Friday, January 20, 2012

Carl Pope Goes Off the Rails in "Manufacturing" Part 3

We've cited a few chunks of Pope's Bloomberg essays here because he makes a few good points.

Too bad that he now advocates what amounts to Fascism--or at the very least, a re-working of the 'military-industrial complex' against which Eisenhower warned us.

...Liveris is part of an emerging consensus that includes New Economy business gurus such as former Intel Corp. CEO Andy Grove, whose essay on the need to rejuvenate manufacturing, “How America Can Create Jobs” is a seminal document. The gospel is infiltrating Silicon Valley, where investors such as Vinod Khosla and his former partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are believers. It has been embraced by the American labor movement, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, Teamsters’ head Jimmy Hoffa and former Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern

Liveris’s analysis is bolstered by former General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, Honeywell International Inc. CEO David Cote and ArcelorMittal’s U.S. CEO Michael Rippey. A growing number of public officials, such as former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, have come to see manufacturing as the key to economic revival and jobs.

Unstated in the essay is that many of these individuals want to de-couple health and pension benefits from employment and move the liabilities to Government.

Pope's logical fallacies begin here:

...A national industrial policy is anathema to many conservatives. When solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC went bankrupt after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees, opponents of industrial policy eagerly cooked the failure into a “scandal.” The attack was not only a partisan shot against the Obama administration, which had signed off on the loans. It was intended to preempt and disqualify federal support for manufacturing in the future. 

Although conservatives condemn the notion of a national manufacturing policy, they embrace similar policies on the state level....

The "attacks" on the Solyndra deal have to do with the utter failure of the business model (high-cost/low-price, then heavy losses) rather than with the "national" involvement.  And Mr. Pope, like other Statist-inclined foks, forgets that there is a 10th Amendment. 

Pope, an ideologue on the Green Goddess' side, even found the villains:

...for the Tea Party and its financial backers, like the Koch brothers, weakening the federal government is ideologically more important than strengthening the national economy; if a unified, competitive national economy requires a strong, powerful federal government, the trade-off is not worth it to them. Second, the political leaders who shape federal economic policy are responsive to the sectors that have mastered lobbying -- oil, agribusiness, finance and drug companies. Manufacturing for decades has been left to take care of itself.

Being an early TEA Party guy, I can tell you that I don't really give a fig for Koch Industries; they can stand or fall on their own.  The fact that they're standing says something about their business model, ain'a?

(And Carl, the term stands for "Taxed Enough Already.", for your information.  Further, although you may be out of the loop here, most of us know that there are two parts to the Chamber of Commerce:  the 100 or so ultra-big transnationals, and the rest of 'commerce' in the US.  That's why the message is muddled.)

Pope's yappaflappa does have a few more good insights.  Here's one:

To create markets, we must enforce trade agreements and insist on fair play. China has been stealing wind-turbine manufacturing by requiring 70 percent domestic content in its turbines. U.S. manufacturers like General Electric Co. make components in China solely to satisfy that demand.

If Pope had been paying attention, he'd note that the term "FAIR Trade" has been around for quite some time--voiced by P J Buchanan and the Tonelson gang.  Good that he's catching up, though.

Yes, manufacturing has been crunched in the US.  PRChina adopted State mercantilism and imposes zero regulatory burden, zero benefits-burdens, and only minor 'baksheesh' burdens.

But going to State mercantilism here--particularly by tossing Big Tax Bucks into technologies which are questionable and--frankly--inefficient, is to imitate,........ahhh........the People's Republic of China.

Not the model we're going to follow, Carl.

1 comment:

neomom said...

I had never heard of the Koch brothers until the kerfuffle in WI last year. Yet I was at TEA rallies well before then. If I've been bought and paid, I demand my check!