Chamber of Corporatism


President Obama will be speaking today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Tim Carney comments:

This visit will spur a slew of articles on how Obama is "tacking to the center," becoming more "pro-business," and "mending relationships." This will mostly be bunk. The president is still selling the same Big Government product he's been peddling since the stimulus, and the Chamber is still buying the same corporatist product it's been buying since, well, the stimulus.

The Chamber isn't the worst of the business lobbies: Because it's broad-based, it's less likely to endorse a bill that benefits one industry at the expense of all the others. But it supported the stimulus, the Detroit bailout, and TARP. That may be pro-business, but it isn't pro-market.

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  1. Those things are pro-existing business, not pro-potential business.

  2. I'm sure they'll have a lovely time talking about our desperate need for more tariffs and subsidies, and "investment" in schools.

  3. Don't forget, the Chamber just last month joined with the AFL-CIO in support of the president's call for (more) infrastructure spending.

    It's heartwarming to see two traditional antagonists set aside their differences to make common cause with taking our money.

  4. its a profit and LOSS system - when more and more nobody (correct that - no TBTF financial institution) is allowed to lose, the more f*cked up it gets.

  5. In tough times like these, no one ever thinks of the cartels. How vulnerable they are to the creative destruction unleashed by economic disruption. Opportunist rush in to savagely steal market share from their betters. The results are devastating. CEOs around the country are no longer able to pay their club dues. Their children have to go to state institutions instead of Harvard and Yale, as the upstarts gain advantage over them. It's an ugly sight, and I'm here to do everything I can to prevent it from occurring with the assistance of dupes like my friends Tony and Chad in the public regulatory sector who will help prevent change from occurring while believing they are actually sticking it to the man. All I ask in return for my selfless generosity is that you remember me at the next ballot box.

  6. It's like the people who say libertarians should be for slavery, because it institutes a kind of property. Or that libertarians should be for pollution, because industry produces it. Or for legalizing murder, because it's allowing people to do something.

  7. Pro-(business, as institution), anti-(business, as activity).

  8. Andrew Leonard thinks we're idiots.

    But on Monday, Obama announced that he was visiting the Chamber in an effort to be more "neighborly." He acknowledged past "strong disagreements" with a wry chuckle, and pledged repeatedly that the government and business community "can and must" work together. He promised to work to "eliminate burdensome regulations." He touted plans to boost trade and reform the corporate tax code. No doubt, you could make the case that, chastened after his "shellacking" in the midterm elections, the president was kowtowing to the Chamber.

    But as I listened to the speech, which was mostly a tighter, punchier version of Obama's State of the Union address, what I heard was a much stronger defense of regulation than I expected. He called out as necessary both health care reform and bank reform -- the two issues that the Chamber of Commerce had been most vociferously intent on attacking.

    -and then-

    Liberals are upset at any sign of accommodation but it might be worth considering the possibility that the notion that Obama is now "pro-business" is just as bogus as the idea that he was ever fundamentally "anti-business" to begin with. But by making the rhetorical shift, Obama appears to have successfully neutered one source of constant criticism that could have been negatively influencing how independent, moderate voters perceived this White House.

    Clean, articulate, and ever-ready to pull the wool over the rubes' eyes.


    1. Obama appears to have successfully neutered one source of constant criticism that could have been negatively influencing how independent, moderate voters perceived this White House.

      Delusional. I've got news for you, pops. Reality is not so flexible to the der Wille zur Macht as the pathetic rhetorical hounds of DC presume, and as Dubya's people found out when the lump of zeitgeist clay they thought they had in their possession was actually coal. Obama is not an unknown quantity in the year 2011 as he was 2008. He is imprinted upon the collective psyche and no wishful thinking is going to change that.

  9. Obama appears to have successfully neutered one source of constant criticism

    Even if "source" means "the US Chamber of Commerce", one speech isn't going to neutralize them. If he continues his anti-business ways (and he will, via the regulatory state), they they will oppose him.

    If "source" means "the public perception that he is anti-business", then Mr. Leonard is utterly delusional. If over a hundred speeches on healthcare couldn't move the needle, I suspect a hundred speeches on "WTF" won't move it either.

  10. Speaking of the Detroit bailout, did anyone else find that vastly expensive two-minute Eminem Chrysler commercial about how everybody was wrong about Detroit and Detroit doesn't suck to be incredibly narcissistic and self-serving in a way that few commercials ever achieve?

    It's especially rich in light of last week's whinging by Chrysler's CEO about how unfair the terms of the government bailout were to Chrysler, and how they should've gotten more favorable terms when they got a fuckton of money from the American people.

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