Monday, June 3, 2013

The Bigs are Bad for Business

My liberal friends lament capitalism, blaming corporate greed for America's problems.  They contend a bigger, better and more benevolent government to be the solution to all that ails us.  Nothing could be further from the truth and the founders knew it.

While the remainder of this blog post focuses on balance in politics balance in integrated agreements is equally important.  If an integrated team - owner, contractor and designer - intend to to plan, design and construct a facility the culture within which the team operates must reflect the underlying principles of those involved.  A balanced legal framework via which the three share power - think of that core team as three Bigs similar to the Bigs discussed below - must also recognize the myriad interest of the other stakeholders not necessarily represented by the core team.  An integrated legal instrument that achieve that delicate balance, and supports a culture of collaboration, cooperation and innovation will lead to success.

The foregoing is the reason the U in (BUILT) stands for, among other things, the US Constitution. That reference reminds participants of the need to balance the interests of the various stakeholders in the legal framework and the project culture.

Now on with the political post.

The Constitution, an amazing culmination of compromises, struck the right balance between the power of the sovereign - the people - and the power of the government, state and federal.  The Constitution replaced the unworkable Articles of Confederation, which hamstrung Washington during the Revolutionary War.  The Articles of Confederation left too much power in the hands of the individual states, weakening the federal government and inhibiting its ability to protect the nation as a whole during war.  Again, the Constitution struck the right balance between the three main sources of power, the people, state government and the federal government.  But we've allowed the Bigs to skew that delicate balance in their favor.  It's time for the sovereign people to take back their power.  And the IRS scandal unfolding on the national stage provides a perfect opportunity to do so.

The Bigs, Big Government, Big Business and Big Labor feed off OUR money.  Big Government takes if from us and filters it through the goose that is government - and you know what comes out of a goose - then spreads the product of the goose among favored constituents to buy votes, whereupon they reload, taking more of OUR money and feeding the goose again.  Big Business and Big Labor, in bed with Big Government, have their hands in the taxpayers' pockets as well.  The key is to starve them all and the way to do that is via a flat tax, collected by LOCAL governments, sent to the state capitols and doled out to the federal government on an as needed basis.  The founders wanted a small constrained government that did less.  The federal government we have does too much and does it all poorly.  Smaller is better and the only way to make the Bigs smaller is to starve them of cash.  The only way to do that is to cut the cash flow to the cesspool that is Washington D.C.

Again, the Bigs are Big Government, Big Business and Big Labor.  These three forces claim to represent "the people", "the shareholders" and the "the workers" respectively.  What a farce.  Michael Barone has a good piece out today in which he conducts an autopsy of the corpse that is Detroit, a great American city killed by the Bigs.  There he says:

Detroit was the prime example of what I have called "Big Unit America," in which the heads of large organizations -- Big Business, Big Labor, Big Government -- made the big decisions, and the hundreds of thousands of people below them, small cogs in a very large machine, carried them out. 
For a time Big Unit America seemed to work splendidly. The Big Three auto companies, with some cooperation from the United Auto Workers and at the behest of Big Government, made Detroit "the arsenal of democracy." Arthur Herman tells the story in his recent book Freedom's Forge. 
The Big Units' prestige continued high for a generation after the war. General Motors's president was Time's Man of the Year in 1955. John Kenneth Galbraith's 1967 book "The New Industrial State" argued that big automakers could manipulate demand through advertising and should share more of their inevitable profits with union members and the government.
You can read the whole thing at THIS LINK.

Big Government - read federal government + state government minions  - has become a tool by which politicians, Big Business and Big Labor re-distribute money collected from the people among themselves.  The Obama administration uses of the IRS, the Justice Department, the EPA and the DOE ( among other agencies) to: 1) punish the administration's political enemies, 2) suppress voters and the press, 3) kill the coal industry and hamstring the oil & gas industry; and 4) to redistribute tax dollars to favored green energy projects, almost all of which have failed.  The states, which long ago surrendered their rights under the 10th Amendment to the federal government, grovel at the federal feed trough and actively reinforce federal policies antithetical to their interests and the interest of their citizens.

Big Business, as demonstrated by the bailouts, has literally become too big to fail.  What a crock.  The bail outs, both under the Bush and Obama administrations involved re-distribution of wealth on a scale that would make Marx blush.  What a travesty.  The big banks, automobile manufactures and others should have been left to their own devices.  Sink or swim, but the taxpayers - we the people, aka the source of sovereign power under our system - should never be required to bailout big business, under any circumstances.  Bankruptcy laws exists for a reason. GM and any failing big banks should have filed for bankruptcy.

Big Labor has become a cancer eating away and our economy.  And that's sad, given the important role unions played in protecting worker's rights earlier in our history.  But unions, especially public sector unions, seduced the politicians and the two now sleep together during every election cycle. screwing the sovereign people - are you sensing a pattern here? - over and over and over again.  Even FDR opposed public sector unions.

To bring things full circle, the lament about capitalism isn't really about capitalism, but about crony capitalism.  Capitalism in its pure form provides a robust and effective mechanism for regulating markets.  Capitalism, and the principles that drive it and make it successful, lead to corruption on a large scale when government becomes the source of capital.  That is what has happened in our system.

I've had clients tell me, "James we are not going to invest in new infrastructure and facilities at this time because we believe we will get a better return on money invested in lobbyists in Washington D.C."  Sadly, that's true.  Washington D.C. has become "The Capitol" in the Hunger Games sense precisely because it controls the flow of capital in the monetary sense.

Again, as mentioned earlier, the only viable solution is to starve the beast.  A flat tax combined that led to the abolish of the IRS would be a great start.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

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