In a USA Today article I read of a faltering “green” energy manufacturer that needed government subsidies. According to the journalist these subsidies ensured competition in the “green” marketplace. Me? Head smack!
While she’s at it she could point out a few other manufactures that could have used government subsidies to remain, shall we say, competitive:
- Steam engine locomotive manufacturers
- Analog computer manufacturers
- Typewriter manufacturers
She did get one thing right. Real and true competition is at the heart, not only of real and true capitalism, but also of progress. It edges out old and inferior technologies in favor of better, and more efficient ones. But these better technologies arise due to the allure of profit, and not because they were propped up by your tax dollars.
The hard truth of this is just another one of those harsh realities that plagues man’s existence. And more times than not, feel-good attempts to alleviate the suffering of a few, while ignoring the long term consequences borne by the many, end up causing more pain than it alleviates.
In short here’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to government “investments” into celebrity causes. Politicians should never be trusted to invest anyone’s wealth except their own. That a politician desires to invest your hard earned money into some scheme, rather than his own, ought to be a red warning that the investment is a for sure loser. While yes, it might be a winner for his political aspirations or he might simply be using your money to shore up some company that’s threatening to suck his own personal investment into a corporate black hole, it is always a safe bet to assume that you are not figured into his interests.
Many a credulous patsy has fallen prey to the charms of a charismatic politician with promises of Utopia. Don’t be one of them. Think!