The Friedman Method

intelinside 1

I have to say it’s really remarkable that we live in a world where talking to the CEO of a large company reporting that the CEO wants tax breaks and subsidies for his firm counts as serious political commentary. Read today’s Tom Friedman piece and watch in amazement as he doesn’t even consider the possibility that Paul Otellini’s ideas might be motivated by anything other than a disinterested concern for the welfare of the American people. Has Friedman surveyed a lot of CEO’s who don’t think that shifting public policy to be more favorable to the firm they run would be a good idea?

Meanwhile, it just can’t be said often enough that the “competitiveness” frame is bunk. If the government of China makes some horrible policy error and 8 percent growth turns into 1 percent contraction, leading to widespread political protests, a violent crackdown, capital flight, and a decade of economic stagnation that will make the United States more “competitive.” But it would be bad for China, bad for commodity exporters, and ultimately bad for the United States.