Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama: pro-Hollywood, anti-business

George Clooney held a fund raiser at his home for the President last night. Reportedly, some $15 million was raised for Obama's reelection campaign. Around half came directly from attendees to the $40,000 per person event, while the rest came from an online sweepstakes--yes that's right, a sweepstakes--for the "little people," who were able to enter with the grand prize being an invite to the swanky event.

A good time was had by all, I'm sure. The President and Clooney joked around a bit; they've apparently become good friends. Obama made a short speech for the press, who were then ushered out so the party could continue. No doubt, the recent "evolution" of the President's views on gay marriage made his reception all the more sweet for the Hollywood elite. Though I can't help but wonder how the First Lady felt hanging with Clooney and his current lady friend, the erstwhile Stacy Keibler (you go, George!).

Regardless, the main point here is that Obama is in his element with the Hollywood crowd, with this brand of the filthy rich. And as we know, he's also quite comfortable with the tippy-top crowd in the business world, people like Buffett, Gates, and Soros. But if you think about it, it's not really surprising. Because what do people--who make massive personal fortunes in business--seem to always want to do? Make friends with movie and sports stars, of course, sometimes even buying into these industries. Really, I think it's the inherent narcissism of being a "star" and of having more money than God that draws them all together.

Then there are those other rich people. The ones that are still working hard to earn their fortunes. The ones the Administration wants to tax the snot out of. Some are a part of Wall Street, true, but most are running various businesses across the country. They're the ones that drive the economy, by and large. It's not--contrary to the opinions of some--driven in the halls of DC or from a Hollywood mansion.

And that brings us to an interesting point. I've noted before the problems in California, it's shrinking middle class, it's aristocratic upper crust and dependent lower classes, and the rules that create this situation. These problems--and others--make California the least-favored State in the Union for business...for the eighth year in a row! According to Chief Executive magazine, which conducts an annual survey on the issue:
California's enduring place of perpetual decline continues in this year's ranking. Once the most attractive business environment, the Golden State appears to slip deeper into the ninth circle of business hell.
Other sources are not much kinder to California:
The CEOs aren't alone in their harsh critique. The state got an "F" grade in January from and the Kauffman Foundation in a survey of 6,000 small businesses across the nation, and the Tax Foundation ranked California 48th worst on business taxes.
The President like to call himself and his administration "pro business." A little more than a year ago, pundits in the tank for the Administration were even actively lauding the President for being "pro business." Like Ezra Klein. Even early this year, some were still saying it:
The truth of the matter is that Barack Obama is a pro-business president. He may not be up there with the comatose Herbert Hoover or the regulation-chopping Ronald Reagan, but the anti-business rap on the man is sadly misplaced. This is a man who appreciates business and isn't terribly concerned with consumer or small-investor interests, and he and his team prove that just about every day.
So, what's he doing in the Ninth Circle of Business Hell? Telling Governor Brown to start fixing California's problems? Criticizing the green energy initiatives of the State that are going nowhere? Nope. He's good with those, and good with the State as a whole:
From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state. In 2009, he praised its green-tinged energy policies as a blueprint for the nation.
Obama, it would seem, is far more interested in glad-handing the Hollywood crowd, in dining on champagne and caviar with the beautiful people. The average American businessman, grinding it out on a daily basis? Screw him. What's he done for Obama lately?

Cheers, all.

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