Sunday, July 22, 2012

#youdidntbuildthat
Subsidies required to meet government mandates

BMW CEO Orren Boyle James Taggart Norbert Reithofer says that Germany's goal of having a million electric cars on German roads by the end of the decade will require the government to enact subsidies in the form of tax incentives. It brings to mind Solyndra, A123, General Motors and others. Especially General Motors.

The struckthrough names are fictional. James Taggart and Orren Boyle are obsequious, scheming crony capitalists in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Taggart's railroad is failing because he is incompetent, but the government is there to help:
Empty trains clattered ... They carried a few carloads of sheep, some corn, some melons and an occasional farmer with an overdressed family, who had friends in Washington. Jim [James Taggart, President of Taggart Transcontinental Railroad] had obtained a subsidy from Washington for every train that was run, not as a profit making carrier, but as a service of "public equality."
Later, in a meeting with a Federal Czar*, who is hammering out a series of edicts designed to seize complete control of the economy, Taggart and Boyle have this exchange:
"It is not essential whether you can afford it or not," Taggart said coldly. "You have to be prepared to make some sacrifices. The public needs railroads. Need comes first - above your profits."

"What profits?" yelled Orren Bole. "When did I ever make any profits? Nobody can accuse me of running a profit-making business. ... But, of course, the public does need railroads, and perhaps I could manage to absorb a certain raise in rates if i were to get - it's just a thought - if I were to get a subsidy to carry me over the next year or two..."
*Wesley Mouch, Co-ordinator of the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. See Atlas Shrugged Chapter VI, from the start, for the meeting minutes.

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