Article on corporatism demonstrates misunderstanding of corporatism

In a Firedoglake article on corporatism the author quotes FDR:

Liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.

This is a classic misunderstanding. People seem to think that the public and private sectors are at war with each other, and as one gets bigger and more powerful, the other withers and dies.

It’s curious to see it in an article about corporatism, since corporatism is at its little-understood core the acknowledgement that special interests and government grow in power and influence concurrently.

The thrust of the article is that under corporatism, special interests not associated with large, money-making corporations will just fall in line with what the corporations want.

Apparently, “The Supreme Court has now explicitly authorized the use of private money to secure control of government. Now there will be no conflicts among interest groups.
Liberal groups and, to a much lesser extent, conservative groups, self-neuter to retain the personal power of their leaders.”

And the only cure is a curb on free speech, otherwise known as censorship.

Really, no conflicts among interest groups? Focus on the Family and NARAL are going to sit by the campfire and sing Kumbaya because of Citizens United? O-kay.

Besides that being a dumb idea, the author simply fails to mention the well-established counterargument to this view of corporatism. Most likely, the members of the aforementioned special interest groups would expel any leaders who stopped fighting for their ideologies. If the president of Focus on the Family stopped fighting for traditional marriage and started doing keg stands with the president of NARAL, the millions of churches who support Focus on the Family financially would simply stop sending checks, and the whole organization or the president would be replaced by a more strident one.

That’s how things work in a market. If something sucks, you replace it with something better. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a writer for Firedoglake doesn’t understand markets.

An Anarcho-capitalist taking a dim view of democracy

In a recent Reason blog post Lawrence Lessig is quoted as saying “Our Framers wanted a Congress dependent not upon foreign powers, or upon the President, or upon anything else save upon the People.” Lessig said this while bitching about the Citizen’s ruling.

I’m so tired of hearing people whine about this being the end of democracy. In my own town’s Black and White I had to write a response to an asinine column on the topic.

Actually, our Framers didn’t want a Congress dependent on the people. That’s why representatives weren’t selected via the popular vote. They were selected by each state’s government. So we actually today have more democracy, even with the Citizen’s ruling, than the Framers intended us to have.

Personally, I share the Framers’ wariness about democracy. In one of the Federalist Papers, maybe the 56th, the author explains why so many checks are put on democracy in the Constitution. Democracy unchecked will always lead to the forced redistribution of wealth. And here we are. A third of my paycheck is confiscated, most is skimmed off the top, and the rest goes to redistribution schemes called Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Just watch it, seriously

The best rap video on Austrian economics versus Keynesianism in the history of mankind.

To the Alabama Education Association, 50 percent is a great job

Alabama Education Association District 28 UniServe director Jocelyn Schilling said “That scares me a little bit,” about the fact that charter schools aren’t required to offer their teachers tenure.

Later in the North Jefferson News article Schilling said that schools in north Jefferson County all perform at a high level.

What?

“‘Communities are happy with the work the schools are doing,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t make sense to spend that money elsewhere.’”

Right.

What scares me more than a little bit is the fact that Schilling cited a county that’s earned 5 out of 10 stars on greatschools.com as a school district that communities are happy with. When I was going through Alabama’s public education system, 50% was a failing grade.

A clue as to why Alabama schools are less than fabulous

Mortimer Jordan High School principal Barbara Snider quoted in the North Jefferson News:

“It certainly seems like it would be a boom to Alabama to have charter schools and the good things that come with them,” she said.

Yes, a big boom indeed.