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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hunter Advocates... What? Anarcho-Capitalism?

Just when I thought Madison Daily Leader editor Jon Hunter was discovering his true left-wing media heart, someone turns on Glenn Beck at the office, and Hunter starts throwing all sorts of tea-party hyperbole. "Federal Appointees Shouldn't Be Running American Businesses," Hunter opines... apparently not even the businesses that the federal government is using our good money to save.

Hunter apparently disapproves of federal pay standards at AIG. Hunter makes the odd claim that "Obama administration is deciding this week which brands of cars will be produced by General Motors"—GM has actually been looking to shed underperforming brands like Hummer since last summer—then makes the blogworthy claim that it is reasonable to expect Congress to hold hearings on what color to paint cars.

To make his point, Hunter proceeds to get more wrong. He claims Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's Health and Human Services nominee, testified yesterday that she would "possibly replace insurance companies with a government insurance plan." Maybe that line will keep Rod and Randy advertising with Jon, but Sebelius said no such thing (alas): making herself perfectly clear, the Kansas governor said, "If the question is, ‘Do I support a public option side-by-side with private insurers in a health-insurance exchange?’ yes, I do.”

"We're frightened by the government takeover of companies and industries," quivers Hunter, who apparently would prefer an uncontrolled collapse of the financial and automotive industries, or at least emergency government loans with no taxpayer oversight.

Alas, as is his wont in deep water, Hunter offers closing lines that dissolve more than resolve:

The shift from private industry to government control will continue until we as Americans do something to stop it. Members of Congress and President Obama want to fix things, and we've given them the authority to do what they want.

We hope that we as citizens won't wait too long before we discover that government appointees shouldn't run American businesses.

We've given our government authority to fix problems, but we should stop them and... do what? Hunter fails to make clear what solution he prefers, but I'll take Obama at the helm over anarcho-capitalism and economic freefall anyday.

It's nice to throw some right-wing red meat to the Chamber of Commerce subscribers, but Hunter just flat gets it wrong: the Obama Administration is not looking to take permanent control of the auto industry. The federal government is acting as the lender of last resort, making demands now to protect its (our) investment, and split the company into healthy private competitors. Perfectly sensible, and not nearly the frightening mess our local paper would have you believe.


  1. Cory, you favor socialism over capitalism, and that is where you are coming from with this entry.

    I do not. Socialism has failed wherever tried, and capitalism has succeeded. You'll disagree, I expect, but whatever.

    Obama and his cronies Pelosi and Reid want to take more and more control of our lives, our businesses, our money, and they are doing it behind the scenes. While we focus on the inane bonus issue, they are working on freedom of choice act, fairness doctrine, globalism, socialized medicine, reducing our military strength, etc, gun control, etc, take your pick.

    Nothing should have been bailed out. Companies should have filed bankruptcy. We let gov't start "being the answer and the money well" and now they are running amuk. This will bankrupt our nation if not checked. But of course then O will get his global currency, global economic policy, etc. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Hunter actually has it right.

  2. Anon 8:50 ->

    CAH is not suggesting we socialize everything. Just certain aspects of our society could function better if the profit motive was removed. Further, he is not even suggesting that the industries receiving government funds stay under government control. The whole point is to get them back out into the capitalist system.

    More directly, it's capitalism that failed here. We deregulated the markets, allowed commercial organizations to rate debt, allowed credit default swaps to exist, and started paying bonuses based on progressively small time scales. Make no mistake, it's the lack or regulation that got us into this mess and it's the little bit of "socialism" as you would call it that is keeping us out of financial Armageddon. If we had not propped up the financial institutions with government backing hundreds of companies would have gone bankrupt and we would be in an unbelievable depression.

    In terms of the failure of socialism, there are many aspects of many societies that are completely socialized and function very well. Dozens of examples exist in Europe that strike a balance between capitalism and socialism. Here in the US, I'm pretty happy about my socialized water supply just to point out an obvious one that everyone deals with at some point.

    Complete socialism has failed, but certainly not partial socialism.

  3. Airlines go bankrupt, almost routinely, yet continue to operate, fly, pay bills (under a supervised schedule), etc. It's no big deal. And we EXPECT the government (be it bankruptcy court, or government lender) to instill standards and demand performance. Did you use your government student loan on a Mazda Miata? - of course not.

    IF the government is involved in saving, re-establishing a company, then - you bet, the taxpayers have the right and duty to call shots until the venture becomes privately owned.

  4. [What government student loan? ;-) ]


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