Forget Gov't, Biz, Labor: The Last Big Unit to Perform Worth a Damn Was Randy Johnson


Perhaps channeling Steve Martin (another '70s innovator), Michael Barone wants to get small:

The Big Government of 1970 looked a lot like the Big Government of the 1940s. The same Big Businesses that dominated the Fortune 500 list in 1940 did so in 1970. The list of Big Labor unions remained pretty much the same.

About 1970, these Big Units lost their edge. Big Government got mired in wars on poverty and in Vietnam. Big Business got hidebound and bureaucratic. Big Labor started to shrink….

What we see is Big Government colluding with Big Business and trying to breathe life into Big Labor.

Their financial policy has been to freeze the big banks into place. Their industrial policy was to preserve as much as they could of General Motors and Chrysler for the benefit of the United Auto Workers. Their health care policy was designed to benefit Big Pharma and other big players. Their housing policy has been to try to maintain existing prices. Their macroeconomic economic policy was to increase the size and scope of existing government agencies to what looks to be the bursting point.

The Obama Democrats, faced with a grave economic crisis, responded with policies appropriate to the Big Unit America that was disappearing during the president's childhood….

But Big Unit policies are not a good fit for a country that has grown out of the wreckage the Big Units made of things in the 1970s.

And while we're at it, down with Steve Martin, too, who was a refreshing counterpart to post-war comedians and then became as unfunny and semi-serious as Jerry Lewis ever was.

Read more here.

Hat tip: Tim Carney's Twitter feed.

MLB Pitcher Randy Johnson engages in really creative destruction:

NEXT: War Is Over (If Obama Wants It) or, Mission Accomplished Redux

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  1. This is fairly good for Michael Barone. Not sure I entirely buy the premise, but close enough that at least it doesn’t raise my blood pressure like, say, Pauly Krugnuts.”

    Also, TOTALLY on re: Steve Martin. I actually saw him in concert in the 70’s when I was in HS. He was FUNNY! I keep thinking, Steve, please bring back the white suit and the arrow through the head and talk about getting small again…pleeeeeease? You were funny back then…

  2. Can it be anything other than the intentional economic destruction of America?

  3. Big = Good and Government = Good. Labor = Good and Unions = Good. America = Good and Business = Good

    Big Government = doubleGood
    Labor Union = doubleGood
    American Business = doubleGood
    Big Business = doubleBad

    leftist maths is hard

  4. Dude, you really showed your age on that reference.

    What — no picture of Martin with an arrow through his head?

    1. “Dude, you really showed your age on that reference.”


      I would have gone with Porfirio Rubirosa

  5. No open thread this morning? I have a 3 day backlog of links to drop on your asses.

  6. I think steve martin got unfunny when he got un-cocained. or maybe he was the exception among comedians?

  7. What, no mention of Big Retard? These policies are all counting on Big Retard, which rarely disappoints.

  8. MLB Pitcher Randy Johnson engages in creative destruction, literally!

  9. I think Koch Industries still swings a pretty big unit.

    I also think that Steve can still be funny on Letterman, when he unloads all the hostility he feels for the rest of us on Dave, who can take it because he’s as rich and neurotic as Steve is. Also, Steve’s autobiography is definitely a good read.

  10. ……Is that Alice Cooper?


    1. Alice and Randy own a restaurant in the Phoenix area. The hot dogs are called “Big Units.”

  11. “The same Big Businesses that dominated the Fortune 500 list in 1940 did so in 1970.”

    Since there was no Fortune 500 list in 1940 (it started in 1955) I’m not sure what the hell Barone is even talking about here. Another quote from his column:

    “The Fortune 500 list of 2010 doesn’t look anything like that of 1970.”

    Yeah, but Fortune is now listing all companies and no longer restricts the 500 to just industrial companies. So of course you’re going to see different types of firms on today’s list.

    Maybe Barone has a point, but his discussion of the Fortune 500 sure as hell doesn’t add to it.

    1. I don’t think he was being quite as literal as you are. His larger point has validity.

  12. I completely agree. All the Bigs, though they may have their internal squabbles, are united against individuals and Smalls.

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