Subsidy Quotes

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To the people who are upset about their hard-earned tax money going to things they don’t like: welcome to the f*cking club. Reimburse me for the Iraq war and oil subsidies, and diaphragms are on me!
Jon Stewart
Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
When the government makes loans or subsidies to business, what it does is to tax successful private business in order to support unsuccessful private business.
Henry Hazlitt
As for the cages themselves, an ordinary citizen who kept dogs in similar conditions for their entire lives would risk prosecution for cruelty. A pig producer who keeps an animal of comparable intelligence in this manner, however, is more likely to be rewarded with a tax concession or, in some countries, a direct government subsidy.
Peter Singer (Animal Liberation)
It has been my experience throughout life that the people who have been given the most by our government—education, food, rent subsidies—are the ones who are most apt to find fault with the whole idea of government.
Elizabeth Strout (My Name Is Lucy Barton)
Not only do fossil fuel companies receive $775 billion to $1 trillion in annual global subsidies, but they pay nothing for the privilege of treating our shared atmosphere as a free waste dump—a fact that has been described by the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change as “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
The ninety-nine cent price of a fast-food hamburger simply doesn't take account of that meal's true cost--to soil, oil, public health, the public purse, etc., costs which are never charged directly to the consumer but, indirectly and invisibly, to the taxpayer (in the form of subsidies), the health care system (in the form of food-borne illnesses and obesity), and the environment (in the form of pollution), not to mention the welfare of the workers in the feedlot and the slaughterhouse and the welfare of the animals themselves.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
It requires heavy-duty interventions: sweeping bans on polluting activities, deep subsidies for green alternatives, pricey penalties for violations, new taxes, new public works programs, reversals of privatizations—the list of ideological outrages goes on and
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
For the admirable gift of himself, and for the magnificent service he renders humanity, what reward does our society offer the scientist? Have these servants of an idea the necessary means of work? Have they an assured existence, sheltered from care? The example of Pierre Curiee, and of others, shows that they have none of these things; and that more often, before they can secure possible working conditions, they have to exhaust their youth and their powers in daily anxieties. Our society, in which reigns an eager desire for riches and luxury, does not understand the value of science. It does not realize that science is a most precious part of its moral patrimony. Nor does it take sufficient cognizance of the fact that science is at the base of all the progress that lightens the burden of life and lessens its suffering. Neither public powers nor private generosity actually accord to science and to scientists the support and the subsidies indispensable to fully effective work.
Marie Curie
In 1944, the G.I. Bill was adopted to support returning servicemen. The VA not only denied African Americans the mortgage subsidies to which they were entitled but frequently restricted education and training to lower-level jobs for African Americans who were qualified to acquire greater skills.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
People who want special taxes or subsidies for particular things seem not to understand that what they are really asking for is for the prices to misstate the relative scarcities of things and the relative values that the users of these things put on them. One
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics)
In Venezuela Chavez has made the co-ops a top political priority, giving them first refusal on government contracts and offering them economic incentives to trade with one another. By 2006, there were roughly 100,000 co-operatives in the country, employing more than 700,000 workers. Many are pieces of state infrastructure – toll booths, highway maintenance, health clinics – handed over to the communities to run. It’s a reverse of the logic of government outsourcing – rather than auctioning off pieces of the state to large corporations and losing democratic control, the people who use the resources are given the power to manage them, creating, at least in theory, both jobs and more responsive public services. Chavez’s many critics have derided these initiatives as handouts and unfair subsidies, of course. Yet in an era when Halliburton treats the U.S. government as its personal ATM for six years, withdraws upward of $20 billion in Iraq contracts alone, refuses to hire local workers either on the Gulf coast or in Iraq, then expresses its gratitude to U.S. taxpayers by moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai (with all the attendant tax and legal benefits), Chavez’s direct subsidies to regular people look significantly less radical.
Naomi Klein
American farmers produced 600 more calories per person per day in 2000 than they did in 1980. But some calories got cheaper than others: Since 1980, the price of sweeteners and added fats (most of them derived, respectively, from subsidized corn and subsidized soybeans), dropped 20 percent, while the price of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 40 percent.
Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)
There are thousands of talented writers at work in America, and only a few of them (I think the number might be as low as five per cent) can support their families and themselves with their work. There’s always some grant money available, but it’s never enough to go around. As for government subsidies for creative writers, perish the thought. Tobacco subsidies, sure. Research grants to study the motility of unpreserved bull sperm, of course. Creative-writing subsidies, never. …America has never much revered her creative people; as a whole, we’re more interested in commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint and Internet greeting-cards. And if you don’t like it, it’s a case of tough titty, said the kitty, ‘cause that’s just the way things are. Americans are a lot more interested in TV quiz shows than in the short fiction of Raymond Carver.
Stephen King
You ever notice how the folks who talk loudest about small government always seem to live in the states with the biggest subsidies?
Lee Child (The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16))
All conservative ideologies justify existing inequities as the natural order of things, inevitable outcomes of human nature. If the very rich are naturally so much more capable than the rest of us, why must they be provided with so many artificial privileges under the law, so many bailouts, subsidies and other special considerations - at our expense? Their "naturally superior talents" include unprincipled and illegal subterfuge such as price-fixing, stock manipulation, insider training, fraud, tax evasion, the legal enforcement of unfair competition, ecological spoliation, harmful products and unsafe work conditions. One might expect naturally superior people not to act in such rapacious and venal ways. Differences in talent and capacity as might exist between individuals do not excuse the crimes and injustices that are endemic to the corporate business system.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
We're a nation with an eating disorder, and we know it. The multiple maladies caused by bad eating are taking a dire toll on our health--most tragically for our kids, who are predicted to be this country's first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That alone is a stunning enough fact to give us pause. So is a government policy that advises us to eat more fruits and vegetables, while doling out subsidies not to fruit and vegetable farmers, but to commodity crops destined to become soda pop and cheap burgers. The Farm Bill, as of this writing, could aptly be called the Farm Kill, both for its effects on small farmers and for what it does to us, the consumers who are financing it.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
where there’s government subsidy, there is always corruption.
Michael Connelly (The Law of Innocence (Mickey Haller, #7; Harry Bosch Universe #34))
In no way did any of this discourage or deter Wilbur and Orville Wright, any more than the fact that they had had no college education, no formal technical training, no experience working with anyone other than themselves, no friends in high places, no financial backers, no government subsidies, and little money of their own. Or
David McCullough (The Wright Brothers)
it is easier to mock and deride individual fat people than to fix food deserts, school lunches, corn subsidies, inadequate or nonexistent public transportation, unsafe sidewalks and parks, healthcare, mental healthcare, the minimum wage, and your own insecurities.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
What is needed is a form of tax which not only spares the small man at the expense of his wealthier rival, but actually subsidizes the small man where subsidy is necessary.
Hilaire Belloc (The Crisis Of Civilization)
…many currently profitable conventional farming methods would become uneconomical if their true costs were incorporated into market pricing. Direct financial subsidies, and failure to include costs of depleting soil fertility and exporting pollutants, continue to encourage practices that degrade the land
David R. Montgomery
If [modern artists] hadn’t lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for ‘art’ that leaves him unmoved.
Yevgeny Zamyatin
...whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it's actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that with our food all the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illness, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water -- of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don't care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
All varieties of the producers' policy are advocated on the ground of their alleged ability to raise the party members' standard of living. Protectionism and economic self-sufficiency, labor union pressure and compulsion, labor legislation, minimum wage rates, public spending, credit expansion, subsidies, and other makeshifts are always recommended by their advocates as the most suitable or the only means to increase the real income of the people for whose votes they canvass. Every contemporary statesman or politician invariably tells his voters: My program will make you as affluent as conditions may permit, while my adversaries' program will bring you want and misery.
Ludwig von Mises (Human Action: A Treatise on Economics)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
And so it went, in industry after industry—shrewd, efficient businessmen building empires, choking out competition, maintaining high prices, keeping wages low, using government subsidies. These industries were the first beneficiaries of the “welfare state.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
We have the money. We’ve just made choices about how to spend it. Over the years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have restricted housing aid to the poor but expanded it to the affluent in the form of tax benefits for homeowners. 57 Today, housing-related tax expenditures far outpace those for housing assistance. In 2008, the year Arleen was evicted from Thirteenth Street, federal expenditures for direct housing assistance totaled less than $40.2 billion, but homeowner tax benefits exceeded $171 billion. That number, $171 billion, was equivalent to the 2008 budgets for the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture combined. 58 Each year, we spend three times what a universal housing voucher program is estimated to cost (in total ) on homeowner benefits, like the mortgage-interest deduction and the capital-gains exclusion. Most federal housing subsidies benefit families with six-figure incomes. 59 If we are going to spend the bulk of our public dollars on the affluent—at least when it comes to housing—we should own up to that decision and stop repeating the politicians’ canard about one of the richest countries on the planet being unable to afford doing more. If poverty persists in America, it is not for lack of resources.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
Are you for peace? The great test of your devotion to peace is not how many words you utter on its behalf. It’s not even how you propose to deal with people of other countries, though that certainly tells us something. To fully measure your “peacefulness” requires that we examine how you propose to treat people in your own backyard. Do you demand more of what doesn’t belong to you? Do you endorse the use of force to punish people for victimless “crimes”? Do you support politicians who promise to seize the earnings of others to pay for your bailout, your subsidy, your student loan, your child’s education or whatever pet cause or project you think is more important than what your fellow citizens might personally prefer to spend their own money on? Do you believe theft is OK if it’s for a good cause or endorsed by a majority? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then have the courage to admit that peace is not your priority. How can I trust your foreign policy if your domestic policy requires so much to be done at gunpoint?
Lawrence W. Reed
The [carried-interest] loophole was in essence an accounting trick that enabled hedge fund and private equity managers to categorize huge portions of their income as ‘interest,’ which was taxed at the 15 percent rate then applied to long-term capital gains. This was less than half the income tax rate paid by other top-bracket wage earners. Critics called the loophole a gigantic subsidy to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, estimated that the hedge fund loophole cost the government over $6 billion a year—the cost of providing health care to three million children. Of that total, it said, almost $2 billion a year from the tax break went to just twenty-five individuals.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
By the mid-1950s real estate promoters of the commercial strip were attaching it to the centerless residential suburb. Both strips and tracts expanded under the impact of federal subsidies to developers, but since these subsidies were indirect, it was hard for many citizens or local officials to know what was happening.
Dolores Hayden (Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000)
Morgan then formed the U.S. Steel Corporation, combining Carnegie’s corporation with others. He sold stocks and bonds for $1,300,000,000 (about 400 million more than the combined worth of the companies) and took a fee of 150 million for arranging the consolidation. How could dividends be paid to all those stockholders and bondholders? By making sure Congress passed tariffs keeping out foreign steel; by closing off competition and maintaining the price at $28 a ton; and by working 200,000 men twelve hours a day for wages that barely kept their families alive. And so it went, in industry after industry—shrewd, efficient businessmen building empires, choking out competition, maintaining high prices, keeping wages low, using government subsidies. These industries were the first beneficiaries of the “welfare state.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Government as we now know it in the USA and other economically advanced countries is so manifestly horrifying, so corrupt, counterproductive, and outright vicious, that one might well wonder how it continues to enjoy so much popular legitimacy and to be perceived so widely as not only tolerable but indispensable. The answer, in overwhelming part, may be reduced to a two-part formula: bribes and bamboozlement (classically "bread and circuses"). Under the former rubric falls the vast array of government "benefits" and goodies of all sorts, from corporate subsidies and privileges to professional grants and contracts to welfare payments and health care for low-income people and other members of the lumpenproletariat. Under the latter rubric fall such measures as the government schools, the government's lapdog news media, and the government's collaboration with the producers of professional sporting events and Hollywood films. Seen as a semi-integrated whole, these measures give current governments a strong hold on the public's allegiance and instill in the masses and the elites alike a deep fear of anything that seriously threatens the status quo.
Robert Higgs
A bonus or subsidy can be paid only by taking money out of the pockets of all the people in order that it shall find its way back into the pockets of some of the people.
Andrew Mellon
He'd sometimes thought that the War College was really a thinly disguised royal subsidy to the local tavern industry.
Django Wexler (The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns, #1))
Giving the banks free interest loans is like the government subsidizing the banks. That's crazy!
Kenneth Eade (Terror on Wall Street, a Financial Metafiction Novel)
In 2018, a paper by David Keith demonstrated a method for removing carbon at a cost perhaps as low as $ 94 per ton—which would make the cost of neutralizing our 32 gigatons of annual global emissions about $ 3 trillion. If that sounds intimidating, keep in mind, estimates for the total global fossil fuel subsidies paid out each year run as high as $ 5 trillion. In 2017, the same year the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the country also approved a $ 2.3 trillion tax cut—primarily for the country’s richest, who demanded relief.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
It is precisely because education is so affordable that the labor market expects us to possess so much. Without the subsidies, you would no longer need the education you can no longer afford.
Bryan Caplan (The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money)
manufacturing false hierarchies based on race and gender in order to enforce a brutal class system is a very long story. Our modern capitalist economy was born thanks to two very large subsidies: stolen Indigenous land ​and stolen African people. Both required the creation of intellectual theories that ranked the relative value of human lives and labor, placing white men at the top. These church and state–sanctioned theories of white (and Christian) supremacy are what allowed Indigenous civilizations to be actively “unseen” by European explorers—visually perceived and yet not acknowledged to have preexisting rights to the land—and entire richly populated continents to be legally classified as unoccupied and therefore fair game on an absurd “finders keepers” basis.
Naomi Klein (No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need)
It is worth distilling this message in order to fully appreciate the irony. The story was that after decades of New Deal–era federal subsidies had created a white middle class, reinforced a segregated black underclass, and created cyclic poverty that made it difficult for many to find shelter and food without government aid, it was black people who were being unjustly enriched by the overly generous hand of the state.
Mehrsa Baradaran (The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap)
We basically used oil and aquifer water to temporarily boost the carrying capacity of the land, all for economic growth demanded by Wall Street investors. It’s a crazy system that only makes sense when you foist all the costs onto taxpayers in the form of crop subsidies that benefit agribusiness, and defense spending to secure fossil fuels. We’re basically paying for corporations to seize control of the food supply and dictate to us the terms under which we live.
Daniel Suarez (Freedom™ (Daemon, #2))
Our politicians tell us we are free, even though most governments take over 50% of what we earn. They claim we get services that we need for our hard-earned money, even though we could buy the same services at half the price from the private sector. Today, we ridicule the slave-owners' claim that they "gave back" to their slaves by housing, clothing, feeding them, and bestowing upon them the "benefits" of civilization instead of leaving them in their native state. We see this as a self-serving justification for exploitation. In the future, we will view being forcibly taxed to pay for things we don't want, such as bombs for the Middle East, subsidies for tobacco, other people's abortions, regulations that put small businesses out of business, prisons for people trying to feel good, keeping life-saving medications out of the hands of dying people, etc., as taking away our freedom. When even a small portion of our lives is spent enslaved, that part tends to dominate the rest of our time. If we don't put our servitude first as we structure the remainder of our lives, our masters will make sure we regret it. How much freedom do we need to survive and how much do we need to thrive?
Mary J. Ruwart
One by one, members of the Commons, speaking in turn at a lectern in the center of the chamber, added their charges and complaints. The King’s councillors, they said, had grown rich at the cost of impoverishing the nation; they had deceived the King and wasted his revenues, causing the repeated demands for fresh subsidies. The people were too poor and feeble to endure further taxation. Let Parliament discuss instead how the King might maintain the war out of his own resources.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
I hope you're appreciating the rich irony here: hospitals and doctors are using the Medicare subsidy (Medicare is the federal agency that doles out the HITECH dollars) to buy computer systems that allow them to bill Medicare more effectively.
Robert M. Wachter (The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age)
In effect, the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access by their contribution to reducing the media's costs of acquiring the raw materials of, and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become "routine" news sources have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers. It should also be noted that in the case of the largesse of the Pentagon and the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy, the subsidy is at the taxpayers' expense, so that, in effect, the citizenry pays to be propagandized in the interest of powerful groups such as military contractors and other sponsors of state terrorism.
Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
In the 1954 Internal Revenue Code, a Republican Congress changed forty-year, straight-line depreciation for buildings to permit 'accelerated depreciation' of greenfield income-producing property in seven years. By enabling owners to depreciate or write off the value of a building in such a short time, the law created a gigantic hidden subsidy for the developers of cheap new commercial buildings located on strips. Accelerated depreciation not only encouraged poor construction, it also discouraged maintenance...After time, the result was abandonment.
Dolores Hayden (Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000)
The next time you drive into a Walmart parking lot, pause for a second to note that this Walmart—like the more than five thousand other Walmarts across the country—costs taxpayers about $1 million in direct subsidies to the employees who don’t earn enough money to pay for an apartment, buy food, or get even the most basic health care for their children. In total, Walmart benefits from more than $7 billion in subsidies each year from taxpayers like you. Those “low, low prices” are made possible by low, low wages—and by the taxes you pay to keep those workers alive on their low, low pay. As I said earlier, I don’t think that anyone who works full-time should live in poverty. I also don’t think that bazillion-dollar companies like Walmart ought to funnel profits to shareholders while paying such low wages that taxpayers must pick up the ticket for their employees’ food, shelter, and medical care. I listen to right-wing loudmouths sound off about what an outrage welfare is and I think, “Yeah, it stinks that Walmart has been sucking up so much government assistance for so long.” But somehow I suspect that these guys aren’t talking about Walmart the Welfare Queen. Walmart isn’t alone. Every year, employers like retailers and fast-food outlets pay wages that are so low that the rest of America ponies up a collective $153 billion to subsidize their workers. That’s $153 billion every year. Anyone want to guess what we could do with that mountain of money? We could make every public college tuition-free and pay for preschool for every child—and still have tens of billions left over. We could almost double the amount we spend on services for veterans, such as disability, long-term care, and ending homelessness. We could double all federal research and development—everything: medical, scientific, engineering, climate science, behavioral health, chemistry, brain mapping, drug addiction, even defense research. Or we could more than double federal spending on transportation and water infrastructure—roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, dams and levees, water treatment plants, safe new water pipes. Yeah, the point I’m making is blindingly obvious. America could do a lot with the money taxpayers spend to keep afloat people who are working full-time but whose employers don’t pay a living wage. Of course, giant corporations know they have a sweet deal—and they plan to keep it, thank you very much. They have deployed armies of lobbyists and lawyers to fight off any efforts to give workers a chance to organize or fight for a higher wage. Giant corporations have used their mouthpiece, the national Chamber of Commerce, to oppose any increase in the minimum wage, calling it a “distraction” and a “cynical effort” to increase union membership. Lobbyists grow rich making sure that people like Gina don’t get paid more. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.
Glenn Reynolds
Finally, Democrats could consider more comprehensive labor market policies, such as more extensive job training, wage subsidies for employers to train and retain workers, work-study programs for high school and community-college students, and mobility allowances for displaced employees.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
How can one talk about the economics of small independent countries? How can one discuss a problem that is a non-problem? There is no such thing as the viability of states or of nations, there is only a problem of viability of people: people, actual persons like you and me, are viable when they can stand on their own feet and earn their keep. You do not make nonviable people viable by putting large numbers of them into one huge community, and you do not make viable people non-viable by splitting a large community into a number of smaller, more intimate, more coherent and more manageable groups. All this is perfectly obvious and there is absolutely nothing to argue about. Some people ask: 'What happens when a country, composed of one rich province and several poor ones, falls apart because the rich province secedes?' Most probably the answer is: 'Nothing very much happens.' The rich will continue to be rich and the poor will continue to be poor. 'But if, before secession, the rich province had subsidised the poor, what happens then?' Well then, of course, the subsidy might stop. But the rich rarely subsidise the poor; more often they exploit them.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
Plunder by force or subterfuge is called theft, larceny, burglary, swindling. Plunder under color of law can take the form of ‘economic regulation’, ‘too big to fail’, ‘corporate subsidies’, bail-outs, tax exemptions, and a plethora of other noble-sounding, but ultimately self-serving programs.
Joseph Befumo (The Republicrat Junta: How Two Corrupt Parties, in Collusion with Corporate Criminals, have Subverted Democracy, Deceived the People, and Hijacked Our Constitutional Government)
As in the past, therefore, eastern Europeans have had to compete with the West on a markedly uneven playing field, lacking local capital and foreign markets and able to export only low-margin foods and raw materials or else industrial and consumer goods kept cheap thanks to low wages and public subsidy.
Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945)
Extorting money in the form of campaign contributions is not simply about getting reelected. Many politicians aggressively fund-raise even though they face little or no opposition for reelection. Politicians have discovered a creative way to transfer donations into subsidies designed to benefit their lifestyles
Peter Schweizer (Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets)
But men in their role of taxpayers will be subsidizing themselves in their role of consumers. It becomes a little difficult to trace in this maze precisely who is subsidizing whom. What is forgotten is that subsidies are paid for by someone, and that no method has been discovered by which the community gets something for nothing.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
So the much criticized food subsidy and employment guarantee for the poor and the unemployed cost about 1.14 per cent of GDP, whereas the cost of subsidizing electricity, fuel and fertilizers for the relatively better off is minimally 2.63 per cent, more than twice what is allocated to feed the poor and provide employment to the unemployed.
Amartya Sen (A Wish a Day for a Week)
That was when the Venetians made an important discovery. More money could be made buying and selling salt than producing it. Beginning in 1281, the government paid merchants a subsidy on salt landed in Venice from other areas. As a result, shipping salt to Venice became so profitable that the same merchants could afford to ship other goods at prices that undersold their competitors. Growing fat on the salt subsidy, Venice merchants could afford to send ships to the eastern Mediterranean, where they picked up valuable cargoes of Indian spices and sold them in western Europe at low prices that their non-Venetian competitors could not afford to offer. This meant that the Venetian public was paying extremely high prices for salt, but they did not mind expensive salt if they could dominate the spice trade and be leaders in the grain trade. When grain harvests failed in Italy, the Venetian government would use its salt income to subsidize grain imports from other parts of the Mediterranean and thereby corner the Italian grain market.
Mark Kurlansky (Salt: A World History)
There’s only one thing that the ruling circles throughout history have ever wanted-all the wealth, the treasures, and the profitable returns; all the choice lands and forests and game and herds and harvests and mineral deposits and precious metals of the earth; all the productive facilities and gainful inventiveness and technologies; all the control positions of the state and other major institutions; all public supports and subsidies, privileges and immunities; all the protections of the law and none of its constraints; all of the services and comforts and luxuries and advantages of civil society with none of the taxes and none of the costs. Every ruling class in history has wanted only this-all the rewards and none of the burdens.
Michael Parenti
What was shocking were the rewards my father's cousins had gathered in the intervening couple of decades. They farmed now on thousands of acres, not hundreds. They drove fancy pickup trucks, owned lakefront property and second homes. A simple Internet search offered the truth of where their riches had come from: good ol' Uncle Sam. Recently I clicked again on a database of farm subsidy payments, and found that five of my father's first cousins had been paid, all told, $3 million between 1995 and 2005 - and that on top of whatever they'd earned outright for the sale of their corn and soybeans. They worked hard, certainly. They'd saved and scrimped through the lean years. They were good and honorable yeoman, and now they'd come through to their great reward: a prime place at the trough of the welfare state. All that corn syrup guzzled down the gullets of America's overweight children, all that beef inefficiently fattened on cheap feed, all that ethanol being distilled in heartland refineries: all of it underwritten by as wasteful a government program as now exists this side of the defense industry. In the last ten years, the federal government has paid $131 million in subsidies and disaster insurance in just the county [in Minnesota] where I grew up. Corn is subsidized to keep it cheap, and the subsidies encourage overproduction, which encourages a scramble for ever more ways to use corn, and thus bigger subsidies - the perfect feedback loop of government welfare.
Philip Connors
Abstract design is all right—for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation . . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce—render emotional-his audience, each time. These laddies who won’t deign to do that—and perhaps can’t—of course lost the public. If they hadn’t lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for ‘art’ that leaves him unmoved—if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such.” “You
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
All of this suggests that we reconsider our huge subsidies and encouragements of school. Yes, there are benefits to credentialing and sorting students—namely, the economic efficiency that results from getting higher-skilled workers into more important jobs. But the benefits seem to pale next to the enormous monetary, psychic, and social waste of the education tournament.19
Kevin Simler (The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life)
The air, soil and water cumulatively degrade; the climates and oceans destabilize; species become extinct at a spasm rate across continents; pollution cycles and volumes increase to endanger life-systems at all levels in cascade effects; a rising half of the world is destitute as inequality multiplies; the global food system produces more and more disabling and contaminated junk food without nutritional value; non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer with only symptom cures; the vocational future of the next generation collapses across the world while their bank debts rise; the global financial system has ceased to function for productive investment in life-goods; collective-interest agencies of governments and unions are stripped while for-profit state subsidies multiply; police state laws and methods advance while belligerent wars for corporate resources increase; the media are corporate ad vehicles and the academy is increasingly reduced to corporate functions; public sectors and services are non-stop defunded and privatized as tax evasion and transnational corporate funding and service by governments rise at the same time at every level.
John McMurtry (The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Care, 2nd Edition)
Make America Great Again”—ripped off from Ronald Reagan, and traced the decline of the country to the mid-1960s. Though he didn’t mention the Johnson era’s Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, or public subsidies for housing and health care, Trump’s dog whistle was just the right pitch to attract the support of white supremacists and nearly all-white crowds of thousands at his campaign rallies.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
Who subsidizes the consumers will depend upon the incidence of taxation. But men in their role of taxpayers will be subsidizing themselves in their role of consumers. It becomes a little difficult to trace in this maze precisely who is subsidizing whom. What is forgotten is that subsidies are paid for by someone, and that no method has been discovered by which the community gets something for nothing.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
In no way did any of this discourage or deter Wilbur and Orville Wright, any more than the fact that they had had no college education, no formal technical training, no experience working with anyone other than themselves, no friends in high places, no financial backers, no government subsidies, and little money of their own. Or the entirely real possibility that at some point, like Otto Lilienthal, they could be killed.
David McCullough (The Wright Brothers)
At the same time, I began to question the efficacy of government for improving human lives. I came to suspect that taxation, restrictions, mandates, subsidies, licenses, tariffs, bailouts, prohibitions and all the rest, even if well-intended, usually protect monopoly, cause recession, burden the poor, enforce racial discrimination (as I learned from Jennifer Roback, the Jim Crow laws were legislation), obstruct education, and so on.
Howard Baetjer Jr. (Free Our Markets: A Citizens' Guide to Essential Economics)
In the meantime, powerful industries and business investors spend considerable sums of money in secretive lobbying; persuading, cajoling and needling politicians to pursue policies that are, in effect, corporate welfare programmes. Corporations and banks receive huge public subsidies and bailouts, while the rest of us are largely left to the cold biting winds of ‘market’ economics. It’s socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the rest of us.
David Cromwell (Why Are We The Good Guys?: Reclaiming Your Mind From The Delusions Of Propaganda)
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole --with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
Less than a decade after the explosion of the first atom bomb the megamachine had expanded to a point where it began to dominate key areas of the whole economy of the United States: its system of control reached beyond the airfields, the rocket sites, the bomb factories, the universities, to a hundred other related areas, tying the once separate and independent enterprises to a central organization whose irrational and humanly subversive policies ensured the still further expansion of the megamachine. Financial subventions, research grants, educational subsidies, all worked unceasingly for the 'Life, Prosperity, Health' of the new rulers, headed by Goliaths in brass armor bellowing threats of defiance and destruction at the entire world. In a short time, the original military-industrial-scientific elite became the supreme Pentagon of Power, for it incorporated likewise both the bureaucratic and the educational establishments.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
have the solution to hungry children in America. Nobody wants to do it, but here goes: Fucking feed people. Cancel the programs where we pay farmers not to farm, and grow food. Buy it from them and use it in schools. Create real jobs. Fund SNAP. Stop calling it welfare and start calling it something that describes what it is: a subsidy like any other so that the people actually moving this huge wheel of capitalism can live decent, maybe basic but still pleasant lives.
Linda Tirado (Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America)
Still, it is argued that millions of people benefit from such programs. Of course, trillions of dollars in government expenditures over many years most assuredly benefit the recipients of subsidies or other related payments. But this does not change the arithmetic. The eventual collapse of a colossal government venture will indiscriminately engulf an entire society and economy, including its millions of beneficiaries and benefactors, resulting in widespread disorder and misery.
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
The sociopaths’ goal is to wring every last dollar from the system, and any investment that could not be fully realized within Boomer lifetimes was to be avoided. Therefore, the nation’s infrastructure, built by the Boomers’ parents and once the world’s finest, was allowed to decay. Henceforth, state-sponsored research would be radically curtailed. Higher education was neglected; the Boomers had their cost-free diplomas in hand, so meaningful reform and costly subsidies were no longer relevant.
Bruce Cannon Gibney (A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America)
In many of these subsidy programs, no jobs are created. Instead the state income taxes are given to companies that agree to move jobs from one state across the border to another, as AMC Theatres agreed to do in moving its headquarters from Kansas City, Missouri, to Leawood, Kansas, just ten miles away. AMC will get to pocket $47 million withheld from its workers, a boon to its major owners: J. P. Morgan, Apollo Management, the Carlyle Group and the firm Mitt Romney cofounded in 1984, Bain Capital Management.
David Cay Johnston (The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind)
I am convinced that this can change, that if people were more aware of how their money is being used, the needless destruction, the monomania, driven by farm subsidies – across Europe and in several other parts of the world – would come to an end. This, more than any other measure, would permit the trees to grow, bring the songbirds back, prompt the gradual recolonization of nature, release the ecological processes that have been suppressed for so long. In other words, it would allow a partial rewilding of the land.
George Monbiot (Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding)
In the thirty years leading up to the Civil War, the law was increasingly interpreted in the courts to suit the capitalist development of the country. Studying this, Morton Horwitz (The Transformation of American Law) points out that the English commonlaw was no longer holy when it stood in the way of business growth. Mill owners were given the legal right to destroy other people’s property by flood to carry on their business. The law of “eminent domain” was used to take farmers’ land and give it to canal companies or railroad companies as subsidies. Judgments for damages against businessmen were taken out of the hands of juries, which were unpredictable, and given to judges. Private settlement of disputes by arbitration was replaced by court settlements, creating more dependence on lawyers, and the legal profession gained in importance. The ancient idea of a fair price for goods gave way in the courts to the idea of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), thus throwing generations of consumers from that time on to the mercy of businessmen.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
But it is far more important that we allow developing countries to use protection, subsidies, and regulation of foreign investment adequately in order to develop their own economies, rather than giving them bigger agricultural markets overseas. Especially if agricultural liberalization by the rich countries can only be 'bought' by the developing countries giving up their use of the tools of infant industry promotion, the price is not worth paying. Developing countries should not be forced to sell their future for small immediate gains.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
If education causes better economic understanding, there is an argument for education subsidies—albeit not necessarily higher subsidies than we have now.62 If the connection is not causal, however, throwing money at education treats a symptom of economic illiteracy, not the disease. You would get more bang for your buck by defunding efforts to “get out the vote.”63 One intriguing piece of evidence against the causal theory is that educational attainment rose substantially in the postwar era, but political knowledge stayed about the same.64
Bryan Caplan (The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies - New Edition)
The place to start is with a true history of capitalism and globalization, which I examine in the next two chapters (chapters 1 and 2). In these chapters, I will show how many things that the reader may have accepted as ‘historical facts’ are either wrong or partial truths. Britain and the US are not the homes of free trade; in fact, for a long time they were the most protectionist countries in the world. Not all countries have succeeded through protection and subsidies, but few have done so without them. For developing countries, free trade has rarely been a matter of choice; it was often an imposition from outside, sometimes even through military power. Most of them did very poorly under free trade; they did much better when they used protection and subsidies. The best-performing economies have been those that opened up their economies selectively and gradually. Neo-liberal free-trade free-market policy claims to sacrifice equity for growth, but in fact it achieves neither; growth has slowed down in the past two and a half decades when markets were freed and borders opened.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to follow the Tao. Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself. The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be. The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be. The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be. Therefore the Master says: I let go of the law, and people become honest. I let go of economics, and people become prosperous. I let go of religion, and people become serene. I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes common as grass.
Lao Tzu
Printing dollars at home means higher inflation in China, higher food prices in Egypt and stock bubbles in Brazil. Printing money means that U.S. debt is devalued so foreign creditors get paid back in cheaper dollars. The devaluation means higher unemployment in developing economies as their exports become more expensive for Americans. The resulting inflation also means higher prices for inputs needed in developing economies like copper, corn, oil and wheat. Foreign countries have begun to fight back against U.S.-caused inflation through subsidies, tariffs and capital controls; the currency war is expanding fast.
James Rickards (Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis)
Even today, the suburbs remain such an illogical system of living that they require immense subsidy in order to function (and they still function poorly). For the privilege of enduring traffic, air pollution, isolation, and monotony, Americans subsidize the suburbs to the tune of $100 billion a year. Without massive highway funding as well as fuel and mortgage subsidies, the suburbs could not exist. These subsidies to the suburbs have given us the twin illusions that the American city was in some sort of natural tailspin for decades and that the suburbs are inherently more desirable, when in reality the suburbs are just better funded.
P.E. Moskowitz (How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood)
This nation was founded on the principle of wealth creation. As a young Henry Clay said in the House of Representatives in 1812, “It [wealth creation] is a passion as unconquerable as any with which nature has endowed us. You may attempt to regulate—you cannot destroy it.” That is supposed to be the federal government’s primary objective. It is supposed to promote the creation of an environment conducive to the creation of wealth—not job creation, not bailouts, not subsidies, not expansion of the federal bureaucracy, and not providing lifetime support to those who choose not to take advantage of the innumerable opportunities that exist in this nation for them to create a better, more productive life for themselves.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
Nuclear power is a permanent disaster. Producing its uranium fuel is an environmental disaster - now tucked and folded over the horizon in mostly-poor countries where miners are paid $5 a day and unprotected against radiation. Building reactors is a financial disaster, always shifted to government subsidies. Waste disposal is both an environmental and economic disaster. When the fateful time comes to decommission the Doomsday Machines, after the easy 10-year life extensions run out, this is another economic disaster. But when a reactor becomes what it really is - the most massive Dirty Bomb you or Bin Laden (radhi Allah anhu) can imagine - the nuclear disaster will be hard to yank out of the media, quicktime, and carry on like nothing ever happened.
Andrew McKillop (The Final Energy Crisis)
We tend to cling to what we know and resist what is new—even when the new brings tremendous benefits. Opposition to onshore wind turbines in the UK is a good example. Even though onshore wind is now the cheapest form of energy6 (cheaper than coal, oil, gas, and other renewable sources), rural landowners have significantly resisted it, keen to preserve the appearance of the countryside. When the Conservative Party (which derives much of its support from these rural communities) came to power in 2015, it slashed subsidies and changed planning laws for onshore wind—leading to an 80 percent reduction in new capacity.7 Only now, with climate change awareness rapidly rising among the UK public, is support for onshore wind starting to outweigh an attachment to yesterday’s aesthetics.
Christiana Figueres (The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis)
Think about ethanol again. The benefits of that $7 billion tax subsidy are bestowed on a small group of farmers, making it quite lucrative for each one of them. Meanwhile, the costs are spread over the remaining 98 percent of us, putting ethanol somewhere below good oral hygiene on our list of everyday concerns. The opposite would be true with my plan to have left-handed voters pay subsidies to right-handed voters. There are roughly nine right-handed Americans for every lefty, so if every right-handed voter were to get some government benefit worth $100, then every left-handed voter would have to pay $900 to finance it. The lefties would be hopping mad about their $900 tax bills, probably to the point that it became their preeminent political concern, while the righties would be only modestly excited about their $100 subsidy. An adept politician would probably improve her career prospects by voting with the lefties. Here is a curious finding that makes more sense in light of what we‘ve just discussed. In countries where farmers make up a small fraction of the population, such as America and Europe, the government provides large subsidies for agriculture. But in countries where the farming population is relatively large, such as China and India, the subsidies go the other way. Farmers are forced to sell their crops at below-market prices so that urban dwellers can get basic food items cheaply. In the one case, farmers get political favors; in the other, they must pay for them. What makes these examples logically consistent is that in both cases the large group subsidizes the smaller group. In politics, the tail can wag the dog. This can have profound effects on the economy.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science)
Once everyone can enrich their souls for free, government subsidies for enrichment forfeit their rationale. To object, 'But most people don't use the Internet for spiritual enrichment' is actually a damaging admission that eager students are few and far between. Subsidized education's real aim isn't to make ideas and culture accessible to anyone who's interested, but to make them mandatory for everyone who *isn't* interested . . . The rise of the Internet has two unsettling lessons . . . First: the humanist case for education subsidies is flimsy today because the Internet makes enlightenment practically free. Second: the humanist case for education subsidies was flimsy all along because the Internet proves low consumption of ideas and culture stems from apathy, not poverty or inconvenience. Behold: when the price of enlightenment drops to zero, remains embarrassingly scarce.
Bryan Caplan (The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money)
When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase credit, it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
As usual in such matters, there were as many opinions about why the mackerel had scarcely appeared this year as there were people to ask. A local fishmonger told me with great authority that a monstrous new ship was operating in the Irish Sea, fishing not with a net but with a vacuum tube that sucked up the mackerel and everything else that came its way, which it turned into fishmeal for use as fertilizer and animal feed. It had been licensed by the Environment Agency to catch 500 tonnes of mackerel a day, and had received a £13 million subsidy from the European Commission. I checked this story and soon discovered that the Environment Agency has no jurisdiction at sea, that vacuum tubes are used not for fishing but for sucking the catch out of the nets, that there is no such fishmeal operation in the Irish Sea and that no boat is licensed to take such a tonnage. Otherwise the explanation was impeccable.
George Monbiot (Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding)
Lincoln labored mightily in the political trenches of the Whig and Republican parties for nearly three decades on behalf of this economic agenda, but with only minor success. The Constitution stood in the way of the Whig economic agenda as one American president after another vetoed internal improvement and national bank bills. Beginning with Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, Southern statesmen were always in the forefront of the opposition to this economic agenda. According to Lincoln scholar Mark Neely, Jr., Lincoln seethed in frustration for many years over how the Constitution stood in the way of his political ambitions. Lincoln thought of himself as the heir to the Hamiltonian political tradition, which sought a much more centralized governmental system, one that would plan economic development with corporate subsidies financed by protectionist tariffs and the printing of money by the central government. This
Thomas J. DiLorenzo (The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War)
Gene Logsdon is equally critical of the federal government’s interference with regional farming markets. In The Contrary Farmer,20 he explores how government manipulation of agricultural markets has led to costly, hare-brained, and environmentally damaging practices. For example, farmers are tempted by government subsidies to grow corn on land far better suited for other, unsubsidized crops. The end result: the agricultural and economic diversity of whole regions of the United States is diminished. This has the knock-on effect of undermining opportunities for people in these regions to obtain a variety of affordable, locally grown produce. People talk about addressing such problems by further regulating lobbyists, but every new wave of regulations seems only to make matters worse. The best way to avoid cronyism and the government manipulation of markets in favor of corporate bigness is to have big government shrunk down to size and hemmed in by severe limits.
Jay Richards (The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot)
Now few people recognize the necessary implications of the economic statements they are constantly making. When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase credit, it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
Cohn had put another document, “U.S. Record in WTO Disputes,” in the daily book that Porter compiled for the president at night. But Trump rarely if ever cracked it open. “The World Trade Organization is the worst organization ever created!” Trump said. “We lose more cases than anything.” “This is in your book, sir,” Cohn said, and brought out another copy. The document showed that the United States won 85.7 percent of its WTO cases, more than average. “The United States has won trade disputes against China on unfair extra duties on U.S. poultry, steel and autos, as well as unfair export restraints on raw materials and rare earth minerals. The United States has also used the dispute settlements system to force China to drop subsidies in numerous sectors.” “This is bullshit,” Trump replied. “This is wrong.” “This is not wrong. This is data from the United States trade representative. Call Lighthizer and see if he agrees.” “I’m not calling Lighthizer,” Trump said. “Well,” Cohn said, “I’ll call Lighthizer. This is the factual data. There’s no one that’s going to disagree with this data.” Then he added, “Data is data.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
At its root, the logic is that of the Grand Inquisitor, who bitterly assailed Christ for offering people freedom and thus condemning them to misery. The Church must correct the evil work of Christ by offering the miserable mass of humanity the gift they most desire and need: absolute submission. It must “vanquish freedom” so as “to make men happy” and provide the total “community of worship” that they avidly seek. In the modern secular age, this means worship of the state religion, which in the Western democracies incorporates the doctrine of submission to the masters of the system of public subsidy, private profit, called free enterprise. The people must be kept in ignorance, reduced to jingoist incantations, for their own good. And like the Grand Inquisitor, who employs the forces of miracle, mystery, and authority “to conquer and hold captive for ever the conscience of these impotent rebels for their happiness” and to deny them the freedom of choice they so fear and despise, so the “cool observers” must create the “necessary illusions” and “emotionally potent oversimplifications” that keep the ignorant and stupid masses disciplined and content.
Noam Chomsky (Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies)
In 1953 Time magazine, declaring that “the real news of the nation’s political future and its economic direction lies in people who seldom see a reporter,” sent one of its contributing editors, Alvin Josephy, on a national tour. His mission was to get a sense of America. The portrait he painted bore little resemblance to the America of 1929. Where the America of the twenties had been a land of extremes, of vast wealth for a few but hard times for many, America in the fifties was all of a piece. “Even in the smallest towns and most isolated areas,” the Time report began, “the U.S. is wearing a very prosperous, middle-class suit of clothes…. People are not growing wealthy, but more of them than ever before are getting along.” And where the America of the twenties had been a land of political polarization, of sharp divides between the dominant right and the embattled left, America in the fifties was a place of political compromise: “Republicans and Democrats have a surprising sameness of outlook and political thinking.” Unions had become staid establishment institutions. Farmers cheerfully told the man from Time that if farm subsidies were socialism, then they were socialists.1
Paul Krugman (The Conscience of a Liberal)
This neo-liberal establishment would have us believe that, during its miracle years between the 1960s and the 1980s, Korea pursued a neo-liberal economic development strategy. The reality, however, was very different indeed. What Korea actually did during these decades was to nurture certain new industries, selected by the government in consultation with the private sector, through tariff protection, subsidies and other forms of government support (e.g., overseas marketing information services provided by the state export agency) until they 'grew up' enough to withstand international competition. The government owned all the banks, so it could direct the life blood of business-credit. Some big projects were undertaken directly by state-owned enterprises-the steel maker, POSCO, being the best example-although the country had a pragmatic, rather than ideological, attitude to the issue of state ownership. If private enterprises worked well, that was fine; if they did not invest in important areas, the government had no qualms about setting up state-owned enterprises (SOEs); and if some private enterprises were mismanaged, the government often took them over, restructured them, and usually (but not always) sold them off again.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
It’s a demonic feedback loop. Let me see if I can get this straight. Pharmaceutical companies sell mountains of drugs to factory farms, which depend on them to maintain their abnormally intensive systems. The animals develop antibiotic resistance that spreads to humans. Humans need stronger drugs. In the meantime, the animal industries flood the government with cash in exchange for subsidies. The government, invested in keeping the generous animal food lobbies flush, runs federal programs pushing people to eat increasing amounts of animal-based foods. People oblige. People get sick, requiring medication for the rest of their lives, along with expensive medical procedures. The drugs and procedures falsely assure them that they can continue to eat the food that made them sick in the first place. People continue to support the animal agriculture industry by buying their products, which pay for studies to further convince the public that animal products are an essential part of a healthy diet. People continue to support the pharmaceutical companies because they are tethered to their prescription drugs. This allows drug companies to pay for the “education” of our doctors who prescribe more drugs to us. Then pharmaceutical companies sell mountains of drugs to factory farms…
Eunice Wong (What the Health)
For example, the benefits of a taxpayer bailout to a failing carmaker are immediate and evident for the carmaker, its investors, and its employees. But the financial dislocation and lost fiscal opportunities resulting from the diversion of economic resources to tax subsidies are distant and disregarded. If the carmaker files for bankruptcy, the company is able and required to streamline its operations, including reducing its workforce and employee benefits and offloading certain debt. Although this allows the newly organized company a fresh opportunity to regain profitability and survive in the longer term, including expanding and hiring down the road, the immediate upshot of the reorganization, with its downsizing, and so on, is visible and tangible. Hazlitt explained the phenomenon this way: In this lies almost the whole difference between good economics and bad. The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad economist sees only what the effect of a given policy has been or will be on one particular group; the good economist inquires also what the effect of the policy will be on all groups.
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
So you could say that one alternative to the free market system is the one we already have, because we often don’t rely on the market where powerful interests would be damaged. Our actual economic policy is a mixture of protectionist, interventionist, free-market and liberal measures. And it’s directed primarily to the needs of those who implement social policy, who are mostly the wealthy and the powerful. For example, the US has always had an active state industrial policy, just like every other industrial country. It’s been understood that a system of private enterprise can survive only if there is extensive government intervention. It’s needed to regulate disorderly markets and protect private capital from the destructive effects of the market system, and to organize a public subsidy for targeting advanced sectors of industry, etc. But nobody called it industrial policy, because for half a century it has been masked within the Pentagon system. Internationally, the Pentagon was an intervention force, but domestically it was a method by which the government could coordinate the private economy, provide welfare to major corporations, subsidize them, arrange the flow of taxpayer money to research and development, provide a state-guaranteed market for excess production, target advanced industries for development, etc. Just about every successful and flourishing aspect of the US economy has relied on this kind of government involvement.
Noam Chomsky (How the World Works)
In exchange for some wide-ranging modifications demanded by the socialist government to the church’s 1929 concordat, Italy agreed to underwrite the remainder of the $406 million settlement.53 The changes to the concordat would have once been unthinkable. The church dropped its insistence that Roman Catholicism be the state religion. Moving forward, the state had to confirm church-annulled marriages. Parents were given the right to opt their children out of formerly mandatory religious education classes. And Rome was no longer considered a “sacred city,” a classification that had allowed the Vatican to keep out strip clubs and the porn industry. Italy even managed to get the church to relinquish control of the Jewish catacombs. “The new concordat is another example of the diminishing hold of the Roman Catholic church in civil life in Italy,” noted The New York Times.54 In return, Italy instituted an“eight-per-thousand” tax, in which 0.8 percent of the income tax paid by ordinary Italians was distributed to one of twelve religious organizations recognized by the state. During its early years, nearly 90 percent of the tax went to the Catholic Church (by 2010, the church received less than 50 percent as the tax was more equitably distributed). Not only did the tax relieve Italy of its responsibility for the $135 million annual subsidy it paid for the country’s 35,000 priests, it meant the church had a steady and reliable source of much needed income.55
Gerald Posner (God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican)
The world is in the midst of a war, but it is not the kind of war you may be imagining. It is a currency war in which nations compete to lower the value of their currency in order to help their industries gain greater profits from exports. The currency disputes have arisen from a conflict of interest between the United States and China. The U.S. has been struggling against a massive fiscal deficit and foreign debt in recent years, especially since the global financial crisis. With so much at stake, the era of U.S. dollar hegemony seems to be ending. China has been raking in profits from its biggest export market, the U.S., by keeping its yuan, also known as the renminbi, undervalued. China has also been purchasing U.S. treasury bonds to add to its foreign reserves, worth more than $2 trillion. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act with a vote of 348 to 79. Under the bill, the U.S. is allowed to slap tariffs on goods from China and other countries with currencies that are perceived to be undervalued. Basically, the U.S. is pushing China to allow the yuan to appreciate. “For so many years, we have watched the China-U.S. trade deficit grow and grow and grow,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the day of the vote, which was on Sept. 29 local time. “Today, we are finally doing something about it by recognizing that China’s manipulation of the currency represents a subsidy for Chinese exports coming to the United States and elsewhere.” But China does not want the value of its currency to increase because a stronger yuan will hurt Chinese exporters who will see a decline in exports to the U.S. once the currency’s value rises.
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ethanol may actually make some kinds of air pollution worse. It evaporates faster than pure gasoline, contributing to ozone problems in hot temperatures. A 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that ethanol does reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent relative to gasoline, but it calculated that devoting the entire U.S. corn crop to make ethanol would replace only a small fraction of American gasoline consumption. Corn farming also contributes to environmental degradation due to runoff from fertilizer and pesticides. But to dwell on the science is to miss the point. As the New York Times noted in the throes of the 2000 presidential race, ―Regardless of whether ethanol is a great fuel for cars, it certainly works wonders in Iowa campaigns. The ethanol tax subsidy increases the demand for corn, which puts money in farmers‘ pockets. Just before the Iowa caucuses, corn farmer Marvin Flier told the Times, ―Sometimes I think [the candidates] just come out and pander to us, he said. Then he added, ―Of course, that may not be the worst thing. The National Corn Growers Association figures that the ethanol program increases the demand for corn, which adds 30 cents to the price of every bushel sold. Bill Bradley opposed the ethanol subsidy during his three terms as a senator from New Jersey (not a big corn-growing state). Indeed, some of his most important accomplishments as a senator involved purging the tax code of subsidies and loopholes that collectively do more harm than good. But when Bill Bradley arrived in Iowa as a Democratic presidential candidate back in 1992, he ―spoke to some farmers‖ and suddenly found it in his heart to support tax breaks for ethanol. In short, he realized that ethanol is crucial to Iowa voters, and Iowa is crucial to the presidential race.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science)
(1) The church-state issue. If parents could use their vouchers to pay tuition at parochial schools, would that violate the First Amendment? Whether it does or not, is it desirable to adopt a policy that might strengthen the role of religious institutions in schooling? The Supreme Court has generally ruled against state laws providing assistance to parents who send their children to parochial schools, although it has never had occasion to rule on a full-fledged voucher plan covering both public and nonpublic schools. However it might rule on such a plan, it seems clear that the Court would accept a plan that excluded church-connected schools but applied to all other private and public schools. Such a restricted plan would be far superior to the present system, and might not be much inferior to a wholly unrestricted plan. Schools now connected with churches could qualify by subdividing themselves into two parts: a secular part reorganized as an independent school eligible for vouchers, and a religious part reorganized as an after-school or Sunday activity paid for directly by parents or church funds. The constitutional issue will have to be settled by the courts. But it is worth emphasizing that vouchers would go to parents, not to schools. Under the GI bills, veterans have been free to attend Catholic or other colleges and, so far as we know, no First Amendment issue has ever been raised. Recipients of Social Security and welfare payments are free to buy food at church bazaars and even to contribute to the collection plate from their government subsidies, with no First Amendment question being asked. Indeed, we believe that the penalty that is now imposed on parents who do not send their children to public schools violates the spirit of the First Amendment, whatever lawyers and judges may decide about the letter. Public schools teach religion, too—not a formal, theistic religion, but a set of values and beliefs that constitute a religion in all but name. The present arrangements abridge the religious freedom of parents who do not accept the religion taught by the public schools yet are forced to pay to have their children indoctrinated with it, and to pay still more to have their children escape indoctrination.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOK I'll tell thee now (dear love) what thou shalt do To anger destiny, as she doth us; How I shall stay, though she eloign me thus, And how posterity shall know it too; How thine may out-endure Sibyl's glory, and obscure Her who from Pindar could allure, And her, through whose help Lucan is not lame, And her, whose book (they say) Homer did find, and name. Study our manuscripts, those myriads Of letters, which have past 'twixt thee and me; Thence write our annals, and in them will be To all whom love's subliming fire invades, Rule and example found; There the faith of any ground No schismatic will dare to wound, That sees, how Love this grace to us affords, To make, to keep, to use, to be these his records. This book, as long-lived as the elements, Or as the world's form, this all-graved tome In cypher writ, or new made idiom; We for Love's clergy only are instruments; When this book is made thus, Should again the ravenous Vandals and Goths invade us, Learning were safe; in this our universe, Schools might learn sciences, spheres music, angels verse. Here Love's divines—since all divinity Is love or wonder—may find all they seek, Whether abstract spiritual love they like, Their souls exhaled with what they do not see; Or, loth so to amuse Faith's infirmity, they choose Something which they may see and use; For, though mind be the heaven, where love doth sit, Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it. Here more than in their books may lawyers find, Both by what titles mistresses are ours, And how prerogative these states devours, Transferred from Love himself, to womankind; Who, though from heart and eyes, They exact great subsidies, Forsake him who on them relies; And for the cause, honour, or conscience give; Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative. Here statesmen, (or of them, they which can read) May of their occupation find the grounds; Love, and their art, alike it deadly wounds, If to consider what 'tis, one proceed. In both they do excel Who the present govern well, Whose weakness none doth, or dares tell; In this thy book, such will there something see, As in the Bible some can find out alchemy. Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll study thee, As he removes far off, that great heights takes; How great love is, presence best trial makes, But absence tries how long this love will be; To take a latitude Sun, or stars, are fitliest viewed At their brightest, but to conclude Of longitudes, what other way have we, But to mark when and where the dark eclipses be?
John Donne (The Love Poems)
In opting for large scale, Korean state planners got much of what they bargained for. Korean companies today compete globally with the Americans and Japanese in highly capital-intensive sectors like semiconductors, aerospace, consumer electronics, and automobiles, where they are far ahead of most Taiwanese or Hong Kong companies. Unlike Southeast Asia, the Koreans have moved into these sectors not primarily through joint ventures where the foreign partner has provided a turnkey assembly plant but through their own indigenous organizations. So successful have the Koreans been that many Japanese companies feel relentlessly dogged by Korean competitors in areas like semiconductors and steel. The chief advantage that large-scale chaebol organizations would appear to provide is the ability of the group to enter new industries and to ramp up to efficient production quickly through the exploitation of economies of scope.70 Does this mean, then, that cultural factors like social capital and spontaneous sociability are not, in the end, all that important, since a state can intervene to fill the gap left by culture? The answer is no, for several reasons. In the first place, not every state is culturally competent to run as effective an industrial policy as Korea is. The massive subsidies and benefits handed out to Korean corporations over the years could instead have led to enormous abuse, corruption, and misallocation of investment funds. Had President Park and his economic bureaucrats been subject to political pressures to do what was expedient rather than what they believed was economically beneficial, if they had not been as export oriented, or if they had simply been more consumption oriented and corrupt, Korea today would probably look much more like the Philippines. The Korean economic and political scene was in fact closer to that of the Philippines under Syngman Rhee in the 1950s. Park Chung Hee, for all his faults, led a disciplined and spartan personal lifestyle and had a clear vision of where he wanted the country to go economically. He played favorites and tolerated a considerable degree of corruption, but all within reasonable bounds by the standards of other developing countries. He did not waste money personally and kept the business elite from putting their resources into Swiss villas and long vacations on the Riviera.71 Park was a dictator who established a nasty authoritarian political system, but as an economic leader he did much better. The same power over the economy in different hands could have led to disaster. There are other economic drawbacks to state promotion of large-scale industry. The most common critique made by market-oriented economists is that because the investment was government rather than market driven, South Korea has acquired a series of white elephant industries such as shipbuilding, petrochemicals, and heavy manufacturing. In an age that rewards downsizing and nimbleness, the Koreans have created a series of centralized and inflexible corporations that will gradually lose their low-wage competitive edge. Some cite Taiwan’s somewhat higher overall rate of economic growth in the postwar period as evidence of the superior efficiency of a smaller, more competitive industrial structure.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order)
From the late 19th century until the 1970s, the advanced societies of the West were all becoming less unequal. Thanks to progressive taxation, government subsidies for the poor, the provision of social services and guarantees against acute misfortune, modern democracies were shedding extremes of wealth and poverty.
Tony Judt (Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents)
The higher education bubble isn’t bursting because of a shortage of money. It is bursting because of a shortage of value. The solution is to improve the product, not to increase the subsidy.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds (The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself)
You ever notice how the folks who talk loudest about small government always seem to live in the states with the biggest subsidies? Small government would kill them dead.
Anonymous
Sure, food stamps are occasionally misused, but anyone familiar with business knows that the abuse of food subsidies is far greater in the corporate suite. Every time an executive wines and dines a hot date on the corporate dime, the average taxpayer helps foot the bill.
Anonymous
Atanu Chakravarty aptly sums up Modi’s vision when he says: ‘We have to be totally prepared while facing Modiji because the moment we come face to face with him, he asks us the latest figures of the increase in micro-irrigation cover in the State. He is essentially against a subsidy-based governance model and believes that subsidy should be used to help people stand on their feet and not beyond it. He often asks us when the day will come when farmers start earning enough after adopting micro-irrigation, thus helping the Government save subsidy and dreams of the day when that saved subsidy can be extended to another group of marginal farmers to enable them to stand on their feet.’ Few would have that kind of long-term vision in this country, free from populism and yet committed to long-term public welfare.
Uday Mahurkar (Centrestage: Inside the Narendra Modi model of governance)
A big farming operation like his was a challenging enterprise, relying as it did on rampant pollution and the systematic mistreatment of immigrant labor. For Red it was no small feat to keep the feds off his back while at the same time soaking taxpayers for lucrative crop subsidies and dirt-cheap loans that might or might not be repaid this century.
Carl Hiaasen (Skinny Dip)
First of all, we've never had capitalism, so it can't end. We have some variety of state capitalism. If you fly on an airplane, you're basically flying in a modified bomber. If you buy drugs, the basic research was done under public funding and support. The high-tech system is permeated with internal controls, government subsidies. And if you look at what are supposed to be the growing alternatives, China is another form of state capitalism... The question is whether these systems, whatever they are, can be adapted to current problems and circumstances. For example, there's no justification, economic or other, for the enormous and growing role of financial institutions since the 1970s. Even some of the most respected economists pint out that they're just a drag on the economy. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times says straight out that the financial institutions shouldn't be allowed to have anything like the power they do. There's plenty of leeway for modification and change. Worker-owned industries can take over. There's interesting work on this topic by Gar Alperovitz, who has been right at the center of a lot of organizing around worker control. It's not a revolution, but it's the germ of another type of capitalism, capitalism in the sense that markets and profit are involved.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
FOLKSBIENE, an impoverished, frail Yiddish theater company in constant danger of annihilation, had outlasted all the giants. The year of Schwartz's death the little troupe moved into the Forward building, guaranteeing it a permanent home with four walls and a roof, plus heat in the winter, fans in the summer, and best of all, continuing subsidies from the newspaper and the Workmen's Circle. Sporadically, other Yiddish productions would take place in New York, but they were one-shots, musicals, and charity fund-raisers. Ensconced in their new place, Folksbiene managers claimed that theirs was the oldest continuously operating Yiddish theater in the world. As proof, all past productions were listed year by year, ranging all the way back to 1915. It was an impressive roster. Among the authors included were Sholem Aleichem, Leon Kobrin, and both Singer brothers, Israel Joshua and Isaac Bashevis; also the Russians Alexander Pushkin and Maxim Gorki; and such American authors as Theodore Dreiser, Eugene O'Neill, Sherwood Anderson, and Clifford Odets. It didn't matter how well attended those shows were, or how well acted, or the duration of their runs. The point was that the Folksbiene had survived, just as the Jewish people had survived. Together, they were the keepers of the flame. It was a very small candle in a very big city.
Stefan Kanfer (Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Meshugas of the Yiddish Theater in America (Vintage))
A standard IMF package often involves, among other things, the following “conditionalities”: 1) devaluation of currency; 2) tight monetary and fiscal constraints; 3) budget cuts, with sharply reduced public expenditures; 4) a wage freeze; and 5) sharp reduction or elimination of import and price subsidies.
Anonymous
The investigation followed a complaint from a company called SolarWorld, which has a factory in Oregon but is based in Germany. SolarWorld is itself a beneficiary of government support, in the shape of Germany’s feed-in tariffs, guaranteeing generators a good price for their solar power. True, it has been struggling because these subsidies were cut. And because it has had a tough time trying to compete in the US against cheap Chinese imports, it has now had the chutzpah to complain about the way China has been supporting its own solar manufacturers.
Anonymous
University of California Economics Professor Robert Reich identified six principles of the new populism : 1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they're no longer too big to fail. 2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, the law separating investment from commercial banking thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors' money. 3. End corporate welfare including subsidies to big oil, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals,
Anonymous
There are the subsidies to the wealthy like the carried-interest tax loophole or the mortgage subsidy for yachts. By some calculations, corporate subsidies, credits, and loopholes are 50% higher than entitlements to the poor, not including medicare and medicaid.Some of the other subsidies are outlandish. Put a few goats on your golf course and you can classify it as farmland, as President Trump did, and you can save large sums in taxes. The tax code has come to serve the wealthy in myriad of ways.
Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn
The neutral and honest print and electronic media are free advisers, mirrors, information, and opinion of the nation for ruling and non-ruling political parties. Thus, such media deserve subsidies without distinctions to stay stable as the fourth pillar of democracy.
Ehsan Sehgal
A government-backed dual labor market continued after the war’s end. In 1944, the G.I. Bill was adopted to support returning servicemen. The VA not only denied African Americans the mortgage subsidies to which they were entitled but frequently restricted education and training to lower-level jobs for African Americans who were qualified to acquire greater skills. In some cases, local benefit administrators refused to process applications to four-year colleges for African Americans, directing them to vocational schools instead.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
street lighting and everyone who uses the street, irrespective of whether she is a taxpayer or not, a citizen or a visitor, benefits from it. A loan waived by a bank may appear to be a private good since the primary beneficiary is the debtor. However, in keeping farmers alive, in sustaining the livelihood of farmers and in ensuring rural social stability, a loan waiver in the case of an impoverished and highly indebted farmer would have wider social benefits. Many countries, including developed market economies, justified farm subsidies on such social grounds. A debt waiver was a subsidy, and a public good.
Sanjaya Baru (The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh)
The growth in opioid use is closely linked to the downward mobility of the rural poor and the expansion of the destructive War on Drugs. While simplistic protectionism and jingoistic anti-immigrant mania are unlikely to bring long-term stability, our rural areas must become more economically sustainable and livable, with green jobs, infrastructure development, and nontoxic food production. Reducing subsidies to multinational corporations that move jobs overseas to countries with little in the way of labor rights or environmental protections would also be a good place to start, replacing “free trade” with “fair trade.
Alex S. Vitale (The End of Policing)
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Caemmerer was an important advocate for improving public transportation in both the city and its suburbs. Growing up, he had taken the Long Island Rail Road to his high school in Manhattan, and as state senator he represented thousands of railroad riders. When Caemmerer first started calling for transit operating subsidies in the 1960s, his Republican colleagues were appalled by what they considered to be his “socialist” position. He emphasized the subway’s importance by referring to it as the second-largest single public investment ever made by Americans, eclipsed only by the Panama Canal.
Philip Mark Plotch (Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City)
Governments can tax carbon emissions, add the cost of externalities to the price of oil and gas, adopt stronger environmental regulations, cut subsidies to polluting industries, and incentivize the switch to renewable energy.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
You sowed enough wild oats before we were married to qualify for farm subsidies.
Karin Slaughter (A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County, #3))
Subsidy dependency has been coupled with the huge upturn in the so-called ‘financialisation’ of industry, whereby a company’s funds are increasingly dedicated to repurchasing their own shares in order to boost their stock price. In 2010, for example, the US American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) asked the US government to triple state spending on clean energy to $16bn a year, at the end of a decade in which the companies comprising the council had spent $237bn on stock repurchases.477 From 2008 to 2017, 466 S&P 500 companies distributed $4 trillion to shareholders as buybacks, equal to 53% of profits, along with $3.1 trillion as dividends.This is explained away on the social democratic left as shareholder greed. But it is driven by the need to valorise capital. We did not cover it earlier, but Marx identified the increasing role of share capital as one of the main counter-tendencies.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
Old people vote. You know who votes in the swing states where this election will be fought? Really old people. Instead of high-profile videos with Cardi B (no disrespect to Cardi, who famously once threatened to dog-walk the egregious Tomi Lahren), maybe focus on registering and reaching more of those old-fart voters in counties in swing states. If your celebrity and music-industry friends want to flood social media with GOTV messages, let them. It makes them feel important and it’s the cheapest outsourcing you can get. Just don’t build your models on the idea that you’re going to spike young voter turnout beyond 20 percent. The problem with chasing the youth vote is threefold: First, they’re unlikely to be registered. You have to devote a lot of work to going out, grabbing them, registering them, educating them, and motivating them to go out and vote. If they were established but less active voters, you’d have voter history and other data to work with. There are lower-effort, lower-cost ways to make this work. Second, they’re not conditioned to vote; that November morning is much more likely to involve regret at not finishing a paper than missing a vote. Third, and finally, a meaningful fraction of the national youth vote overall is located in California. Its gigantic population skews the number, and since the Golden State’s Electoral College outcome is never in doubt, it doesn’t matter. What’s our motto, kids? “The Electoral College is the only game in town.” This year, the Democrats have been racing to win the Free Shit election with young voters by promising to make college “free” (a word that makes any economic conservative lower their glasses, put down the brandy snifter, and arch an eyebrow) and to forgive $1.53 trillion gazillion dollars of student loan debt. Set aside that the rising price of college is what happens to everything subsidized or guaranteed by the government.17 Set aside that those subsidies cause college costs to wildly exceed the rate of inflation across the board, and that it sucks to have $200k in student loan debt for your degree in Intersectional Yodeling. Set aside that the college loan system is run by predatory asswipes. The big miss here is a massive policy disconnect—a student-loan jubilee would be a massive subsidy to white, upper-middle-class people in their mid-thirties to late forties. I’m not saying Democrats shouldn’t try to appeal to young voters on some level, but I want them to have a realistic expectation about just how hard it is to move those numbers in sufficient volume in the key Electoral College states. When I asked one of the smartest electoral modeling brains in the business about this issue, he flooded me with an inbox of spreadsheets and data points. But the key answer he gave me was this: “The EC states in play are mostly old as fuck. If your models assume young voter magic, you’re gonna have a bad day.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
This might be perhaps the simplest single-paragraphy summation of civilizational advances, a concise summary of growth that matters most. Our ability to provide a reliable, adequate food supply thanks to yields an order of magnitude higher than in early agricultures has been made possible by large energy subsidies and it has been accompanied by excessive waste. A near-tripling of average life expectancies has been achieved primarily by drastic reductions of infant mortality and by effective control of bacterial infections. Our fastest mass-travel speeds are now 50-150 times higher than walking. Per capita economic product in affluent countries is roughly 100 times larger than in antiquity, and useful energy deployed per capita is up to 200-250 times higher. Gains in destructive power have seen multiples of many (5-11) orders of magnitude. And, for an average human, there has been essentially an infinitely large multiple in access to stored information, while the store of information civilization-wide will soon be a trillion times larger than it was two millenia ago. And this is the most worrisome obverse of these advances: they have been accompanied by a multitude of assaults on the biosphere. Foremost among them has been the scale of the human claim on plants, including a significant reduction of the peak posts-glacial area of natural forests (on the order of 20%), mostly due to deforestation in temperate and tropical regions; a concurrent expansion of cropland to cover about 11% of continental surfaces; and an annual harvest of close to 20% of the biosphere's primary productivity (Smil 2013a). Other major global concerns are the intensification of natural soil erosion rates, the reduction of untouched wilderness areas to shrinking isolated fragments, and a rapid loss of biodiversity in general and within the most species-rich biomes in particular. And then there is the leading global concern: since 1850 we have emitted close to 300 Gt of fossil carbon to the atmosphere (Boden and Andres 2017). This has increased tropospheric CO2 concentrations from 280 ppm to 405 ppm by the end of 2017 and set the biosphere on a course of anthropogenic global warming (NOAA 2017). These realities clearly demonstrate that our preferences have not been to channel our growing capabilities either into protecting the biosphere or into assuring decent prospects for all newborns and reducing life's inequalities to tolerable differences. Judging by the extraordinary results that are significantly out of line with the long-term enhancements of our productive and protective abilities, we have preferred to concentrate disproportionately on multiplying the destructive capacities of our weapons and, even more so, on enlarging our abilities for the mass-scale acquisition and storage of information and for instant telecommunication, and have done so to an extent that has become not merely questionable but clearly counterproductive in many ways.
Vaclav Smil (Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities)
The stories of failure are commonplace. Reporting that, five years after locating there, IBM fired most of its employees in Dubuque and Columbia despite a combined $84 million in tax breaks, the author of a Bloomberg News story noted that this scenario has 'played out often across America: Big company comes to town, provides boost to the local economy and then leaves.' The Kelo case ended similarly: New London provided Pfizer with significant subsidies only to see the company depart a few years later.
Richard Schragger
Indeed, the move to connect public subsidy and private compliance must be understood in the context of the postwar history of urban redevelopment initiatives, most of which have been considered failures. A thorough history of these programs is beyond this chapter, but the litany of criticisms is familiar: Urban redevelopment has relied too heavily on private-side investment; it has emphasized displacement and gentrification over reinvestment; it has lacked citizen participation or neighborhood input; and it has been riddled with patronage, incompetence, and distribution to favored groups. Mostly, however, urban redevelopment policy has been unsuccessful.
Richard Schragger
Local and state tax incentives are much less visible because they do not constitute a direct charge to local budgets and are often paid for by future generations through municipal debt. This relative invisibility makes it much less probable that the local political process can be counted on to prevent bad incentive deals.
Richard Schragger
The injustice imposed on landlords is flagrant. They are, to repeat, forced to subsidize the rents paid by their tenants, often at the cost of great net losses to themselves. The subsidized tenants may frequently be richer than the landlord forced to assume part of what would otherwise be his market rent. The politicians ignore this. Men in other businesses, who support the imposition or retention of rent control because their hearts bleed for the tenants, do not go so far as to suggest that they themselves be asked to assume part of the tenant subsidy through taxation. The whole burden falls on the single small class of people wicked enough to have built or to own rental housing.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
The final assault on the old city arrived via the interstate highway system. In 1956 the Federal-Aid Highway Act funneled billions of tax dollars into the construction of new freeways, including dozens of wide new roads that would push right into the heart of cities. This—along with federal home mortgage subsidies and zoning that effectively prohibited any other kind of development but sprawl—rewarded Americans who abandoned downtowns and punished those who stayed behind, with freeways cutting swaths through inner-city neighborhoods from Baltimore to San Francisco. Anyone who could afford to get out, did.
Charles Montgomery (Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design)
converter at no cost and subsidies will be provided for the purchase of digital TVs. Antennas and maintenance support will also be provi
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seventy thousand low-income households will be provided with DTV subsidies or free digital converters. 5,000
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These days, nearly everyone claims to be democratic. I have even heard it claimed that the Chinese Communist Party is democratic. ‘Capitalist’, by contrast, is a word too often used as a term of abuse to be much heard in polite company. How do the institutions of the democratic state and those of the market economy relate to one another? Do corporations play an active part in politics, through lobbyists and campaign contributions? Do governments play an active part in economic life, through subsidies, tariffs and other market-distorting devices, or through regulation? What is the right balance to be struck
Niall Ferguson (The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die)
Environmental pollution is a regressive phenomenon, since the rich can find ways of insulating themselves from bad air, dirty water, loss of green spaces and so on. Moreover, much pollution results from production and activities that benefit the more affluent – air transport, car ownership, air conditioning, consumer goods of all kinds, to take some obvious examples. A basic income could be construed, in part, as partial compensation for pollution costs imposed on us, as a matter of social justice. Conversely, a basic income could be seen as compensation for those adversely affected by environmental protection measures. A basic income would make it easier for governments to impose taxes on polluting activities that might affect livelihoods or have a regressive impact by raising prices for goods bought by low-income households. For instance, hefty carbon taxes would deter fossil fuel use and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change as well as reduce air pollution. Introducing a carbon tax would surely be easier politically if the tax take went towards providing a basic income that would compensate those on low incomes, miners and others who would lose income-earning opportunities. The basic income case is especially strong in relation to the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. Across the world, in rich countries and in poor, governments have long used subsidies as a way of reducing poverty, by keeping down the price of fuel. This has encouraged more consumption, and more wasteful use, of fossil fuels. Moreover, fuel subsidies are regressive, since the rich consume more and thus gain more from the subsidies. But governments have been reluctant to reduce or eliminate the subsidies for fear of alienating voters. Indeed, a number of countries that have tried to reduce fuel subsidies have backed down in the face of angry popular demonstrations.
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
the Bush energy act contained some $6 billion in oil and gas subsidies and $9 billion in coal subsidies. The Kochs routinely cast themselves as libertarians who deplored government taxes, regulations, and subsidies, but records show they took full advantage of the special tax credits and subsidies available to the oil, ethanol, and pipeline business,
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
Concerns about bankruptcy abuses prompted Congress to crack down in 2005, decades after it unlocked the bankruptcy door for the Boomers. Like George Orwell’s pigs, some bankrupts ended up being more equal than others. One of the 2005 law’s most significant changes made discharging student debt exceedingly difficult. The Boomers did not have to worry, as formerly generous subsidies meant they carried relatively little of such debt. Their children, however, carried quite a bit, with interest remitted to companies in which Boomers held shares. That was of no moment for the Boomer legislature. After 2005, student debt would fall into the same legal category as debts like criminal penalties and child support. A
Bruce Cannon Gibney (A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America)
a private enterprise is a failure, it closes down—unless it can get a government subsidy to keep it going; if a government enterprise fails, it is expanded. I challenge you to find exceptions. The
Milton Friedman (Why Government Is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy))
The Economist has produced a more sophisticated set of ‘back-of-the-envelope’ estimates in an interactive basic income calculator for all OECD countries.4 This purports to show how much could be paid as a basic income by switching spending on non-health transfers, leaving tax revenues and other public spending unchanged. Interestingly, even on this very restrictive basis, a cluster of seven west European countries could already pay over $10,000 per person per year. The United States could pay $6,300 and Britain $5,800. Obviously, for most countries, the level of basic income that could be financed from this tax-neutral welfare-switching exercise would be modest – though, especially for bottom-ranked countries such as South Korea ($2,200) or Mexico (only $900), this largely reflects their current low tax take and welfare spending. The Economist’s interactive calculator also aims to calculate what tax rises would be needed to pay a basic income of a given amount. For the UK, the calculator estimates that the cost of a basic income of one-third average GDP per head would require a 15 percentage point rise in tax take. Its calculations can again be questioned in their own terms. However, all these back-of-the-envelope exercises are flawed in more fundamental ways. First, they do not allow for clawing the basic income back in tax from higher-income earners, which could be done with no net cost to the affluent or to the Exchequer, simply by tweaking tax rates and allowances so that the extra tax take equals the basic income paid. Second, they do not take account of administrative savings from removal of means testing and behaviour conditions. Administration accounted for £8 billion of the £172 billion 2013–14 budget of the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions, much of which will have gone to pay staff in local job centres to monitor and sanction benefit recipients. This does not include hundreds of millions of pounds paid to private contractors to carry out so-called ‘work assessment’ tests on people with disabilities, which have led to denial of benefits to some of society’s most vulnerable people. Third, they compare the cost of a basic income with the existing welfare budget and assume that all other areas of public spending remain intact. Yet governments can always choose to realign spending priorities. The UK government could save billions by scrapping the plan to replace the Trident nuclear missile system, now estimated to cost more than £200 billion over its lifetime. It could save further billions by ending subsidies that go predominantly to corporations and the affluent.
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
screamed night and day, blotted out the starlit skies and Northern Lights with flashing red strobes, slaughtered thousands of bats and entire flocks of birds, banished tourism and wildlife, made people sick and drove them from their now-valueless homes. But though there was very little wind and the turbines made almost no electricity, they made billions in taxpayer-paid subsidies for energy companies and investment banks, some of which trickled down to their fully-owned politicians and “environmental” groups. As I’d learned in previous dealings with WindPower LLC, these turbines did absolutely nothing for global warming. Because wind is so erratic, wind projects must have fulltime fossil fuel plants to back them up, and the result is that wind projects often cause more coal-burning, not less. And the saddest thing is that these billions of dollars wasted on industrial wind projects could be spent on rooftop solar, substantially reducing CO2 generation and fossil fuel use. But the utilities hate rooftop solar, despite what they pretend, because it cuts their income, so they are avidly trying to curtail it.
Mike Bond (Killing Maine (Pono Hawkins, #2))
Cross-subsidies are the essence of the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” That means that one way or another the food must be paid for, if not by you directly then by someone else in whose interest it is to give you free food.
Chris Anderson (Free: The Future of a Radical Price)
While spending money to build roads is seen as a public investment, critics characterize public transportation as a wasteful welfare subsidy. The pervasive myth that public transportation riders are subsidized and that people who drive pay the full cost of their trips has never been less true than it is today.
Janette Sadik-Khan (Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution)
And though often forgotten, the more radical wing of the second-wave feminist movement also argued for fundamental challenges to the free market economic order. It wanted women not only to get equal pay for equal work in traditional jobs but to have their work in the home caring for children and the elderly recognized and compensated as a massive unacknowledged market subsidy—essentially a demand for wealth redistribution on a scale greater than the New Deal.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
Cheap relies on one other essential factor--a carefully constructed cover-up. In 1991, three golden-fried chicken fillets made at Imperial Food Products along with an order of fries cost $1.99 at Shoney's. This price, however, hid the real costs of the social system that allowed a company like Shoney's to charge so little for heaping plates of calorie-dense foods. Covered up were the costs incurred in farm subsidies and the piles of debt taken on by the chicken growers, some of whom had been turned into "modern-day serfs." The price didn't include the cost of food stamps for the underpaid, road building for transport, the cleanup of waterways polluted by animal factories, or the health care outlays needed in order to address the myriad issues linked to obesity and the litany of other ills associated with chronic overexposure to sugary, salty, and fatty foods. At the same time, the system of cheap never paid a dime for the wanton cruelty it imposed on animals or the injuries suffered by workers while killing ... and processing industrially produced chickens.
Bryant Simon (The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives)
The sociopaths’ goal is to wring every last dollar from the system, and any investment that could not be fully realized within Boomer lifetimes was to be avoided. Therefore, the nation’s infrastructure, built by the Boomers’ parents and once the world’s finest, was allowed to decay. Henceforth, state-sponsored research would be radically curtailed. Higher education was neglected; the Boomers had their cost-free diplomas in hand, so meaningful reform and costly subsidies were no longer relevant. Public tuition, formerly zero, could rise dramatically. Even better, the loans taken out to meet those new educational bills, including those produced by the Boomer-created plague of for-profit colleges, could be converted into today’s $1.3 trillion of student loans, profits on which the Boomers harvest and shall so forever, thanks to a modification of the bankruptcy code in 2005 that makes student debt nearly impossible to discharge. The Flower Child of Berkeley would become the Merchant of Midtown. Just
Bruce Cannon Gibney (A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America)
I loved her,”I said. I did not say I loved her because she was good to my cousin Abel, good to me, that she never said a word when she saw us going through the dumpster. And my mother did not ask why I loved her. My mother said, “Well, she stopped wiping the counter and she said to me, ‘Poor Marilyn married that Charlie Macauley from Carlisle, I think they still live nearby now, but she married him back when they were in college, and he was a smart fellow. So of course they take the smart ones right away.’ ”“Who takes them?”I asked. “Why, our dirty rotten government, of course,”my mother answered. I said nothing, just looked up at the ceiling. It has been my experience throughout life that the people who have been given the most by our government—education, food, rent subsidies—are the ones who are most apt to find fault with the whole idea of government. I understand this in a way.
Elizabeth Strout (My Name Is Lucy Barton)
currently many communities on the East Coast dealing with sea-level rise and storm surges nourish their beaches and slow down erosion by strengthening them with large amounts of sand. The Federal government currently covers on average about two thirds of the cost. A March 2015 journal article concludes “a sudden removal of federal nourishment subsidies, as has been proposed, could trigger a dramatic downward adjustment in coastal real estate, analogous to the bursting of a bubble.
Joseph Romm (Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know®)
There are plenty of hustles. Aside from welfare, there are various benefits, disability money, accumulated student aid, subsidies drawn off fictitious childbirths, all kinds of trafficking, and so many other means that arise with every mutation of control. It's not for us to defend them, or to install ourselves in these temporary shelters or to preserve them as a privilege for those in the know. The important thing is to cultivate and spread this necessary disposition towards fraud, and to share its innovations.
Comité invisible (The Coming Insurrection)
it is easier to mock and deride individual fat people than to fix food deserts, school lunches, corn subsidies, inadequate or nonexistent public transportation, unsafe sidewalks and parks, healthcare, mental healthcare, the minimum wage, and your own insecurities. So, “personal responsibility” was de rigueur,
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
the FHA-induced easy credit began to push up the price of houses for the middle class, and that quickly offset any real advantage of the subsidy.
G. Edward Griffin (The Creature from Jekyll Island)
Everyone else had funds galore, if not from their job- and it rarely seemed to be from their job except for the bankers- then from trust funds, parental subsidies, or other mythical sources.
Stephanie Clifford (Everybody Rise)
whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it’s actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that with our food all of the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illnesses, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water—of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don’t care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
both Tesla and GM think battery prices will come down fast enough for electric cars to be more affordable than equivalent gasoline cars by the early 2020s. The Chevy Bolt sells for less than $35,000, after subsidies. Tesla plans to be producing Model 3s at a rate of hundreds of thousands a year by 2019. Other electric car companies, new and old, are developing competitive strategies. It is still difficult to predict how quickly the sales of electric cars will overtake those of gasoline vehicles. Even assuming all goes well for Tesla and their electric competitors, it could take years, or decades. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s study estimated that electric cars will account for 35 percent of new car sales by 2040. That’s based on battery prices decreasing at a slower rate than Tesla and GM anticipate. But, as noted earlier, gasoline cars will face the difficult task of competing with electric cars that are both cheaper and better.
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
However, it is easier to mock and deride individual fat people than to fix food deserts, school lunches, corn subsidies, inadequate or nonexistent public transportation, unsafe sidewalks and parks, healthcare, mental healthcare, the minimum wage, and your own insecurities. So, “personal responsibility” was de rigueur, and my boss was on board.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
Few people were willing to exert the perspiration necessary to learn the railroad business and apply these principles. Many, like Villard, Gould, and Stanford, took the easy route and chased subsidies, hiked rates, and manipulated stock; but this approach never built a winning railroad.
Burton W. Folsom Jr. (The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America)
What Hill ultimately deplored more than tariffs and subsidies were the ICC and the Sherman Anti-trust Act. Congress passed these vague laws to protest rate hikes and monopolies. They were passed to satisfy public clamor (which was often directed at wrong-doing committed by Hill's subsidized rivals). Because they were vaguely written, they were harmless until Congress and the Supreme Court began to give them specific meaning. And here came the irony: laws that were passed to thwart monopolists, were applied to, thwart Hill.
Burton W. Folsom Jr. (The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America)
Dari “Di Hadapan Babylon” pun kita belajar bahwa maut tak selalu datang dengan sabit berkilat dan jubah hitam yang kerap menyembunyikan muka. Maut bisa saja datang dengan berondongan timah panas, tendangan sepatu lars, pucuk bayonet, pisau belati, atau anggaran subsidi beras miskin yang mesti dipangkas demi pembelanjaan Alutsista yang lebih mutakhir.
Fajar Nugraha (C-45 Demi Masa, Kapsul Waktu, dan Nostalgia Radikal)
Thanks to government sub­sidies, a diet rich in animal products is affordable even though it destroys the earth
Lisa Kemmerer (Eating Earth: Environmental Ethics and Dietary Choice)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an international agreement being worked out among 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Part of the treaty falls under the traditional heading of “free trade,’’ including efforts to reduce tariffs and end government subsidies. But there are other parts that would increase government regulation, especially when it comes to intellectual property. The United States, in particular, has been pressing for heightened protection of trademarks, patents, and copyrights. The deal would also establish a kind of court system where companies could sue other countries for violating terms. The arguments for TPP
Anonymous
821 words As Miami commissioners consider awarding public subsidies
Anonymous
The Wall Street Journal (The Wall Street Journal) - Clip This Article on Location 1055 | Added on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 5:10:24 PM OPINION Baltimore Is Not About Race Government-induced dependency is the problem—and it’s one with a long history. By William McGurn | 801 words For those who see the rioting in Baltimore as primarily about race, two broad reactions dominate. One group sees rampaging young men fouling their own neighborhoods and concludes nothing can be done because the social pathologies are so overwhelming. In some cities, this view manifests itself in the unspoken but cynical policing that effectively cedes whole neighborhoods to the thugs. The other group tut-tuts about root causes. Take your pick: inequality, poverty, injustice. Or, as President Obama intimated in an ugly aside on the rioting, a Republican Congress that will never agree to the “massive investments” (in other words, billions more in federal spending) required “if we are serious about solving this problem.” There is another view. In this view, the disaster of inner cities isn’t primarily about race at all. It’s about the consequences of 50 years of progressive misrule—which on race has proved an equal-opportunity failure. Baltimore is but the latest liberal-blue city where government has failed to do the one thing it ought—i.e., put the cops on the side of the vulnerable and law-abiding—while pursuing “solutions” that in practice enfeeble families and social institutions and local economies. These supposed solutions do this by substituting federal transfers for fathers and families. They do it by favoring community organizing and government projects over private investment. And they do it by propping up failing public-school systems that operate as jobs programs for the teachers unions instead of centers of learning. If our inner-city African-American communities suffer disproportionately from crippling social pathologies that make upward mobility difficult—and they do—it is in large part because they have disproportionately been on the receiving end of this five-decade-long progressive experiment in government beneficence. How do we know? Because when we look at a slice of white America that was showered with the same Great Society good intentions—Appalachia—we find the same dysfunctions: greater dependency, more single-parent families and the absence of the good, private-sector jobs that only a growing economy can create. Remember, in the mid-1960s when President Johnson put a face on America’s “war on poverty,” he didn’t do it from an urban ghetto. He did it from the front porch of a shack in eastern Kentucky’s Martin County, where a white family of 10 eked out a subsistence living on an income of $400 a year. In many ways, rural Martin County and urban Baltimore could not be more different. Martin County is 92% white while Baltimore is two-thirds black. Each has seen important sources of good-paying jobs dry up—Martin County in coal mining, Baltimore in manufacturing. In the last presidential election, Martin Country voted 6 to 1 for Mitt Romney while Baltimore went 9 to 1 for Barack Obama. Yet the Great Society’s legacy has been depressingly similar. In a remarkable dispatch two years ago, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Cheves noted that the war on poverty sent $2.1 billion to Martin County alone (pop. 12,537) through programs including “welfare, food stamps, jobless benefits, disability compensation, school subsidies, affordable housing, worker training, economic development incentives, Head Start for poor children and expanded Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” The result? “The problem facing Appalachia today isn’t Third World poverty,” writes Mr. Cheves. “It’s dependence on government assistance.” Just one example: When Congress imposed work requirements and lifetime caps for welfare during the Clinton administration, claims of disability jumped. Mr. Cheves quotes
Anonymous
To fit into the Golden Straitjacket a country must either adopt, or be seen as moving toward, the following golden rules: making the private sector the primary engine of its economic growth, maintaining a low rate of inflation and price stability, shrinking the size of its state bureaucracy, maintaining as close to a balanced budget as possible, if not a surplus, eliminating and lowering tariffs on imported goods, removing restrictions on foreign investment, getting rid of quotas and domestic monopolies, increasing exports, privatizing state-owned industries and utilities, deregulating capital markets, making its currency convertible, opening its industries, stock and bond markets to direct foreign ownership and investment, deregulating its economy to promote as much domestic competition as possible, eliminating government corruption, subsidies and kickbacks as much as possible, opening its banking and telecommunications systems to private ownership and competition and allowing its citizens to choose from an array of competing pension options and foreign-run pension and mutual funds. When you stitch all of these pieces together you have the Golden Straitjacket. . . . As your country puts on the Golden Straitjacket, two things tend to happen: your economy grows and your politics shrinks. That is, on the economic front the Golden Straitjacket usually fosters more growth and higher average incomes—through more trade, foreign investment, privatization and more efficient use of resources under the pressure of global competition. But on the political front, the Golden Straitjacket narrows the political and economic policy choices of those in power to relatively tight parameters. . . . Governments—be they led by Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Labourites, Gaullists or Socialists, Christian Democrats or Social Democrats—that deviate too far from the core rules will see their investors stampede away, interest rates rise and stock market valuations fall.36
Moisés Naím (The End of Power)
Known as Naxalites...they attacked "class enemies"- big landlords, policemen, bureaucrats, and "liberated" territories which they hoped would form bases for an eventual assault on the cities, as had happened in China. The Indian government responded brutally, killing and torturing thousands. Driven underground, the Naxalite movement splintered and remained dormant for many years. In the 1990s, when India began to move towards a free market, the Naxalite movement revived in some of the poorest and most populous Indian states. Part of the reason for this is that successive Indian governments have steadily reduced subsidies for agriculture, public health, education, and poverty eradication, exposing large sections of the population to disease, debt, hunger and starvation. Almost three thousand farmers committed suicide in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh after the government, advised by McKinsey, cut agricultural subsidies in an attempt to initiate farmers into the world of unregulated markets. In recent years, Naxalite movements, which have long organized landless, low-caste peasants in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, have grown quickly in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh- where an enfeebled Indian state is increasingly absent- to the extent that police and intelligence officials in India now speak anxiously of an unbroken belt of Communist-dominated territory from Nepal to South India.
Pankaj Mishra (Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond)
Although private entrepreneurs financed and built many roads and canals, state governments in the 1820s intervened instead, amending their constitutions to subsidize canal building. Most state-funded canals weren’t finished, generated little or no income, or went bankrupt. As a result, by 1860 most states amended their constitutions again to prohibit such subsidies.[8]
Michael Dahlen (Liberty Lost: American Big Government and the Erosion of the U.S. Constitution: A Brief History)
Private foundations have very few legal restrictions. They are required to donate at least 5 percent of their assets every year to public charities--referred to as "nonprofit" organizations. In exchange, the donors are granted deductions, enabling them to re3duce their income taxes dramatically. This arrangement enables the wealthy to simultaneously receive generous tax subsidies and use their foundations to impact society as they please.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
Private foundations have very few legal restrictions. They are required to donate at least 5 percent of their assets every year to public charities--referred to as "nonprofit" organizations. In exchange, the donors are granted deductions, enabling them to reduce their income taxes dramatically. This arrangement enables the wealthy to simultaneously receive generous tax subsidies and use their foundations to impact society as they please.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
As President Clinton was fine-tuning his plan to “end welfare as we know it,” a conservative reformer by the name of Jason Turner was transforming Milwaukee into a policy experiment that captivated lawmakers around the country. Turner’s plan was dubbed Wisconsin Works (or W-2), and “works” was right: If you wanted a welfare check, you would have to work, either in the private sector or in a community job created by the state. To push things along, child-care and health-care subsidies would be expanded. W-2 meant that people were paid only for the hours they logged on a job, even if that job was to sort little toys into different colors and have the supervisor reshuffle them so they could be sorted again the next day. It meant that non-compliers could have their food stamps slashed. It meant that 22,000 Milwaukee families would be cut from the welfare rolls. Five months after Milwaukee established the first real work program in the history of welfare, Clinton signed welfare reform into federal law.3
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
everything that Hamilton planned to create to transform America into a powerful, modern nation-state—a central bank, a funded debt, a mint, a customs service, manufacturing subsidies, and so on—was to strike critics as a slavish imitation of the British model.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Norway is working on a combination of taxes, subsidies, infrastructure, and other incentives in an effort to end sales of gasoline cars in the country by 2025. In October 2016, Germany’s federal council voted for a nonbinding resolution to end all sales of gasoline cars with internal combustion engines by 2030. In May 2017, India’s power minister announced a plan to have only electric cars—and “not a single petrol or diesel car”—sold in the country from 2030 on. Both the UK and France have said they will end sales of diesel and gasoline cars by 2040. And even China has said it will set a date that will signal the end of all gasoline car sales in the country (although it hasn’t said what that date will be). All these scenarios could have a drastic effect on the uptake of electric vehicles, which would in turn have a dramatic impact on the consumption of oil.
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
The failure of companies in a free market, then, is not a defect of the system, or an unfortunate by-product of competition; rather, it is an indispensable aspect of any evolutionary process. According to one economist, 10 percent of American companies go bankrupt every year.4 The economist Joseph Schumpeter called this “creative destruction.” Now, compare this with centrally planned economies, where there are almost no failures at all. Companies are protected from failure by subsidy. The state is protected from failure by the printing press, which can inflate its way out of trouble. At first, this may look like an enlightened way to go about solving the problems of economic production, distribution, and exchange. Nothing ever fails and, by implication, everything looks successful. But this is precisely why planned economies didn’t work. They were manned by intelligent planners who decided how much grain to produce, how much iron to mine, and who used complicated calculations to determine the optimal solutions. But they faced the same problem as the Unilever mathematicians: their ideas, however enlightened, were not tested rapidly enough—and so had little opportunity to be reformed in the light of failure. Even if the planners were ten times smarter than the businessmen operating in a market economy, they would still fall way behind. Without the benefit of a valid test, the system is plagued by rigidity. In markets, on the other hand, it is the thousands of little failures that lubricate and, in a sense, guide the system. When companies go under, other entrepreneurs learn from these mistakes, the system creates new ideas, and consumers ultimately benefit.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do)
It’s worth noting, incidentally, that most private corporations are fantastically inefficient, although their inefficiency is disguised by collusion with the government: Contrary to their claims of efficiency, most large corporations…spend an inordinate portion of society’s resources on advertising, executive perks and salaries, transportation and communications to far-flung corporate empires, and lobbying expenses. Most depend for their profits and survival on a complex regime of public subsidies, exemptions, and externalized costs, including the indirect subsidies they gain when allowed to pay less than a living wage, maintain substandard working conditions, market hazardous products, dump untreated wastes into the environment, and extract natural resources from public lands at below-market prices. Ralph Estes…estimates that in 1994 corporations extracted more than $2.6 trillion a year in such subsidies in the United States alone—roughly five times their reported profits… It is one of the basic principles of efficient market function that the full costs of a product or service be borne by the seller and passed on to the buyer. Yet many corporations would be forced to close their doors or restructure if they had to bear the true full costs of their operations.123 Americans sometimes think of large size almost as an end in itself, or at least as necessary for economic efficiency. But this is not always the case. In some industries, economies of scale do exist. But large size tends to entail bureaucratic inefficiencies, environmental destruction, allocative inequalities, political corruption, in general significant negative externalities.124
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
It’s also possible to revise the rules of globalization to reduce the amount of damage done by speculative private finance and to expand the role of transparent social investment. We could provide a lot more debt relief, as well as imposing a Tobin tax (see Chapter 3) on short-term financial transactions. Though the West has less economic influence than it once did, the markets of Europe and North America are still the world’s largest, which gives the West immense power to influence the rules for the global economy as a whole. Those rules were once used to promote balanced domestic social contracts. Lately, they have been used to enrich the already rich, often in concert with the repression of labor in the third world, and at the expense of decent labor standards in the West as well. The point is not that Japan, South Korea, China, and other emergent economies are doing something fundamentally wrong or inefficient by having industrial policies, subsidies, and managed trade strategies to promote their own economic growth. This is precisely what the West did at earlier stages of its own development. The point, rather, is that the system needs more realistic rules and norms, so that there is a fairer balance of benefits. That means balance between developing and developed countries, balance between capital and labor, and balance between market norms and social standards. Today, both the global trading system and US trade policy are promoting imbalance.
Robert Kuttner (Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?)
Government heavily subsidizes education. In 2011, U.S. federal, state, and local governments spent almost a trillion dollars on it.5 The simplest way to get less education, then, is to cut the subsidies.
Bryan Caplan (The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money)
In 2013, 1 percent of poor renters lived in rent-controlled units; 15 percent lived in public housing; and 17 percent received a government subsidy, mainly in the form of a rent-reducing voucher. The remaining 67 percent—2 of every 3 poor renting families—received no federal assistance.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
They offered subsidies for research, directed venture-capital “guiding funds” toward AI, purchased the products and services of local AI startups, and set up dozens of special development zones and incubators.
Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
If a business executive uses political connections to get a government subsidy, taxpayers will almost certainly disagree with that subsidy, which is why it needs to come from the government, rather than from voluntary investors. His competitors will also oppose it as well, and try to get a similar subsidy, which provokes even more competitors to do the same, provoking more resentment among taxpayers, and more sophistry from politicians and the media.
Stefan Molyneux (The Art of The Argument: Western Civilization's Last Stand)
By contrast, Apple Pay and Google Wallet have tread lightly in this arena. They theoretically offer greater convenience to users, but they haven’t been willing to bribe users into discovering that method for themselves. Reluctance on the part of U.S. tech giants is understandable: subsidies eat into quarterly revenue, and attempts to “buy users” are usually frowned on by Silicon Valley’s innovation purists.
Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
Between 2017 and 2020, the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone plans to put at least 3 billion RMB (around $450 million) into AI development. That money will go toward a dizzying array of AI subsidies and perks, including investments of up to 15 million RMB in local companies, grants of 1 million RMB per company to attract talent, rebates on research expenses of up to 5 million RMB, creation of an AI training institute, government contracts for facial recognition and autonomous robot technology, simplified procedures for registering a company, seed funding and office space for military veterans, free company shuttles, coveted spots at local schools for the children of company executives, and special apartments for employees of AI startups.
Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
Outlandish subsidies for multimillionaires isn't a phenomenon seen only in Detroit. Michigan gives away 30 cents of every government dollars to private companies. And in other cities, stadiums and ballparks are routinely paid for by governments, all with the hope that they'll help stimulate revitalization, even though economists nearly unanimously agree that spending public funds on private stadiums is one of the least efficient ways for governments to spend money. But the strategy is perhaps particularly troubling in a city where garbage collection, street repair, and streetlights are considered privileges.
P.E. Moskowitz (How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood)
Generating transmission and distribution institutions should not be loaded with any subsidy towards electricity. Whatever subsidy is required to be given for economically vulnerable sections of the society should be directly given by the government as is being proposed in respect of kerosene and diesel.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (The Righteous Life: The Very Best of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam)
Around the world, tougher economic times make governments less popular. In response, political leaders then spend too much money, including on subsidies.
Ian Bremmer (Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism)
Amongst the most impressive pieces by which Gustav Freytag, in Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, showed the woes of the German people in the 17th century and its lifelessness and rigidity after the Thirty Years War, is the cutting satire on Ratio status of 1666, which he reprinted. In this a young and promising counsellor of the ruler is taken into the secret chambers where the arcana status are to be found: the cloaks of State, masks of State, spectacles of State, eye dust, etc., which are used in the work. Cloaks of State, beautifully trimmed on the outside but shabby on the inside, with names like salus populi, bonum publicum, coservatio religionis, etc., are used when one goes to meet the representatives of the people, when one wishes to make the subjects agree to pay subsidies, or when, under the pretext of a false doctrine, one wants to drive someone out of house and home. One completely threadbare cloak, which is in daily use, is called Intentio, good intentions; this is worn, when one is laying new insupportable burdens on the subjects, impoverishing them with forced labour, or inaugurating unnecessary wars. With the various spectacles of State, midges can be made into elephants, or little kindnesses on part of the ruler can be made into supreme acts of mercy. There is an iron instrument with which the ruler can enlarge the gullets of his counsellors, so that they can swallow great pumpkins. Finally, a ball of knotted wire, furnished with sharp needles and heated by a fire within, so that it draws tears from the eyes of the beholder, represents the Principe of Machiavelli.
Friedrich Meinecke (Machiavellism: The Doctrine of Raison d'Etat and Its Place in Modern History)
The illegal mining industry began to grow in the 1990s as fifty-two of the most unprofitable mines were shut down. Profitable mines were privatized and many of them now belong to Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man and once most powerful oligarch. Up to now state-owned mines have continued to be heavily subsidized though. And this is where the great criminal opportunity opened up. Companies could buy, or illegally mine, coal cheaply and feed this into the state mining system, which gave them a handsome profit paid for by the taxpayer. A detailed study conducted by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a well-known and reputable investigative organization that concentrates on the former communist countries of Europe, calculated that some $678 million had been stolen in 2012 in this way. The government coal subsidy, it said, “is in effect siphoned from state mines into private pockets, as the mines claim to be producing more coal than they actually do produce.
Tim Judah (In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine)
Congress also refused to give the South subsidies proportional to those that went to the West and Northeast.
Richard White (The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 (Oxford History of the United States))
Southern rivers, ports, and harbors received a fraction of the funds devoted to the Eastern and Pacific states, and even the critical levees along the Mississippi River languished. For the rest of the century Southerners contended that the banking system, the tariff, and federal subsidies for internal improvements discriminated against the South, and they clearly did.
Richard White (The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 (Oxford History of the United States))
If the government had not subsidized a transcontinental, then private investors like Hill would have built them sooner and would have built them better. Subsidy promoters tried to deny this argument at the time, but Hill's achievement shows that it would have been done, only at a slower (but more efficient) pace.
Burton W. Folsom Jr. (The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America)
Income volatility can also interfere with the existing social safety net. Some welfare programs require beneficiaries to work a certain number of hours each week, assuming that the number of hours worked is under the control of the employee, rather than the employer.53 Qualification for programs like food stamps and health insurance subsidies is based on an average monthly income threshold. But of course volatile incomes mean that families bounce in and out of eligibility.54 Bouncing in and out of Medicaid ineligibility causes interruptions in care for chronic conditions, particularly in places where the doctors who accept Medicaid and private insurance don’t overlap.55 There can also be severe penalties for “fraud” in these programs, receiving benefits when your income is too high. But households subject to volatile incomes may not, themselves, know when or whether they will cross thresholds of eligibility. For instance, as of 2016, the Pennsylvania Medicaid Application asks whether anyone in the household has a hard time predicting their income, but in the very next question requires applicants to do exactly that—for the next twenty-four months—in order to establish eligibility.
Jonathan Morduch (The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty)
In 2013, the United States spent almost $400 billion in federal tax subsidies for homeownership and retirement savings. That was 30 percent of all federal tax expenditures. About 70 percent of the savings from the mortgage interest and property tax deductions went to the top 20 percent of earners. Almost none went to the bottom 40 percent. The proportions were similar for retirement-related tax deductions.13 On the bottom end of the income spectrum, if government policy served any function, it was to create hurdles for families trying to save.
Jonathan Morduch (The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty)
The deepest and most consequent struggle of each society is therefore not with other societies, but with the culture that exists within itself—the culture that is itself. Conflict with other societies is, in fact, an effective way for a society to restrain its own culture. Powerful societies do not silence their poietai in order that they may go to war; they go to war as a way of silencing their poietai. Original thinkers can be suppressed through execution and exile, or they can be encouraged through subsidy and flattery to praise the society’s heroes. Alexander and Napoleon took their poets and their scholars into battle with them, saving themselves the nuisance of repression and along the way drawing ever larger audiences to their triumph.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games)
In fact, given the perversities of subsidies on such things as water and carbon-based energy, or the lack of ownership of certain crucial resources such as deep-sea fisheries, markets can send exactly the wrong signals
Charles O. Holliday Jr. (Walking the Talk: The Business Case for Sustainable Development)
The main drawback of the government sponsored transcontinentals was that they were not funded through market savings but instead government loans and land grants, and were thus not disciplined by profit and loss. By granting subsidies, the government diverted resources away from where consumers would have spent their money (and hence valued more highly).
Murray N. Rothbard (The Progressive Era)
The native peoples of North America were stripped of their land and their culture—and collapsed into mass alcoholism. The English poor were driven from the land into scary, scattered cities in the eighteenth century—and glugged their way into the Gin Craze. The American inner cities were stripped of their factory jobs and the communities surrounding them in the 1970s and 1980s—and a crack pipe was waiting at the end of the shut-down assembly line. The American rural heartlands saw their markets and subsidies wither in the 1980s and 1990s—and embarked on a meth binge.
Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs)
The great majority of men are natural dunces and sluggards; in any system whatever these men will sink to the bottom; and to help them with state subsidies is “like pouring water into a leaking cask.” Such people must be ruled in politics and directed in industry; with their consent if possible, without it if necessary.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
When it comes to health, this research suggests that individual behavior is much more impactful than federal dietary guidelines, which most Americans do not meet. While structures matter-food deserts, subsidies, and unhealthy cafeterias undeniably influence diet-the most contagious standards are the ones that we model.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
The group [the National Association of Real Estate Boards, now the National Association of Realtors] first tired to make landlords' rents exempt from taxes. When this effort was unsuccessful, NAREB campaigned to make home mortgage interest deductible from income tax and succeeded in the 1920s in winning this subsidy for their growing industry.
Dolores Hayden (Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000)
Uber was spending $40 million to $50 million on subsidies in China every single week, an enormous sum just to convince riders and drivers to use Uber over DiDi.
Mike Isaac (Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber)
Poultry workers are paid very little: in the United States, two cents for every dollar spent on a fast-food chicken goes to workers, and some chicken operators use prison labor, paid twenty-five cents per hour. Think of this as Cheap Work. In the US poultry industry, 86 percent of workers who cut wings are in pain because of the repetitive hacking and twisting on the line. Some employers mock their workers for reporting injury, and the denial of injury claims is common. The result for workers is a 15 percent decline in income for the ten years after injury. While recovering, workers will depend on their families and support networks, a factor outside the circuits of production but central to their continued participation in the workforce. Think of this as Cheap Care. The food produced by this industry ends up keeping bellies full and discontent down through low prices at the checkout and drive-through. That's a strategy of Cheap Food....You can't have low-cost chicken without abundant propane: Cheap Energy. There is some risk in the commercial sale of these processed birds, but through franchising and subsidies, everything from easy financial and physical access to the land on which the soy feed for chickens is grown to small business loans, that risk is mitigated through public expense for private profit. This is one aspect of Cheap Money. Finally, persistent and frequent acts of chauvinism against categories of animal and human life -- such as women, the colonized, the poor, people of color, and immigrants -- have made each of these six cheap things possible. Fixing this ecology in place requires a final element -- the rule of Cheap Lives. Yet at every step of this process, humans resist....
Raj Patel (A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet)
The public’s anger with Washington had built steadily over the intervening years, but it was divided: Conservatives believed the government had grown too powerful and redistributed too much money from taxpayers. On the left, voters often viewed the existing government as an impediment to greater redistribution of wealth and more benefits for the middle and lower classes. However, these two sets of populists did overlap in a few essential areas. They were mad about corporate subsidies, trade agreements, and American military intervention overseas. They scapegoated different segments of society—immigrants on the right and bankers on the left, for example—but agreed that the Washington establishment, in which Hillary and many of the seventeen Republican presidential candidates were major players, wasn’t serving the country well. Bernie felt that way too. So while no one in Washington was paying attention to Sanders in April 2014, the tinder for an anti-Hillary outsider was spread across the country, just waiting to be lit.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
An Internet company decides to revolutionize an industry—personal transportation, the taxi and limousine market—that defines old-school business-government cooperation, with all the attendant bureaucracy and incompetence and unsatisfying service. It sells itself to investors with the promise that it can buy its way to market dominance in this sclerotic field and use its cutting-edge tech to slash through red tape and find unglimpsed efficiencies. On the basis of that promise, it raises billions upon billions of dollars across its ten-year rise, during which time it becomes as big as promised in Western markets, a byword for Internet-era success, cited by boosters and competitors alike as the model for how to disrupt an industry, how to “move fast and break things” as the Silicon Valley mantra has it. By the time it goes public in 2019, it has $11 billion in annual revenue—real money, exchanged for real services, nothing fraudulent about it. Yet this amazing success story isn’t actually making any sort of profit, even at such scale; instead, it’s losing billions upon billions of dollars, including $5 billion in one particuarly costly quarter. After ten years of growth, it has smashed the old business model of its industry, weakened legacy competitors, created a great deal of value for consumers—but it has done all this without any discipline from market forces, using the awesome power of free money to build a company that would collapse into bankruptcy if that money were withdrawn. And in that time, it has solved exactly none of the problems that would have prevented a company that needed to make a profit from building such a large user base: it has no obvious competitive advantages besides the huge investor subsidy; the technology it uses is hardly proprietary or complex; its rival in disruption controls 30 percent of the market, even as the legacy players are still very much alive; and
Ross Douthat (The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success)