Skip to main content

What's the Matter With Democrats?

Thomas Frank wrote a piece in the Wall St Journal Wednesday with that title. His answer: they embraced globalization, which enabled companies to outsource/offshore all the good union jobs, crushing the Democratic Party's core union/workingman membership.
Interesting theory, but I believe it is off the mark.
When I grew up in the South, the Democrats were clearly the party of the workingman. John Kennedy, stumping for votes in West Virginia coal mining country. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, creating the National Labor Relations Board, etc. Republicans were the party of John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller and Preston Bush. Wealthy country club members with Ivy League education.
So I share Mr. Frank's point of view of the origins. But not of the cause of the detour.
The Democratic leadership have converted en masse to the Religion of Environmentalim. As a result, they willingly sell out workers to (possibly) preserve some life form we would otherwise have no interest in protecting. Actually they sell out workers over the possibility that there is some lifeform at risk.
There is actually an excellent case in point in the February 8th Wall St. Journal p. A6, which describes an average wait time of seven years for approval for a new mining project. Mining jobs tend to be high-paying; commodity prices are doing well in this economy, and the country could certainly use the jobs. And mining jobs can't be off-shored.
However, the environmentalists, with their band of skilled lawyers, have learned how to delay or completely prevent many forms of development. (I won't defend the Republicans here; when they were in the majority they did little to reign in power of environmentalists and their legal counsel).
Mr. Frank: if you want to see the Democrats keep their majority position and reclaim the mantle of defender of the little man, don't worry about globalization, worry about the new religious order that has swept an old party.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

Book Review- Stretch by Scott Sonenshein

Have you ever watched, or been involved in, a business failure, where, despite the best efforts of hardworking people, the business doesn’t survive? Scott Sonenshein lived through it, as he describes in the Introduction to his engrossing book Stretch.  (In some books, the reader can skip the intro- not this one; the introduction is a must-read part of the book.) He was hired by start-up Vividence in Silicon Valley at the very apex of the tech boom.  Despite prestige VC backers, top-tier hires and $50 million, Vividence didn’t make it. As his career continued, that experience led to an interest in why some well-funded operations don’t succeed, while other, more resource constrained, do. Peter Senge wrote about reinforcing cycles as part of his book The Fifth Discipline, which I consider one of the finest business books ever penned. In it, Senge describes the downward cycle that some companies fall into, and why it is so difficult to reverse. Sonenshein explores those cycles from diffe…

Tax Inversions

A savvy businessman once told me “it’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve”.
Let’s ignore for the moment whether or not Treasury or the IRS had the power to change the rules on so-called tax inversions without Congressional action. (The power they said they didn’t have only a few months ago.)
Rather, let’s focus on what problem we are trying to solve. That is, why is the greatest country on earth chasing companies away? Shouldn’t the U.S. be the place that companies want to locate their headquarters?
Imagine this: the U.S. legal structure and tax regime was so attractive that Mercedes, Toyota, Astra Zeneca, Samsung, Total, Singapore Air, Banco Santander, Petrobras, Fujitsu, Nokia, SAP, Audi, Tata Group, Lenovo, Pirelli, Deutsche Bank, Honda, LG, Hyundai, Roche, Credit Suisse, Four Seasons, Siemens, Phillips, Bridgestone, Anglo-America, DeBeers, Volkswagen, Canon,  L’OrĂ©al, Swatch, Armani, LVMH, Toshiba, H&M, Mahindra, Aldi, Kubota, Onex, Ducati, Pemex, Saudi-Ara…