Friday, January 31, 2014

Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare.  Liberals complain about it.  Conservatives and many libertarians deny its existence or just simply ignore it.  For the liberal, corporations are bad.  For conservatives they are good.  And for libertarians, they are good, unless chartered by the government.

But when it comes to the government subsidizing them, it is difficult to really grasp the gravity of the situation.  The United States, you see, is run on a corporate fascist model of economics.  In such a model, there is no individual, simply the collectives of the government and the corporation.  In many cases, the corporations that are on top are the ones who have close ties to the leaders in government.

But here are some examples of corporate welfare that most people probably overlook, or simply don’t know about:

  • Farm subsidies.  Most people know about them, but assume that they are going to individual farmers.  Unfortunately, this is no longer true.  Most farming is done by large corporations, chief among them Monsanto, and so all the Department of Agriculture does is funnel money to them while making regulations that hurt individual farmers.
  • The TSA.  I know that many people hate the TSA for it’s fourth amendment intrusions, but in reality, it is a form of corporate welfare.  In essence, we the taxpayer are subsidizing security for the airline companies.  You think that airline companies don’t have a vested interested in getting customers from point A to point B safely?
  • The FDIC.  This agency basically allows banks to take much bigger risks with their money than they otherwise would because all of our deposits are allegedly guaranteed by them up to $250,000.  In essence, it allows banks to misbehave more.  Of course, nobody bothers to connect the dots in this.
  • War.  War is probably the single biggest form of corporate welfare.  The sheer amount of money that goes into defense spending is very profitable for a few key companies.  In fact, I’m almost certain that most wars we have fought in the past few decades were at the behest of the people whose interests were in profiting off of human loss and suffering.
  • Vaccine courts.  When you or your child is harmed by a vaccine, then you do not get to sue the doctor or the company.  Instead, you are sent to a vaccine court where a settlement is determined.  This allows for vaccine companies to manufacture their products without fear of legal liability because those settlements are taxpayer funded as far as I can tell.
  • Non-Profit Subsidies.  I know, you’re thinking that non-profit organizations aren’t corporations.  Then how come some, like Planned Parenthood, will post corporate profits?

The truth is, corporatism is the name of the game in DC.  No matter what law is passed, it is always passed at the behest of some lobbying firm (usually several) representing the various interests of many corporations and other assorted organizations.  Usually they bribe officials with promises of campaign money or cushy jobs when they get out of politics.

So if you have any hope that a grassroots movement will change anything just remember: it will not work without loads of money.  And while you’re at it, you may as well get some subsidies.  That’s what every other movement does.