Friday, January 18, 2008

"Give the People What They Want!"

The Michigan Primary shows why maybe I am crazy to think there really is a market for libertarianism in this country, my protestations to the contrary. Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country, businesses are fleeing the state, and the economy is hard up. The candidates response? John McCain tells folks we need to do a better job retraining people. Mitt Romney promises to single-handedly rebuild the auto industry.

People blame the auto industry, yet, elsewhere in the US, the auto industry seems to be doing well. VW has decided to build another plant in the US and they are looking at sites down south, not in Michigan.

So maybe the issue is not the federal government but (i) the fact that US auto makers are not building cars people actually want to buy and (ii) that there is something wrong in Michigan's business environment.

But Romney decides pandering is better politics than truth. And he wins.

It reminds me of the moment I realized I could never be a good politician. As a college kid I got myself elected to the Nassau County Republican committee. This is not really a big deal really. There are two committee persons per election district (maybe 800 registered voters) of which about 400 were registered Republicans.

I ended up running unopposed, so there was no election.

When I was going door to door, I had someone complain simultaneously that (i) housing prices were too high on Long Island, (ii) Long Island was over developed, and (iii) that she could not sell her house for the price she wanted (which was too high). I told her she could take care of all three problems by halving the price of her house and taking the money, buy an open field and live in a tent. Then she would sell her house, reduce housing prices and prevent over development

She actually thought it was funny and decided to support me, but I knew I could not do this 400 times.

1 comment:

Rodak said...

they are looking at sites down south, not in Michigan.

The problem is that not enough people want to buy U.S.-made cars to employ the tens of thousands of UAW workers in Michigan, where the U.S. auto industry has been centered since virtually Day One.
Foreign companies, like Volkswagen, don't locate in Michgian, because the majority of currrently layed-off and unemployed autoworkers they would be hiring there have seniority, high salaries, and are, in many cases, nearing retirement age. They would rather train new workers and employ them under new contracts, at entry-level wages.