Power and Influence Players
by Robert Wenzel: Wisconsin
in Perspective on the Protest-Revolution Scale
reaction in the comment section to my column, Krugman
Explains the Wisconsin Power Game (Then calls for the unions to
grab the power), does not surprise me. It is difficult to understand
how power players think and use leverage. Their way of thinking
is far different from the way you and I think. So let me address
in further details why I reached the conclusions I have.
let me state that the charge in the comments that I have some kind
of "sourgrapes" dispute with the Koch brothers is simply
off base. I don't know the brothers personally and have never interacted
with them, or their organizations, other than by my attending a
few of the events they have sponsored at their Cato Institute operation
in Washington D.C.. I have listened to lectures at the Hayek Auditorium
at the Institute and eaten the pretty decent sandwiches that are
provided after the events.
But, when someone
tells me he is a big Boston Red Sox fan, yet I see him always wearing
Derek Jeter shirts and I further learn he has box seats at Yankee
Stadiuim and flys to NYC at every opportunity to watch the Yankees
play, a question like, "Where's your David Ortiz shirt?"
or "Have you ever been to Fenway Park?" does not seem
out of order.
The Koch brothers
openly proclaim to be libertarians, yet, there seems to be little
support from them of Ron Paul (although he may be getting too big
and popular for them to ignore completely) and, like I said, I have
been to the Koch-funded Cato Institute and they have a beautiful
portrait of Friedrich von Hayek, but there is no obvious recognition
of the work of Ludwig von Mises. Hayek has done some great work
but he is no Mises.
And then when
I see them move into the political arena with support for non-Paulian
Republicans and take up a cause that has to be dear to the heart
of establishment Republicans, i.e. breaking up public employee unions,
I start looking at what else might be going on. Again, I repeat,
there is nothing wrong with breaking up public employee unions,
but it just appears to me to be an odd place for a libertarian organization
to focus its energy, thought it is a great place to focus if you
seek to influence power, rather than eliminate it.
just work differently than you and I. They see situations in terms
of leverage and how it allows them to move pieces on their life's
chess board. I am aware of one of the most powerful men in California.
You will never see his name in the paper, but everyone who needs
to know who he is knows him.
although not officially having any control over the process, is
really in charge of what movie star gets his star on the Hollywood
walk of fame, not only which stars, but where on the walk of fame
the star is placed and when. All the Hollywood movie stars know
this. Now, if you or I had this influence, we might think it is
pretty cool. This power broker thinks differently. For him this
is leverage he has on movie stars (along with some other leverage
he has on movie stars who are already on the Walk of Fame). If you
need a movie star, for whatever reason, he can deliver. Do you have
a charity event that is not selling well? No problem, this operator
will have two or three movie stars at the event and endorsing the
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