Driving the Country into the Ground
Well isn’t this just dandy (emphasis added):
Some soccer moms will have to give up hulking SUVs. Carpenters will still haul materials around in pickup trucks, but they will cost more. Nearly everybody else will drive smaller cars, and more of them will run on electricity. The higher mileage and emissions standards set by the Obama administration on Tuesday, which begin to take effect in 2012 and are to be achieved by 2016, will transform the American car and truck fleet.
Agree or disagree with the concept of higher mileage and emissions standards, just about everybody acknowledges that there’s an economic cost, and this one will hit Americans as (at best) the country’s taking shaky legged steps out of a severe recession. The President has hopped into the driver’s seat of the U.S.A. — which already needed repairs — and opened her up. “Let’s see what this baby can do!”
Even David Brooks — who once fawned over a certain literary academic politician — is beginning to realize that indications of Barack Obama’s intentions weren’t mere rhetorical flourishes:
What these traits do add up to is a certain ideal personality type. The C.E.O.’s that are most likely to succeed are humble, diffident, relentless and a bit unidimensional. They are often not the most exciting people to be around.
For this reason, people in the literary, academic and media worlds rarely understand business. It is nearly impossible to think of a novel that accurately portrays business success. That’s because the virtues that writers tend to admire — those involving self-expression and self-exploration — are not the ones that lead to corporate excellence.
For the same reason, business and politics do not blend well. Business leaders tend to perform poorly in Washington, while political leaders possess precisely those talents — charisma, charm, personal skills — that are of such limited value when it comes to corporate execution.
Fortunately, America is a big place. Literary culture has thrived in Boston, New York and on campuses. Political culture has thrived in Washington. Until recently, corporate culture has been free to thrive in such unlikely places as Bentonville, Omaha and Redmond.
Of course, that’s changing. We now have an administration freely interposing itself in the management culture of industry after industry. It won’t be the regulations that will be costly, but the revolution in values. When Washington is a profit center, C.E.O.’s are forced to adopt the traits of politicians. That is the insidious way that other nations have lost their competitive edge.
We’re gonna spread happiness
We’re gonna spread freedom
Obama’s gonna change it
Obama’s gonna lead ’em