Private government was the logical next step, of course

We talked about this in March:

The Republican state auditor is demanding access to financial documents, Democratic lawmakers are demanding more public scrutiny of the nonprofit JobsOhio, one Republican leader is chastising both of the former, and Gov. John Kasich is calling the whole thing a misunderstanding over a complicated issue.
Such was the status Thursday in a growing controversy over the private office that coordinates the state’s economic development programming, the millions of dollars in public funding it has received and the lack of public information on the nonprofit’s spending and donors.
“Sometimes you read things and it appears one way,” the governor told reporters Thursday. “It’s really just a little disagreement about how we should proceed. The simple fact of the matter is I favor all public money being able to be audited by our state auditor, plain and simple. … But you don’t want to go in and audit the private books of private industry by the auditor. That’s beyond his authority.”
The brouhaha focuses on JobsOhio, the nonprofit created by Kasich and lawmakers two years ago to reach out to existing companies and firms thinking about expanding into Ohio, negotiating economic incentive packages and helping to commercialize research and technologies developed at the state’s universities.
Most of JobsOhio’s dealings are conducted outside of the public spotlight, a setup supporters say is needed during business negotiations.But documents also indicated the nonprofit has received more than $5 million in public funding, and a number of employees received six-figure salaries.

JobsOhio is back in the news:

Kasich defended his administration’s privatized economic-development agency in the wake of a complaint filed last week with the Ohio Ethics Commission by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the likely Democratic nominee for governor in 2014. FitzGerald requested a “thorough ethics investigation” by the commission of possible conflicts of interest by JobsOhio board members.
But the commission could not take the case because it has no authority over JobsOhio. Kasich signed a bill in June exempting the nonprofit agency from scrutiny by the state auditor and from the purview of the ethics commission, subjecting it instead to annual audits by a private firm it hires and self-policing on ethics questions by JobsOhio board members.

Here’s a shocker:

Subsidiaries of a company that’s helped sustain Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s political career and contribute to his personal bank account have received tax breaks worth more than $619,000 brokered by the new job creation board he appoints.
Longstanding and extensive financial ties between Kasich and Worthington Industries, a Fortune 500 steel processor in central Ohio, are raising new ethics questions in the era of JobsOhio, a semi-private panel of business leaders appointed by the governor and largely shielded from Ohio ethics and public records laws. Kasich, a Republican, joined the Worthington Industries board in 2001, as he left Congress. The company’s founder and late chairman, the powerful John H. McConnell, was an architect of Kasich’s political rise from state legislator to congressman to governor — joining family members and employees in giving hundreds of thousands to his campaigns and political committees over the years.
Kasich served a decade on the board while working in the private sector and was paid more than $611,000 as a board member between 2007 and 2011, the company’s federal business filings show.
Kasich quit the board a day after winning the 2010 gubernatorial election but continued to receive deferred payouts for three years, according to his financial disclosure forms.

They’re not elected, they’re not subject to public records laws, they’re not subject to any outside audit or ethics review yet they’re directing public policy in Ohio and spending millions of public dollars. Aren’t public-private partnerships great? The public has absolutely no information or power other than that which the board members deign to give us. There’s no “public” role in this at all.

I love the assumption behind these privatization schemes-that private entities spending public money are much more ethical and honorable than public employees so require no oversight at all other than “self-policing on ethics questions by JobsOhio board members.” The people who represent wealthy business interests and sit on this board aren’t just smarter than public employees or the rest of us dopes in the cheap seats, they’re better people. Has that been your experience in the private sector? It certainly hasn’t been mine, on either “smarter” and “better.” It’s self-perpetuating, too, because the more privatized government boards hand out tax breaks and public payments to private entities, the less money there is to fund public entities and public government, leading to still more demands for privatization from the same cast of characters. Nice racket they got going.

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80 replies
  1. 1
    Yatsuno says:

    You expect accountability from a Republican. How quaint. They are only accountable to their paymasters, who demand as much profit as possible until they have all the things. Ohio is about to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%. Aren’t you proud?

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    Wait till it’s Democrats talking about 2nd Amendment solutions. Wing Nutz heads will explode. Popcorn anyone?

  3. 3
    Emma says:

    A majority of Ohioans elected this guy. How bothered are they by this? Enough to vote for his Democratic opponent?

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    Your Guv seems to think he can talk out of both sides of his mouth and nobody will notice.

    The simple fact of the matter is I favor all public money being able to be audited by our state auditor, plain and simple. … But you don’t want to go in and audit the private books of private industry by the auditor. That’s beyond his authority

    Seriously? Who does he think he is, Fearless Freep?

  5. 5
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Emma: Voter caging and disenfranchisement has been a to priority of Midwestern Republicans. I don’t know if I’d play the “stupid voters” card so freely.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Has any of the bullshit that Kasich has pulled come back to bite him in the ass? I get the feeling that he could sign a bill re-instating slavery and get away with it as long as he has a child in his lap when he signs it, like he did with the forced birth provisions inserted into the budget he signed off on a while back. Or does he get enough credit from white voters for not being a foaming at the mouth reactionary to continue to get away with it?

  7. 7
    Manyakitty says:

    Kasich is one step further along the road to creating a new class of citizen slaves. That seems to be at the root of the Republican agenda: Forced pregnancies, remove and/or impede access to voting, as well as essential services and resources, kill public education. The poors don’t matter-if they deserved more, they’d just magically get it, right? I need to go vomit.

  8. 8

    The thing appears to be a money laundering slush fund that would make the mafia jealous.

  9. 9
    NickT says:

    Privatization is just the polite way of saying “embezzlement of public funds by Republicans who were too lazy and stupid to make a living any other way”.

  10. 10
    NickT says:

    Privatization is just the polite way of saying “embezzlement of public funds by Republicans who were too lazy and stupid to make a living any other way”.

  11. 11
    Emma says:

    @Zifnab25: I wasn’t saying anything about “stupid.” I am saying that the Republicans who elected him will need to join with the Democrats in electing a Democratic administration if they want to stop Kasich. Will they, or is the tribalism so strong that they prefer to be living in the mess he has created rather than elect a Democrat?

    And no, I don’t assume stupidity. I assume sheer bloodymindedness. All the all jokes about “I’ll live under a bridge and cook sparrows over an open fire if my neighbor doesn’t even have a bridge” seem to have become the operating system for a lot of Republican voters.

  12. 12
    gorram says:

    To recall a phrase, privatized rewards (and control and…), socialized risks.

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    WaPo Ombudsman to Bezos: Fire Jen Rubin

  14. 14
    Jeremy says:

    John Kasich had some pretty bad approval numbers after the anti-union bill passed and failed but it’s been up since then. I wonder if suff like this will drag his numbers back down.

  15. 15
    RaflW says:

    Couldn’t a group of Ohio taxpayers have standing to sue JobsOhio (or the state that passed such an obviously unethical shield law) for a public audit of JobsOhio books?
    Failing that, this needs to be a front-burner political and ethical issue that dogs Kasich and the Ohio GOP.

  16. 16
    NonyNony says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Seriously? Who does he think he is, Fearless Freep?

    He thinks he’s Fox News Personality John Kasich.

    To be fair, being a Fox New Personality IS the most productive thing he’s done for society to date!

    I’d like to remind folks that in a Republican wave year (2010) where our Senate race went for the Republican by a margin of 18% (57% to 39%) Kasich beat Strickland by 2% (49% to 47%). It was an incredibly tight race for this state.

    This is easy to forget, since Strickland immediately started governing as “King John” as if he’d won by a huge margin and had widespread approval for everything he wanted to do. But we’re really highly divided in our politics in this state (which is why we’re a “swing state”).

  17. 17
    MomSense says:

    Kay, this is sort off topic but in terms of what happens in Ohio I think that the election of Nina Turner is really important. There will be all sorts of voter suppression shenanigans without a good person there. I know Husted is the favorite but I hope the FSM and Ohio grassroots will pull out the win for her.

    Oh and what @NickT: said.

  18. 18
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Culture of Truth: That just made my day. Good to know that someone who used to work at WaPo knew she was total trash.

  19. 19
    PsiFighter37 says:

    So what’s the likelihood we can win in 2014? From what I could tell, Kasich’s numbers have been trending up, and he’s been leading FitzGerald in all the polls so far.

  20. 20
    jamick6000 says:

    @Emma: he was elected in the 2010 wave, and only won very narrowly. He just hit a personal best 54 percent approval rating in June after having terrible ratings for years. The state’s big newspapers (Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch) relentlessly flack for him.

    I would say he’s very beatable if the democrats run a good campaign.

  21. 21
    Felonius Monk says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Your Guv seems to think he can talk out of both sides of his mouth and nobody will notice.

    Kasich is actually just talkin’ out of his ass which is the usual mode of expression for corrupt, grifter politicians. He is a charter member of the Republican Grifters Club.

  22. 22
    woodyNYC says:

    Public Private Partnerships are not just a problem in red states, obviously. Although our Gov Cuomo has been pushing them recently under that name, we have been suffering under similar regimes in NYS exempt from oversight and transparency under the name of “authorities” – the Empire State Development Corporation, among many others. Local governance means nothing against the opaque agendas of the ESDC, various Local Development Corps, LIPA, NYSPA ad infinitum. I guess that’s another thing we can thank Robert Moses for.

  23. 23
    NickT says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    We need a new term for grifting asshole. I propose grift-hole.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The simple fact of the matter is I favor all public money being able to be audited by our state auditor, plain and simple. … But you don’t want to go in and audit the private books of private industry by the auditor. That’s beyond his authority

    I think I get this. The idea is that “public” money only applies to money where the detailed spending is done by the state government. If the money is given as a block to a private entity, that money becomes private and outside the state auditor’s purview. He can only look at the block grant as a chunk of money, not look into the details of spending by whatever private entity it’s given to. It’s like buying a service from a contractor; you aren’t supposed to care about how the contractor spends the money, just that you’re getting what you paid for. It’s wrong, but not inherently ridiculous.

  25. 25
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @Culture of Truth: Is there a particular reason to fire Jen Rubin that was not known before? Still, good to hear that from an Ombudsman.

  26. 26
    NickT says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    Politifact rated the ombudsman’s statement partially true.

  27. 27
    imonlylurking says:

    Wow. Do I get to use that excuse on my auditors?

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:

    Unfortunately, in North Carolina Gov. McCrory and GOP state legislators plan to shortly set out to follow a business development plan very similar to Ohio, mostly eliminating the state department of Commerce and instituting a private development entity similar to “JobsOhio”. Which will likely turn out very similarly to what is now happening in Ohio, which is far enough along to see how this all works out.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @RaflW:

    Couldn’t a group of Ohio taxpayers have standing to sue JobsOhio (or the state that passed such an obviously unethical shield law) for a public audit of JobsOhio books?
    Failing that, this needs to be a front-burner political and ethical issue that dogs Kasich and the Ohio GOP.

    No. They already got knocked down. The first issue was “how much are they spending and what are they spending it on?”

    Now the second issue is “is the JobsOhio process to award tax breaks itself corrupted?”

  30. 30
    fuckwit says:

    It amazes me the blindness of so many Americans to private corruption and abuse, even their glib enthusiasm for it!

    As soon as it’s private corporations, it’s JUST FINE! Anything goes! But if it’s the gummint, oh noes, be scared!

    Surveillance, data collection, invasion of privacy, grift, graft, corruption, coercion to the point of enslavement or almost torture (Wal-Mart bathroom breaks, anyone?), outright theft, lies, deceit, complete lack of transparency, it doesn’t matter, it’s SUPER DANDY SWEET AWESOME if private corporations are doing it. But, let the government even be accused of trying to it or being capable of maybe doing it, and it’s WORSE THAN HITLER ZOMG!!!

    Fucking drives me nuts. I do not understand what is wrong with people. Power is power. Anyone who has it is dangerous, and needs to be controlled and monitored by other counterbalancing power– and hopefully ultimately by the people. And right now, corporations have much more power than governments, shit, they even own the governments outright. The capitol of the USA is Wall Street, not DC. I do not know why this isn’t more widely understood.

    “Public-private partnerships” are straight up corruption: stealing our tax money and giving it to private, unacccountable corporations, to further enrich a few already-rich people, and not to invest it back in we, the people whose money it is in the first place.

  31. 31
    J R in WV says:

    They think they’ve built themselves a license to steal your money… perhaps a federal Grand Jury can get access to these records?

    Perhaps a blind monkey with any sense of right and wrong would see that the actual legislation is an ethics-free zone?

    If it looks like a duck / theft and walks like a duck / theft and talks like a G-D duck / theft, maybe it really is a theft? If I had any ethics I wouldn’t get near the damm thing because I don’t want to go to jail. But IOKIYAR, right?

  32. 32
    srv says:

    You liberals can’t ever stop inserting yourselves into public-private events and crushing free speech:

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R) of Texas has invited the rodeo clown who performed wearing a mask of President Obama at the Missouri State Fair to appear at an event in the Lone Star State.

    Missouri fair officials … ordered other clowns to undergo sensitivity training. The Missouri chapter of the NAACP asked the US Justice Department to investigate the clown for inciting violence against the president

    We may have to privatize government in order to save it.

  33. 33
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @J R in WV: I find myself saying “At least Alabama is better about that” more and more these days, and you have no idea how depressed it makes me. At least some of our governors and local elected officials are arrested, tried, and convicted for corruption/misuse of office, and in blood red Alabama, most of those arrests are of Republicans. To people in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, you have no idea how sorry I am for you, because as bad as it is now, you have no idea what’s about to come. We do, because we live it every day.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    Ohio employment numbers were fantastic for May 2013, leading Kasich to start talking about the “Ohio Miracle.” They were dreadful for June, so his opponent has started talking about that. Sad to root for bad news for job seekers, but I kind of do.

  35. 35
    J R in WV says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    Wasn’t the last governor convicted of graft a Democrat convicted by G W Bush of accepting campaign contributions to use against Republican candadates?

    And still in jail after losing appeals to G W Bush appointed appeals judges?

    Have I lost all faith in anyone touched by the Republican party, whether Judicial, Legislative, or Executive? Yes…

    If I’m wrong, or out-of-date, please educate me…

    Last news I heard about Alabama was that they wanted to give European auto executives the ability to drive in Interstates like it was the Autobahn. I once drove up through Alabama and got passed like I was standing still by Jags, Porches, and Benzes that had to be going 100 MPH +, cause I was going fast.

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    They’re not elected, they’re not subject to public records laws, they’re not subject to any outside audit or ethics review yet they’re directing public policy in Ohio and spending millions of public dollars.

    A neat way to find out whether the judicial system even pays lip service to the principles this nation was founded on would be to take this to court and see if the principle of “no taxation without representation” applies; it should, but I doubt that a judiciary that would grant a stamp of approval to “Citizens United” gives a shit about that sort of thing.

  37. 37
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @srv: This asshole was so crazy he lost his re-election race the first time he got elected (in 1994). Are Texans so fucking stupid they can’t figure out a way to kick this shithead to the curb?

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @J R in WV:

    West Virginia privatized economic development and then took it public again.

    This may be the only example in the history of the world where something was privatized, then people managed to take it back. I (literally!) have not found one other example.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    aimai says:

    @Roger Moore: How come they are so hot to audit Planned Parenthood all the time, then? Why is public money “private” when it passes through corporations Republicans like and of public concern and control when it touches women’s hoo ha’s?

  41. 41
    👾 Martin says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    Is there a particular reason to fire Jen Rubin that was not known before?

    No. But it’s an important litmus test for Bezos. She was kept on in order to appeal to a group of people that aren’t worth appealing to, as they cause more damage than they deliver in value. If Bezos can’t recognize just how appallingly bad Rubin is (DougJ has largely given up mocking her as its simply no longer sporting. Even McBargle requires a little effort. Rubin requires none.) and be willing to act on that, then there’s really no hope for the Post under his ownership.

    It’s not really even that he needs to be willing to personally intervene here, but whoever the fuck Rubin reports to either needs to provide a clear-eyed defense for why she’s worth keeping (for which there is none, so any such effort should conclude with that person being fired, and the decision to fire Rubin handed off as the first test of the replacement) or explain why under the previous ownership he/she was not empowered to do the merciful act, and Bezos needs to fix that problem so that people who ought to know better have the authority to fix this stuff.

    So, Bezos has been handed a test of his own against which we can all grade him. It’s quite a useful service that Pexton has provided for us.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:
    You aren’t seriously expecting consistency from Republicans, are you? The basic idea is that it’s supposed to be a prima facie reasonable argument, not that it actually reflects their beliefs. Their real belief is that they like the organizations they’re funneling money to and don’t like Planned Parenthood, so it’s OK to audit the one and not the other. Anything beyond that is rationalization for public consumption.

  43. 43

    OT: Congressperson Tom McClintock shows how to get around pesky questions on white collar criminals. Rewrite “the law” on the spot (from Chuckie Pierce):

    At a town hall meeting in El Dorado Hills, California on Tuesday, a constituent asked McClintock for his “stance on Wall Street criminal practices.” The congressman responded, “Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”

  44. 44

    @Kay: I know that it is very fashionable on this blog to blame MBAs for any and all problems. Most MBAs are middle level managers, the ones who implement the policies, the bigger culprits are the plutocrats and the economics and business school professors who have given and continue to give greed its intellectual finery. People like Summers, Glenn Hubbard and Raghuram Rajan to name a few.

  45. 45
    Felonius Monk says:

    @NickT: That is probably a better choice than grifturd.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Most MBAs are middle level managers, the ones who implement the policies, the bigger culprits are the plutocrats and the economics and business school professors who have given and continue to give greed its intellectual finery.

    Sure, most MBAs are middle managers, but most of the CXOs are also MBAs, and they’re the ones who are actively creating problems. Not all MBAs are causing our problems, but a disproportionate number of the people causing our problems are MBAs.

  47. 47

    @Roger Moore: Oh I am not saying that MBAs are blameless, I blame the economics and the business school professors more, the ones who have come up with these extremely corrosive ideas which provide justification for the greed of 1%. The power of an idea can change the world and not always for the better.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I probably agree with you. I don’t know anything about MBA’s, really, although I agree “we” bash them, generally, on this site.

    In one of the articles I read on this, the newspaper wrote that Worthington provides X numbers of “payroll”, so they’re justified in not getting these huge tax breaks. Is that the deal now? For-profits don’t have to pay any taxes because their employees pay taxes? The only people who are going to be paying taxes are individuals, on income? That’s insane.

  49. 49

    @Kay: Scratch the most corrosive idea and you will find some business school professor or economist providing justification for it.

    1. We must curb inflation not worry about unemployment.
    2. Taxes are bad
    3. Regulations are bad and give rise to “inefficiencies”
    4. Stimulus doesn’t work.

    and so on..

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I guess I tend to blame the people who are out there doing bad things more than the people who are giving them intellectual cover for their actions.

  51. 51

    @Roger Moore: The intellectual cover is what ultimately gives the bullshit the CEOs and the like pull off legal cover, see for example what happened during the financial crisis. The intellectual cover provided by economists like Summers etc made the repeal of Glass-Stegall and all the other financial deregulation possible, which directly lead to the crisis of 2008.
    Theirs is a symbiotic relationship. At least the CEOs are not out there like these academic shills pretending that they are disinterested observers.

  52. 52
    PeakVT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The issues that I think originate from b-schools are: chronic short-term thinking, reduction of all analysis to numbers, rejection of any notion that there might be stakeholders who aren’t shareholders, an almost mystical belief that incentivizing executives properly is key to a business’ success, and things like that. Your list is mostly what right-wing economists hack on about.

  53. 53

    @PeakVT: This idea of shareholders being paramount comes from Jensen and Meckling’s Agency Theory, the rationale behind stock options is to reduce the agency problem.

    Your list is mostly what right-wing economists hack on about.

    What other kind are there? Apart from a couple of departments that focus on heterodox theory? Taxes and regulations are bad is conventional wisdom in economics, what students learn in Econ 101.

  54. 54
    PeakVT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t see Krugman or Baker or lesser lefty economists hacking on about any of the issues on your list. Most would be happy to engage in a one-hand/other-hand style debate about levels and kinds of taxes, for instance, but wouldn’t say they are “bad.”

    Also, both Jensen and Meckling worked at Rochester’s b-school.

  55. 55

    @PeakVT: Krugman used to be neo-liberal himself, not that long ago. Besides Baker and Krugman are exceptions and not the rule.

    ETA: Taxes and regulation bad is what students learn in Microeconomics 101, the equilibrium changes when you add either or both.

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: They’re all rather playing for the same team, coaches, quarterbacks, second-stringers and cheerleaders — even the most ardent screamers in the stands provide cover for the team effort. Quarterbacks and coaches (and certain cheerleaders) just get most of the screen time and dates. Second-string MBAs can be just as ardent true-believers and provide masses at the polls and voting boothes. They’re not clean just because they’re personally somehow not promoted up the ladder.

  57. 57
    ericblair says:

    @PeakVT:

    The issues that I think originate from b-schools are: chronic short-term thinking, reduction of all analysis to numbers, rejection of any notion that there might be stakeholders who aren’t shareholders, an almost mystical belief that incentivizing executives properly is key to a business’ success, and things like that.

    My read on it is that having MBAs populate the management of a company leads to a wag-the-dog problem. You’ve got a lot of people who know much more about the supporting functions of a company than its core business, and then spend all the effort on those instead of the lines of business. So you end up with a lot of paperwork and process and fancy financing for a crap product that nobody wants.

    It’s like the financial industry: of course you need one, but when you decide that it’s the only thing that actually matters you end up with synthetic CDOs and a bunch of pretty PowerPoint briefs that don’t mean anything when reality finally intrudes.

  58. 58

    The idea that everything should be run like a business, from government to schools to hospitals, where does that come from? From the belief that markets are the best way to allocate resources not matter what the product. If that is not an economist’s way of looking at things then what is. Short-sighted MBA led management is the symptom of the disease not the cause.

  59. 59
    boatboy_srq says:

    @fuckwit: Any GOTea electoral victory as small as a tenth of a percent is a “mandate”; any Dem electoral victory by a landslide is VOTER FRAUD!!!!!11!!!1! The only legitimate electoral result is a GOTea win, and every GOTea win is carte blanche to build the Perfect Wingnut State.

    @NonyNony: Kay had it right with “the assumption behind these privatization schemes-that private entities spending public money are much more ethical and honorable than public employees so require no oversight at all.” It’s part and parcel of the Randian assumption of Absolute Objective Knowledge of all sides of every contract, and full wide-eyed acceptance of any and all terms therein. When The Private Sector is one’s (real) god, then everything about it is Good and Righteous and Beneficent For All, and any discovery of fraud/corruption/abuse/whatever has to be immediately quashed because Shut Up. (FWIW this is also what drives Right to Work: employees sign employment contracts open-eyed, so accept horrible working conditions, inadequate pay, miniscule benefits and worksite abuse/harassment/injury/whatever and need no recourse against said employer. These volk do read Dickens – but as instruction not critique.

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    Jeezuz.

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Based on that screed, I’d venture to guess that you’ve never set foot in an economics classroom.

  62. 62

    @burnspbesq: How did you make this brilliant deduction?

  63. 63

    @burnspbesq: FYI I have taken grad level classes in Micro and Macro and Financial Economics.

    Econ 101 example of how taxes changes the equilibrium price.

    You haven’t answered my “screed” but just made a personal attack on me. I wonder why?

  64. 64
    PeakVT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If that is not an economist’s way of looking at things then what is.

    But that’s just the way right-wing economists framed the debate. That’s natural, since they’re hacks, and allocating resources solely by market forces favors the already wealthy. A left-wing economist would say that we should structure an economy so that the maximum number of people benefit, and that given that a wide variety of market failures exist, we need a mix of market and non-market mechanisms to allocate resources. This means programs like SS, SNAP, Medicare, etc. and regulatory bodies like the SEC, EPA, NLRB, and, yes, even the FRB.

  65. 65
    Roger Moore says:

    @PeakVT:
    I think you missed a really important one: that all businesses are really the same at their core, so managers can run any business equally well based on general business principles. It’s the kind of thinking that leads to hiring a soft drink company CEO to run computer companies or a home improvement store CEO to run a car company. The idea that years or decades of experience in a specific industry or company are at least as important to being a good manager as two years of business school is really antithetical to the basic selling point of a MBA.

  66. 66

    @PeakVT: I am not disagreeing with you I am saying that right wing economists are dominant in academia as well as policy.

  67. 67
    PeakVT says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, I did, and @ericblair covered it nicely.

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The idea that everything should be run like a business and markets cure everything is at least as much a businessman’s view of the world as an economist’s. After all, it justifies turning more and more of the world over to business to loot, which is exactly what business leaders want.

  69. 69

    @Roger Moore: They have a nice symbiotic relationship going on there.

  70. 70

    The 1975 definition of “fascism” from the American Heritage Dictionary:

    “A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.”

    Just saying. They’ve changed the definition in more recent editions, probably because the merging of state and business leadership was getting too uncomfortably close to reality.

  71. 71
    TriassicSands says:

    Private government with no oversight. What could be better?

    And what could possibly go wrong?

  72. 72
    PeakVT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Okay, I guess I missed the distinction.

  73. 73
    barontagge says:

    All my life I’ve heard well meaning meaning fools from Garrison Keillor to Michael Moore tell me how the Midwest was eventually going to rouse and wake and toss off all this Reaganoid humbug, the bigotry, the corporatization, the disenfranchising, all of it. And it HAS NEVER HAPPENED. It is not going to at this point. We didn’t need another rump confederacy, but the rust belt and the Midwest has become Neo-Southron. We might as well rename Ohio North Mississippi. The Dustbowl Diaspora makes us think of Tom Joad, but Tom Metzger is it’s proper offspring, hatefilled, willfully ignorant and too darn NICE to fascists and god botherers. Fuck them all.

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    Scamp Dog says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Brad DeLong is a liberal economist, who believes in facts and evidence, a trait rarely seen in conservative economists. I’ve learned a lot about Econ from reading his blog.

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    danielx says:

    Hmmm…where have I heard this before? Why, about the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, under that champion of rectitude Mitch Daniels….

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    @Scamp Dog: He may believe in facts and evidence but he is liberal if you think Larry Summers is liberal. Brad DeLong has co-authored many papers with Larry Summers and has been an enthusiastic supporter of his candidacy for Fed Chairman.

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    Linnaeus says:

    Neofeudalism marches on. Instead of a hereditary landed & military class running the show, our new lords are corporations.

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    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Another thread I’m sorry to have missed. I’m loving Fitzgerald’s bringing Kasich’s shenanigans to the forefront. Kasich squirms better than any slug I’ve ever seen.

    Have you noticed the change in Kascih’s bragging about jobs? It’s not just new jobs anymore; he’s now including “relocated” jobs to pump up his numbers. I believe I read that, having spent millions to get JobsOhio going (which is additional to the hundreds of thousands now sitting comfortably in his bank account), Kasich’s actually created only 1,100 new jobs. This is the old shell game but with human beings.

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    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @J R in WV: You misunderstand, and you ignore another former Alabama governor who ended up in prison. I was saying that here, they eat their own. I can’t count how many mayors, sheriffs, county commissioners, and other various and sundry elected officials I’ve seen wearing orange, mostly Republicans because most elected officials are Republicans. The Siegelman conviction may have been politically motivated, but he was genuinely dirty. Guy Hunt, a Republican, was also convicted of something similar years ago. It seems he used a lot of campaign funds to fly him from Montgomery to his church in west Alabama. Aside from being illegal, it was stupid. You can go from Montgomery to pretty much anywhere else in the state in no more than 4-6 hours by road.

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