Hanson: There Are No Socialists

Two unconnected developments were announced this past week. President Obama is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite the absence of a global embargo or horrific natural disaster — and despite a litany of assertions from 2008 that drilling and increased supply might only have a marginal effect on prices.

Like the sudden Afghan withdrawal announcement, the tapping is largely explained by political worries about reelection, as in increasing oil supplies to lower gas prices by election time — and thus avoiding campaign ads equating Obama’s opposition to drilling with high prices at the 2012 pump.

In a second piece of news, the Europeans seem to be winning far more plane orders than Boeing. One wonders whether that fact is remotely connected with airlines’ collective worries about obtaining orders on time and as specified — as in uncertainty whether Obama’s NLRB ruling that attempted to shut down a nearly $1 billion new aircraft line in South Carolina translates into something like “who knows what those Americans are doing next?”

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  • nomdeblog

    Nobody says it better than VDH. So it’s almost impossible to make a value added comment other than perhaps try to relate his post to something closer to home. For example, our out of touch unions in the Postal and Air Canada strikes where they both operate near monopolies. Both are steeped in the culture of crown corporations.

    Therefore when VDH says: So what is socialism? It is a sort of modern version of Louis XV’s “Après moi, le déluge” – an unsustainable Ponzi scheme in which elite overseers, for the duration of their own lives, enjoy power, influence, and gratuities by implementing a system that destroys the sort of wealth for others that they depend upon for themselves. Once the individual develops a dependency on — the entire American version of the European socialist breadbasket — then expectations for far more always keep rising.

    What does all that mean to the Postal unions and their political brethren the NDP? It means that despite the more than fair wages and benefits enjoyed by postal workers relative to comparable skill sets in the private sector, the union leaders ignore those facts and their “expectations for far more always keep rising”. Their utopian Greek fantasy island lets them ignore the peril they put the Postal workers in by demanding too much and driving mail to more electronic delivery or to FedEx.

    Similarly a recent conversation with an Air Canada management person was informative in that their recent experience with the Air Canada strike by 3,800 Canadian Auto Workers employees has led management to observe that while a lot of bookings were taking place online before the strike that phenomena has now increased during the strike thereby increasing the likelihood of layoffs as electronic solutions replace people. Nice going Auto Workers.

    Air Canada also has concerns about its 26,000 employees and the company funding a generous pension plan for 28,000 retirees. Isn’t this unsustainable ratio similar to the Autoworkers at GM? Isn’t it similar to demographics in Greece? In Quebec?

    Bottom line: the Post Office and Air Canada unions should be subjected to a monopoly review by our Anti-Combines Legislation that was set up to review a lack of competitive practices in business. We now have a lack of competitive practices in these monopoly union sectors and they should be reviewed with recommendations as to how to improve competition.

    VDH asks: “Who are socialists? There are none. Only technocratic overseers who wish to give someone else’s money to others as a means of winning capitalist-style lifestyles and power for themselves.”

    In other words the union leaders are capitalists looking out for themselves and don’t care about what happens to their membership. There is mounting evidence that indicates workers at Air Canada and the Post Office will be replaced by electronic innovation and the non-unionized sector. These union leaders are not socialists; they are capitalists who should be brought before our Anti-Combines Legislation because they are a serious threat to workers by pricing them out of the market.