Friday, August 1, 2008

The Emergency Plan

Still reading through Obama's newly announced emergency economic plan. The plan creates a second stimulus payment to individual workers/families, but instead of taking money from the Treasury the money would be taken oil profit "windfalls."

I know the conservative reaction, I've read it. I find myself having mixed feelings about this one. It's really hard to continue to support the free market in light of the disparities between the consumer and the oil companies.

Conservatives will blame Americans for destroying the free market by supporting populist (socialist) candidates who in turn pander to the electorate with such measures. But to what degree is corporate America (not just the oil companies) responsible for the decline of economic freedom in this country?

It's getting really hard to support the corporations, many of whom pay their CEOs $MMs while laying off middle class employees. Brokerage firms/banks who have destroyed the life savings of so many while those at the top ride the golden parachute back down to earth. Then there's the Qwests, Enrons, Worldcoms, Tycos of the world who took the above to a new level with cooked books--as if playing by the rules didn't offer enough of an advantage.

I've noted before that with freedom, individuals have to accept negative consequences. So do corporations.

Corporate America had the freedom to do the right thing by the American people; decent pay/benefits for employees, keep price of commodities (energy) low, help low income customers. Instead, those companies have pushed the markets to the brink, even when it was against their own long-term interests to do so.

Americans have abandoned their ability to create change as individuals (as an employee or a consumer) and will instead made appeal after appeal to government for action. Our future is certainly filled with such grand "plans" until corporate America stops mistreating it's employees and gouging it's consumers.

No comments: