Professional douchebag Michael Moore is threatening to boycott Connecticut to protest Senator Joe Lieberman’s position on the “ZOMG we have to borrow a trillion RIGHT NOW and spend it, or we’ll go bankrupt!!!1!!One!!” health care bill.
As the advocate of the blue-collar worker that Michael Moore makes himself out to be, it’s interesting that he’d want to collectively punish the service industry of an entire state for the vote of one of its senators. Much like international sanctions, boycotts don’t have much of an impact on the people in charge. (Lieberman will not feel a boycott of Connecticut in his wallet, for example.) The people disproportionally impacted by boycotts and sanctions are always the poor schlobs at the bottom: the hotel and restaurant workers that get laid off for lack of business, the cab drivers, and so on. International sanctions don’t do a fat lot of good to keep Robert Mugabe from eating well, but they sure contribute to the malaise of Zimbabwe’s population. The ones at the bottom always get hit the hardest, and the ones at the top always feel the effects of sanctions and boycotts last, if at all. Think about this for just a second: the man wants to put low-wage people out of work by the thousands just because their senator doesn’t vote the way Michael Moore wants. Can you imagine what he’d do with the hammer of government power if you put him in charge?
Of course, Michael Moore’s concern for Joe Sixpack is about as genuine as Mugabe’s concern for his population. The man’s raking in millions with a movie about the evils of capitalism, which ranks pretty high up on the hypocrisy scale, and his greasy ball cap and scruffy beard are supposed to convince us that he’s just One Of The Working Class. (In his world, he is merely enjoying the well-earned fruits of his labor—bringing enlightenment to the masses at ten bucks a pop for a movie ticket—while someone who figures out how to make a widget for X dollars and then sells twenty million of ‘em for X+10 dollars is a plutocratic exploiter of the working man.)
In 1980s East Germany, people like Michael Moore were the mid- to high-level Politburo apparatchiks who enjoyed benefits inaccessible to the workers and peasants. Michael and his ilk see themselves as philosopher-kings who should rightfully enjoy a few perks for the hard and important work they do for the common good, and they think the only reason socialism hasn’t ever worked is because the right people haven’t been in charge. Yes, private individuals can ruin a company through excessive pursuit of self-interest, but that kind of stupid is limited and self-correcting. (The current economic troubles were greatly amplified by throwing warehouses full of public money around to save companies that were “too big to fail”.) Only government power can ruin an entire country, because there’s no corrective mechanism for people who have a force monopoly, the power of the purse, and Really Bad Ideas.