Wednesday, May 06, 2015
There is a special election in Michigan on the question of raising the sales tax. But this initiative was pushed by Republicans, which led to this observation: Businessmen are often morally bankrupt.
When you hear someone running for office as a former businessman and his appeal is to his ability to use his business skills in government, realize that it means he will cave to opposition.
Rick Snyder became Governor after the crash. He and the Republicans were swept into office in November 2010 by the fury to which Obamacare gave rise, and he and they brought to the challenge all of the virtues and vices of the businessman. Those virtues are considerable. Businessmen can add and subtract. They are used to deal-making, and they are skilled in keeping enterprises going. The vices of the businessman are, however, considerable as well. When it comes to scruples, they tend to come up short. Pragmatism nearly always trumps principle.If you find what I say annoying or even insulting, pause for a moment and ask yourself this. In 2009, when Barack Obama was pushing what his party named the Affordable Care Act, which side did the executives of the healthcare industry take? Did they warn us of the dangers involved? Did they take their stand with the patients they served? Or did they consult the bottom line – their bottom line – and sell us out? Put more bluntly, were they bought by Obama and the Democrats?Do not tell me that they did not know what they were doing. This is a sphere in which they have far greater expertise than anyone else. They knew which way the wind was blowing, and they chose profit over principle. Individuals may sacrifice profit for principle. Soldiers often sacrifice their lives in such a manner. But businessmen in their guise as businessmen very rarely prefer the common good to the good of their enterprise; and, when businessmen go into politics, they tend to exhibit the habits they learned in private enterprise.Think about it this way. When was the last time that you heard a Republican speak about justice? The Democrats do so all the time. They speak with great frequency about “social justice,” and Republicans rarely challenge them on the basic principles. Consider what is called “affirmative action.” The phrase is a euphemism for politically enforced racial and sexual discrimination. It is a sign in the window that says, “White men need not apply.” You know that, and I know that. When was the last time that you heard a Republican candidate say as much? When was the last time you heard a Republican denounce “affirmative action” as unjust. When it comes to principled argument, the Republicans – who are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Chamber of Commerce – generally fall silent. In the face of evil, they temporize.