Defending Corporatism, In the Name of Eliminating It

For years I have argued that Obama is leading us to a European-style corporate state rather than socialism per se (though the two have many things in common).  It seems like his defenders on the Left have figured that out, and are getting on board.

The other day, Kevin Drum seems to agree with a Washington Monthly article that defends corporatism in the name of attacking it.  In this case, it was an example from the beer industry:

Prior to the 2008 takeover, Anheuser-Busch generally accepted the regulatory regime that had governed the U.S. alcohol industry since the repeal of Prohibition. It didn’t attack the independent wholesalers in control of its supply chain, and generally treated them well. “Tough but fair” is a phrase used by several wholesale-business sources to describe their dealings with the Busch family dynasty. Everyone was making money; there was no need to rock the boat.

All that changed quickly after Anheuser-Busch lost its independence....Today, with only one remaining real competitor, MillerCoors, the pressure it can put on its wholesalers is extraordinary. A wholesaler who loses its account with either company loses one of its two largest customers, and cannot offer his retail clients the name-brand beers that form the backbone of the market. The Big Two in effect have a captive system by which to bring their goods to market.

.... So distributors are caught in an impossible bind: they either do the brewer’s bidding, including selling their businesses to favored “Anchor Wholesalers,” or they lose Anheuser-Busch InBev as a client. And if the wholesalers try to push back? Anheuser-Busch InBev will get rough.

I don't know if this is just tremendous ignorance or some sort of calculated scheming.  The article decries the growing power of beer manufacturers vis a vis liquor distributors, and wants to call this some sort of slide into corporatism.    Actually just the opposite is true -- what we see is Anheuser-Busch taking on some of the largest beneficiaries of government cronysism:  the liquor wholesalers.

The liquor distribution scheme, and resulting government enforced monopolies, created post-Prohibition have been the worst sort of corporate statism, and what is going on here is that the beer manufacturers are finally fed up with it.  Regional liquor wholesalers are generally some of the most politically powerful forces in local and state politics.  These distribution monopolies have all created multi-millionaire owners who deploy money and political clout to prevent any changes in law that might weaken their government-enforced monopoly position.  Wonder why you still can't mail order from Amazon that bottle of California Merlot -- thank the liquor wholesale lobby.  Without all this government protection of distributors, the soft drink business went through identical changes, relatively quietly, decades ago.

This whole liquor distribution scheme we have today is consistent with FDR's corporatist thinking (he was a great admirer of the economic aspects of Mussolini's fascism, and modeled the National Recovery Act after this Italian system).  But it is also thoroughly anti-consumer, and has both raised prices of alcohol to consumers as well as stifled innovation and competition.  We are living in a glorious age of incredible micro-brew choice, but this almost didn't happen.  The biggest hurdle these early pioneers had to clear was cracking this liquor distribution monopoly.

I find it incredible that a Progressive like Drum sees fit to defend such a system and castigate Anheuser-Busch for challenging it.  It is even more amazing to see him positing that anti-trust is all about protecting millionaire corporate players in one part of the supply chain from billionaire corporate players in another part.  I have said for years that anti-trust has been corrupted from protecting consumers to protecting weaker competitors, even when this protection hurts consumers  (remember, Microsoft was convicted of anti-trust violations for giving away free stuff to consumers).  I just am amazed that the Left has come so far that it has now openly adopted this view of anti-trust.

Update:  Here is another example of the Left describing market attacks on a government-protected corporation "Corporatist."  There are always beneficiaries of deregulation (consumers being the most unsung of these).  It is crazy and disingenuous for the Left to call those who win in a newly deregulated market "cronies."


  1. A Name:

    Another Reason Lite blog! And the same stories, too!

  2. sabre_springs_mark:

    Microsoft actually stole software from other companies, and put them out of business. Doublestack comes to mind. But I agree the decision was ultimately bad. An OS should have native drivers for writing to a memory device, and always did, until the anti-trust decision - then MS let Roxio and Sonic provide CD and DVD burning software rather than making it native to the OS.

    It is actually a tough call. We have something similar with Google. You want a map, and google maps and you are likely to get rather than yahoo maps, bing maps, or mapquest. Good or bad? I am not sure. Mapquest should be able to advertise its wears (I understand Bing and Yahoo are direct competitors)

  3. OP44:

    Modern leftism is fascism. They realized that they are completely incompetent and don't want to actually own any means of production. Instead, they want license, tax, regulate, and subsidize corporations into complete obedience. And, they still get to kick them in the balls whenever it might get them a few more votes.

  4. GoneWithTheWind:

    Socialism light or the third way. But do they work? Can they or must they lead to heavy handed Marxist/leninist socialism/communism which must by it's nature devolve into a dictatorship and repression of it's people. Can you reall have just a little socialism/fascism? Once the government takes over the means to production and the bureauocracy fails to meet goals and requires more and more control can it be reversed?

  5. SamWah:

    I read elsewhere today ( that it was designed to help avoid the alcoholism that existed before Prohibition and the alcoholism as it is now in Britain (which reminds me of that in Russia, that being an even more socialist state). But I do accept the Wash.Monthly as a liberal rag.

  6. obloodyhell:

    }}}} (remember, Microsoft was convicted of anti-trust violations for giving away free stuff to consumers)

    No, Microsoft's antitrust violations were, regardless of what may have been stated, its using its control over the price of one software to get producers to NOT stock the opposition's software.

    This isn't about IE being bundled "for free". It was a piece of crap, lacking features in IE v3 that were present in Netscape 2.0, released two years earlier.

    What Microsoft did that was risibly anticompetitive was to offer LOWER PRICES on its system bundles (I.E., the OS, Office, etc.) to computer makers IF THEY DID **NOT INSTALL** THE INDUSTRY STANDARD, NETSCAPE on their machines.

    I say "industry standard" because at the time of IE's launch, NS was fully EIGHTY PERCENT of the market share, and, being FREE, was pretty much a standard install on ALL machines.

    Got that?

    *BOTH products were FREE*. And, if Microsoft had "played fair", and let the consumers DECIDE, then NS would have won hands down.

    Microsoft, however, understood full well that people are lazy, and, when they lacked knowledge of how much better NS was (many purchasers at the time were first time buyers), then they would use what was easily available, IE, rather than going out and getting a free copy of NS and installing it.

    I'm sorry, I don't see how PAYING others to NOT STOCK your opposition is anything but a violation of consumer interests. That's not about winning on merits -- it's about winning on deep pockets.

    Then there was the corporate side of it.

    How did Microsoft make inroads into corporate sites, which had people who KNEW what a POS IE was in the way?

    Simple. They subverted a higher level of the organizations.

    They specifically inserted tools into Microsoft's CODING TOOLS to make certain programming operations easier for programmers who wrote code -- tools that would ONLY work on IE, despite the fact that they violated HTML, Javascript, and later JAVA standards (Sun tried to fight Microsoft on that one, and lost on money, again).


    Right -- Microsoft was such a corporate "nonentity" that they could IGNORE INDUSTRY STANDARDS and write their own special schemes into programming languages and templates, and not be ignored -- seriously injured by such behavior -- by the marketplace. Naww.... that's not a monopoly at all.

    Ouch. It HURTS when my eyes roll that far back in my head!

    I worked for such an organization. We got a new CTO. She brought in her own programming "fair haired boy", who had his head up Bill's nether regions. So this SOLE INDIVIDUAL caused an entire company with 500 users to switch from NS to IE --with all that lost re-training time -- by claiming (often lying) that "NS can't do that".

    I even called them on it, one time, when they tried to pawn off a specific thing as something only IE could do when NS could easily do it... by sending around the instructions on how to do it in NS. But that place got switched to IE sure as shooting, because M$ made it easier for one shitty coder to do his job, regardless of how it inconvenienced 500 other people.

    Furthermore, it was a truism for a long time that, if you didn't use IE and you didn't use OUTLOOK, you could, if knowledgeable, get away without an AV for the most part. Because those two represented something in excess of 80% to 90% of ALL security holes, and the rest you could avoid just by simple common sense and basic caution.

    I know I've gone over this before but somehow, Warren just can't figure it out.... he just keeps spitting out the Microsoft corporate line.

    Microsoft was a MONOPOLY. They had FAR too much control over the industry, which enabled them to ignore standards bodies and to defacto pay off bundlers to SUPPRESS their competition.

    There's a reason there's only ONE significant OS in the computer industry, until Android (No, Apple and Linux did not represent a significant enough market share, for different reasons, until Google picked up Linux and turned it into Android).

    There's a reason there's only ONE real significant Office Suite.

    Because Microsoft was, until Google, with its equally deep pockets, got into competition with them about 3-4 years ago, a defacto monopoly. As such, they've been stunting the growth of personal computing for more than a decade, not with quality products, but with risibly shoddy ones which existed only because Microsoft CHEATED.

    Thanks, Google, for putting us out of "Microsoft Misery".

  7. obloodyhell:

    P.S., As someone who knows how to write one -- I've yet to see any evidence that Microsoft has EVER actually written an "Operating System". The thing they claim as one is actually little more than GUI on top of a BIOS. Those mean little to the average reader, but you can probably look them up and get an idea what the difference is.

    At its heart, one thing an OS is is a database -- a list of all the different resources of the system -- the drivers, the devices, the code packages, and so forth -- and who gets to access what and how they do it. Windows is an utter, abject FAILURE on all levels in this department. It has NO idea what's there, and hence can exercise very little REAL control over how anything interacts.

    An actual OS, there would not be "third party installers" -- because the install process is one of the chief protections for the OS against external subversion. It can be used to define what things a software is allowed to access, and how, and with what restrictions. It can identify which code is used by,"belongs to" any given software, and which shared code each may use. Microsoft, and ONLY Microsoft, should be the source for a Windows install package.

    An actual OS, for example, can tell you exactly which code packages belong to, or are used by, any given installed software. It can tell you exactly which "devices" -- keyboards, video cards, game controllers, temperature sensors, etc., are available on a given system, and controls exactly who accesses them and how. It knows exactly what's in memory and whose code that is and doesn't ALLOW anyone to write outside their own code segments.

    Microsoft Windows (at least until recently if it can do it at all yet), HAS NO SUCH CAPABILITY. This is why, when you're uninstalling stuff, it "warns" you that you may be removing something that something else uses... "Continue Removal? (Y/N)".

    Why? Because, really, Windows DOES NOT TRACK THIS STUFF. There should be NO QUESTION if any code package it has a copy of is still being used by any other installed software. A REAL OS would KNOW this.

    And I'm not even started... so I'll end this now.

    Sorry, Microsoft is as bad for the computer industry -- and all computer users -- as the edumacational system is for the American people. Both are abortions that would be an act of war to inflict on a people if another nation had done it.

  8. LarryGross:

    I really do LOVE this blog for the insight it provides - the view of how others think and their perspective.

    But I'd not call control of the govt by the "makers" - as opposed to the "takers" as socialism.

    We keep hearing all this talk about the "takers" voting themselves others money. Well in this scenario, it's the "makers" who are controlling - right?

    isn't this pretty confused thinking guys?

    I mean if you do not want the "takers" in charge and you do not want the "makers" in charge, what exactly are you really after?

  9. obloodyhell:

    Explain your argument, Larry. I don't have a clue what you're talking about. So...
    {---- There is a bunny with a pancake on its head. :-D

    Who are these "makers" you're talking about? And who are the takers? Use the given instance to explain your thought processes.

  10. LarryGross:

    old bloody - have you been living in a cave boy?

  11. agassiz830:

    I don't why with the web of licensing the distributors have they have to accept the prices InBev is demanding or go out of business. What other options does InBev have?

    I suspect a key part of the situation is that volumes are dropping for those old big beers.

  12. mesaeconoguy:

    Exactly correct, and nowhere was this in more plain view than during the auto bailouts, inverting bankruptcy law to hand over equity ownership to favored patrons, and maintaining some control.

  13. sabre_springs_mark:

    Will they bail out Hostess foods?

  14. sabre_springs_mark:

    NO - if your hypothesis was correct Windows could not run your computer. And no the bios does not do the necessary management of peripherals and memory allocation for programs, scheduling, etc

    MS makes a compete OS. Yes a GUI is now a component of an OS package, but Win 7 has a scheduler, memory management, disk access management, driver management, and now network management like any proper OS. A lot of the other stuff you are talking about is provided by tools and are not part of the OS kernel so to speak. Like for instance if you open a command window in Windows and type xcopy - the xcopy command is a piece of software that someone wrote that uses the OS but isn't directly part of the os. It is a separate piece of code. Same for ls - the equivalent in the Unix world. IF you want the tools you think are missing download the Windows .net developers kit which provides the tools to let you find out what dll's are being used by a running app.

    Now I don't know enough about windows whether the GUI and the underlying kernel are combined or are still separate as they were in Win 95 based OS's. In Unix like OS's (MaxOs for one) they are still separate. (X11 is the name of the GUI process, and there is even a secondary process which runs on top of X11 to manage it - modern ones are called Gnome, and KDE, FVWM - you can change the manager on MS windows if you wanted too, also, but the based manager in MS windows it is good enough where most people don't bother)

    IF you really want to know more about what an OS does vs hardware try to find an older copy of this

    Vers 3 is really expensive, but the older edition Vers 2 is pretty good, it might not cover network stuff as much and probably tries to 'spain some obsolete internet technology or 'splain what email is (in my book It 'splained for the yout's what carbon paper was)

  15. sabre_springs_mark:

    I have to agree with most of what you said. MS in that period had a habit of also demanding companies software, and if the company didn't provide it they threatened to bankrupt them. EG symantec was forced to give a version of defrag for Win95, Doublestack refused to play ball, and windows just stole their software. Doublestack went under.

    MS is a much friendlier company now.

  16. epobirs:

    Dude, you're living in the 90s. That sort of warning hasn't been common in Windows uninstallers for many years. That message was there in the first place because there was so much haphazard behavior by third party developers who thought the guidelines could safely be ignored. This was the result of allowing people to do whatever they wanted on the system. It made it very popular with developers but also meant all sorts of problems. This has changed considerably. One of the primary reasons for existing software failing on Vista was that Microsoft finally made many of the guidelines into hard and fast rules enforced by the system. A lot of behavior that was convenient for developers but could trash the system was no longer possible.

    The second biggest cause of failures of existing software was the elimination of 16-bit support in 64-bit versions of Windows, which soon became the most common as cheap RAM and retailer's demand for bigger numbers to advertise made it a necessity.

    You've rattled off a lot of mythology.

  17. epobirs:

    The company wasn't called DoubleStack. The company you're thinking of was called Stacker. Nor was the situation as simple as outright theft. There had been lengthy negotiations and the personnel working on that version of DOS had been lead to believe the license was in place. Stacker kept changing their mind about whether a royalty with every copy of DOS shipped was better than trying to sell a retail add-on package. They seemed to think there was no real world meaning to a deadline on pulling out.

    Long term, it was a waste of everyone's time. Two factors caused drive level compression to have a very brief market window where it could be justified as a retail product at a high enough price to not have all of the profits eaten up by tech support. First, the patents on several of the major compression formats expired and it was now affordable to implement them as part of an application's save/load functions. (When I was working at a game developer in the 80s I had some discussions with the ZIP people about a license so we could squeeze a game to fit on two floppies instead of partially using a third. They wanted $10,000 for a license to build a ZIP decompressor into the game.) It made a lot more sense to do compression at the file level and devote the processing time to the primary space hogs instead of everything and bogging down the system.

    It also helped that system speeds were rapidly improving, too. A few years earlier I tested a 24-bit video board for the Amiga 2000. Loading a 24-bit 640x480 JPEG image took more than two minutes from a floppy. But newer CPUs did far better with such tasks.

    The second big factor was the hard drives themselves. Capacity was growing at a ferocious pace, soon being measured in gigabytes rather than megabytes. At the same time prices for low-end dropping were dropping until they hit their bare minimum around 2001. (The unwavering minimum cost of hard drives has been a problem for game console makers who are used to everything inside the box getting cheaper over time. With a hard drive you may get more capacity for the money but the price for the entry level doesn't change.) Soon it became silly to make your system slower and more likely to suffer catastrophic data loss when new drives were so cheap and held so much. It may seem crazy today but I can remember being pretty stoked when a 40 GB drive fell below $100.

    Microsoft would have been better off if Stacker had simply turned them down early on. They ended up building their own version of the functionality that still exists in Windows today but I cannot recall seeing it in use on any systems after the mid-90s. The feature wasn't a big deal to implement once the patents were expired and what it adds to a Windows install in terms of space is negligible but it just wasn't worth the trouble.

  18. epobirs:

    Actually, alcoholism didn't become regarded as a major concern until Prohibition had made it into forbidden fruit. There were drunks but their numbers were miniscule. Notably, Alcoholics Anonymous wasn't founded until 1935, in reaction to the large number of people who'd lost control of their alcohol consumption during Prohibition. It appears Prohibition gave alcohol the same kind of cultural push that Prohibition gave to marijuana, an item most people had never heard of before it was turned into a sensational threat to the nation. The word itself was very obscure to English speakers, who mainly knew of hemp and possibly heard that some people would smoke it as a cheaper substitute for tobacco.

    Before the 30s most Americans had never heard of marijuana as a drug but by the 1950s EVERYBODY knew about it and every schoolchild got a lecture on the subject. Madison Avenue couldn't have done any better. I find heavy pot smokers annoying but I find the absurd battle against an invented menace far more annoying.

  19. Twinkee:

    Not President Obama. The First Food Czar would have him sleeping on the couch for months.

  20. Chris:

    Been a fan for awhile. A bit off topic, but can you recommend two books/papers/etc. on the history of collective bargaining: one from a libertarian/conservative perspective and one from a socialist/liberal/fascist perspective (yes, I believe fasicism is a result of Leftist idealogies and NOT ideaoligies of the Right). I'm convinced that collective bargaining, at least as laid out per the National Labor Relations Act, is corrosive to economic growth and is actually detrminental to individual workers. I'm supportive of individuals coming together to negotiate, voluntarily (with no outside (aka, "State') coercion), with employers to better their "deal". However, I'm skeptical of the playing field, and my hypothesis is that it is tilted in favor of the monopolistic labor unions to the detriment of not only the broader economy, the consumer, and the owners of firms but also to indivdual workers. Anyway, I'm looking for both perspectives.

  21. obloodyhell:

    }}} Dude, you're living in the 90s. That sort of warning hasn't been common in Windows uninstallers for many years.

    Dude, I've got news for you. I've seen that message -- or rather, a defacto restatement of it, in the last four years. Granted, it was either XP or Vista, not the newest versions of Windows, but it was still an open statement that they had NO IDEA if the code was actually still in use or not.

    Frankly, my bet is, they mostly just don't SEND the message and leave the useless, moribund code there. I'm not going to take the time to prove it, but I'd bet that's actually what happens...

    There's a reason why an "OS" needs TWO GIGS and more of RAM just to run *itself*. An OS should fit into a space a fraction of that, as Linux amply proves. Even legacy code isn't a sufficient justification, unless you're actually RUNNING that legacy code, which a true OS would know and leave sitting on the hard disk until summoned, if not leave it on the Install DVD until you installed some software that needed it (because you should be requiring that software to indicate its need for that code to the OS)

    Microsoft doesn't work that way. If they find a bug, they brute-force their way around it. Ever notice how, whenever you right click, the system sits there and reads the contents of EVERYTHING local? I mean, if there's a DVD in the drive, IT READS THAT, regardless of whether or not you're accessing it.

    Windows NT used to crash -- blue screen -- regularly, At least one cause of this was deleting a file or removing removable media, which the system then tried to access and failed catastrophically. Starting with 2000 and XP, they started this "read every drive constantly" BS. And they still do it as of Vista. That was their solution to this BSOD bug -- to just reread the contents of ALL local media every time that something might have changed.

  22. obloodyhell:

    }}} MS makes a compete OS.

    Really. Then how is it that they don't have their own install package, that everyone uses BY NECESSITY?

    If you actually GRASP what an OS does then you would KNOW that it cannot POSSIBLY be a full and complete OS without full knowledge of every resource present and every piece of code that accesses it. And the only way you could do this is by being in full control of not only the install process itself, but the full definition of how all things are installed and exactly how anything is given system access.

    Microsoft could VASTLY simplify the Malware arena if it actually did anything it's supposed to do. A 512 bit public key system for registering code packages would allow a heck of a lot of security -- and it would require little in the way of human overhead, since once a package was noted as being malware, then the information could be sent out to every security package to be on the lookout for anything with 'xxx' security key. It would be almost trivial to handle this -- someone could put out malware, but it wouldn't be able to propagate well.

    A vast array of Windows security bugs occur because it -- Windows -- has no clue whatsoever who has the right to access ("owns") this or that, and allows anyone access to anything. If actual fact, most code should be only accessible by its owners. All shared code should be kept tied to its revision information so that it knows which revision each installed package uses (the whole shared DLL system is an abortion causing a the majority of the remainder bugs, but that's another topic of discussion), and has that available when that software is run (I suspect they actually do this, now, but it wasn't the case until at least Vista or so). And no one would be able to modify or alter shared code by "patching" it. And only the owners would be able to "patch" their own code, making alterations to code (i.e, installing a virus or worm) difficult. And the OS would have backup copies of the checksums for every installed code (stored in a manner easy to back up to unalterable media, like a CD), meaning you could then run a check for anything hinky if you suspected it.

    WOW. Inherent Security. WHAT AN IDEA!!!

    BTW, you want a prime example of exactly how little Windows actually retains this kind of thing, go ahead and go looking through your Registry. The Big Ball O' Goo system is exactly the kind of unrestricted chaos that Microsoft's excuse for an "OS" uses all the time (Putting EVERYTHING on the 'C' partition in this day and age is yet another BBOG example -- if you've got any clue, you put the OS alone on C, and add a couple more partitions for CODE and DATA. For one thing, it would make image backups a lot more sensibly useful).

    There's just so many obvious things that Microsoft COULD have done a DECADE and more ago to move computing forward, to reduce the danger of malware, and to vastly improve the speed of not just the OS but of everything. Instead we have "Operating Systems" that BY THEMSELVES need more than 2 gigs of RAM, and one or two fulltime CPUs just to keep up with doing all the bloatware operations their cruddy excuse for an OS requires..

  23. obloodyhell:

    }}} MS is a much friendlier company now.

    If that's true at all, it's because they're running scared of Google.... the competition.

    In actual fact, Windows 8 will likely be the last really significant version of Windows. The market is moving towards tablet computing, and M$ is going to be getting shut out of that market completely... Either Apple or Android wins that one (my money is on Android, but that's another topic of discussion).

    But Microsoft still endlessly violates its own defined standards at will, and that is the chief problem for anyone who chooses to use or link into their stuff. You can't ignore M$ yet, but smart people can see that time on the horizon.

  24. sabre_springs_mark:

    I have had formal training in what an OS is. MS windows is a complete OS or else your computer would not work. Boot loaders and installers for every OS package are separate pieces of software. I have written some of those for embedded programs myself.

    As for you contention about knowing about every piece of software - open a command window, type tasklist - it will show you every process that is in the PC (just as ps -a shows you all in UNIX style OS's). It does know everything that is on it. It loads and manages every DLL too. But you need to have a separate tool to query the OS at the DLL level of refinement. And Windows schedules all that software, provides virtual memory spaces for every piece of software, provides a mapping so you can use your hard-drive.

    The registry is a handy tool which is not required by software, but is better than the old *.ini method in which every program manages its defaults in its own file and the OS doesn't really have access. Separate files is the way it is still done in UNIX with config files rather than a central database. Have you ever tried to fiddle with UNIX? Egad, you would be wishing for a Registry!

    Please read the book I referenced for what an OS is, because you have no clue. Or at least look at the wikipedia.

    Don't let your hatred of Microsoft take you over the edge. Seriously where did you read/hear all this junk? Even Linux journals don't crap on MS in such a poor ill informed manner. I agree a few years back, they railroaded Dr Dos with Win 95 (with the incompatible software warning) caused several companies to go under by taking software, - but you are going over the top.

  25. sabre_springs_mark:

    To put it bluntly - you are absolutely wrong about every aspect of your argument against MS Windows Operating systems. Get back to us when you read the Wiki about OS's and then form your arguments based on and informed POV - then we can have a rational discussion on the merits of modern operating from Linux/Unix/WinOS/BeOs/TheHurd, etc

  26. sabre_springs_mark:

    There are always several sides to the story. I am not really against MS - but I can understand why Stacker would waffle against an overwhelming force. In the lawsuit MS lost by overwhelming force, and I am sure they presented the facts you stated.

    And yes you are correct in saying that the case is now moot since the patents for on the fly compression/decompression have passed. And yes, I also agree that how files are represented on the file system is a legit function of an operating system.

  27. dad29:

    For another fine example of Corporatism, see the cable TV industry. In order to operate within a given municipality, that cable franchise "pays off" the muni; in return, there is no competition!

    Which answers the question "Why no ala carte cable fees?" If ala carte were allowed, the revenues of cable franchises would drop like a rock--which in turn would reduce the payments to municipal 'partners.'

  28. Brotio:

    I am after a government that doesn't have the power to grant favors to either group.

  29. LarryGross:

    You are aware that Bush with the approval of a GOP congress is the one who approved the auto bailout, right?

  30. LarryGross:

    President George Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout - YouTube

  31. mesaeconoguy:

    Your assertion that it was a “Republican Congress” is incorrect: Senate representation in 2008 was 49/49 and House of Reps was 233/198 (Dem/Rep).

    The Senate failed to authorize:

    You are ignorant.

    Bush was a fool for initiating the process, but Obama drove it to completion:

    “In March 2009, when the lifeline extended by the Bush administration had
    run out, President Obama stepped in. The administration forced out the CEO of
    General Motors, Rick Wagoner, and gave Chrysler 30 days to finalize a merger
    with the Italian automaker Fiat. In exchange, the companies received another
    (and even larger) round of government loans. In the end, almost $77 billion in
    TARP funds was diverted to GM and Chrysler.

    But in spite of the generous loans, extensions, and second chances, the
    Obama administration finally concluded that the companies' restructuring plans
    were insufficient. In the spring of 2009, it directed both automakers to
    proceed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy — Chrysler filed on April 30, and GM on June

    You are extremely ignorant.

  32. LarryGross:

    Well.. Bush supported the bailout and the bailout would never have happened without support of the GOP. The point is that claiming it's Obama's bailout is totally dishonest. The approval of the bailout of the auto industry was well underway before Obama took office but "details" like this
    do not matter to the "hate Obama" crowd.

  33. mesaeconoguy:

    What is flagrantly dishonest is idiots like you pointing at
    Bush to support your insipid claim that “See? That guy did it, too!”

    They were both incorrect courses of action, but the (poor) actions of Bush comprised the first quarter of the auto bailout game; Obama played the rest, and called his own plays.

    To state that this was not an Obama bailout is factually inaccurate.

    As I said previously, this country is finished, thanks to a proliferation of morons like you with exceptionally poor command of basic facts of recent history.

  34. LarryGross:

    re: morons. neither Bush nor Obama could do it without a large number of Congress agreeing.

    It's not an Obama bailout.. It's a Bush/Obama/Congress bailout.


    isn't that a "command" of history - dufus?

  35. mesaeconoguy:

    No, fatuous pissmop, no one here is defending Bush. You brought him up. Bush acted without Congressional assistance (see above, shitforbrains).

    You don’t even have understanding of congressional composition during the bailouts.

    Why don’t you go do something useful like play Russian roulette with 5 bullets?

    Sniveling pig ignorant prick.

  36. LarryGross:

    I'm pointing out to you that this is not just an Obama thing that others had to be involved, in fact another POTUS as well as a majority of Congress. I never said you were defending Bush, I said that this was not just an Obama thing and it was not.

    but that does not matter to you ... your goal is to hammer this particular POTUS regardless of the facts.

    and your infantile 4th grader vocabulary confirms who you are.

  37. mesaeconoguy:


    He blew a wad of taxpayer cash for unions, which was idiotic. Not fascist.

    So yeah, I am calling Obama a (neo)fascist, and you an ignorant piece of shit.

  38. LarryGross:

    what are you talking about nimrod? Didn't Bush and a majority of Congress sign on to the cash for unions also?

    why is this just about Obama when Congress had to approve it?

    see...this is why you boys lost the election.. you can't even be honest about history.

  39. mesaeconoguy:

    Your head is jammed so far up your ass you can’t get it out.

    Whatever, suckbag.

    I highly recommend removing yourself from the planet.

  40. LarryGross:

    mesaeconoguy with a little luck you'll help out the GOP at next election also!


  41. mesaeconoguy:

    With any luck, there might be a "next" election.

    The trajectory of this country, thanks to ignoramuses like you, is currently tailspin.

    You have no idea what you are doing, nor any grasp of reality.

  42. mesaeconoguy:

    Read the piece, moron:

    Nothing you have posted here is factually correct, or informed opinion based in any kind of accurate history.

  43. mesaeconoguy:

    An Poc Ar Buile