These two news items caught our eye. One in West Coast Sailors, official organ of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, has a big red headline in this week’s paper, “Maritime Administration needs new leadership.”
Merchant Marine guys don’t mince words. They want the administrator’s head. It took more than a year for MarAd to issue a report “identifying ways to boost American-flag shipping,” the paper complained. And after all that time: shipping costs are higher in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world, primarily because of labor costs. Duh.
And what made the WCS really mad was that MarAd didn’t bother to check in with the maritime unions. So, now MarAd administrator, David T. Matsuda, is on the union’s list of bad guys. Matsuda is a career bureaucrat.
“SUP Secretary Gunnar Lundeberg went further stating that ‘the report represents an intolerable failure in Matsuda’s leadership and a missed opportunity on the part of MarAd. It is time for Matsuda to be removed as Maritime Administrator and replaced with someone who will fulfill the legal obligation of the agency of promoting the U.S. merchant marine. The findings of this report are an insult to the brave men and women who comprise the U.S. merchant marine…'”
But wait. That’s not all. In an entirely different industry, the regulatees are also having conniption fits. This time its farmers. The WSJ reports,
“Over the past two years, the Department of Agriculture’s monthly forecasts of how much farmers will harvest have been off the mark to a greater degree than any other two consecutive years in the last 15, according to a Journal analysis of government data. This year’s early-season forecasts also appear to have been way off.”
And, finally, don’t forget the fires and lower-than-forecast sales of the Chevy Volt, the electric car made by Government Motors.
Some people see conspiracies and/or political agendas. We just see ineptitude. It starts from the top — lack of experience and a large gaggle of friends and political cronies who also lack of executive experience.
Investment lesson: You can’t fire these guys or take your business elsewhere. Therefore, don’t all for more government “help” or “regulations.” They don’t work.