It's always useful to have someone working for you who's well-connected:
One of President Bush's advisers is leaving to become Ford Motor Co.'s chief lobbyist in Washington, the auto company said Friday.Or as Ayn Rand has some of her characters (usually the villains) remark in Atlas Shrugged, it's important to have a"friend in Washington," given the nature of our mixed economy. (I have discussed various aspects of this corporate statism at length, with regard to both its domestic component and its foreign policy implications.)
Ziad Ojakli, 36, has been working for the White House since January 2001. Most recently, he was a principal deputy for legislative affairs, serving as a liaison between Bush and the U.S. Senate. He will start working for Ford on Feb. 1.
"Ziad brings strong Washington experience to Ford, and I welcome him to the company," Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford said in a statement.
Ojakli arrives at a time when Ford and other U.S. automakers are seeking relief for their surging health care costs. A bill pending before Congress would put off for two years billions of dollars in contributions that companies owe to their pension plans. It also would extend some tax breaks.
Automakers also lobby on a variety of other issues, including safety regulations, fuel economy and foreign trade.
In one discussion in Atlas, between industrialist Hank Rearden and his brother, there is this passage about the need for a"man in Washington":
Rearden disliked the subject. He knew that it was necessary to have a man to protect him from the legislature; all industrialists had to employ such men. But he had never given much attention to this aspect of his business; he could not quite convince himself that it was necessary. An inexplicable kind of distaste, part fastidiousness, part boredom, stopped him whenever he tried to consider it.But if you're going to have such a man, who could be better than someone who had been"a principal deputy [for the White House] for legislative affairs"? Who better, indeed.
But please do keep in mind that whatever this is, it ain't capitalism.
(Cross-posted at The Light of Reason.)