Yet Another Story about Business’ Reaction to President-elect Obama

By December 29, 2008Economy, Labor Unions

In the Chicago Tribune, “Business takes a liking to Barack Obama“:

WASHINGTON — In these scary economic times, the politics of the business world suddenly seem topsy-turvy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers are openly praising President-elect Barack Obama for being smart and practical, for making business-friendly appointments and for a strong economic stimulus package.

“All the old free-market ideologies are crumbling under the weight of this terrible economy,” said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, an Obama supporter. “Even ardent conservatives are looking to the federal government to rescue Wall Street and Main Street.”

Reich — gee, he’s been in this blog a lot lately — overstates the point about crumbling ideologies, but it is true that some ardent conservatives believe that the federal government has a role to play in stabilizing the financial sector and buttressing the foundation of the economy.

Otherwise, there are plenty of reasons business might generally be favorable toward the incoming Obama administration. Here’s one we find persuasive: He won the election, the voters’ wishes deserve respect and he deserves respect. No matter how many ardent disagreements might ardently develop.

Like on the Employee Free Choice Act…

And then there is the card-check issue, in which today’s secret ballot would be discarded in worker elections to unionize companies.

To please his labor constituency, Obama supported such legislation during the campaign, but Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers, said, “Having a debate about taking away the rights of the private ballot to encourage unionization is not going to be an issue that will encourage cooperation with the Obama administration.”

It’s not just the card check provisions, by the way.

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