Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Has Obama Done for Mississippi?

A reporter came by from the local NPR station and asked me how I thought the first 100 days of the Obama presidency had affected Mississippi. 

The questions is a difficult one because on the face of it the administration has brought a lot of money into Mississippi.  How can you argue with more money? But that is a deceptive way of looking at it.

The worst thing he has done to Mississippi doesn't have anything to do with Mississippi on the face of it. The worst thing he has done to Mississippi is what he has done for Michigan.  By propping up the remains of the Chrysler and GM he has choked off Mississippi's main source of future growth.  In the act of "saving" the US car industry he has robbed it of its future. The US has some great car companies.  Two of them, Nissan and Toyota, have major operations right here. They employ American workers at high wages, export to other countries and pay their managers reasonable salaries--unlike the Big Three.  Precious capital has been wasted on rent-seeking unions and managers and the expansion of the thriving American companies has been choked off.

That is the danger of creeping socialism--it seems to be helping when actually it is hurting you. The people helped (and the UAW members are certainly being made better off by Obama) remember you but the people being hurt don't even see the wound.  

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