April 18, 2011

E.J. Dionne: Fugitive From Reality

Washington Post opinion writer displays for us one again why he is past-due for replacement with his latest dim analysis.

An enlightened ruling class understands that it can get richer and its riches will be more secure if prosperity is broadly shared, if government is investing in productive projects that lift the whole society and if social mobility allows some circulation of the elites. A ruling class closed to new talent doesn't remain a ruling class for long.

Dionne obviously knows nothing of the business world, something he seems to share with others wedded to his peculiar political philosophy.

Business is never static, and not just thrives upon, but demands new ideas and new talent. In the business world, stagnation leads to death, and innovation can lead to nearly limitless prosperity. In the right political climate, businesses can create wealth out of thin air. Almost all wealth starts out as small businesses with big ideas. They drive our entire economy and way of life, when government doesn't get in the way.

There is this thing called a "Facebook," and something else called a "Google," that Dionne may want to read about, and these new software programs called "apps" that have made many of yesterday's nerds into today's millionaires and billionaires. Many of our most accomplished employers found success for themselves and their employees by innovating in fields that didn't even exist as few as a handful of years ago.

On the other end of the scale are protectionist industries that have sought to curry favor with Dionne's ruling class in order to protect the near monopolies they have, and which seek to use regulation to choke out both innovation and competition. One need look no further than the auto industry, manufacturing, and finance industries to find dinosaurs that use generous political contributions to thwart those with newer, better products. Simply look at President Obama's list of top campaign donors to find a list of companies using money to buy favor and defends the status woe.

The only question about Dionne's column worth asking is whether the aging writer is conscious of his hackery in support of the entrenched elites, or if he really is a naif who does not understand the ramifications of what he advocates. I have to think that Dionne's support is a conscious effort to placate those which have lent him relevance in their own self-interests.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 18, 2011 12:29 PM

can anyone tell me who Dionne is? will look him up in the internet! thanks for the post! pretty amusing!

Posted by: emilie at April 18, 2011 02:49 PM

So what he is saying is that Obama is not part of the enlightened ruling class?

Posted by: Phelps at April 18, 2011 04:55 PM

Problem: referencing or accepting the idea of a 'ruling class' in the US. NO, NO, NO. there's a group of folks who are OUR EMPLOYEES, whom we pay to govern and oversee and monitor agenciesin accordance with OUR DESIRES, not rule over us.

Posted by: styrgwillidar at April 18, 2011 06:48 PM

I don't follow. How exactly are either Google or Facebook contributing to this economy in terms of jobs? They offer very very few jobs because they are so technical. Whatever contributions you are referring to-they are almost disproportionately for a very few people. So sure, if you work for Google like my cousin does then yea. But she also went to MIT and graduated with a 3.8 (4.8 in MIT terms). The rest of the masses have no such luck.

Even the "Blue Chip" companies are increasingly deriving and providing profits for foreigners. From Coke to GE. Arguing lower taxes is simply a talking point that is increasingly meaningless.

Posted by: Jack at April 19, 2011 04:48 PM


Google employs more than 26,000 directly. Facebook employs 2000+ directly. But these companies also create jobs in other market sectors; the storage needs of these giants and other mass consumers/transmitters of data of is responsible for employing a good number of workers at places like EMC (48,000+).
The tech sector is massive, and areas such as Silicon Valley, the Triangle/RTP and other areas of the are able o indirectly employ millions as a result of these companies. Saying they offer very few jobs is to grossly misunderstand economics.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 19, 2011 05:14 PM

Well, since the ability of business to "create wealth out of thin air" seems to be limited to my ability to buy what they have created, and my ability to "create wealth out of thin air" to pay them is pretty near zero, I think the debt based polite fiction that the US economy is based on is about to burst just like the housing bubble, the dot com bubble, and every other financial swindle the stock market system has foisted on us since the dark days of the Reagan Era.

Posted by: StevenW at April 19, 2011 06:48 PM

OK, how about eliminating the income tax, excise tax and sales tax and replacing all those with a net worth tax? Let's be real fair and say we make it 3% for all, including all businesses and all foreign accounts are not overlooked. If anyone wants to avoid this tax, all they have to do is contribute to or fund their own charity.

Posted by: ERIC SON at April 19, 2011 06:54 PM