Thursday, July 29, 2010

Billionaire Bleating

I was reading Paul Krugman again. He nailed another “conservative”. Again. He makes it look effortless. Which makes you wonder why more people don’t do it.

Interestingly, Krugman hits two birds with one stone -- He chastises the Financial Times and he catches the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report -- the author of the editorial -- in a...well...let’s call it an exaggeration.

Ma! He’s Looking At Me Funny!

”Kind of different, isn’t it? That’s only business-bashing if you believe that there’s no such thing as businesses who cut costs by ignoring the environmental impact of their activities, or take risks that end up endangering the financial system. If so, I wish I lived on your planet.

I think this is telling. This is the only actual example of Obama’s alleged demonization of business that Zuckerman offers — and it’s essentially a mini-Breitbart, a quote taken out of context to make it seem as if Obama was saying something he wasn’t. That’s typical of the whole argument.”

Now, Krugman doesn’t supply any information about Mort Zuckerman -- the author. I’ve already mentioned that he is the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report. But what you should really know is that he’s a billionaire.

”Mortimer Benjamin "Mort" Zuckerman (born June 4, 1937)[1] is a Canadian-born American magazine editor, publisher, and real estate billionaire. He is a naturalized citizen of the United States.”

Most of you probably won’t read the Financial Times article Krugman quotes (most of the FT’s articles require you to register to view them) which is a shame. You could read this:

”Disillusion has spread to the Business Roundtable, the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses.”

When you write as much as I do, you learn just how confusing language can be. From that sentence above, you might think that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business were on the same page. In other words, it touches on one of my new themes -- “Ma and Pa” ain’t a corporation. Anyway, I decided to take a look at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and I found this guy:

William Dunkelberg is a big name in small business

I, of course, encourage you to read the whole thing but in that this blog is getting lengthy, let me focus on my main point.

”The National Federation of Independent Business approached him with a problem. The group was formed in the 1940s an an alternative to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was dominated by big corporations.”

”"There's no evidence in my data of a credit freeze on Main Street," Dunkelberg said. "They can borrow money. They have no customers, and that's the bummer." The best plan, he believed, was for the government to somehow give people money to spend at local stores.”

I hope you see the themes of my blog tied into all this. Regulation by a good, professional government allows honest businesses to flourish. Deregulation surrenders to the crooks and the unscrupulous. Corporations -- because they are so efficient -- have their own propaganda machines. Their agendas aren’t necessarily good for America. The root of our economic crisis isn’t credit -- it’s that people don’t have jobs that pay well.

Oh, and by the way, Mort Zuckerman isn’t a conservative. He’s described as supporting Democratic politics. But he’s a Democrat second (or third or fourth). He’s a billionaire first.

Don Brown
July 29, 2010

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