Yes, I know it is the thought of the day among democrats that businesses are evil, greedy. money-grubbing monsters out to rape the public....I just don't agree.
You make too sweeping a statement to be agreed with or disagreed with here, Mike. You have yourself made comments about the Insurance business and their intentions. I happen to agree with quite a few of those unhappy evaluations, as do quite a few Democrats and Liberals. The insurance industry doesn't see itself as monstrous, I believe, any more than the tobacco industry does, or than the slave industry did. The judgement depends on point of view, the ability one has for self deception, and the amount of honesty one is able to bring to bear on one's own actions and the actions of one's friends.
One can point those comments toward the Republicans or the Democrats, depending on one's information and loyalties. I have known quite a few decent and honest businessmen, myself, and don't agree with any negative stereotyping you'd want to pin on them. It wouldn't be accurate. My father knew substantially more of them because he happened to move in those circles.
While he studied for his MBA, when he was a kid, and later when he studied for his PhD in Business, I was tapped as his often unwilling study partner, going over case study after case study of business decision making, as was the fashion in those days. Looking at what made success and what made failure in real life situations. Dad had run his own business for close to 20 years before going back to school, and I got stories from that too.
I also learned a lot about labor relations. Dad taught the first course in Unions in Virginia at the time, and he caught lots of flack for doing so. You'd think folks would want business leaders of the future to know about Unions and what they were about, for good or ill, but the business community was pretty much solidly against it, as though ignoring them would make them go away.
There were decent people over there as well. I will assert it. I'm not offering it as a point of contention, but as an observation which you should feel free to accept or reject.
I didn't see the business folk I knew as being evil, nor did I see the union folk I knew as being evil. If you see me or the majority of other Democrats holding such a position, you may be overgeneralizing.
This doesn't mean that there haven't been or aren't now rapacious and destructive business people, and that I don't think that they aren't dangerous to the economy and to the people of this country.
To the extent that you understand me saying this, you understand me correctly. Those people are mostly at the controls of or in the employ of multi-national corporations and financial institutions. They have no vested stake in the future of this country or of the citizens of this country, but only in the the growth of the money they control and of the amount of it they can gain for themselves. If that involves the destruction of the United States or any other country, that seems to be fine with them. Ross Perot mentioned the giant sucking sound of capital leaving the country with the passage of NAFTA; this is what he meant.
Small and medium sized companies do indeed create prosperity and a middle class for the country. Giant companies and monopolies and multinational companies, I suspect, by and large, don't have any loyalty to country. Their loyalty is profit for themselves, and not to prosperity for any particular political entity.
It is unfair of me to respond to you about this, but then, you weren't answering my question here. You were telling me things about myself and my party that seemed to me to be off base, and needed to be corrected. Your assumptions were incorrect and too general and you were missing facts that you needed to have supplied. You needn't change your mind, of course. How you evaluate the information is up to you. But without the information, you aren't making an informed or free evaluation. I owe you that much.
How do we let them do what they do best? Get out of their way. Have limited controls, yes, but don't strangle them with an abundance of regulations and taxes. Congress doesn't pass out jobs to people (with the exception of the millions who have been hired into government work lately), businesses do. We have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world...and complain that businesses are moving overseas. We hit businesses with more taxes and complain they are not hiring.
Okay. Do you mean the large multi-nationals or do you mean the mid-sized and small businesses here, because they sometimes run in competition. Without some regulation, we will tend to favor the multi-nationals with no sense of loyalty to americans, american workers or american government policy. We would essentially be cutting our own national throats. The notion of tariffs comes in here. Smaller and more agile American companies would be in favor, so their growth would be protected. A middle class would have a chance to develop again. Multi-nationals would be against them, because the tariffs would cut into their profit margin. It would make American labor more expensive and would create an American middle class with a more robust sense of what they think is in their economic best interest, such as a more competitive entrepreneurial environment, where mid-sized companies could compete more effectively against larger companies because they had better ideas and ran a tighter, more innovative ship. This is the way America ran in the forties, fifties and sixties.
If companies grew large enough to threaten to become monopolies, they were broken up into more competitive smaller organizations.
The taxes, by the way, were higher at that time.
It has been fashionable lately to go after banks for not granting loans to small business. There was a banker lately who told congress that they were more than willing to lend the money...but small businesses weren't asking for it. Is there any wonder? They don't know how the health care program will affect them. They don't know how cap and trade will affect them. They don't know how new taxes (of which there certainly WILL be) will affect them. Is it any wonder they are not willing to hire? Obama wants to put these burdens on them and, at the same time, demand they hire and expand. Not gonna happen..
I can't respond well without more details here, Mike.
I would wonder, however, what the rates were that the banks were offering for loans to small businesses, and to what extent that was affecting the lending practices. I'd have to do some research.
And one might wonder what the banks were then doing with the money they borrowed? Did the investigation cover that?
If your question is what can the government do, my answer is...nothing. Get out of the way and let business get back to doing what they do best....making money and creating prosperity as they have done since the country was founded.
Doing nothing now is different than doing nothing then, Mike, because the fall back position for doing something to change things is now a set of existing laws. In the beginning, at least before 1793 or so, this was not the case. You need to be specific about which laws you want to stay the same and which laws need to be enacted, and which laws need to be repealed. "Doing nothing" is only a soothing statement whose content you would not include in sausage, even if you made a point of not looking. The stench alone would identify it even to somebody with a sinus infection, simply by the blowflies it drew. "Doing nothing" is a semantic black hole that needs to be filled in.
What are you going to fill it in with? "Get Out of The Way" is the same thing. It suggests that everybody knows how and where, when this isn't true at all.
The stimulus plan hasn't worked. They tried to cook the books and make it look like it has but that didn't fly. Now they are throwing away the book and making their own formulas to attempt to show job creation. Now they are considering a second stimulus package.
The stimulus package would be the third, not the second. First was under Bush. Second under Obama. It appears that there is still a big problem with jobs, that this is a jobless recovery at this point. That's a big thing with me. Most of the money voted in the Obama Recovery package has not yet been distributed, but will be over the next year. Hopefully that will help a lot, both for the recovery and — politically speaking — for the election. That should be beyond consideration, but it isn't; my consideration, at least. If it doesn't work, it'll be a big deal politically and economically. I think that President Obama and the Democrats, if they're thinking competently and well, are trying to bring it off to peak close to the election. I hope that's what they're doing, at least; and I hope the plan works. If it does work, the Democrats will do well in the elections and the power shift should be consolidated. If not, it's Mule Soup time in Washington.
Maybe it'll work that way, maybe not.
The whole thing could be simply orchestrated by headless chickens fluttering about the henhouse. This would be unfortunate for the government and people as a whole.
I want to thank you, specifically, Mike, for trying to think some of this stuff through with me. I hope you don't get too impatient with my meanderings and musings here, and I'm looking forward to your reactions and to the reactions of anybody else who's got some ideas to throw into the pot. I hope it isn't the headless chickens scenario, I must confess.
My best to everybody, Bob Kaven