This gem is from Thomas Sowell.
For those who don't recognize the name he's a black economist, social theorist and political philosopher.
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He's certainly an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that doesn't mean he wants government ownership of the means of production (a common definition of socialism).
[Instead] What President Obama has been pushing for...is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership [technically] in private hands. That way politicians get to call the shots, but when their bright ideas lead to disaster they can blame [the private sector owners].
Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until those children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates [fabulous] publicity for President Obama. But [when] this... causes insurance premiums to rise, [the president blames it] on the “greed” of the insurance companies.
The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.
H/T David Thompson.