It's hardly surprising that President Obama's deficit commission has become a font of unintented (if wince-inducing) hoo-larity. Nor is it a shocker that diabolically effective labor organizer Andy Stern would be brazen about re-molding government to benefit public sector workers at the direct expense of the rest of us. Still, there's something irritating about seeing a presidentially appointed deficit commissioner and inner circle FoB uncork statements like these:
"America needs a 21st century economic plan because we now know the market-worshipping, privatizing, de-regulating, dehumanizing American financial plan has failed and should never be revived, worshipping the market again," Stern said in remarks at the annual conference of the liberal activist group Campaign for America's Future in Washington on Monday.
"It has failed America and everyone that works here," Stern said.
Stern said the changes that Obama and Democrats in Congress have made are nothing short of a "revolution" that will move the American economy from national to international.
"This not our father's or our grandfather's economy," Stern said. "We're as far today from the New Deal as the New Deal was from the Civil War. And we cannot drive into the future looking in the rear view mirror."
He said the progressive movement must build on the past and look to the future as the economy is transformed "from a manufacturing base, to a service, finance, knowledge, green, Internet, and bio-science economy."
"This revolution's going to only take 30 years," Stern said. "No single generation of people have ever witnessed this much change in a single lifetime. […] And as we've witnessed now in the absence of a simple and realistic way forward, people – even us – sometimes resist the future or try to turn back the clock to days that are now long gone."
You can watch the video at C-SPAN.
Once more, with feeling: 1) George W. Bush was not remotely a deregulator. 2) He was, in fact, a "big government disaster" (well, the "big government" is fact, and the "disaster" is well-considered opinion). 3) If the federal government has been busy "privatizing," this past decade, I for one haven't heard much about it, and I work for a foundation that publishes something called Privatization Watch. And I will let our friendly neighborhood commenters chew on what does and does not make a particular economic policy "dehumanizing."
An idle closing thought: Long after the public mood has soured on Obamanomics and Democrat interest-group policy, the structures and personages that keep cranking the stuff out will still be standing. Having an Andy Stern anywhere near the levers of government economic power should be a wake-up call to anyone who prefers markets to mandates, choice to control, capitalism to corporatism.