Sunday, February 20, 2011

DeltaHawk and Fascism

Maybe I should be opposing the City’s funding of the DeltaHawk airplane engine, but I am not.   I am just disappointed that we have sunk to such a low level of operation in this City that we must engage in such an activity to survive.

We used to be a national center for innovation.  But I would warrant that none of those great companies of that era, Twin Disc, InSinkErator and J. I. Case, to name a few, came to a government planning board for money to advance their products.

It is a signature characteristic of fascism that corporate profits are private, their losses are public.

DeltaHawk characterizes that scenario.  If DeltaHawk is successful, the profits will go to the stockholders, as they should. If DeltaHawk fails and the company disappears, the 1.2 million dollar investment will be paid by the taxpayers, as they shouldn't.

The reasons for this practice are more than academic.  In “Fascism Light,” you might call it, when regulation and taxation is limited and business and people are relatively free to function, there is no need for government subsidy of business.

But as a community gets in to “Fascism Regular” and restrictions and taxes become so heavy as to make economic expansion unreachable, the government must make up the gap with subsidies to business.

This is nothing new to the world.  Just about every socio-political society that has advanced beyond tribalism, has eventually progressed from Fascism Light to Fascism Regular.  It is only new to Racine to have reached that summit.

It is not the role of government in a free society to engage in speculative financial ventures with taxpayers money.

Such an engagement is actually why the corporate structure was invented: to provide a means to amass sufficient capital to engage in new ventures while limiting the liability of the investors should such a venture fail.

There has been a comment that this is not taxpayer money, that it comes from the Intergovernmental Revenue Sharing Account, essentially the Sewer Treatment Agreement.  It is all legal.

Yes it is legal. But is it right?

The Sewer treatment plant was paid for out of the wallets of Racine taxpayers through their water bills.  Any profits made from the leasing of that facility to other communities rightly should have gone back to those taxpayers in repayment of their investment.  Instead those water bill dollars were really just another tax and the lease money went to anything from the Zoo to parking lots.  And now the DeltaHawk.

The DeltaHawk promoters should be using the corporate mechanism for their needs.  Unfortunately they can’t.  Governments across the land have made that nearly impossible.  So a government must come to their rescue.

And it looks like that government is us.