Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Like my posts on crony capitalism in Mississippi? Check out Bigger Pie Forum

The other day, I was contacted by Amy McCullough of The Bigger Pie Forum, who alerted me to their website's existence and mission.  With a board made up of reliable Mississippi Republican donors like J. Kelley Williams, Ashby Foote, Joel Bomgar, and Bruce Deer, and including Y'all Politics founder Alan Lange and the Republican-leaning MS Center for Public Policy's Forrest Thigpen, I didn't expect much of anything besides bland stories in support of whatever Haley Barbour was pushing on Mississippians at the moment.

Boy, was I wrong.

Ms. McCullough, former writer for the Mississippi Business Journal, has a slew of hard-hitting posts over there about what was pretty much the hallmark of the Barbour administration: crony capitalism.  Perhaps nowhere was crony capitalism more prevalent than in the energy sector, where over $400M in state loans were given to start-up "green" energy companies under Barbour-backed initiatives.

I don't endorse everything about the site.  There's an old video of Milton Friedman on there, for instance, that advocates for the repeal of minimum wage jobs so poor black kids can go work for pennies in order to gain skills.  (Yeah, and maybe we can do away with these ridiculously oppressive child labor laws, too, and teach little Susie a trade!)  However, there's a good bit there that makes me somewhat optimistic that there may exist some Mississippi Republicans who are actually focused on ideas for sound economic growth rather than the MSGOP's hallmarks of race and personality.  At least these appear to be Republicans with whom one may have an honest conversation regarding economic policies without having them blame everything on the blacks and poors.

So go, read, and follow their stuff.  There's a lot of good work over their by Ms. McCullough.


Stog said...

Thanks goodness there were no child labor or other laws that prevented me from beginning a journalism career now spanning over 52 years as a non-paid 'printer's devil' at my hometown weekly; a weekly I later owned after attending 'J' school at USM.

Today I can't afford to pay minimum wage for persons to learn my business. StogTv needs aspiring journalists for eight (8) 'soon to be' cable-captive TV operations in Mississippi but I see no electronic versions of 'printer's devils' on the horizon.

Today's laws preclude me from bringing individuals and letting them learn the business from the ground up as I was able to do.

Anderson said...

I weep for Stog's inability to reap the windfall of unpaid labor.

Jesse Yancy said...

The Jackson Free Press has a long history of using writers without pay, and The Clarion-Ledger has jumped into the vanity journalism market as well, deeming writing simply to be published under their masthead a "labor of love". Print journalism in Mississippi now seems to be composed largely of what we used to call "filler", but now passes as legitimate reporting or commentary.