Opinion: Carmakers and Other Parasitic Whiners

Navy veteran takes issue with corporate handouts.

Published: 05-Feb-2003

By Curt Andersen
Shocking things happen sometimes. On Jan. 24, I found myself agreeing with remarks from a letter written by the far rightwing Tim J. Beno. His letter was taking to task far leftwing Timothy P. Beno (no relation).

Rightwing Tim was upset about Leftwing Tim's op-ed filled with negative remarks about conservatives. Normally I heartily agree with Leftwing Tim, but Rightwing Tim made a point that I had to agree was reasonable.

Rightwing Tim accused liberals of racial politics, saying, "Their only solution seems to be quotas, set-asides and the perpetuation of the myth that only the government can make things better for minorities. Hard work and determination be damned."

I don't agree about the "only solution" part, but I do agree that certain groups do get special favors.

This should be our new call to duty. If we are to make parasitic dolts get off their fat behinds and get working, let's begin with some ritzy examples of parasitic dolts. How about those polluting paper mills? Those highly paid financial wizards in American companies can't figure out how to make paper without sewerizing every river they sit on.

Now, Sen. Herb Kohl has gotten another $200,000 of taxpayer money to "study" (or delay) the PCB cleanup problem in the lower Fox River. Hasn't the government already spent about $40 million to take care of the filth dumped by these paper mill parasites?

The federal government will give the state $5 million for the restoration of the Fox River locks for recreational use. (It will eventually cost about $11 million.) Why not charge user fees?

Auto manufacturers want taxpayers to subsidize their hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, and President Bush wants to spend tax dollars to develop hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

The airline industry has been bailed out and subsidized to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars this past year. Taxpayers build their airports and put up the satellites that tell them about weather systems, and guide them with GPS technology. Why not include all those costs in the price of a ticket?

Why aren't these groups going to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? The reason is, dear readers, that there is a free-market system for regular folks, and Golden Socialism for the well-connected (by campaign donations). For them, hard work and determination are for blue-collar suckers, or, as Leona Helmsley called them, "little people."

Let me refresh everyone's memory about race issues in campaigns. The 1964 Republican campaign platform stated vigorous opposition to both desegregation and integration of blacks. The difference now is that Republicans leave the offensive phrases out of the platform. The wink and the nod is all that is needed to reassure those who wonder where the wording went.

Breaks for minorities are an excellent idea. Minorities have been stepped on and held down since Day 1 in this country. If America can't make amends for this dismal history, then where else could it happen?

Why is it that every old duffer in ugly pants uses a handicap in his golf game, but gets spittle-flying apoplectic when quotas are used to level the playing field in college admittance and in hiring? How ironic.

Rightwing Tim thinks that liberals are whiners. Rush Limbaugh is the Leader of the Whiners, and an uncouth, selfish, and unmannerly lot they are.

Andersen is a lifelong resident of the Green Bay area and a Navy veteran. He owns a small business and is an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. He is vice president of Clean Water Action Council. His column runs Wednesdays. Write to him via e-mail at curtandersen@milwpc.com.

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