08 August 2010

Socialism, American style

That's the title of a post by Denis Weisman, which outlines some of the laws that protect US car dealers from having to beheave competitively.
Some states make it illegal to sell cars at lower prices to high-volume dealers than to low-volume franchisees. Some prohibit car companies from selling directly to the public (say, via the Internet) because it would adversely affect the competitive position of the dealers. Socialism, American Style, Denis Weisman, 26 July
How did this come about? It's the usual tawdry tale of lobbyists filling the vacuum created, in my view, by a complex political system that's opaque to non-specialists; that is, ordinary people, as distinct from corporations.
In the American political system, a highly focused, well-funded lobby with tight connections in every House district is almost unbeatable when it chooses to play rough.
It's policymaking by the rich, for the rich, and there's little sign of it ending any time soon.

You can see where I am heading with this. A Social Policy Bond regime would target outcomes. Outcomes that are meaningful to ordinary people. Corporate success would be a by-product of a prosperous population, not something that grows out of the power of the lobbyist. Government's raison d'etre is to enhance the wellbeing of the population, not corporations. Policymaking should subordinate corporate interests to those of ordinary citizens, and a Social Policy Bond regime would do that.

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