Monday, November 01, 2010

An excellent series of questions

Kevin Drum asks something that I've been asking for years:

I'm not quite sure what accounts for this. Opposing regulation I get. No one wants to be regulated. Ditto for higher taxes, even if they're pretty modest. But why do corporate chieftans oppose true national healthcare even though it would almost certainly make their lives easier and make them more globally competitive? Why do they oppose cap-and-trade even though its effects are modest and the alternative is more intrusive EPA regulations? Why do they oppose fiscal stimulus even though it would spur the economy and be good for business?

And I think I know the answer. It is because of a foul mix of self-interest that trumps the interest even of the company they work for or lead with a powerful sense of entitlement that they have earned certain rights to which others less fortunate are not entitled. Of course, national health care would benefit their company. But that would also mean a leveling of the playing field (even if they will still be able to afford much better health care insurance). Of course, foreclosures are bad for the economy. But why should some Lucky Ducky be allowed to modify the terms of his mortgage that he can no longer afford? They work for companies that profit from stimulus spending but support politicians who vow to "cut the deficit."

I see this every day.

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