Brad Miller cosponsored The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116). According to Brad Miller on his office's congressional website:
“Before this recession, the industries that North Carolinians traditionally relied upon--textiles, tobacco, furniture-- suffered one loss after another,” Miller said. “Now unemployment in North Carolina is more than 14% in some parts. Most of those traditional jobs are not coming back. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that new jobs are going to come from science and research. New jobs are created by the development and adoption of new technologies and America must be leading the way.”
“Plain and simple, this bill will create jobs. It provides loans to allow small and mid-size businesses to keep their current employees and hire more. The Research Triangle Park, a leader in advanced energy, will greatly benefit from provisions that will create regional economies around existing areas of expertise, or innovation hubs,” Miller added.
Can it truly be argued that removing money from American investors and savers, funneling those dollars through the grinding inefficiencies of governance only put what remains in the hands of industries that owe their existence to government is a strength for America?
No! This is not how America became great.
This, though, is what Brad Miller argues, against history, in his cosponsoring of H.R. 5116.
Because Brad Miller brought up NC's history in textiles, tobacco, and furniture a little history is in order. The supposition inherent in Brad Miller's comments is that NC had a strong economy through most of the 20th century due to it's reliance on textiles, tobacco, and furniture and to regain that economic strength we need government investment to seed new growth in new areas. The idea that this is a path to economic strength is wrong headed.
NC's historical reliance on textiles, tobacco, and furniture did not stem from government seed money as Brad Miller seems to suggest, but rather private investor seed money. NC's strength in these areas was a result of individual and private investment and in the case of tobacco, fortunate climactic positioning.
An underrated but more important factor in NC's strength was the fact that it was one state of many in a successful country and this web of states have been able to efficiently support one another economically through the magic of the "invisible hand" and free trade.
In pointing to the success of NC in the 20th century as support for his form of Crony Capitalism, Brad Miller besmirches all NC individuals who had an actual hand in NC's economic strength during that period of NC's history.
Brad Miller's support for H.R. 5116 also indicates his support for policies that threaten to lead America toward a more Mercantilistic economy, more commonly called Crony Capitalism today. American capitalism has already crushed Mercantilism once and Brad Miller's desire to install it as a fixture in American governance speaks to his lack of education. Crony Capitalism weakens America just as it weakened, and continues to weaken Europe. Brad Miller does not seem to understand that if America is weakened NC is weakened as well.
Brad Miller is an embarrassment to economic thought, an embarrassment to America, an embarrassment NC and he should be an embarrassment to himself.