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What’s good for General Motors is good for American state capitalism

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 16 years ago, in 2008, on the World Wide Web.

The so-called Big Three Detroit auto-makers are among the most publicly visible brontosaurs of mid-20th century cartelized state capitalism — massive, slow, stupid, and probably doomed to extinction. They are amalgamated, heavily subsidized mega-corporations that almost certainly never would have taken on the form, size, or concentration that they took on, had they actually had to do business under the discipline of a free market in labor and capital. In any case, they have little hope of surviving as they are without massive support from the State.

Last year, Ford, GM, and Chrysler received $25,000,000,000.00 in low-interest loans on sweetheart terms from the United States government for research and development on new cars and retooling existing factories. You and I and our fellow unwilling taxpayers will be left holding the bag if these perpetual fuck-ups should happen to default on their loans.

This year, they want $50,000,000,000.00.

We will no doubt be told that this kind of massive government bail-out for failing corporations is vital to sustaining the health of our free enterprise system. As I’ve said elsewhere, one of the strongest arguments for left-libertarianism and free market anti-capitalism is just to take a look at the Fortune 500, and then run your finger down from the top of the list, asking how much of each firm’s market capitalization and revenue stream would still exist in a world with no military-industrial complex, no government research grants or government contracts, no patent or copyright monopolies, no government seizures of land for concessions or leases or eminent domain, no Taft-Hartley Act, no government-guaranteed cheap credit infusions, and no government corporate welfare giveaways.

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2 replies to What’s good for General Motors is good for American state capitalism Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Sergio Méndez

    Charles, please, please, tell that to Stephen Kinsella..he need to know that urgently

  2. CR

    They didn’t receive the $25B in loans last year. Congress approved the loans, but provided no funding as of yet. The loans are going to be made available this year if approved by congress. By the way, to my knowledge, the Detroit 3 are not the only ones who will have access to the funds. Foreign car companies can apply as well (though I do not know the constraints around the funding). In any case, your article is inaccurate regarding any funding that the Detroit 3 have yet to receive.

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Anticopyright. This was written in 2008 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.