in principle, any more than I oppose drinking alcohol, while recognizing the massive potential for abuse in both cases—a business had clearly provided a product that people want. Which is another way of saying that it had created wealth. And it had created jobs in a state where unemployment remains higher than the national average, and is actually climbing.
And yet once is forced to admit: we’re talking about a tightly controlled and compromised sort of dynamism. A casino in the mountains is an attraction because there is nothing like it for hundreds of miles. The thing it supplies—legal gambling—appears to be in high demand because state laws have created an artificial scarcity.
Marvin Horne, a raisin farmer, officially owes the government “at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.” In a remarkable feature for the Washington Post, reporter David Fahrenthold explains:
In a given year, the government may decide that farmers are growing more raisins than Americans will want to eat. That would cause supply to outstrip demand. Raisin prices would drop. And raisin farmers might go out of business. To prevent that, the government does something drastic. It takes away a percentage of every farmer’s raisins. Often, without paying for them. These seized raisins are put into a government-controlled “reserve” and kept off U.S. markets. In theory, that lowers the available supply of raisins and thereby increases the price for farmers’ raisin crops. Or, at least, the part of their crops that the government didn’t just take. For years, Horne handed over his raisins to the reserve. Then, in 2002, he refused.
The national raisin reserve was created by the Truman administration. As Fahrenthold writes, Horne’s “life has now become a case study in one of Washington’s bad habits — a tendency never to reexamine old laws once they’re on the books.”
Meanwhile, in the well-publicized throes of sequestration, one Pentagon department is reverting to another staggering, if more straightforward budgetary practice:
While Hagel is asking Congress not to take a knife to next year’s budget, the Department of Defense is actually having a hard time spending all of this year’s money. As Al Kamen at the Washington Post reports, at least one office within the Pentagon is practically begging its employees to “Spend the money! Spend it all! Spend it now!”
Why this desperate, ill-timed spending craze? The federal government, as Kristen Hinman notes, allocates funding on a “use-it-or-lose-it basis.” If the department doesn’t exhaust its budget by September, Congress assumes it can survive with a smaller budget. “So every summer,” she writes, “federal agencies race to spend down their coffers.”
Arcane regulations and egregious government spending (induced by preposterous laws) aren’t new. But as these stories illustrate, the federal budget has consequences — whether it’s a 64-year-old raisin reserve or acquisitive Pentagon employees (suffering a 20 percent pay cut and weekly furloughs). Despite their obvious flaws, mechanisms like the sequester do bring budgetary challenges to the forefront, and show us what we need to fix. At Democracy in America, Will Wilkinson claims that “big, dumb, indiscriminate across-the-board cuts” sometimes reveal urgent problems, or money that isn’t being spent wisely: “Meat cleavers work, and they aren’t in practice so indiscriminate as they may seem to be.”
It might be time to take a meat cleaver to the “Raisin Administration Committee.”
Days after the 2012 election, conservative talk-show host and hair-enthusiast Sean Hannity announced to his talk-radio audience that he had “evolved” on issue of immigration reform because “We’ve got to get rid of the immigration issue altogether.” He recognized that after Mitt Romney only collected, fittingly, 47% of the vote, and the ”Hispanic vote went 70 percent Democrat,” something would have to be done to right the Right’s electoral woes.
Rather than take the time to soul-search, and come to terms with the disaster that the Romney campaign specifically, and the GOP generally, had become in the eyes of voters looking to improve the status of their communities and their country, Hannity went right for the first issue he could find that would not threaten the Republican establishment’s priorities in serving the “donorists,” as Ross Douthat puts it, who “tend to like the G.O.P.’s near-obsessive focus on the top marginal tax rate just fine.”
He and his have been rallying to immigration as the answer to minority outreach ever since, promising that once the issue was off the table the real Republican message would be able to get through. As Ross put it recently, “much of the energy in the immigration fight comes from factions within the Republican tent that regard the Rubio-Schumer bill as a brilliant-and-easy way to avoid any kind of broader rethinking on economics.”
All the while, however, there have been rumors of an electoral bloc that might save Republicans without having to win minorities: the missing white vote. Britt Hume has been beating the drum over at Fox News in particular in pushing back against the “baloney” of necessary minority outreach.
Sean Trende has been doing the statistical yeoman’s work of describing this population, and came to the (correct) conclusion:
Republicans should pay attention to the concerns of the millions of alienated working-class voters who sat out the 2012 election because the GOP needs them — not at the exclusion of minority voters, many of whom are also working class, but in addition to them — to form a winning coalition in the future.
What Republican commentators need to get clear on, however, before they do themselves a lot of unnecessary additional harm, is that appealing to working-class voters does not mean pivoting away from minority voters; in fact they should go hand in hand. As Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry put it in his excellent “Reform Conservative Manifesto,”
the best way for Republicans to win a lot of Latinos is to win lower-middle voters generally, a lot of whom happen to be Latinos. Unless, that is, people of certain groups think that Republicans are prejudiced against them.
The always on-point Pete Spiliakos reminds us of Artur Davis’s explanation that even middle- and upper-class minority voters share church pews with those still struggling, and will vote the pocketbook of their neighbor as well as their own. If Republicans want those missing white votes, they can get minority votes too, if they speak to the voters who are hurting because the economy is so bad that they’ll put up with breathing neurotoxins just to keep food on the table.
As anyone who has worked in a factory will be able to tell you, the assembly lines are a rainbow coalition all to themselves.
In the throes of pre-Great Recession economic hype, I wrote the following in a 2006 Washington Times arts-and-culture column:
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Growing up as a rock music fan near this coastal resort inevitably meant frequent treks to Philadelphia and its myriad great venues. Wayne Newton, Engelbert Humperdinck and other casino-lounge staples — ordinarily, this would be the place to say something snide about “my father’s music.”
But I love my father’s music.
Atlantic City’s music scene served up something worse: my grandfather’s music.
That’s all changing, thanks to a pair of new music spaces and a general revitalization of the city’s non-gambling nightlife that has attracted “younger, hipper, more affluent visitors,” says Elaine Shapiro Zamansky, spokeswoman for Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.
Oh, man, was I wrong. Not so much about the increasingly diverse live-music acts on offer in Atlantic City—that part holds up. But the “revitalization of the city’s non-gambling nightlife”: that turned out to be another wild-goose chase in a Potemkin economy.
Known simply as Revel, the newest addition to this gambling city was going to be different.
The emphasis was on luxury, with the Himalayan salt grotto in the spa, the botanic garden winding toward a rooftop pool, the Michelin chefs instead of all-you-can-eat buffets. There was no smoking in its 47 stories, and with floor-to-ceiling windows offering vistas onto the Atlantic Ocean, you could almost forget the seedier streets at its back. There was a casino, but it was self-contained on one floor, as if it were an aside. This was a resort, its promoters said, that happened to have gambling.
Little more than a year after opening, Revel is sorry. Deeply, dearly sorry.
And it is an expensive apology. As it fights its way back from bankruptcy, Revel announced that it would refund all slot losses and match all other casinos’ promotions for the month of July. Revel cost $2.4 billion to open and has spent millions more in recent months to install diner-fare restaurants, more slot machines and air filtration systems — because it now allows smoking, too. Buttons worn by employees and billboards along the Atlantic City Expressway declare its new slogan: “Gamblers Wanted.” And its new official name: Revel Casino Hotel.
No matter how long I live within the confines of the Capital Beltway, I will always call the barrier islands and back-bay towns tied to Atlantic City my home—and so I find this story incredibly depressing. As a kid, I remember hearing the locals tell a cautionary joke: “There’s a reason the casinos aren’t going out of business—because people lose their money in them. Stay away.”
Today, however, the island’s casinos are losing money—in part because of a depressed regional economy, to be sure, but largely because of the multiplicity of gambling options throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Revel—sorry, make that Revel Casino Hotel—has been reduced to begging commuter travelers to please, pretty please piss their money away there instead of some dodgy den in North Philadelphia. It has dropped the pretenses of luxury and elegance and smoke-free air and admitted an ugly truth: it is part of the addiction industry, and, in order to survive, must make itself more appealing to, well, addicts.
Don’t get me wrong. There was hubris in thinking that the Revel was above that sort of thing. And there was folly in believing that government should fund it. But I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t pulling for a different outcome: that Atlantic City could reinvent itself into something more like a conventional resort town.
Much as my circumstantial hometown, despite many righteous protestations to the contrary, will never rid itself of shady influence-peddlers, Atlantic City will remain what it is for the foreseeable future: a vice-industry hub.
And really, why should I have expected any different? Everyone else is doing it!
Tesla is winning.
The famed American luxury electric car start-up has been battling entrenched auto dealership interests over whether it should be permitted to sell its cars directly to consumers, instead of going through the long-established and much-bemoaned independent dealership system. Well last week, it scored a major victory in its fight against the rent-seeking dealers, as a North Carolina House committee removed language from a bill that would have prevented Tesla from selling to North Carolinians.
The corresponding Senate committee had previously passed the language unanimously, leading to concerns that the local political clout of auto dealer interests would strangle Tesla in its infancy, as the low-volume start-up has little to gain from trying to get gas-powered dealers to sell its competing technology. However, after a brilliant couple months of news for Tesla, including a near-perfect score from Consumer Reports, and after the speaker of the House and Governor McCrory were taken for spins in the new Model S, the restrictions are dead for good.
Coming on the heels of that victory, a pro-Tesla WhiteHouse.gov petition recently crossed the 100,000 signature threshold to compel a White House response. As Will Oremus notes, ”Tesla critics like to point out that the Tesla Model S’s $70,000-plus price tag puts the car out of reach for the average American. But the success of the White House petition makes clear that it isn’t just wealthy Model S owners who are rooting for the company.”
That criticism was always ill-founded, because Tesla Motors has always been more than a luxury car company. It is a “halo” product for Silicon Valley, American manufacturing, the car industry alike, as well as an actual embodiment of many of the platitudes that politicians heap on American business. What is quite possibly the best car in the world is conceived, designed, and constructed in America. In that light, the green subsidies and discounted Department of Energy loans may well be justifiable not on free-market grounds, but as a national greatness project.
Tesla will probably like the response it ultimately receives from the White House. The most significant reason is that while auto-dealers have enormous political clout in this country, very little of it is operationalized at the federal level. As the AP noted in a follow-up story, “Research into their lobbying efforts shows franchise dealers are extremely influential in large part because their businesses contribute greatly to the tax base of local and state governments.” The very locality of auto dealerships that empowers their rent-seeking on a state level, and comprises their significant contributions to civil society at a deeper level, prevents them from having quite the same clout in currying favor from the feds.
This is a development we should all be able to celebrate. For all the (legitimate, to my mind) hand-wringing that can be done over the future of civil society amid increasing direct sales, it is rare to have the chance to celebrate American manufacturing success or a failure of crony capitalism, much less on the same day.
We should cherish the opportunity, and tip our caps to Tesla.
On Nov. 3, 1969, Richard Nixon, his presidency about to be broken by massive antiwar demonstrations, called on “the great silent majority” to stand by him for peace with honor in Vietnam.
They did. Within days Nixon’s approval surged to 68 percent. The ferocious Republican partisan of the 1950s had won over millions of Democrats.
Why? Because sons and brothers of those Democrats were doing much of the fighting in Vietnam. If Nixon was standing by them, they would stand by him.
In 1972 Nixon would win 49 states. Ronald Reagan, backed by his “Reagan Democrats,” would win 44- and 49-state landslides.
Yet since Reagan went home, Democrats have won the popular vote in five of six presidential elections. The New Majority is history. The Reagan Democrats have departed. What happened?
Answer: For a generation, when forced to choose between Middle America and corporate America, on NAFTA, most-favored nation for China, and free trade, the GOP establishment opted to go with the Fortune 500. In the GOP the corporate conservative rides up front; the social, cultural and patriotic conservatives in the back of the bus.
Consider who has benefited most from Republican-backed globalization.
Was it not corporate executives and transnational companies liberated from the land of their birth and the call of patriotism?
Under the rules of globalization, U.S. corporations could, without penalty or opprobrium, shut their factories, lay off their U.S. workers, erect new plants in Asia, produce their goods there, and bring them back free of any tariff to sell to consumers and kill the U.S. companies that elected to stay loyal to the U.S.A.
They then used the profits from abandoning America to raise executive salaries to seven and eight figures.
And how did the Reagan Democrats make out?
Real wages of U.S. workers have not risen for 40 years. One in three U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished between 2000 and 2010. The nation that used to produce 96 percent of all it consumed depends now on foreigners for the clothes and shoes we wear, the TV sets we watch, the radios we listen to, the computers we use, the cars we drive.
A nation that used to export twice what it imported has been running huge trade deficits for decades. China now holds $1 trillion in U.S. debt and can buy Smithfield hams out of the petty cash drawer.
With 50,000 U.S. factories closing in this new century, the greatest manufacturing power in history has been hollowed out, as Beijing booms at our expense. Corporate America is building the new China that is pushing Uncle Sam out of the western Pacific.
“Where did the ‘America’ in corporate America go?” asks Robert Patterson in National Review.
The Bush aide hearkens back to “Engine Charlie” Wilson, Ike’s first secretary of defense, who said, “For years I have thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa.” Wilson’s words were twisted by a capitalist-baiting press, but he saw GM as first and foremost an American company.
Before Wilson there was William Knudson, the dollar-a-year man of FDR’s war effort who converted GM and Detroit into the great arsenal of democracy, a story movingly told by Arthur Herman in “Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II.”
“In the good old days,” writes Patterson, “Americans could at least count on business leaders being pro-American. Beloved or not, major corporations functioned as true stakeholders of America: fortifying American industry and building American factories, spreading American innovation, paying billions of dollars in American taxes and creating millions of high paying ‘family-wage’ jobs that helped create and sustain an expanding middle class.”
“No longer committed to a particular place, people, country or culture, our largest public companies have turned globalist, while abdicating the responsibility they once assumed to America and its workers.”
Citing Joel Kotkin’s work, Patterson adds, “the worst offenders are Apple, Facebook, Google, the high-tech firms secluded in Silicon Valley, a dreamland where the information age glitterati make Gilded Age plutocrats look bourgeois.”
Google has five times GM’s market capitalization but employs only one-fourth the number of GM’s American workers. Steve Jobs’ Apple has “700,000 industrial serfs” working overseas.
Since we bailed it out, GM has become “General Tso’s Motors,” creating 6,000 new jobs in China while shedding 78,000 U.S. jobs here.
Marco Rubio today leads Senate Republicans in doing the bidding of corporate America, which, in payback for its campaign contributions, wants amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens.
Agribusinesses need more peons. Restaurant chains want more waitresses, dishwashers, busboys. Construction companies want more ditch-diggers. Silicon Valley demands hundreds of thousands more H-1Bs—foreign graduate students who can be hired for half what an American engineer might need to support his family.
“Merchants have no country,” said Thomas Jefferson. “The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”
Amen to that.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” Copyright 2013 Creators.com.