ARRA News Service
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Jobber Barons

It's been a busy couple weeks as we finish up the semester at King's. Squeezed in around grading papers and exams we've been writing about Madison's defense of the powers of the national government in Federalist essays 41-44. Among other points, in Federalist 44 Madison shows just how much trouble is caused when political "speculators" take advantage of the 18th century version of crony capitalism. His concluding remark might have been written last week: "...some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society." Inspired by this, in our latest essay we take a look at contemporary examples of what William Graham Sumner called “jobbery” – using the government to make a buck (or a lot more) at someone else’s expense. ~ Matt Parks

The easiest path to wealth these days is not enterprise, but through bending the law to one’s advantage.
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks, Contributing Authors: With the summer employment season upon us, millions of high school and college students are pounding the pavement, looking for “help wanted” signs in the windows of local businesses. Unfortunately, many will find that there are too many applicants for too few jobs—the unemployment rate among 16-19 year olds remains almost 20%.

The Obama Administration’s solution is to make these jobs even more scarce by pushing for a massive increase in the minimum wage, from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. In essence, the Administration is deliberately transferring wealth from less employable teens to more employable ones, creating a smaller group of better paid teens (and others) at the expense of a larger group of unpaid teens (and others). If successful, their artificial intervention into the job market (adding to the already artificial conditions created by the existing minimum wage) will mean that some larger number of teens will miss out on the experience, habits, and discipline summer work inculcates—of much more long-term value to most than a relatively little extra savings or spending money.

The unfortunate lesson for the attentive teenager is that what happens in Washington is as important to their employment status as what happens on Main Street. Many of their elders have, of course, already learned this lesson and adjusted their behavior accordingly—none more so than those at the head of the largest American corporations.

As Doug Bandow recently documented, the impending expiration of the federal Export-Import Bank has many of the biggest American businesses lobbying for an extension of the life of this corporate welfare dispenser. The Bank claims to have created hundreds of thousands of jobs, but in reality it has simply shifted jobs to the Bank’s favored clients (led by Boeing) from those companies that would otherwise have received loans in an open market–almost certainly at an overall net loss to the economy. Its impact on the credit market is equally predictable: subsidizing the loans of the too-big-to-fail banking giants while ignoring the often more financially responsible local and regional banks, a gratuitous insult on top of the great injury that the post-financial crisis regulatory regime (especially Dodd-Frank) has done to the small banks that had little or nothing to do with it, while perversely subsidizing those that did.

A few more brief examples might complete this survey of the contemporary (government) road to wealth. To date, some $5 billion has been appropriated by the government to fund Obamacare-related state health care exchanges. The well-documented results have often been disastrous. Oregon, at the head of the fraud, waste, and abuse line, spent $305 million to enroll . . . no one. Meanwhile, an anonymous whistleblower revealed last week that a federal Obamacare enrollment center in Missouri, funded by a $1.2 billion federal grant, is filled with data entry workers who spend the day refreshing their computer screens every ten minutes while waiting for the two or fewer applications each processes per month to come in.

Writing in the late 1800s, the Yale political scientist William Graham Sumner lamented the rise of “jobbery”—the “constantly apparent effort to win wealth, not by honest and independent production, but by some sort of a scheme for extorting other people’s product from them.” Unfortunately, he noted, “a large part of our legislation consists in making a job for somebody.”

Though the expansion of government power in the post-Civil War era created new opportunities for the jobbers—as the successive waves of Progressive-era expansion have continued to do so in the years since—the problem is as old as the American republic.

Defending the Constitution’s Article I, Section 9 prohibitions on state ex post facto laws, bills of attainder, and laws impairing the enforcement of contracts in Federalist 44, James Madison argued:The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. They very rightly infer, therefore, that some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society.What the Americans of the founding era needed, Madison argued, was relief from the “fluctuating policy” that had artificially privileged “enterprising and influential speculators” at the expense of the “more-industrious and less-informed part of the community.” This is the essence of the corporate welfare, crony capitalist state: a system where the easiest path to wealth does not come through enterprise, but through bending the law to one’s advantage.

There are at least three insidious consequences of such a system–in Madison’s day or in ours.

First, it creates a zero-sum competition for government-sanctioned advantage. As Albert Jay Nock famously noted in his early 20th century work Our Enemy the State, gaining wealth by political means is very different from truly earning it in economic exchange. Voluntary free exchange creates value on both sides of the transaction, but, as in the case of the Export-Import Bank, “legislative interference” just diverts wealth from one channel to another: one party’s gain is another party’s loss. And the general public loses in either case as tax dollars or regulatory privileges prop up one otherwise inefficient enterprise or another.

Second, such a system redirects the energy of the community away from “general prudence and industry” toward “speculations on public measures,” as Madison puts it. Why put in the long hours required to build a successful business, with all the risks of failure that attend the effort, when less effort can lead to much quicker and more spectacular success in the political sphere? A nation of political lottery-players is not the natural material of a self-governing community.

Third, as Madison notes, once the political lottery comes to town, it generates an infinite variety of new scratch tickets: a constantly churning legal system in which one “job” begets another, so that the solid, hard-working citizen comes to the justifiable conclusion that he is playing the sucker for the well-connected. It can’t be good for anyone to spend the day idly refreshing a computer screen—it must be difficult to feel the satisfaction of earning one’s living by honest labor in such a case—but this is merely an extreme example of a much larger phenomenon: the privileging of public or publicly-subsidized employment over the real wealth-producing efforts of those in the private sector. And sometimes, the results are worse than wasteful: witness what appears to be the criminal–even homicidal–abuse of veterans in the emerging VA scandal.

The authors of The Federalist argued that the remedy for jobbery, like so many political ills within a popular government, is the genius of republican liberty as given life by the American people. If the people do not demand an accounting of the improper administration of political affairs, no one else will. In the midst of the 2014 primary and general election season, the American people would do well to visit the excellent websites (here, here, here, and here) that track the unjust activities of the jobber barons and their political enablers. If these folks have your elected representatives in their back pocket, you would do well to help them join the unemployment line come the start of the 114th Congress.
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks are Professors of Politics at The Kings College (NYC). They are contributors to the ARRA News Service. They edit and write for The Federalist and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Jobbers Batons, David Corbin, Matthew Parks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:30 AM - Post Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

View U.S. National Debt

Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More

Also, Join us at:

Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
State Upper & Lower House Members
State Attorney Generals
State Governors
The White House
US House of Representatives
US Senators

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.


Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
ARRA News Twitter
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Common Cents
Conservative Voices
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Patriot's Corner
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sultan Knish
The Blue Eye View
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
The War on Guns
Twitter @ARRA
Underground Notes
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Action Forum (AAF)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
CATO Institute
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Truth in Accounting
Union Facts

Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger

  • To Exchange Links - Email:!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting beliefs associated with the former Arkansas Republican Assemblies (ARRA), this blog/site is controlled and supported by the editor. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2018 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.