The Economic Civil War

Today’s Lenin Award goes to Michael Lind for this Opinion piece on Salon.com…

The economic Civil War
The South’s attempt to kill the North’s auto industry is the latest battle in an ongoing conflict. It’s time for a Third Reconstruction to put an end to it.

By Michael Lind

It is just as well that Barack Obama is emulating Abraham Lincoln by traveling to his inauguration in Washington by train. As the regional politics of the automobile bailout controversy demonstrate, the Civil War continues. If the major U.S. automobile companies go under, it will be partly because timely federal aid for them was blocked by members of Congress like Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, whose states have created their own counter-Detroit in the form of Japanese, Korean, and German transplant factories. The South will have risen by bringing down the North. Jefferson Davis will have had his revenge.

The most shocking thing about the alliance between the Southern states and America’s friendly but earnest economic rivals to destroy America’s most important industry is the fact that so few people find it shocking. Contrast the U.S. with the European Union. The nation-states of the European Union collaborate with each other in order to compete against foreign economic rivals, including the U.S., Japan, and China. By contrast, many states, particularly in the South, collaborate with foreign economic rivals of the U.S. in order to compete against other American states. Any British or French or German leader who proposed collaborating with Japan or the U.S. in order to wipe out industry and destroy jobs in neighboring EU member states would be jeered out of office. But it is perfectly acceptable for American states to connive with Asian and European countries in the destruction of industry elsewhere in the U.S.
 
Perhaps the lack of outrage over race-to-the-bottom rivalries among U.S. states and regions can be attributed to the longevity of this familiar Southern economic strategy. In the early 20th century, the Southern states were the first to adopt conscious statewide economic development policies, which then as now meant poaching industries from New England and the Midwest where wages and public spending and regulation were greater. That’s how the South took the textile industry from New England, before losing it to lower-wage Asia. Now with the help of Nissan, Toyota, and BMW, the South is trying to replace Detroit as the center of U.S. automobile production, using low wages, anti-union laws, and low taxes to benefit from the outsourcing of industry from societies more advanced than the South, like Japan and Germany. The economic Axis is collaborating with the neo-Confederates against their common opponent — the American Union. If they succeed, the losers will be not only non-Southern regions in the U.S., but the majority of Southerners of all races, whose interest in decent wages, good education, and adequate public services have almost always been sacrificed to the greed of the well-connected few by Southern statehouse gangs.

 Continue reading…

Undoubtedly one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read. Summary: Force the productive states and businesses in the South to follow and participate in the policies that have bankrupted states and businesses in the North. That’ll make everything fair and everyone will prosper. ????

I kept hoping it was satire, but if it is I missed the joke.

 

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