Commentary From the Mile High City

"Star of the conservative blogosphere" Denver Post

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
24 (2 entries)
Anglosphere (1 entries)
Biking (1 entries)
Blogging (35 entries)
Business (173 entries)
CFA (3 entries)
China (5 entries)
Climate Change (3 entries)
Colorado (20 entries)
Denver (12 entries)
Design (4 entries)
Economics (39 entries)
Education (6 entries)
Electoral College (1 entries)
Environmentalism (3 entries)
Europe (0 entries)
Flying (2 entries)
Foreign Affairs (1 entries)
General (89 entries)
Gun Control (2 entries)
Health Care (7 entries)
Higher Ed (7 entries)
History (8 entries)
Home Improvement (1 entries)
Illegal Immigration (35 entries)
Internet (4 entries)
Israel (57 entries)
Jewish (49 entries)
Judicial Nominations (12 entries)
Katrina (0 entries)
Literature (1 entries)
Media (37 entries)
Music (3 entries)
Photoblogging (32 entries)
Politics (152 entries)
Porkbusters (5 entries)
Radio (16 entries)
Religion (1 entries)
Reviews (8 entries)
Robed Masters (4 entries)
Science (1 entries)
Sports (9 entries)
Taxes (2 entries)
Transportation (6 entries)
Unions (1 entries)
War on Terror (180 entries)
my other blogs
Three-Letter Monte

Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Best Destiny
Daily Blogster
Geezerville USA
Mount Virtus
Night Twister
Rocky Mountain Right
Slapstick Politics
The New Conservative
Thinking Right
View from a Height

other blogs
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Accidental Verbosity
Assymetrical Information
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Everyone's Illusion
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts

colorado blogs
Pirate Ballerina
Pagan Capitalist
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
Tour the 1939 New York Fair
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

« The Oldest Hatred, The Newest Slander | Main | Moshav Motorola »

Culture Clash

Politicians don't understand businessmen. And businessmen don't understand politicians. Each certainly fails to understand the game that the other is playing, and why they're playing it. It results in consistently unequal negotiations, where one side ends up getting scalped by the other.

Businessmen are in it to make money, but the entrepreneurs are also in it to build, to create, to do cool things. Politicians are in it to help people, but they're also in it to control, to exercise power, to dispense favors. For most of history, politicians had the upper hand, because wealth was tied up with the crown and with aristocracy, which was tied up with the government. Only in very rare instances - fleetinglly in industrializing England and France, and more durably in 19th and early 20th century America - was business able to run its own show.

It depends on whose turf they're playing on. Earlier this year, the academics and bureaucrats over at the Fed got snookered into heavily subsidizing JP Morgan's buyout of Bear Stearns. Morgan had to put up $1 billion, in return for which the Fed bought $26 billion or so of bad debt. The pressure was on, a deal had to be reached, we were told, and the government gave in.

Similarly here in Denver, aviation moguls have repeatedly played the Denver and Colorado governments over DIA. United Airlines got preferential treatment concerning gates, which prevented the expansion of Frontier and kept UA on life support, all the while shutting out new competition like Southwest and keeping fares high and choice low for Denver flyers. Later, Boeing led the governor and the mayor on a merry chase, playing them off against Chicago and Dallas for the right to host their new headquarters. And let's not even get started about Coors Field and Mile High II.

But it works the other way, too, and historically, it's been far more common. We got to build DIA, but the concession stands had minority and women set-asides. For some reason - can't for the life of me figure out how - Wilma Webb ended up with one of those set-asides.

And now, the Big 2.5 were on Capitol Hill rattling their tin cups, asking for our money to stay afloat. The price of this was to be a government oversight board of some kind. They they can't run a railroad, they seem to have problems running a bank, they sure as hell can't run a school system, they gave up trying to run the airlines, but they want an oversight board for auto manufacturers.

Then there are the health insurers who seem willing to sign the death warrant for their own industry:

Wall Street Journal: On Wednesday, the insurance industry's Washington trade group issued a statement saying it could accept new rules requiring companies to cover sick people, as well as healthy ones, as long as all Americans were required to have insurance, with subsidies for those who need them. The declaration by America's Health Insurance Plans is a switch from the industry's long-time opposition to rules that bar the common practice of weeding out customers who are likely to rack up too many bills.


National Review: Still, [Daschle] is unlikely to abandon the contention that decisions regarding what should or should not be available as a universal benefit to all Americans should be decided by an independent body of experts and wise men, not the marketplace or the political process. A powerful, unaccountable ├╝ber-regulator of health care would be exactly what proponents of market-based health care dread.

Having demonized insurers for making money on their product, the government would simply rig the rules so that its "non-profit" share of the health insurance market steadily grew.

There's a chilling line from Atlas Shrugged, where the increasingly meddlesome bureaucrats tell the Midshipmen of Industry, "You wouldn't want us to tell you how to run your businesses now, would you?"


Progressively more intrusive. Progressively more expensive. Progressively more restrictive.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud