Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that
“The Chinese government is pushing some of its biggest tech companies…to offer the state a stake in them and a direct role in corporate decisions….While the authoritarian government already exerts heavy sway over businesses through regulation, a management role would give Beijing a direct hand in innovative companies that service hundreds of millions of Chinese.” (pay wall) — and that
“China achieved its economic miracle by unleashing the entrepreneurial private sector….[B]ut state-owned companies are indispensable tools for political patronage, social control and economic policy….With private business already commanding around 70% of the economy, Mr. Xi and his allies have decided to strengthen key state-controlled companies…[T]he state…recently [pressured highly profitable private internet companies] Tencent and Alibaba into purchasing 13% of struggling state telecom company China Unicom for $4 billion. State media lauds such “mixed ownership reform” as a way to boost efficiency at state enterprises, but these deals look more like a new type of tax on successful private companies.” (pay wall)
Although the Journal doesn’t say this, China is going corporatist under President Xi Jinping, who is emulating the earlier Italian fascist model of government. Xi will be China’s Mussolini. A popular slogan of the Italian Fascists under Mussolini was, “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato” (“everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”).
This is the very model that Xi seeks to institutionalize on Oct. 18th when the 19th Congress of the Communist Party holds its once-every-five-years meeting. In the lead up to the Congress, Xi has been purging military commanders and party leaders not fully loyal to him.
President Trump for the most part has been moving the U.S. in an opposite direction from that being taken by President Xi Jinping: instead of increasing state controls, Trump deregulates. He plans to sign an executive order today significantly deregulating the preceding administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA.), aka “Obamacare.” Earlier in the week Trump’s EPA administrator said that the coal industry would be freed from the regulatory death sentence imposed on it by the Obama EPA.
The administration and Senate Republicans are also moving to fill vacant cabinet posts and judgeships. Yesterday the President announced that he will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to run the important Department of Homeland Security.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he wanted to end the practice of senators being able to arbitrarily veto judicial appointees from their home state (the “blue slip”). Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, however, indicated that he didn’t want to abolish the blue slip but that Judiciary chairmen have discretion with respect to applying it.
It hasn’t been a good week for the Resistance, Progressives, and Never Trumpers.
- The Weinstein scandal continues to fester, discrediting Progressives’ arsenal of Hollywood celebrity supporters.
- New York Times probity has been badly damaged by a “candid camera” exposé of one of its journalists. The video is titled “American Pravda, NYT: Slanting the News and a Bizarre Comey Connection.”
- Two cases that could reduce the power of Progressives’ key financial support — trade unions — are now before the Supreme Court.
On the other hand,
- President Trump’s relations with some Republican senators he’ll need for tax reform haven’t exactly been lovey-dovey. For a start, there’s Corker and Sasse.
- The conservative Washington Examiner is increasingly hostile, witness this piece.
- And the libertarian Cato Blog, picking up on Senator Corker’s recent rebukes of the President, has published a brief on how he could be impeached for behavior unbecoming a president.