Friday, October 9, 2015

Beware the Chamber of Commerce

This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn.

I never thought that being pro-business could compromise one's fight for liberty and limited government. Yet I have learned to accept what Scott Rasmussen argued after the disappointing 2012 President Elections: too many people still see the Republicans Party as pro Big Business.

There is much truth to this assertion. More conservatives must confront this fact, and the forces behind it, then overcome Big Business elements to make sure that their party grows stronger, and enhances the preeminence of the individual, our local governments, and state sovereignty against the federal government.

I sensed this tension between conservatives and the Chamber of Commerce elements within the Republican Party during the Bush II years, especially in 2005 and 2006, when Republican leaders tried to pass some sort of immigration reform/amnesty legislation.

The whole thing fell apart. Even US Senator (then Senate Majority Whip) Trent Lott could not believe the outrage and fallout which followed an attempt at immigration "reform". He soon resigned from Congress, then went on to be a lobbyist (more proof of the GOP Establishment as pro Big Business rather than pro Limited Government. Despite the looming Big Interests in Washington there are too many people in this country who are suffering, who witness the negative consequences of unfettered illegal immigration, who demand enforcement, not more laws, and certainly not amnesty.

What else is it about the Chamber  of Commerce and the special interests promoting corporate interests which rubs against basic conservative principles?

Big Business, a synonym for the Chamber of Commerce lobby, also wants kick-backs and easy loans from the government. Rather than risking their own capital, they seek to influence local, state, and even federal leaders to enact tax breaks or incentives for them to carry on business. The Export-Import bank is one key example of this cronyism, putting taxpayer dollars at risk so that individual companies do not have to put their own wealth on the line. This cronyism was at its worst during the 2008 Big Bank bailouts.

Corporations which overextend their credit, then expect the federal the government to bail them out, or simply engaging in the same moral hazard which will put them at risk once again. Honestly, there is no such thing as "Too Big to Fail" as long as Big Government cannot be there to rescue them in the first place.

No taxpayer loans, no taxpayer bailouts, no phone calls to the Secretary of the Treasury for easy money at everyone else's expense yet without their knowledge.

Corporations and small businesses alike should play by the same rules. That's an essential aspect of liberty.

The second problem with Big Business comes through this point: pro-business does not necessarily mean pro free market. Businesses are the hardest hit in a market system, where they must compete for profits with other businesses, and provide consumers with the best price and product.

Adam Smith, the classical liberal economist who wrote the definitive treatise on economics, had harsh words for many businessmen, who look for any opportunity to collude and force up prices against consumers. It only gets worse when they look to the state to help them raise their profits at the expense of individual consumers/taxpayers.

What is most pernicious about the Chamber of Commerce, though, rests in their pretense and premise all at once. They claim to support individual employees and businesses, and then assert that they just want to advocate for more growth in the economy. The truth remains that they are lobbyists, with non no regards of the long-term standing or general welfare of the United States of America. They can claim to care about  God and Country, but when push comes to shove, they just want to make more money, and if using taxpayer dollars to further those ends works, then they will work every Congressman and staffer to effect that outcome.

The last expose about Big Business? They support socially illiberal policies, Even the Koch Brothers are pro-"choice" and pro gay "marriage." Major corporate interests have pushed for states to relent and allow homosexual marriage, even if the Big Gay agenda conflicts with individual liberty and religious freedoms. Big Business bullied the ultra-conservatives leaders in Indiana and Arkansas earlier this year, and both caved on promoting religious liberty, amending and gutting proposed Religious Freedom and Restoration legislation.

This is awful. US Senator Ted Cruz also called out the Chamber of Commerce, exposing their unwelcome influence within the Republican Party. "If a candidate does not support abortion, gay marriage, and amnesty, then they get no money."

Big  Business

Perhaps it's time for conservatives to realize: we don't need the Chamber of Commerce or their donation!

The hard lessons about Big Business, the Chamber of Commerce, and their undue influence in the Republican Party have been a hard one for me to accept, and yet too many people are content to shout ''Establishment" without really identifying the core problem. Now the source of division stands out clearly. To advocate for Big Business, include bailouts, corporate welfare, big budget projects, and all around cronyism at any cost, is distinctly un-American, and antithetical to everything that the United States and our Constitution stand for.

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