American Elephants

Obama’s Latest Bright Idea: A “Secretary of Business” by The Elephant's Child

Eight days before the election President Obama turned up on “Morning Joe” to propose creating a new cabinet post: a “Secretary of Business.” Well, that’s not particularly surprising.

The campaign is close, and Mitt Romney is out at event after event saying that his sterling experience in business gives him the knowledge of how to help business to recover and start hiring.

Obama’s understanding of business ranges from infinitesimal to non-existent, as he has demonstrated effectively for four years. So why isn’t the answer a new department consolidating stuff like the Small Business Administration and placed in the hands of a genuine expert, like maybe somebody from a business school, to help business to develop entrepreneurs, helping with exports, trade policies. Should be a winner, shouldn’t it?

commerce (kom′ ars) n. The buying and selling of goods, especially on a large scale, as between cities or nations. business; trade.

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce was Gary Locke,  who was appointed Ambassador to China, who was followed by John E. Bryson, who resigned for medical reasons, and the current Acting Secretary of Commerce is Rebecca Blank.

Wikipedia says the U.S. Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with promoting economic growth. The mission of the department  is to “promote job creation and improved living standards… It has 43,880 employees (2011). Texas Gov. Rick Perry recommended eliminating it along with Education and Energy. Wikipedia has a long sector on “Reorganization proposals.” As economic growth keeps declining, perhaps the federal government does not possess the expertise they think they do.

No one seems to know what the agency does, but the problems that afflict U.S. business are not the result of the absence of a Department of Business, but rather the presence of too much government interference, too much government regulation, too much government taxation, uncertainty over the mandates of ObamaCare, new environmental regulations, new overcriminalization, and the simple fact that government just keeps getting bigger and more interfering.

Administration actions to force public acceptance of alternate fuels have raised the cost of energy sharply, which means everything costs more.  And our corporate taxes are the highest in the industrial world. Obama seems not to have noticed. The president does not understand profit, and seems in general to be opposed to it, as are many in his administration. The burden that ObamaCare places on business seems to be little-understood, and the resulting low growth and high unemployment  are not understood as natural consequences of that burden.

Perhaps we should enlist someone who actually does understand the needs of business.


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