Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Cat Fight in Vermont

There is discord in ‘the green mountain state’ of Vermont according to the
VermontTiger.com HERE:

Following my comments on the Rutland Herald, Vermont, yesterday ("Workers Deserve Better"; Lost Legacy) the Vermont Tiger opines with:

“Discovering Adam Smith”:

“The Rutland Herald editorial page has managed to work itself into a lather this lovely Labor Day weekend. The paper's editors think rich people make too much money and it is an outrage and something ought to be done about it. They cite the CEO of General Motors as an example and, fair enough, the stockholders and the board might have considered firing the man sometime during GM's long decline. But that is their business. Perhaps the Herald's editors own stock in GM and that might explain their ire over Mr. Wagoner's compensation package. There must be some reason why they singled him out and not, say, Steve Jobs or Tiger Woods or Madonna or George Soros or any of a number of other people who made a lot of money last year and kept what the Herald would consider a parasitic proportion of it.

The Herald's choice of GM as whipping boy this Labor Day is interesting in that if the company does fail, that will be the end, pretty much, of the United Auto Workers. So, of course, there is legislation in Congress to bail the company out. The number being talked about is $50 billion. Is there any question how Senator Sanders will vote on this bill? Meanwhile, automobiles are being made in Tennessee – at a profit – by non-union people who are being paid good wages. Why should GM get a government bailout when it signed foolish contracts with the UAW twenty, thirty, and forty years ago? Surely the Herald's editors will address this question in one of their upcoming editorials.

Perhaps they will even work in Adam Smith whom they quote in support of their argument about people who make too much money. Smith, they will learn, had interesting things to say about many things. The Herald will, no doubt, soon be quoting him on free trade and, also, the sublime economic results that accrue to a society whose members are left free to pursue their own self-interest

I’d have to be closer to the rivalry of the two papers to give a view on what it’s all about.

Both sides quote Adam Smith at each other, which is either a case of ready access to an Adam Smith compendium of famous quotes or they are both Smithian scholars, well aware of the 18th-century context in which he wrote.

So far it appears to be a case of the former.


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