Oct 26

Eleven months ago, in the face of a gauntlet of headwinds that the Obama administration was creating in front of the American job creation engine, I came to the following conclusion:

“If you were an entrepreneur, or a business owner or manager with the ability to start large new initiatives, perhaps ones requiring large numbers of new employees, in the face of the above legislative uncertainty, would you dare proceed?”

The resulting economic lockup, and the trillions of private capital sitting in fear on the sidelines, has become the story of the day.

Predicting this story was not difficult, due to the nature of The Machine itself.  Driven by a lust for power, fueled by environmental extremism, economic illiteracy, and class warfare, and financed by a self-serving cycle of union cronyism, there can only be one conclusion:  The Machine is antithetical to the founding principles that made this country great, and can only produce seizure.   Here’s how it breaks down:

A Lust for Power

This is the core principle behind every Big Government scheme that has ever been devised.   It is the reason that Health Savings Accounts have not been promoted instead of Obamacare.   It is the reason that Keynesian “stimulus” is still the statist’s preferred economic weapon.  It is the reason why all fifty states are not Right To Work states.   Simply put, the programs of Big Government exist to perpetuate the power and influence of those in charge, with no regard of their effects to their constituencies.    Under this worldview, any failure of policy can be traced back to a lack of financing or scale.

Environmental Extremism

With the hoax of human-caused global warming now fully exposed as a funding-perpetuation scheme, it is nothing short of criminal that sweeping, multi-hundred billion dollar legislative initiatives based on faulty science are still being promoted.   But again, if power and control are the real objective, rather than protecting the environment, with the help of a complicit media, such inconvenient truths can be brushed off.

Economic Illiteracy

In an environment where high schools and colleges rarely require any kind of economic education, combined with an increasing disregard for our Constitution, our public policies suffer accordingly.   Policies devised by such economic illiterates that mathematically cannot work can be sold via Teleprompters to a large portion of the public that is ill-equipped to challenge them.   We are now reaping what we have sown.

Class Warfare

Following a divide and conquer strategy, the statists seek to pit some groups in society against others.   Given the mathematical impossibility of financing an ever-enlarging state, the promoters of Big Government seek their life blood from “the rich”.    Economic illiteracy plays a big role here, in that the critical role the rich play in financing the economy, and indeed, in financing the very schemes of Big Government, is never discussed.   Big Government needs the money of the rich, so they must be demonized in an attempt to motivate the rest of society to expropriate and redistribute their assets.

Government Intervention, Job Destruction and Lost Government Revenues

As more and more intervention takes place based on the fallacies of the above, job destruction can be the only result, as the real creators of jobs, entrepreneurs, decide that taking a risk to create a job is simply not worth it.    Furthermore, those with large amounts of assets, “the rich”, engage in what Ludwig von Mises called a “flight to the real”:  fearing that the value of financial wealth can be manipulated by government policy, people seek tangible assets instead, like commodities and collectibles.   These assets wind up creating no new wealth.   As the job engine slows and corporate and individual revenues fall, government’s share of those revenues falls in sympathy.

Public Sector Unions, Calls for Tax Increases, Mandatory Union Dues and Political Donations

Rather than recognizing the root causes, class warfare groups, often funded by Public Sector Unions, such as New York’s Working Families Party, attempt to make up the lost revenues by Calls for Tax Increases.   Never mind that such tax increases never produce the projected revenues (as the economic illiterates fail to acknowledge the power of incentives).   And here we enter an entire mini-machine of destruction.

The unions, with their mandatory dues, take their considerable resources and via Political Donations, promote politicians that will keep The Machine in action.   The unions have their own Lust for Power, as the union helps only itself in the aggregate, and cannot bring about any net positive benefit for the majority of their members.   Their very presence reduces the wages of the capable at the expense of the incapable, and often reduces to a game of nothing more than a parasite trying to keep its host alive.

Unions wouldn’t possibly support such commonsense legislation as Right To Work, because it is an existential threat to their entire machine.   But the fact that such legislation would even been necessary, that we have to affirm the right for an employer and an employee to voluntarily enter into a mutually beneficial economic arrangement, indicates just how much damage The Machine has already done to the economic mindset in this country.   Knowing how this truth can not stand the light of day, unions instead attempt to hide their legislative motives behind innocuous sounding names like The Employee Free Choice Act (which actually has nothing to do with making choices freely).

In all, The Machine creates an environment ripe for corruption, as the stakes are very high.   It is said that people rob banks “because that is where the money is”.   In Big Government, with crony-capitalism running amok, it is well worth the lobbying effort to attempt to rig the game in your favor.  This in turn fuels cynicism about government itself, causing a large percentage of voters to tune out.

Breaking the Machine

Fortunately, the Machine can be stopped in its tracks, first by recognizing its parts, as I’ve done here.  But more importantly, the politicians that support this Big Government vision can be held accountable, and replaced as necessary.   Throughout their terms, regardless of what they’ve promised, their day-to-day votes are out of our control.   For one day, every two years, the tables are turned.

You know what to do.

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10 Responses to “Welcome to the Machine”

  1. Malex7 says:

    SHAME on the idiots on this site, misusing Pink Floyd’s iconic words and imagery to shill for a viewpoint that the members of Pink Floyd vehemently disagree with.

    I would love to see Roger Waters’s take on this clearly corporatist-agenda gibberish that’s nothing more than a rehash of GOP talking points from the last five years.

    Any non-idiot who actually listens to Pink Floyd’s music knows that “The Machine” is the corporate system of churning through people as commodities. Government, used well, is the little guy’s only (occasional) advocate in a world where more and more power and control is evolving into corporate/wealthy/special-interest hands.

    Simply put, the author is disingenuous and a little bit plain dumb.

    • Administrator says:

      Please keep reading, because then you’ll see that what you’re describing and railing about is really crony capitalism, the abhorrence of which I bet Roger Waters and I would both share. The GOP has certainly played a fine role in the creation and continuation of crony-capitalism — no argument there, and I make no attempt to stay in touch with any of their “talking points.”

      Of course, I can’t ignore your omission, conscious or not, of public sector unions as one of the ultimate “corporate/wealthy/special-interest” groups. Likewise, history shows that government is rarely “used well.” Don’t mistake that for a call for anarchy. LIMITED government works well, and I’m all for that. The problem is that government has grown so big, and hence so powerful, that the possibility of moving back towards its original limited government roots looks radical and impossible.

      As for “churning through people like commodities”, government’s track record in this regard smokes that of any other organization.

      I’d welcome any chance to discuss any or all of this with Waters. And I’m a huge fan of his music, too.

  2. […] have the right to not join a union, Trumka’s claims amount to little more than a defense of The Machine that requires political force and financial extortion to perpetuate itself.  All the while, […]

  3. Administrator, You have a bad link in the 2nd line where it says “I came to the following conclusion”. The bad link, http://civilsocietytrust.org/2009/11/29/democrats-economic-non-starters/, should probably be http://civilsocietytrust.org/blog/2009/11/29/democrats-economic-non-starters/.

    As for voting, I consider every election to be a plebiscite on voting, and it seems to lose by a landslide every time. Registered voters who do not vote have been saying rather clearly for a very long time that voting is meaningless. Nothing of substance changes. Or as one wit said, “if voting changed anything, it would be illegal”.

    Another quote that seems apropo is attributed to Einstein: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

    Are we left with no options then? No. We have to get back to basics on the question of what government is, or perhaps what it should be. The current version, which I call serfdom (Hayek was wrong: it isn’t coming; it is here), doesn’t work and cannot work. No amount of intelligent voting will fix it.

    My proposal for fixing it is to re-engineer government, going back to a very old model, Switzerland, with a twist. See http://www.GovernmentByContract.com.

  4. Rantly McTirade says:

    I’ve actually managed investments for over a quarter century and don’t belong to a union-and make substantially more than the average union member.And, of course, the 2nd comment has no substantive answer to my initial one. I’ve seen how business, especially the (disgusting)financial sector,operates and know that there’s little difference between private(corporate)sector and public(government) sector bureaucracies in terms of efficiency or being responsive to their supposed primary constituencies-public corporations clearly are not run in the best long term interests of their shareholders, they’re run for the short to mid term interests of their top bureaucrats and board members, who have nothing seriously at risk . Small, privately held businesses are another matter-and actually are generally better for their employees as well.
    Yeah there is a lot of anger in American, not only at government(s), but at business organizations that refuses to explicitly consider themselves part of American society generally and obligated to operate within the context of what society believes is best over time. This will eventually have repurcussions-anger won’t be managed, it’ll be reveled in- not only on large corporate bureaucracies but on all types of businesses and the country at large. So, if the ‘business climate’ worsens further blame not just Obama, Boehner and Bernanke-put blame-and very serious pain- on the Palmisanos, Dimons, Otellinis, etc. They’re as big a problem as any and deserve serious personal consequences.

    • Administrator says:

      I could make the case why, reading between your lines, you should actually be defending everything I wrote, but I’ll instead focus on a few smaller points.

      I’m sure you can cite various public company CEO’s and “bureaucrats” that have made obscene amounts of money in light of poor company performance. Few people are going to defend that (I certainly won’t). But go and try to suggest to the employees up and down the line at Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers that they had “nothing seriously at risk”, or at any other public company for that matter. By contrast, government bureaucracy simply does not put that risk (however small you want to claim it is) on their employees. I dare you to attempt to prove otherwise. Tell me all about the multitudes of government agencies and departments that have gone under, with all the employees losing their jobs, for bad “corporate” performance.

      Even more importantly though, what’s to stop YOU, Rantly, from going out and running a company the way you think it should be run, for the long term, with your customers interests totally front and center? Are there any government policies in place that prevent that? Are there any internal, personal policies that prevent that?

      Which brings us to the issue of voting: It doesn’t follow from your point of view that the solution is to sit back, disengage, and watch all sorts of bad policies with bad effects get enacted by people who you vehemently disagree with. This is exactly why we wound up with Obama (and Bush, and any other promoter of Big Government). This is what happens when only 55% of the public actually votes!

      We need to be smart enough to realize that government will never be smart enough. Once our public policies reflect that, we’ll be off to the races, in every good sense of the word. That means voting in people who get it, and voting out people who don’t. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when the people who think they’re smart enough, or smarter than you, run you over.

    • Jim Klauder says:

      the machine article is nicely articulated and illustrated. well done.

  5. peconic says:

    @Rantly McTirade: I love it when you guys open your mouths because it makes our job so much easier. You wouldn’t be an SEIU guy, would you? Republicans shouldn’t bother campaigning, they should just hand you a mic.

    Oh, and good look with that anger management course.

  6. Rantly McTirade says:

    A pile of Whorepublican propaganda, masquerading as a pile of crap.
    The ‘gauntlet’ has been decades in the making, with Whorepublicans
    as guilty as Scumocrats in its’ construction. And the large corporate
    bureaucracies have driven much of the pieces of it.
    – HSA’s haven’t happened because the corporate bureaucracies in
    the health care industry(product providers as well as service providers)
    don’t want them to happen.
    – The ‘trillions in private capital’-mostly debt funded due to the idiotic
    interest rate policies of the Fraud-is on the balance sheets of the
    transnational corpocracies. Real fear should be applied to the top
    bureaucrats at these organizations, the fear of personal destruction if
    they do not begin operating their organizations in line with the best
    interests of the American nation, i.e., focused on generating high
    quality, well paying jobs in the US. Perhaps a few raids by Special
    Ops forces on corporate bureaucracies would help; IBM could be
    a great example, with Palmisano and his hacks hauled out of their
    offices in leg irons and ball gags and shipped to Gitmo.
    – The job standards of public employees should be the standards to
    which private businesses are held, and top bureaucrats and owners
    should be removed from their positions, and ownership seized if its’
    a private company, if they don’t generate high quality well paid jobs
    within the US each and every year.
    – What to do? Don’t vote-it just encourages them, prostitions and
    corporacrat alike. Instead, reflect on how the country was founded,
    with corporate bureaucrats in the place of George the 3rd.

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