I know that, when we elect the President of the United States, simultaneously elect the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. It now seems that we also elect the CEO-in-Chief.
The President[i] has fired the CEO of a private enterprise. The President has forced major private banks to accept capital from the government. The President will announce today the results of its negotiations with Chrysler, et. al. The President has given “stress tests” to banks to determine whether these banks need more capital. The President has taken over two or three quasi private firms. And The President may convert some of the government’s loans to banks to common stock. And the list goes on.
Now, I have learned to accept the President’s role as Commander-in-Chief. After all, in that role, he does command forces paid by the government. But, I find it a little hard to swallow the President’s new role as CEO-in-Chief. In this case he has inserted himself into the operations of private enterprises. In doing so he has violated the legal relationship between businesses and their owners.
In addition to violating the rights of citizens the President cannot play this role effectively. The President will make political, not economic, decisions in running his newly acquired businesses. He will use political, not economic, means for acquiring the resources needed to capitalize these businesses. No matter how smart the President may be, he does not have the tools needed to do this job effectively.
That’s why socialism cannot work.
Socialism by any other name is still socialism. (Thank you, William Shakespeare.)
[i] By the phrase “The President” I refer to the entire executive branch of the government, present and past.