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RightNation.US: Is the Carrier Deal Fascist? - RightNation.US

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Is the Carrier Deal Fascist?

Ben Shapiro thinks it is:


To recount from yesterday, here were the basic details of the deal: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, who is also Governor of Indiana, offered $7 million in tax breaks to Carrier. They turned it down originally, since it would cost them $65 million to keep the jobs in Indiana. What changed their mind? Trump reportedly threatened the withdrawal of federal defense contracts from Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, which has $6.7 billion in business with the feds. Trump also threatened to increase tariffs on companies reimporting product after shipping jobs out of the country.

Trump bragged about this small dose of economic fascism while visiting Carrier. “This is the way it’s going to be,” he said. “Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also.” He added, “I don’t want them moving out of the country without consequences.” Mike Pence, supposed voice of conservatism, piped up, “The free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing. Every time, every time.”

If you oppose this, you’re a cuck.

First, let's have a little history lesson. Have you ever heard of the Transcontinental Railroad?


Each company was required to build only 50 miles (80 km) in the first two years; after that, 50 miles (80 km) more were required each year. Each railroad received $16,000 per mile ($9,940/km) built over an easy grade, $32,000 per mile ($19,880/km) in the high plains, and $48,000 per mile ($29,830/km) in the mountains. This payment was in the form of government bonds that the companies could resell. To allow the railroads to raise additional money, Congress provided additional assistance to the railroad companies in the form of land grants of federal lands. They were granted right-of-ways of 400 feet (100 m) plus 10 square miles (26 km2) of land (ten sections) adjacent to the track for every mile of track built. To avoid a railroad monopoly on good land, the land was not given away in a continuous swath but in a "checkerboard" pattern, leaving federal land in between that could be purchased from the government. The land grant railroads, receiving millions of acres of public land, sold bonds based on the value of the lands, and sold the land to settlers, using the proceeds to build their railroads, and contributing to a rapid settlement of the West.[57] The total area of the land grants to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific was larger than the area of the state of Texas: federal government land grants totaled about 203,128,500 square miles, and state government land grants totaled about 76,565,000 square miles.[58] The race was on to see which railroad company could build the longest section of track (and thus receive the most land and government bonds.)

Was the US fascist in 1863? We had a government that suspended the writ of habeas corpus and subsidizing corporations in order to achieve the political goals of unifying the nation. And if there's one thing all who study fascism can agree on, it's that one of the defining characteristics of fascism is the goal of national unity. So, was Lincoln a fascist?

It certainly wasn't a free market solution to the problem of safe and rapid travel West. Prior to the Civil War, private capital had built 40,000 miles of railroad east of the Mississippi River, and it had taken about half a century to do so. Had the government stayed out of it, there's no reason to believe the same wouldn't have occurred in the West. However, California might have seceded, Mexico might have become a problem again, and myriad other factors might have prevented the massive economic growth that followed the TCR.

The point being that the Carrier deal is straight down the middle of the spectrum when it comes to the way the government and business have worked together. The TCR was a public/private partnership formed to fulfill a vision of national unity, yet almost no one, least of all Ben Shapiro, would ever label it "fascist".

Shapiro is also wrong to reference the New Deal because it was a comprehensive dictatorship of the economy, not an ad hoc deal like Carrier. The New Deal sought to cartelize all business in order to control prices, wages, and labor practices. Winners and losers were chosen based on who was willing to cooperate with the process. Carrier hasn't been chosen as the nation's air conditioning company, and their CEO hasn't been appointed to any government agency that regulates HVAC manufacturing.

The Carrier deal was just a deal. Cries of fascism from the right on this are no more rooted in reality than when Charlie Rangle called the GOP's 1994 Contract With America fascist.

What IS fascist is the federal government recruiting corporations for the purposes of an agenda like environmentalism, diversity, or social justice. That's what we've had for the last eight years. The federal government cared nothing about the jobs lost to foreign contries while they made it economically impossible to make a profit without marching lock step with the government's agenda. If Trump is going to jettison all that, and his cabinet picks indicate he will, then his nationalistic policies will fit easily within the historical economic policies of the American government.

Just research the role of tariffs in American history and you'll see what I mean.

My Mind is Clean

2 Comments On This Entry

I appreciate this entry.&nbsp; I am not Trump's biggest fan.....so I want to wait until we know some specifics, but this is a nice piece of history to look at and compare to past US actions.&nbsp; Fascism, like so many other things, is way overused and most often incorrectly used.&nbsp; <br>

Dutch13, on 08 December 2016 - 03:28 PM, said:

I appreciate this entry.&amp;nbsp; I am not Trump's biggest fan.....so I want to wait until we know some specifics, but this is a nice piece of history to look at and compare to past US actions.&amp;nbsp; Fascism, like so many other things, is way overused and most often incorrectly used.&amp;nbsp; &lt;br&gt;

Yeah, I think it's a categorical error. Trump doesn't really have an ideological vision like Obama, FDR, or Wilson. Some argue that FDR wasn't ideological either, but his obsession with public ownership of utilities going back to his time in Wilson's administration would prove otherwise.
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