Back in 1933, FDR, with the help of Congress, created the National Recovery Administration, which for some reason was referred to as the NRA.
As part of the "First New Deal", the NRA was based on the idea that the Great Depression was caused by market instability and that government intervention was necessary to balance the interests of farmers, business and labor. The NIRA, which created the NRA, declared that codes of fair competition should be developed through public hearings, and gave the Administration the power to develop voluntary agreements with industries regarding work hours, pay rates, and price fixing.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner addressed Congress with these words:
The comprehensive reform Mr Geithner refers to would allow the government to monitor various industries that pose a "systemic" danger to the economy and step in if it deemed that the (private) company was about to fail.
What the criteria is for designating a (private) company "systemic" is unknown. So it could be anyone. What the criteria is for determining if said (private) company is in trouble, is unknown. It could be anything.
Yesterday, the CEO of General Motors was fired by the Obama Administration.
And today, the Obama Administration, by way of its Auto Industry Task Force, has begun dictating specific measures the companies must take in order to gain access to more Federal funds
Chrysler, which the administration believes cannot survive as a stand-alone company, must reach an agreement to partner with the Italian automaker, Fiat, in the next 30 days to become eligible for as much as $6 billion in additional federal loans.
GM, which has shed thousands of workers since the downturn began, must devise a leaner business plan that likely will cut the company workforce and product lines even more than officials had contemplated. It has 60 days to come up with a new approach.
FDRs NRA was ultimately declared unconstitutional "because it attempted to regulate commerce that was not interstate in character, and that the codes represented a unacceptable delegation of power from the legislature to the executive."
While the Supreme Court objected to the NRA, Italy's Mussolini praised it because it was the embodiment of the Fascist Corporatism he had set up in his own country.
I've pointed out before that the definition of fascism is much more in line with the domestic agenda of the Obama Administration than is socialism.
Mussolini praised FDR and I suspect he is smiling on President Obama as well.