Since GM is In the News


From the economics chapter written over two years ago:

GM offers an ironic confirmation of Marxist logic. According to
orthodox Marxism, the capitalist system becomes fascist as its internal
contradictions get the better of it. As a theory of political economy,
this analysis falls apart. But at the retail level, there’s an
undeniable truth to it. Industries that once had a proudly free-market
stance suddenly sprout arguments in favor of protectionism, “industrial
policy,” and “strategic competitiveness” once they find that they
can’t hack it in the market. The steel and textile industries, certain
automobile companies—Chrysler in the 1980s, GM today—and vast
swaths of agriculture claim that the state and business should be
“partners” at precisely the moment it’s clear they can no longer compete.
They quickly become captives of politicians seeking to protect
jobs or donations or both. These “last-gasp capitalists” do the country
a great disservice by skewing the political climate toward a modified
form of national socialism and corporatism. They’re fleeing the
rough-and-tumble of capitalist competition for the warm embrace of
It Takes a Village economics, and Hillary Clinton calls it “progress.”


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