December 01, 2004

Misplaced Gratitude

Our new Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, claims he's experienced the fruits of a Bush-style "ownership society". But look at his bio:
Gutierrez said he left Cuba as a political refugee in 1960, joined Kellogg Co. of Battle Creek, Mich., by selling cereal out of a van in Mexico City, and became Kellogg's president and chief executive in 1999. He said his experience shows him that Bush's vision of an "ownership society" is "real, and I know it's tangible."
Let's see. Got a leg up during the early days of the Great Society, toiled around in middle management all through the Reagan era, and then finally got a chance to be CEO in 1999, when Clinton's high marginal tax rates were supposedly "stifling" corporate America. Another welfare state success story!

In more important news, the Post reports that top economists like James Poterba and John Cogan are all declining jobs with the Bush administration. Noam Scheiber suspects they're put off by the lack of influence they'd inevitably have. Or maybe they just want to get through life with their reputations intact...
-- Brad Plumer 12:20 AM || ||