Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Among the many assertions that Bush made in his SOTU speech last night that I didn't understand was his talk about "protectionism." He seemed to be critical of such practices, because he said:

"Protectionists want to escape competition pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy."

Now these kinds of statements inspire feelings of cognitive dissonance in me when I hear them from our leader. I think of the protections in the form of tax breaks and subsidies given to a company like Exxon Mobil,that just last week posted the largest profit of anyone, anywhere,anytime. Does Exxon need protections? Apparently they do, because they got some in the Bush-Cheney hush hush secret energy plan.

I get that same confused feeling when I think of how Big Pharma is protected in Dubya's greatest piece of legislation, the Medicare Part D drug benefit. Millions of Medicare folks are forbidden to use their collective, competitive bargaining power to lower prices of drugs. The big companies are protected by this administration's bill. In fact, it almost seems like the insurance and drug companies could have written this law (maybe they did).

I would have to conclude that Dubya thinks protectionism probably is OK if it benefits the wealthiest among us.


Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Protectionism for the Rich! Free Trade for the Poor! Socialism for the Rich! Democracy for the Poor!

2:34 AM  

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