I’ve talked a lot about welfare and entitlements, when big government gives your tax dollars to people who don’t want to work, but corporate welfare is just as big of a problem, and just as destructive, if not more so.
Corporate welfare is when big government gives your tax dollars to private (or semi-private) for-profit corporations. As I analyzed in great detail here; this is not capitalism, but it is a core part of corporatism, which big government economic system countries like the USA and Japan have embraced.
Under free market capitalism, the system that I endorse and that we don’t use, private, for-profit companies go into business, attempt to do well in the free market, and if they don’t, they go out of business. The owners of said businesses lose a lot of money. The managers of the business lose their jobs. The rank-and-file employees of the business also lose their jobs, but quickly go get other jobs at other companies that are being managed correctly.
In all three cases, this is what is supposed to happen. Companies that are not run well are supposed to go out of business. Investors and business owners that make stupid decisions are supposed to lose their money and their jobs. This ensures that less investors and business owners continue to make stupid decisions in the future. It’s a beautiful, though imperfect, self-correcting system.
Under our system of government, this happens with small and medium-sized companies, but with giant corporations and banks, it works very differently. These entities, seduced by the vast power a rampant, $7 trillion per year unconstitutional government wields, directly influences the government. Using this influence, whenever these corporations are run incompetently, instead of going out of business like they’re supposed to, big government takes your hard-earned taxpayer dollars and hands it over to these corporations to keep them in business.
You get ripped off, and the corrupt and/or incompetent investors and CEO’s of these crappy companies get rewarded. Thus, the corrupt and/or incompetent behaviors continue forever. (Or at least until our government actually runs out of viable money, which will happen in our lifetimes.) Small and medium businesses greatly suffer, since you can’t compete with a giant corporation that gets free money every time it runs into trouble when you don’t get any of that free money yourself (nor should you).
If the nation doing this also leans left, like the USA, this problem is compounded by the fact that the government is always giving out personal welfare (welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, free health care, and so on) to poor people on top of also giving it to big corporations, wealthy bankers, and CEO’s. Thus the cluster fuck the USA has become (as well as other corporatist nations like Japan).
Conservative estimates place the amount of money spent on corporate welfare by the US federal government at $100 billion per year, and that doesn’t include state governments which do this as well, and it doesn’t include all kinds of special treatment big corporations get in terms of special tax breaks, avoiding certain regulations, and so on.
Banks, airlines, restaurant chains, oil companies, big farms, green tech companies, and all kinds of other business get your money every year. Free. Because of corporatism.
I’m against corporate welfare and individual welfare. Left-wingers scream their heads off about corporate welfare, but think spending hundreds of billions of dollars on poor people is perfectly fine. Right-wingers bitch about welfare and entitlement spending constantly, but you never hear them even whisper about corporate welfare.
The government shouldn’t be doing either one. Local governments can do whatever they like, but the federal government should not give free money to any company, organization, or individual, ever, for any reason. That’s not free market capitalism.
Neither is corporate welfare.