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Obama: Soft on welfare queens

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday November 11, 2008 09:53 AM

-- No, no, not those welfare queens, a different bunch:

President-elect Barack Obama yesterday urged President Bush to support immediate aid for struggling automakers and back a new stimulus package, even as congressional Democrats began drafting legislation to give the Detroit automakers quick access to $25 billion by adding them to the Treasury Department's $700 billion economic rescue program.
I've always been very amused by the contrast between the self-representation of business folk, and the actuality. Some years ago, a couple of other propellerheads and I had quite a good idea -- an idea which some other propellerheads ended up making a lot of money with -- and we went with our begging bowls to various venture-capital folk (this was when that unamiable species was as thick on the ground as bison were, before the railroads came). The first question the VC guys asked (and they were guys, every time, so cool your jets there, Ms Steinem) was this: "What are the barriers to entry for potential competitors?" The Grail they were seeking, you see, was quite simply monopoly. Competition is for losers.

Representation: risk-taking; self-made; beholden to no one; bold; unafraid of possible failure; eager to compete on the level playing field, may the best man win, et cetera, et cetera -- one has heard all this piffle a million times, right?

Reality: they hate competition worse than cholera, and when they fail, they run to Uncle for a handout.

And Uncle, with both halves of his bicameral, bipartisan brain, feels their pain.

Comments (11)

Peter Ward:

Running an automaker is a rough gig, have some mercy.

Nicholas Hart:

Yet another industry mis-managed by selfish individuals seeking profit (by building environment-destroying, gas-guzzling SUV's) which is now seeking taxpayer money to rescue themselves from the folly of their ways.

Nationalize that bullshit, re-tool the assembly lines and manufacture buses, trains and the construction vehicles needed to re-build our nation's infrastructure. Throw out management and let democratically-run worker's councils to manage the industry.

Is that a joke, Pete? It's the most heavily subsidized and ideologically pushed industry in human history, by a huge margin. The US roadway network is likewise the biggest public works project in the species' checkered span, again by a gargantuan factor. If rail had received the same support, there'd be a luxury coach for every adult. I won't even mention what a bicycling and walking paradise we'd have...

As to competition-hate, the locus classicus is none other than Saint Edison, the Gizzard of Menlo Park. Uncle Tom spilled the beans to the New York Times in 1892, when he sold out to GE. "New stuff selling for ordinary hardware prices, due to competition. Not getting as big a return as I'd like. [Fuck you fools.]"


"Throw out management and let democratically-run worker's councils to manage the industry."

that's been tried...and often

each time it led to
such sanguinary prodigies
of world historical
re action
el duce and bob hope


"I won't even mention what a bicycling and walking paradise we'd have..."

i reach for my revolver


"that's been tried...and often each time it led to such sanguinary prodigies of world historical
re action as el duce and bob hope"

i don't know OP, seems to be working in some places:


" Some 200 enterprises, from hotels to car parts factories, have started in this way, and now employ more than 15,000 people."

out of an argentine job force of ....

call me when it gets to 1,500,000

for now
its at toy village scale

token pre figurations at best


like the meaning of visitations
by THE blessed Mother

mind of the beholder


"call me when it gets to 1,500,000"

uh yeah, that made a lot of sense...



like a man's heart in a pig
producer co ops
most often
run into a host system
rejection problem

credit and
marketi access
the job system
all of em
spontaneous work at
alien firm form type rejection

co ops survive
--in as much as they do---
in the damp interstices of the earth's
present set of advanced social formations

internally as complexity gathers its chamberings and levels
the size and diversity of skill sets
compensations and powers
throw up endless
practical internal contradictions

the size where an all hands on deck type
co op
can meet to settle questions
works for the works that remain small and simple
and not when select persons
morph into a "standing " executive council ...

the whaling ship model
the owenite textile mill model
the saw mill model
each success contain's
unusual un genneralizable specifics

hell even
movie productions
and professional base ball teams
couldn't pull it off

odds might allow
a few surviving
small scale self reliant entities
serving up a homogenous commodity
not a distinct product
unless of course
they manage to bbecome
the exceptional pet commune type outfit
that for a period of time
can be viable "kept "
in organic salads
and effort point rewards
by its self purging
bourgeois patrons


re occupying abandoned facilities
is not what the workers' council movement
achieved in northern italy after WWI
that was an occupation movement right in the industrial heartland
of the production systems best factories
privately owned and unabandoned factories


the cops and squadristi
and the like posse elements
once given a green enough light
were able to knock off
these fortresses of the workers
one by one

hell the flint 37 gm occ
because among other things
it had finite and ultimately
system compatible demands
and found itself
floated in a calm sea
one ruled by a benign governor



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