AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sat down for an interview with Bloomberg News this week, and expressed some dissatisfaction with how well President Obama has been serving union interests. Among other things, he decried the “wasted energy” spent on “hysteria about the federal deficit,” Obama’s support for various free-trade agreements, and insufficiently vigorous persecution of companies the labor bosses don’t like, such as Boeing.
He thinks “more government spending to create jobs would revive the economy and lead to a reduction in the deficit.” Of course! Spending more money, on the pointless slush funds filled by Obama’s utterly wasted trillion-dollar “stimulus,” is the perfect way to reduce the deficit! It’s just like the time I balanced my checkbook by buying a new sports car. Why didn’t anyone else think of this?
Trumka is being awfully tough on Obama, who has been one of America’s greatest producers of a resource Big Labor depends upon for its profits: anti-competition.
Anti-competition is highly toxic for those who do not benefit from it. CNBC headlined a story about this week’s awful economic news with “Horror For U.S. Economy As Data Falls Off Cliff.” They illustrated this story with a black spider descending upon a plunging line graph. As America falls off Barack Obama’s cliff, we will look up to see a giant spider chasing us down into ruin. Even Indiana Jones would have trouble escaping from such a dire situation.
Obama may well be able to take a place in history beside the anti-competition grandmasters who brought us the Great Depression. Massive stimulus spending is a way to override the judgment of the markets, providing “magical” advantages to well-connected beneficiaries. Huge bailouts eliminate competition by erasing the consequences of failure. Carefully targeted regulations, designed to help selected “winners” chosen by the government, replace competition with ideology.
An ObamaCare waiver is a fine example of anti-competition, as those who receive the waivers gain a tremendous government-provided advantage over competitors sentenced to the gloom of the President’s disastrous program. ObamaCare itself is designed to boil competition out of the immense health-care market, saddling providers with all sorts of mandates that will make it impossible for them to stay in business. When the system inevitably fails, as it was designed to do, its architects will stand ready to insist on fully nationalized, absolutely non-competitive, single-payer health care as the only possible solution to the crisis they have created.
Big Labor is a prominent consumer of anti-competition, but plenty of corporations feed alongside them. President Obama’s choice to head the Commerce Department, John Bryson, was dubbed “The Secretary of Subsidy” by the Wall Street Journal. He’s an expert at securing gigantic federal and state subsidies for useless black-hole “alternative energy companies.” The Journal sees him as a champion of “a core conceit of this Administration’s economic policy,” which is that better results are achieved when “government allocates capital to favored companies, rather than letting private markets do the job.”
Anti-competition is the fuel for that dismal economic model. It’s sad that America is drowning in the toxic waste produced by those messy and inefficient engines. It doesn’t have to be this way. Information Age technology provides a route to a highly elevated state of vibrant competition, where highly informed consumers have easy access to a vast array of goods and services. Every consumer is just a few mouse clicks away from an ocean of professional and amateur reviews, covering every product he might wish to buy from an army of both local and online retailers. Just think of how well-informed the average purchaser of an automobile can be today, compared to twenty years ago.
A field of vast size and remarkably level character awaits the eager competitors of a free Information Age economy. We need only defeat people like Richard Trumka, whose riches depend on borders, limits, and controls. Of course those who rely upon anti-competition think there should be more of it, no matter how impoverished the rest of us become. Their hunger is, understandably, insatiable.
Everyone else should understand that the end of competition is the dissolution of both freedom and general prosperity, for wealth is a function of choice, and competition is the atomic fire created by the explosion of choice. You will know you are free when you hear the thunder of capitalists engaged in fair battle to win the benevolence of your will.
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