Saturday, October 08, 2011

Political Parties: Unions versus Corporations

I remember that back in the 1980s I figured out the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  (I make no claim that my observation was correct, since I was not very aware of politics at the time.)

Democrats valued caution.  They did not want to use the environment in ways that might wreck things, change how unions worked, or relax regulations on corporations.  Republicans valued progress.  They believed that America was prosperous enough to fix anything it might damage, and favored tinkering with policy in the hope it would foster innovation and improve average wealth.

Surely my observation about the difference between the parties was incomplete.  Perhaps it was entirely false.

Today the contrast is sadly clear, and quite divorced from the normal folk who belong to either party.  The Democratic leadership is in bed with the unions.  The Republican leadership is in bed with large corporations.

Today Instapundit had amazing examples of both.  The "Occupy Wall Street" protests are astrotrufed with unions hiring union members and unaffiliated Hispanics to participate. The ABA is a great example of regulatory capture

Most Americans are neither union leaders nor managers of large corporations, and are increasingly realizing how little we are represented in our republic.

The obvious way to reduce cronyism is to shift Federal power back to the states.  As Stephen Bainbridge writes:
Corporations do influence the government, of course. But then so do labor unions, the legal profession, the medical profession, special interest groups based on one form of racial or ethnic grievance or another, and lobbying interests ranging from Iowa corn to Texas oil. The problem isn’t corporations, the problem is that we have a government that has its fingers in nearly every aspect of the economy. That means that policy makers have the ability to pick economic winners and losers every day, and it’s only natural that those policies would be of concern to the people that they’re going to impact most directly, the businesses affected by them.

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