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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9077/the-death-of-the-us-car-industry/

The death of the US car industry

December 9, 2008 by

Garet Garrett called it in 1952 (Wild Wheel, PDF and book)

Laissez Faire did not survive Henry Ford. It was betrayed by its friends, not for thirty pieces of silver but for debased paper money that would be legal tender for debt. Then it was stoned to death by the multitude and buried with hymns of praise for the easier life.

The obsequies were performed by the government, which assumed at the graveside ultimate responsibility for the continued success, well-being and growth of the national economy; by the government’s tax collector, who was to become insatiable, and by organized labor, whose economic power against that of the employer was increased by law, deliberately, on grounds of social policy.

You may like it better this way. Many people do. In any case, it was not to be argued. Only this–that if Laissez Faire had not begotten the richest world that ever existed there would have been much less for the welfare state to distribute.


Bob Roddis December 9, 2008 at 3:08 pm

It seems to me that the “bargaining” attempted by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is quite similar to that attempted by Senator Christopher Dodd regarding the auto companies and his attempts to micromanage their affairs. Both involve the buying and selling of government favors. I’m all for locking up Dodd along with Blagojevich.

Brad December 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

One of my earliest political/economic oriented memories was learning just how cheap and dodgy Soviet made cars were compared to American production. That and poorly made, poorly fitting suits. We are now on the doorstep of central production. I guess in some way the Nationalization of banks and Insurance was one thing, but this is nuts and bolts. All we need to do now is nationalize air travel and deliver the killshot to private medicine and I can start throwing out “comrade” and it not be a joke.

I am terrified af the world my two and four year old will inherit. It seems that no matter how much the liberty minded discuss what the heart of true liberty is, and how our society and culture needs to change, the State moves on apace. We are now reaching the end game while I am in my early 40′s. The corporo-fascistic model is waxing into its own. Taxation of 80-90% will soon turn us into taxed-wage serfs complete with our “work books”, crude second rate health care is right around the corner, controlled/coerced production and rationed consumption is but a decade away. What will it be like for my children? What duty do I have?

Rhetorics only goes so far…….

nick December 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I agree with this article a lot.

shaneinwy December 9, 2008 at 5:42 pm


With a father that understands this stuff, your children will be just fine.

The scenario you paint is not unrealistic, but you have left out the important final step. As central power nears the point of being absolute, excuses and fixes for the failures it produces will be harder and harder to come by. Faith in such approaches will be fundamentally shaken. Such a crisis will produce revolts, both peaceful and violent, which will require leaders.

To quote Rahm Emmanuel ironically, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

You ask what your duty is. I say it is to raise children who will be in an intellectual position to exploit these opportunities when they arise. Just as a down market is a good place to invest, a world in crisis can be a good time to affect change.

Bob Marley says that the “stone that the builder refused, will always be the next cornerstone”.

Raise cornerstones.

Hyrum December 9, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I agree with this quote but it doesn’t have much information.

Val December 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

I have yet to meet someone who agrees with all the intervention that is going on.
Regarding what’s to be done, let’s all withdraw our consent regarding this matter, or for any other thing we don’t agree with for that matter…. =)

Al December 10, 2008 at 5:51 am

Brad I’m afraid that our only option is armed revolution. Put aside your everyday comforts, prepare your arms and lets get out there and do what’s right for the country.

Brad December 10, 2008 at 9:02 am


Thanks for your response. But I seem to detect more optimism than I have, or perhaps you’ve overlooked a step that our (relatively) modern centralized States have tended to take – the concentration camp/gulag – the decimation of a persecutable minority. What’s to say that it won’t be us (my family)? Al discusses armed revolt. Is this the time? Do you wait until the ash is falling form the sky before one does anything? Or is it really worth violently revolting when one doesn’t know which side our military would likely be on? Even with illegal weaponry on the side of individuals (converted sub-machine guns etc), the State, and the Military that so far serves it, would make stains out of armed resistors in fairly short order.

Is the first step simply not obeying? Beginning the grass roots effort to individuals and business (that not already corrupted and fused into the leviathan) to STOP paying taxes? Stop withholding on payroll, stop making estimates, claim every dollar back that is owed – in other words blockade money from getting to the glorified mobsters? It will then be up to them as to what to do next. But SOMETHING has to be done soon. Just assuming that our “open” society because of the internet will keep a watch on our masters and keep us “free” is the wrong approach. Quixotic attempts at some sort of martial solution before knowing where our standing army is positioned is suicide – that can be accomplished much faster other ways. I say that we need to start by cutting off the funding of the Leviathan. Spread the word to stop paying taxes. Force a tax holiday that never ends and see what happens.

I guess it’s not keeping on doing too little and hoping everything turns out ok, because it won’t, but not doing too much and getting picked off so quickly you won’t even be a martyr. But so much time has already passed and we are reaching critical mass. The Nationalization endgame has begun.

Doug December 10, 2008 at 9:47 am

Don’t worry, the car CZAR is on the way to save us.

Anyway, who is John Galt?

David Spellman December 10, 2008 at 12:05 pm

When the government has absolute control, the people finally figure out who the culprit is. Unfortunately, it took decades of decay for the Soviet Block and China to collapse, but they did. Looking at the broad expanse of history, they are just a few pages of one chapter of the same story. But living as a footnote personally in the wrong chapter is a challenge.

Mary Ann DiCianni December 10, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I would like to comment on the income tax in America. My husband and I had 7 children and he was a very intelligent man. With only one income to support us, His, we had to do the best we could. He was an agent for an Insurance comany and before that a school teacher in a Catholic High school system. When it came to taxes, he struggled at making payments to the IRS. It always bothered him to have to pay tax on his income that we needed to support our family. Now that he is departed and with his God, I can understand how terrible he must have felt. We owed the government and had to settle with them before he died. Unfortunately he gambled and lost his health to diabetes. If one’s income was not taxed, life would be more managable. Mary

Ball December 11, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I know what you’re trying to do, Jeff, but I can’t do it! I have too many books to read as it is! ARRRG!

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