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That 70’s Show

February 6, 2009

I was a high school and college student during the 1970’s.  I wasn’t politically aware, being focused instead on getting my pieces of paper and getting started on my own life.  So I remember the 70’s, but not all that well.

But I do remember this — wage and price controls.  Inflation was out of control, and President Nixon, he of sainted –oops, sorry for the typo, I meant to say stained — reputation, decided it had to be stopped by force.  Hence the wage and price controls established by the federal government.  As anyone who is able to think things through can tell you, it was a disaster.  The government interventions actually made inflation even worse than the “intolerable” rates that preceded wage and price controls.  Just as many economists now acknowledge that government interventions prolonged and deepened the Great Depression.

Now Obama is following in St. Nixon’s footsteps, PBUH, and is instituting wage caps, and I’m gettin’ that deja-vu-all-over-again feeling.  He calls it “executive compensation caps,” but it’s the same thing.  Now your vocabulary has been expanded, doncha feel better?  But I digress.

To be fair, O is starting only with companies that receive money from the federal Porkulus Plan.  We’ll call it PP from here on, and no it doesn’t stand for Piss Poor, shame on you for your crude mind.  You have probably heard of the legendary Slippery Slope.  It’s part of the geography of any liberal enclave.  And O’s pay caps are located right on the edge of it.

Once those highly-paid executives are brought into line, the rest of us won’t be far behind.  Remember the cautionary tale that goes “They came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew ….”  Certainly money is not equivalent to life, but I hope you can see the ominous parallel.

Now, one populist part of me likes the idea of executives exercising moderation in their pay.  Nobody should be a greedy b*****d, after all.  And why shouldn’t the government expect a certain level of accountability from those it is entrusting with my money — that just makes sense.  But that’s my heart speaking. 

My head, on the other hand, it outraged.  I remember the 70’s and into the early 80’s.  The problem with government “accountability” is that government is accountable to no one.  Yah, yah, we all learned in 8th grade Civics class that government is accountable to the voters, but grownups know that isn’t the whole truth.  Government polices itself.  In Real Life, that means no accountability.  So when government decides to require accountability from someone, it’s a power play, pure and simple, and has nothing to do with stewardship of my money.  Don’t forget — congress just voted itself a hefty pay raise for this year.  Contrast that with pay caps for disfavored groups.

Now, granted, Obama is younger than I am, so we can cut him a little slack — he was probably consumed with puberty during Nixon’s administration.  Yet he was alive during the 70’s and early 80’s, being just 2 years younger than I am.  Was his head even further up his you-know-what than mine was up my own y-k-w?  I think it probably was. 

Reagan was castigated by the leftists for the so-called trickle-down economics he promoted.  Well, wage caps for the greedy executives are just the beginning of trickle-down poverty the leftists want to inflict upon all the rest of us.  It sounds good to slaves of emotion, but thinking people know it’s mushroom economics*.

 As usual, The Anchoress has a comprehensive roundup on this and numerous related topics.


*   Mushrooms are kept in the dark and fed ….you know.

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