Money Smarts: Obama the punisher

GERRY KRAMER

In the US, there are three million people in jail punished for breaking the behavioral rules of society. That’s about one percent of the population. We don’t assume from these “bad apples” that the other 99 percent of citizens are potential miscreants and therefore should be punished too, just in case. Indeed, the assumption is that 99 percent of society will behave nicely all the time; unless you are a profit seeking corporation operating in our free enterprise system. Then you are inherently predisposed to behaving badly and must be subjected to punishment for your potential misdeeds. This is the apparent assumption of the Obama administration.

There are some 25 million corporations in the US; 6 million have employees. About 17,000 have 500 or more workers. Twenty eight hundred of these are traded on the NY stock exchange; 3200 on NASDAQ. All these corporations provide the jobs and create the wealth of America. And virtually all of them behave impeccably. But the few that do not are the ones that we hear about. They unfortunately provide ammunition to politicians wanting to attack Free Markets, the Bad and claim more power for Government, the Good.

There are 1300 health insurance companies in the US. According to Obama, they are all heartless, denying coverage in the name of profit. Let’s reform the entire system.

There are almost 8000 financial institutions. According to Obama, those fat cat bankers must pay for wrecking the economy. Let’s reform the entire industry.

Let’s not forget the profiteering drug companies in need of price controls; the polluting utilities and industries that need “cap & trade”; the obesity causing food companies that need new regulations and taxes; the greedy doctors performing unnecessary procedures; those evil oil companies that do not care about the environment; and those millions of small businesses that create wealth not from effort, but through luck. Let’s share that windfall wealth.

Here’s an idea. There are 535 people in the US Congress. Another two million are employed in the executive branch of the federal government, including Obama. About one percent of them understand how the US economy works and the benefits of free enterprise. The other 99 percent are ignorant and care only about their pensions. Let’s reform the Government.

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