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The Trap of Progressive Corporatism in the Green New Deal

What they seek at any cost, today as much as yesterday, is to rid themselves of more efficient competitors and use their political alliances to capture rents in the great Green New Deal spending bubble

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Although the current one is the most dangerous so far, the United States has been no stranger in its history of previous collusions of big business with political power under a common leftist ideological agenda. That’s how the New Deal was imposed. And it is good to remember this because what the Biden-Harris administration intends to impose is precisely a Green New Deal even more costly and interventionist than the original one.

The struggles of corporatism

Like Gates – the first and most influential of the Silicon Valey Cartel – today, it was formerly Rockefeller – and the progressive intellectuals and technocrats (the Fosdick brothers, for example) he subsidized – who were the key to the New Deal. In terms of the influence of big business, the New Deal was a displacement of the Morgans from the position of prime corporate influence they held until the second decade of the last century, by a corporatist coalition – which adopted progressive ideology – between the Rockefellers, the Harrimans and investment banks like Kuhn Loeb and Lehman Brothers, among others.

That is why the Commerce Department’s Business Advisory Committee – key to the New Deal – was so influenced by Rockefeller men like Walter Teagle, head of Standard Oil of New Jersey. Spending growth, interventionist regulations, and debt, along with growing socialist influence in academia and the press, were then initiated. And the key was Social Security, with its kickoff in 1934 when President Roosevelt commissioned the selection of the Committee on Economic Security that drafted legislation for the Social Security system.

The selection of the committee fell to Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Federal Emergency Relief Administration director Harry Hopkins, and Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace. Perkins, in charge of the secretary who would have more jurisdiction over social security, was the one who defended the bill in congressional hearings.

But Arthur Altmeyer, former administrator of Wisconsin’s unemployment support system, was the progressive corporatist’s man for social security tailored to the interests of big business. Altmeyer was also director of the National Recovery Administration’s labor compliance division. Compliance, along with capturing rents from the proposed huge spending, were the main interests of big business in all of that.

Although Altmeyer tried to appoint Bryce Stewart, research director of the Industrial Relations Councilors IRC, created in the early 1920s by Rockefeller, as chairman of the CSE, Stewart preferred a more discreet role as a consultant to the CSE. So Edwin E. Witte was appointed Executive Secretary of the SSC and left in charge of appointing the other members. But on the direct recommendation of President Roosevelt, Altmeyer consulted those appointments to the SSC with Swope, Teagle, and John Raskob of DuPont and General Motors.

Similarly, they draw up the list of nominees to Roosevelt for a CSE Advisory Council, composed of businessmen, union members, and citizens. Along with Swope, Folsom, and Teagle, the council included Morris Leeds, president of Leeds & Northrup and a member of the leftist American Association for Labor Legislation AALL, founded by Commons and financed by Rockefeller; Sam Lewisohn, vice president of the Miami Copper Company and former president of the same AALL; and as an academic figure Southern liberal Democrat Frank Graham, president of the University of North Carolina.

On the CSE Technical Council, Altmeyer placed Murray Webb Latimer, J. Douglas Brown, and Barbara Nachtried Armstrong. Latimer, was chairman of the Railroad Retirement Board, a long-time employee of the IRC, and author of its industrial pension study. He was also a member of AALL and worked in insurance and pension plan administration for Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Ohio, and Standard Oil of California. J. Douglas Brown headed Princeton’s Department of Industrial Relations, created by the IRC. And it was them who designed the U.S. Social Security pension plan.

Green New Deal
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a speech on the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill in February 2019. (EFE)

Anti-competitive corporatism

Brown openly asserted before the Senate Finance Committee in 1935 that the main advantage of forced retirement pensions would be to standardize minimum labor costs across the industry, to protect the progressive businessman who offered pensions from competition from the one who did not. Their legislation forcibly increased labor costs to the non-progressive employer. This was ultimately paid for directly or indirectly by consumers and taxpayers. Almost all large companies supported this. In the meantime, the failed resistance was led by small business organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Metal Trades Association.

Brown focused on ensuring that no businessman escaped pension plan contributions, the main concern of progressive big business, and the reason for their support of forced federal social security. Big businesses were already voluntarily committed to costly retirement pensions for their employees. Only through the federal government and legislation could they force small businesses to pay for similar costly programs, taking away the competitive advantage of lower labor costs without necessarily paying lower wages than big businesses.

Finally, in 1934 Secretary Perkins asked Paul Rauschenbush, the AALL lobbyist in Washington, to draft a Social Security bill that was the basis for the one that eventually passed. So don’t be shocked, conservative friend, to see big businesses embracing the cancel culture and funding Antifa-BLM’s urban terrorism. It’s worse today, but it’s not new. What they seek at any cost, today as much as yesterday, is to rid themselves of more efficient competitors and use their political alliances to capture rents in the great Green New Deal spending bubble. And today, just as yesterday, the danger is that the cost will end up being the destruction of the Republic and the end of American democracy.

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