Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

It's Not Socialism --
State, Lemon, or Otherwise
It’s State Managerialism

February 28, 2010 --

Recently, LPR noticed the term “lemon socialism” in a Paul Krugman column in The New York Times.

(See Wikipedia for the origin of this term.)

Nobelist (Economics) Krugman used the term to describe this process: profits to the executives (and shareholders); losses to the people.

This seems to summarize the economic process today. LPR, however, objects to the term “socialism” in an economic or political context. We should have learned by now that socialism has zero dynamic function in politics or economics. That is to say, it is
not socialism that is the moving force when private industries are nationalized.

Something else is going on. Managerialism.

When a private company is “nationalized,” does the nation operate the company. Of course not. Managers, appointed by government officials, run the company.

Who pays? The people.

Who gains? The managers.

This is, LPR submits, what state managerialism is all about. In our previous, free enterprise, economic environment, companies succeeded when the people voluntarily purchased their products. When the people stopped buying, the companies failed – and went out of business.

Today, a company that is failing and has political clout gets Washington to designate it as “Too Big to Fail.” The administration steps in and provides forced-dollars (taxpayer money) to make up for the consumers’ dollars, no longer freely given.

Who pays, involuntarily? The people.

Who gains? The managers.

Of course, 222 years ago, Madison, in the opening line of Federalist Paper No.. 57 recognized this phenomenon, referring to the ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few. (Is it any wonder, our public officials ignore the counsel fo Federalist 57. It goes contrary to every aggrandizing thing magerialism stands for.)

President Obama is no socialist. (Nor could he be – the term having as little substance as a Potemkin Village) He is, however, quite the managerialist , and, consequently backs the aggrandizers of our business world, who manage business entities for their enjoyment, with dollars pocketed from any possible source, private or public, and with no concern for the common good.

(To those who doubt that President Obama is a loyal managerialist, this question: did you ever hear him demand an end to 30% credit card interest rates?)

And so – to all you conservatives talk-radio opinionaires– stop this nonsense about
socialists in Washington, D.C. They are managerialists, pure and simple. Their ideology is “managerialism” -- the accumulation of wealth by all political means necessary. And, “the public be damned,” indeed.

A word on Paul Krugman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for his theory on global trade. LPR has no theory on the topic – just a hunch that global trade might tend to increase when companies abandon their places of origin to produce goods at lower costs and lower taxes. Theory on the
deleterious impact of global trade on the deserted localities, anyone?

Lastly, LPR recommends these three words from Watergate days to understand the current politics of Washington, D.C. -- “follow the money.”