Thomas Friedman is at it again. Pining for a more orderly, command economy, led by wise central planners who do not have to heed the masses:
As a political barometer, the Davos World Economic Forum usually offers up some revealing indicators of the global mood, and this year is no exception. I heard of a phrase being bandied about here by non-Americans — about the United States — that I can honestly say I’ve never heard before: “political instability.”
“Political instability” was a phrase normally reserved for countries like Russia or Iran or Honduras. But now, an American businessman here remarked to me, “people ask me about ‘political instability’ in the U.S. We’ve become unpredictable to the world.”
Friedman blames this on Obama not getting health care passed despite his election to the presidency. My civics classes must have skipped the Constitutional clause that says that the president always gets whatever he wants.
It appears not to even occur to Friedman that the reason America is perceived as having ‘political instability’ might be not because of the failures of Obama to get his way as it might have to do with the things Obama and the Congressional Democrats have done. Outright theft of two automobile companies with the ill-gotten gains handed to union buddies. Demagoguery and attempts to demonize bankers and pass confiscatory, ex post facto laws (bills of attainder) against them. Crazed spending and incoherent messages on taxes, regulation and just about everything else.
Our business climate has become unpredictable not because Obama didn’t get health care “reform” passed. It is because he did get all of the above things done, plus a useless “stimulus” that didn’t help. We are heading down a road where real economic damage will be done if we do not stop it.
Do read the rest where Friedman speaks, not really unapprovingly, of the “Beijing Consensus”. But we know Friedman yearns for that central authority and a reordering the disorderly democracy of America – he said so before. Then he tries to co-opt a few enlightened Republican Senators to help Obama get his agenda across the finish line.
Yecch. We have seen this exact behavior before in this world. Many times.
Just in case you are not one to click through to the links, here’s Friedman in that earlier piece:
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
I have to go wash out my eyes with bleach after that.