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September 09, 2009

Tom Friedman wants some Liberal Fascism


Tom Friedman occasionally writes things worth reading. This one is only worth Fisking. He seems to think that we would all be better off under some Liberal Fascism, a wonderful idea explored in Jonah Goldberg's book.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.
Like a prison manufacturing and resource extraction system that allows very low costs of production since you can feed them gruel and just dispose of the bodies when they die. What type of reasonable enlightenment rolls tanks over peaceful demonstrators and tortures political dissidents?
That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
Without any of that pesky opposition by troglodyte barbarians who are not "enlightened" enough to be progressives, or to see the joy of the warm embrace of Brother O and the state. Sure sounds like fascism to me.



It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power.
While simultaneously building more dirty coal plants than pretty much every one else combined.

China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar.

Like most of their products the Chinese are simply selling the toys the West and the rest want, they show no serious interest in the global warming hysteria the left is so enamored of. Did they sign Kyoto? No? Hmm I wonder why? Perhaps because their "enlightenment" showed them it would cripple their economy.
Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
Always best to come from the top down, screw the mobs of rabble yearning to be free.
Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist.
Good freakin lord, did he just say that? C'mon dude nobody is buying O the centrist for a second anymore. Obama would need a telescope to see the center.
But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
Look at the climate/energy bill that came out of the House. Its sponsors had to work twice as hard to produce this breakthrough cap-and-trade legislation. Why? Because with basically no G.O.P. representatives willing to vote for any price on carbon that would stimulate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, the sponsors had to rely entirely on Democrats — and that meant paying off coal-state and agriculture Democrats with pork. Thank goodness, it is still a bill worth passing. But it could have been much better — and can be in the Senate. Just give me 8 to 10 Republicans ready to impose some price on carbon, and they can be leveraged against Democrats who want to water down the bill.
Or perhaps they thought that an energy tax to salve the consciences of the left about consumption was "nonsense on stilts" (Goldberg)
“China is going to eat our lunch and take our jobs on clean energy — an industry that we largely invented — and they are going to do it with a managed economy we don’t have and don’t want,” said Joe Romm, who writes the blog, climateprogress.org.
The only way for us to match them is by legislating a rising carbon price along with efficiency and renewable standards that will stimulate massive private investment in clean-tech. Hard to do with a one-party democracy.
WTF does that mean and why would it happen? You can't just wish an industry into existence. It needs a business case. We are nowhere near that for your green world and having Van Jones throw money to all his friends will not magic one into existence.
The same is true on health care. “The central mechanism through which Obama seeks to extend coverage and restrain costs is via new ‘exchanges,’ insurance clearinghouses, modeled on the plan Mitt Romney enacted when he was governor of Massachusetts,” noted Matt Miller, a former Clinton budget official and author of “The Tyranny of Dead Ideas.” “The idea is to let individuals access group coverage from private insurers, with subsidies for low earners.”
Which Romney and all Bay Staters have seen doesn't work and is bankrupting the state.
And it is possible the president will seek to fund those subsidies, at least in part, with the idea John McCain ran on — by reducing the tax exemption for employer-provided health care. Can the Republicans even say yes to their own ideas, if they are absorbed by Obama? Without Obama being able to leverage some Republican votes, it is going to be very hard to get a good plan to cover all Americans with health care.
“Just because Obama is on a path to give America the Romney health plan with McCain-style financing, does not mean the Republicans will embrace it — if it seems politically more attractive to scream ‘socialist,’ ” said Miller.
Oh please, it may also be smarter to say "first do no harm".
The G.O.P. used to be the party of business. Well, to compete and win in a globalized world, no one needs the burden of health insurance shifted from business to government more than American business. No one needs immigration reform — so the world’s best brainpower can come here without restrictions — more than American business. No one needs a push for clean-tech — the world’s next great global manufacturing industry — more than American business. Yet the G.O.P. today resists national health care, immigration reform and wants to just drill, baby, drill.
Good lord you had to get a shot at Palin in there eh? Pro-business does not mean we need more immigrants, we have plenty of skilled ones. And every place there have been restrictions on illegals, wages have risen and Americans have taken jobs they won't do. Employers and employees seem to be just fine with their health care, it's the statists who have a problem with it.
“Globalization has neutered the Republican Party, leaving it to represent not the have-nots of the recession but the have-nots of globalized America, the people who have been left behind either in reality or in their fears,” said Edward Goldberg, a global trade consultant who teaches at Baruch College. “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.”
That is just a pile of crap. The Republicans represent those who want to do for themselves, the Democrats represent those who think the state should do for all. They don't want equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome. And the state is the only organ that can do that. Sure smells like Liberal Fascism to me.

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posted by Uncle Jimbo at 11:38 AM

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