Originally posted January 13, 2014, 2:04 PM PST
UPDATED BELOW – March 4, 2014
Chrysler or GM should come out with a new model called the “Abomination.” The Chevy Abomination, or the new Dodge Abomination coupe. How about a zippy new sports car (a hybrid, natch!) called the Dodge Rip-Off ? Better yet, a new wind-powered minivan called the “Welfare”. The 2014 Chrysler Welfare — and a model with an extra large rear end, called the Corporate Welfare.
Chrysler is in the news today teasing a new billion-dollar minivan plant upgrade in Ontario, but what is the very first thing they are demanding? Corporate welfare from the government. Again. Subsidies, tax favors, and so on. Or what the Chrysler CEO risibly calls “a partnership.”
…But the size of the investment means governments need to step up to the plate with what he called “a partnership” or financial assistance.
A “partnership” my round white trunk. This story doesn’t belong in the “Report On Business” pages of the Globe and Mail, which is where you’ll find it, it belongs in the “Government Intrusions into the Free Market” section. Or the “Corporate Cronyism” or the “Corp/Gov Corruption” pages. Or the “Progressivism-R-Us” section.
This is not business as business should be. Or government as it should be. This is just an horrible political/economic ideology called progressivism. And it’s a lemon.
Will the progressives in Ottawa (they incorrectly call themselves the “Conservatives”) “step up to the plate” (as the reporter suggests in his actual words), and dole out hundreds of millions more of our hard-earned income to a U.S. auto company? And will the even more progressive Liberals of Ontario? My guess is yes. Both governments recently did this exact same thing for Ford, again (see my “Ford: taxpayers being played is job one?“ from September 20, 2013).
But I’m the only one concerned about this perfidy. The Globe and Mail covered the story, but has absolutely no questions about the ginormous SUV in the room — the corporate welfare. Nothing. Yet the “Report on Business” section of the Globe and Mail touts itself as being “Canada’s source” for “in-depth analysis.”
Instead, the Globe and Mail “business” (yup, scare quotes) section is so obsequious — or perhaps now so jaded or oblivious — to government handouts, they follow up the buried facts with this factoid, which even then, they summarily ignore:
The Windsor plant has been one of the most successful and profitable plants in the Chrysler empire for more than three decades under several different ownership groups.
So, “most successful and profitable,” yet that statement didn’t make a small explosion go off in their collective noggins?
Apparently if you’re doing OK, that means you get government welfare. Guess I should be getting mine soon. Since I don’t need it.
I’d love to see the state-owned CBC questioning Chrysler’s demands for corporate welfare, but of course that would be ludicrous, since they’re also taxpayer-funded. Oh wait — how embarrassing for the Globe and Mail — the CBC actually did do a more laudable job than the Globe and Mail in this story (which wouldn’t be hard to do). Ironically, the CBC did question the coporate welfare, by asking for feedback from Ontario’s Progressive Conservative critic for economic development, MPP Jane McKenna. I’m sure the CBC is utterly clueless as to the obvious irony, but their reporting went like this:
“We need to create the right conditions for all businesses to succeed,” she said. “You should have a broad-based tax relief. If you just do constant Band-Aids, every time you jump in the water the Band-Aid falls off.
“We are not put in a position to pick winners and losers.”
Then again, the CBC never questions their own corporate welfare — their annual bailouts — or their state-ownership, or the laws which have unfairly protected them from competition — from citizen-owned media. So the irony, and hypocrisy, abound.
What PC MPP Jane McKenna said sounds right, by which I mean correct and conservative. But then again federal “Conservative” MPs and ministers all said good-sounding stuff like that too, before they were elected and started being progressive. And the Ontario wing is literally called the Progressive Conservative Party to start with.
So I’m not enjoying the ride, today.
My guess is that like all progressives, liberals, and socialists alike, government “investment” in the means of production, as we see or will see here, is viewed by the Globe and Mail, and all the other liberal media that said nothing about this in their reporting, as just another welcome opportunity to expand state ownership and its control over industry and the free market generally. It seems it’s not even worth their mentioning it anymore. You know, because this model has worked out ever so well, so far, in places like Greece. And in the quality programing at and popularity of the state-owned, taxpayer-funded CBC.
So this will proceed. Unquestioned by almost everybody. “Scare quotes” aside, here’s a scary quote from the Chrysler CEO, in the Globe and Mail:
“The dialogue has started,” he said.
For shame. Only the most myopic, the weakest possible politicians who have no spine and no leadership abilities, will continually fall for these corporate welfare/taxpayer rip-off schemes. And/or they’re simply corrupt.
Have you driven a government lately? You really should.
UPDATE – March 4, 2014
Seems I shamed them into now withdrawing their demand for taxpayer cash. Yup.
Globe & Mail today:
Chrysler Group LLC is withdrawing its request for funding from the federal and Ontario governments.
The auto giant had asked for some $700-million in public funds to expand its operations in the province, most crucially at a minivan plant in Windsor. Chrysler had been willing to sink $3.6-billion into Windsor and Brampton, Ont.
But the company has now walked away from that request, The Globe and Mail has learned.
“It is clear to us that our projects were being used as a political football, a process that, in our view apart from being unnecessary and ill-advised, will ultimately not benefit Chrysler,” the company said in a statement.
In other words, they found out that their anti-free-market corporate welfare demands totally ticked Canadians off, so they’re going to call it a “political football” now, betraying the fact that their corporate model is based more on politics and government than on quality products being sold like a normal business in the free market on a level playing field with other Canadians.
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