The idea that US Citizens can conduct commerce outside of government oversight is foreign to the Obama administration. It simply doesn't compute. Free people freely exchanging their own goods and services based on their enlightened self-interest is silly talk to Obama.
People are just too evil and mean spirited to be trusted to wield a wide range of freedoms as envisioned in the Bill of Rights and Constitution.
What is needed, they reckon, is even more crony capitalism, even more politicians working in tandem to identify winners and losers in a modified game of un-free markets. 2012 can not come soon enough.
Accomplishing this sea change in economic thinking will be difficult. The current system of states and cities battling for companies, often outbidding each other with ever-higher tax breaks, is pretty ingrained. President Obama’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, was one of the best practitioners; Virginia topped Forbes magazine’s “best states for business” every year of his term.
But the administration believes that economic recovery will be led by a collection of regions around the U.S., not necessarily individual states. America’s regions will battle those in other countries for supremacy in the global economy.
To use one example, northern Ohio and southern Michigan have been walloped by the decline in the U.S. auto industry. So Obama wants the governors of those states and local officials in those regions to forget they are Buckeyes and Wolverines and work together to reinvent a common regional economy straddling state lines. The federal government will reward regions with financial incentives if they team up; the president recently gave $25 million to a plant in Elyria, Ohio, west of Cleveland, that is producing batteries for electric vehicles built in Michigan. Federal officials say that the northern Ohio-southern Michigan region is poised to repackage itself as a clean-energy center.