As the once great democracy known as the United States of America decays under the weight of selfishness and entitlement, a last bastion of truth is left to fight for the virtues of our founding fathers: The Wall Street Journal. Alas, I try to share the word of the just in defense of all that is great. Beware of Kings promising to deliver the world on the backs of others!
Below is an excerpt of a WSJ article by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
King: Sir Rahm, my trusted servant, God hath vouchsafed me a vision. Confusion and disarray in Detroit, he doth tell me, is from the sin of excess -- they build cars that are too big. I shall reclaim my ancient rights and remake Detroit. They will make smaller, more Godly cars. It will be my legacy. My reign and that of my descendants and surrogates shall be called the Tudor Dynasty.
Rahm: The 2-door dynasty?
King: Even better!
With each step forward, however, unforeseen problems arise. His subjects believe their rights and interests and traditions have been ignored. There is rebellion in the north. The King is frustrated and depressed.
King: What of my disloyal subjects in the province of La Grande Pomme? They stand in the way of my plan to hand Detroit over to my faithful retainer, Ron of Gettlefinger.
Rahm: Your subjects in New York are most recalcitrant, but the law is on their side.
King (passionately): The law knows not the fierce urgency of now!
Rahm: I know. I have recruited a specialist, the honorable Ronald Bloom, a commoner, to help them see a higher law.
Enters a new player, with a distinct northern accent.
King: So, Mr. Bloom, how will you deal with my high and mighty lords of New York?
Bloom: We have a story where I come from about a man who visits his dentist and grabs the dentist by the nether parts and says . . .
Rahm (interrupting): The King is not interested in your colorful local folkways.
Bloom (resuming): Majesty, the mightiest of your northern vassals, Lord Citibank, Lord Morgan and Lord Chase, need the King's favor. Even now they are subjected to stress tests. They will come to heel with a few more turns of the winch.
Bloom: As for the lesser vassals and hedge funds . . . for them, the dentist treatment!
At first, the news from the north is good. A compliant functionary at the court of bankruptcy has secured the King's ends with respect to Chrysler. Mr. Bloom returns to receive the King's thanks.
King: I hear you have delivered to Ron of Gettelfinger and his United Auto Workers a 55% stake in Chrysler. Well done.
Bloom: It is a propitious number -- 55% is the stake I secured in 1995 for the pilots of United Airlines.
King (alarmed): Didn't the pilots promptly fly the airline into the ground with their extravagant wage and benefit demands?
Bloom: Yes. But my firm earned a large fee.
The King's foreboding is amply repaid in the months that follow. Ron of Gettelfinger has retired to a monastery. His men are demanding reinstatement of their health-care benefits and other bennies. His successor, who must be elected by the men, can't very well plead helplessness when he effectively selects Chrysler's management. He meets their demands. Chrysler's costs skyrocket. The people turn away from its products. And Don Sergio of Turin, a fickle Italian city-state, whom Mr. Bloom recruited to build the King's godly small cars at Chrysler, is nowhere to be found.
King: Why hath Don Sergio forsaken me?
Rahm: He says making small cars in the U.S. is unprofitable for his company Fiat when gas is $2. He complains the King's treasury has not provided the funds to subsidize the 2-door revolution.
King: We must invade Italy!
Rahm: Alas, it is impossible. The treasury is bankrupt due to your highness's generosity in providing health care, green energy and the right of every child not only to attend graduate school but to graduate with honors. My Lord, even your courtiers have begun to flee. Because this is a family newspaper and not Showtime, they complain life at court has become less, er, invigorating with the absence of certain distractions available on an R-rated cable channel.