Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cornerstone of Capitalism to the rescue!

General Motors used to be thought of as the cornerstone of capitalist industry here in the United States, at least by the late, former head of GM, Charles E. Wilson, who asserted that, "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." If that was ever true it certainly isn't now. In fact, what has been good for GM, namely manufacturing large SUVs and The Hummer, has not only been bad for the U.S. but, it could easily be argued, the entire planet. Now, with gas prices well north of four dollars a gallon, it appears that GM has figured out that making SUVs and Hummers isn't good for them either. I suppose one could say better late then never that GM has made this discovery, but the auto manufacturer's stupefyingly slow realization that they have, for years, been in the business of manufacturing the automotive equivalent of a toxic dodo bird does nothing to bolster the arguments of those who would have us believe that capitalist enterprise will take care of all our needs in a timely and economical fashion. Don't worry, I am not about to make the case for the institution of a command economy here in freedom's Land, but I am quite happy to point out something that I believe evidences the vast shortcomings of capitalism in addressing society's needs.

And please don't blame "the government" for this particular failure. The government, specifically the Executive and Legislative branches are owned and operated by big and medium sized business interests primarily for their own benefit. As such, government is utterly compromised in bringing business interests to heel in the service of something beyond just the bottom line. If you don't believe this is the case, answer the following question. How could something as ridiculous at this moment in history as owning the massively gas guzzling Hummer allow one, until quite recently, a tax break?

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