Tag: private sector

Outsourcing Curation of Access to a Platform Is More Efficient than Crude Censorship


In 1975 Indira Gandhi declared a state of national emergency in India due to “internal disturbances caused by a Foreign Hand.” (She meant the CIA.)

It is widely believed that she actually declared The Emergency (ever since capitalized in India, like The War) because she had just been found guilty by the Supreme Court of using state machinery for electioneering, and she didn’t know what the personal or political consequences of that would be. Anyway, declare it she did and a wide range of civil liberties were suspended. More than 100,000 people were incarcerated as political prisoners over the next two years and there was a very murky forcible sterilization program implemented in parts of North India. In 1977, Indira Gandhi ended The Emergency, released all political prisoners, and called a general election in which her party (the Indian National Congress) was trounced and she lost her own seat.

The Janata Party, the coalition that won the election, managed to maintain their Parliamentary majority till 1980 when internal differences overcame them. They were forced to call an election, Indira Gandhi and the Congress were voted back into power, and the country slipped back into a stupor for the next few years.

The Proper Relationship Between Government and Business


imageBack when I was moonlighting as a Pinkerton security guard in 1976 or 1977, there was some labor trouble at the manufacturing plant where I worked. I don’t recall the exact order in which things happened, but the workers replaced the UAW with the Teamsters in an acrimonious process, and a Teamsters guy came to help them conduct negotiations for a new contract.

One night, when things had been getting heated, my supervisor stopped by at the beginning of my shift and told me what had happened during the day. Congressman Rick Nolan, a leftwing Democrat, had made an appearance at the plant to insert himself into the process. The plant manager accosted him, asking “What the hell are you doing here?” and ordered him off the property.

I had considerable sympathy with the plant workers then and now — and this plant manager didn’t particularly like me — but I think that this encounter demonstrated the proper relationship between government and business. I thought about it when President Obama met with social media companies, strong-arming them to help in the fight against terrorism, which I presume is what has led to things like Twitter’s increased belligerence in shadow-banning of conservatives. A more proper relationship between business and government would have had these companies ordering the president off their property, so to speak.

The Bank of Walmart


13987324872_94e9ab1578_zI’ve argued before that there’s something lopsided about our current political landscape. Whatever it is that the Tea Party represents — and it’s represented a lot of different things to a lot of different people — its consistent thrust has been this: that the country is increasingly run by an oligarchical elite from both parties, that the financial system is rigged against Main Street by sharpies on Wall Street, and that the lack of social and economic mobility in America is a worrying development.

So, ask yourself this: which brands do you trust? Which brands, as an American, do you think most Americans trust? Now ask yourself this: why not the Bank of Walmart? From the The NYTimes:

After years of thwarted efforts to break into banking, Walmart is making its biggest foray yet into everyday financial services.

Obama, a Modern-day Lucius Mummius Achaicus?


The number of Obama Administration attacks on private industry are simply too numerous to count. A Google search of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “War on Coal” produces more than 2.8 million results! But the onslaught isn’t reserved only to the energy industry. The private sector “zone” is so flooded by relentless federal pressure that many of these regulatory crusades fail to get noticed anymore.

One such Presidential war that has largely escaped notice is the effort to obliterate for-profit higher education which the free market produced to fill in the gaps in service from the public and non-profit universities.