Dow Chemical and a case study in the corporate agenda 

Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris has an op-ed at USA Today in which he lays out proposals for economic growth. Reuters blogger James Pethokoukis goes through the proposals and gives some valuable reactions. I think Pethokoukis basically nails it, and so I’ll just point out a trend:

Liveris, on the pro-government side, calls for huge government spending on infrastructure, federal grants for R&D, and some vague sort of “alternative energy strategy” with “lower carbon alternatives.” On the pro-freedom side, he advocates lower taxes, regulatory reform, and tort reform (or, sorry, “Reform in civil justice”). 

Most interesting to me, Liveris calls for a “pro-trade” policy. Note he didn’t say a “free-trade” policy. Those are two different things. President Obama has some “pro-trade” ideas that point us towards acting like Europe and more of a corporate welfare state. “Pro-trade” advocates I’ve spoken with have derided the idea of “free trade.”

One trade lobbyist told me: “‘Free trade’ is a theoretical construct. What we’re talking about is practical business transactions.”

Dow’s CEO is another practical businessman.

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Timothy P. Carney

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