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Calvin Freiburger

Which Party Is Really in Bed With Corporate America?

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Posted on October 6 2010 1:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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It’s one of politics’ most enduring stereotypes that Republicans are servants of Corporate America, while Democrats are the party of the common man. But Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino argues that the opposite is actually the case. Last night, Sean Hannity interviewed Gasparino about his new book, Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street:

Wall Street likes Obama for a lot of reasons. They made a lot of money off him, they believe in his progressive-style politics. But also, I wanted to find out when this began. It began in 2007, where a senior Wall Street guy brought in Obama to meet all these top honchos at the major banks, and they fell in love with him immediately. They thought he could win, and they thought he would represent their interests.

Part of my outrage in writing this book is, I believe Main Street has gotten shafted by Obamanomics. I believe the stimulus package, the fact that he focused so much on health care when we have 10% unemployment, that is a sin, I believe…people aren’t working, construction industry is up to 20%. However, on Wall Street, Wall Street is still one of the most profitable industries around, because when you look at some of the impact of what Obama’s policies have done, they’ve benefitted Wall Street in ways you can’t imagine. Y’know, listen: it’s one thing to bail them out when their about to collapse. We can have a debate about that. But to keep those bailout mechanisms in place during the first two years was really crazy. Listen, Goldman Sachs made twelve million dollars less than a year after they were bailed out.

Over the last five years, you’ve seen many, many more progressives, people that believe in the progressive agenda, social agenda, take over the top positions at Wall Street firms. Take Jamie Diamond. Talk to him about universal health care. He runs JP Morgan. John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Again, a huge advocate of universal healthcare…

It sounds like Gasparino’s book is full of eye-opening background information that would knock the average mainstream media viewer out of his seat (Ann Coulter has expertly covered this ground before, too).

There are two things people need to understand about the relationship between politicians and business. First, every politician needs money to run a campaign, and the perks of public office tempt everyone, Republican and Democrat alike. No party is inherently immune to special interest, and the minute one starts telling you it is, alarm bells should start going off.

Second, the story undermines the idea that talking about the free market is simply code for cronyism and corporatism. While there may be some fair-weather free-marketeers that only talk up capitalism to protect their bottom line or their policy preferences, the interesting thing about a truly free market is that, while businesses can succeed wildly, they can also fail just as spectacularly. They have to decide whether or not to take risks, and judge how the people they employ and sell to will react to their decisions.

That’s not to say businesses magically become altruistic with the decrease of government regulation, that they never make stupid or heartless decisions, or that they never get away with things they shouldn’t. Far from it. But it does demonstrate that the Left’s class warfare rhetoric is deeply misleading and egregiously simplistic—especially during an age where theirs is the side of government bailouts for businesses.

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Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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