SvenlerFeatured By OwnerNov 27, 2012Professional Photographer
It has already happened and I don't think the government would be opposed to doing it again.
At the current state I do not see this as a widespread phenomenon. Nonetheless, I only invest in small and mostly local companies at the moment.
I think we will see growing unemployment and poverty and more of government blaming problems on business before government will even begin seizing business by force. It's a future possibility, but nothing I am too concerned about in the short term.
Ultimately, if government wants to seize my assets, there isn't much I can do, but they surely won't get the intellectual capital that helped those assets grow and develop.
There's nothing inherently wrong with a business firing people because it needs to stay solvent. Happens all the time. But for me, that's the problem: I can't really tell whether the firings are necessary (as far as that goes) or whether they're some glorified form of spite. And the reason I can't tell is because lots of big business figures have completely lost their minds over the last four years, to the point where I can't really trust them to act rationally when it comes to Obama.
And it's not just that it could be a conspiracy to ruin the economy and have him shoulder the blame. I think there's such an embedded element of "the businessman is always right" in American culture that they're not really bothering to examine whether their companies could take on the new regulations and pay for them with e.g. more efficient technology or decreased executive pay. They're just going straight for cutting jobs because that's what they're used to doing whenever they get inconvenienced. The idea that a business should have to fit the demands of society rather than the other way around is inconceivable to a lot of people, (in particular, financial writers and journalists and conservative politicians) so when a company says they need to fire x number of people because of some regulation, a lot of the country just goes with it. There's never really a protracted discussion over whether they have to or whether they should. I think that's the big problem, more than sour grapes from sore-loser conservative businessmen.
And I think there's a good reason to be suspicious. In case everyone forgot, every other Western country besides the United States has some form of universal health care that has been around longer than ours and most of which are actually paid for by the government. They have thriving corporate sectors of their own, including, yes, companies in the health care business: Bayer, Merck, and AstraZeneca, for example, are all based in Europe. Adjusting the labor force to handle a universal health care law may involve some growing pains, but it should not be impossible: it's been proven dozens of times over that it's not impossible. And of course, the ironic backdrop to all this is that the stock market has performed well under Obama in particular (if you'll recall, the Dow was down around 8,000 four years ago and has climbed back into the 12,000-13,000 range since then) and Democrats in general since 1936: [link] There's a stereotype in our political culture, held even by some Democrats, that Democrats may be good at heart but they don't really "know how" to create job growth and GDP growth. This is, literally, empirically untrue. Not only are they good at it, but for decades they've been better at it than the opposition. If these businessmen were so knowledgeable about how political changes affect their bottom line, I think they'd at least know a basic fact like that, which is why I think there's some smoke-blowing going on.
I think there's such an embedded element of "the businessman is always right" in American culture that they're not really bothering to examine whether their companies could take on the new regulations and pay for them with e.g. more efficient technology or decreased executive pay
Yeah great point and the 80% raise for executives at that company notwithstanding, I recall reading a book about Felix Wankel's Rotary engine some years ago- I'm sure you're wondering where the hell this is going. The auto industry in the US was drunk on ridiculous car sales and had pretty much bought out or sunk the railroads. The Rotary engine had awesome performance when it came out in the 1960s, for such small size. Mazda (Toyo Kogyo) bought the rights to use that engine and put in their cars, which got terrible mpg and had horrible emmissions (black smoke) but were able to accelerate as well as most American V6 cars of the time. In 1975, we were going to implement the toughest emmissions regulations in history- and Ford Motor Company, then GM- both insisted they could not possibly comply with the requirements, and that the US auto industry would be sunk.
Mazda, with its inefficient rotary engines said- "no problem". Their car line would average decent emissions across the range and they worked to make their rotary more efficient as well. It made fools out of GM and Ford. They eventually got in line. That's how it used to work- if the law changed, you got on board and got on with it. Nowadays we're fed this 24 hours streaming opinion-line that tells us some asshole running some stupid company wants a handout (tax cut). Fuck him. If he doesn't wanna follow the damn law, tell him to shut it down. Someone else will come in and miraculously meet the regulations- like Mazda did in the 70s.