2012: Big Oil vs. Big Money: The Case for Rick Perry
Hoisting Beowulf's comment on Big Oil (R Perry) vs. Big Money (D Obama) in 2012:
At least the oil guys actually produce (or rather extract) a commodity of value instead of simply draining money from rest of the economy. M-C-M is always better than M-M (and as every school child learns, Marx favored the Republicans).
I'll let Michael Hudson unpack that M-C-M business (from his piece From Marx to Goldman Sachs: The Fictions of Fictitious Capital)
Industrial capital makes profits by spending money to employ labor to produce commodities to sell at a markup, a process he summarized by the formula M-C-M’. Money (M) is invested to produce commodities (C) that sell for yet more money (M’). But usury capital seeks to make money in “sterile” ways, characterized by the disembodied (M-M’).
Growing independently from tangible production, financial claims for payment [rents] represent a financial overhead [the rentiers] that eats into industrial profit and cash flow. Today’s financial engineering aims not at industrial engineering to increase output or cut the costs of production, but at the disembodied M-M’ – making money from money itself in a sterile “zero-sum” transfer payment.
So yeah, if you had to choose, Big Oil is better than Big Money. To give one example, unlike President Obama, at least the CEO of ExxonMobil has endorsed the carbon tax. Obama's preferred cap and trade market is a far inferior tool on both economic and environmental grounds. But while the carbon tax is favored by everyone from James Hansen to Arthur Laffer, it doesn't provide Goldman Sachs a market to manipulate. So of course Obama couldn't support it. More on this very point in Matt Taibbi's already classic Vampire Squid piece:
The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.
Call me a communist, but I'd take my chances with Rick Perry.
So, OK, Uncle Karl was a PUMA....