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It's never a good thing to hear that the President is going to sit-down and meet with "Business Leaders."
My mind immediately thinks of Herbert Hoover.
You know who he is right?
He's the the ultra-libertarian, laissez-faire, free-market President from way back when.
Ok...let's get our noses out of the government's school books, and look at the truth.
Herbert Hoover was the first President that decided to *really do something* with business leaders to help fix the depression. Prior to him, Presidents (for the most part) let depressions run their course.
But Hoover was going to change this tradition. He wanted to work with business to pull the economy out of the Fed-created boom/bust in 1929:
"We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead we met the situation with proposals to private business and to Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever involved in the history of the Republic.”And in his annual message to Congress in 1929, Hoover said:
“I have instituted…systematic…cooperation with business…that wages and therefore earning power shall not be reduced and that a special effort shall be made to expand construction…a very large degree of individual suffering and unemployment has been prevented.”Hoover's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, tried to warn him:
“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.… It will purge the rottenness of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.”Can you imagine a Treasury Secretary uttering such words today?
Not in your wildest dreams.
Hoover didn't listen, and had enough of tradition. He wanted to go all Chris Christie on the depression; and ended up setting the stage for FDR, who took the baton, and ran the idea even further.
So when I hear that Obama and "Business Leaders" are about to meet, it makes me cringe.
The best we can hope for is that this meeting ends up as nothing more than a photo-op, and maybe some exchanging of tips on who the best call girls are.
The worst that can happen?
Well, the sky's the limit.
They may even take Robert Reich's advice:
Mr. Pres, when you meet w biz leaders today remember they're not the job creators. The middle class creates jobs through their spending.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 14, 2012