Sunday, January 2, 2011

Deja Vu

Tom Still, at the Journal, has a whopper (and laughable) wish list for business growth. We'll take this steaming pile one turd at a time.

He begins with a defense of tax cuts and the wealthy. He wants us to ignore increasing unemployment, poverty, inequality, wage stagnation, increasing health care costs, declining retirement coverage, amongst the many other hardships the bottom 99 percent face. He finds justification because a select few earning the most also happen to pay a lot in taxes. The funny part is when he states, "They [the rich] already pay their fair share and help keep the economy humming." Indeed, nearly 10 percent unemployment, foreclosures, and increasing poverty - that's humming along.

Next free trade is given boosterism. Here the typical right-wing talking-points are on display. Free trade, no strings attached, is good policy...damn the evidence. Luckily more reasoned analysis is out there - Jobs With Justice and Economic Policy Institute.

The University of Wisconsin system, we're informed, will get the "freedom to manage its own resources." Which means they will be responsible for more of their own costs. Slowly spinning our UW system into a quasi-privatized entity. Again, as is the problem with everything in life for right-wingers, the system has too much regulation from the state. Running the university system like a business will produce much better results. (Yes, I'm trying to hold back my laughter, too.) Just look at how great this privatization scam has worked for the economy.

Now we get to the magical world of venture capital. As I've written earlier, "Josh Lerner, of Harvard, has found the number of exceptional venture capitalists is very small. Harold Bradley, of the Kaufmann Foundation, believes venture capitalists have plenty of money, but allocate it very inefficiently, and therefore should not be receiving additional public dollars with the hope of boosting a local economy. Bradley and Carl Schramm, in an article for Business Week, write that the current focus on fees has promoted start-up flipping rather than nurturing." Another attempt of throwing those well-worn conservative talking-points -- entrepreneurial, venture capital, flexibility, etc. -- out there and seeing what sticks.

Mr. Still would also like Congress to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research grant program. This is another area I find so hypocritically disturbing among conservatives. They bad mouth everything about government. They talk of how omnipotent business and the market are. But, for some reason, government money and initiatives are the crucial elements for so much of private sector progress.

It's 2011, but some things never change. Delusions and misinformation are out in full force to start the new year.

For Further Reading:

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