Republicans Show Their Love Of The Free Market With Corporate Subsidies

coronavirus

Republicans love the free market. Except when they don't.

We can't have government health care or raise the minimum wage or subsidize childcare, because that is evil socialism, so quit trying to to turn us into Venezuela, Congresswoman Bartender! And if the rich wind up getting an invisible hand job and the poor get screwed, well that's just the price we pay to live in a glorious, American capitalist system.

But when it comes to American corporations, the GOP gets slightly Bolshy ideas. To wit, they'd like to use your tax dollars to pay American companies to relocate to the United States. Which may or may not be a good idea, but it's a perfect example of GOP's utter lack of "conservative" conviction. Because China-bashing is the order of the day, and the GOP is nothing if not good at taking orders.

Here on Planet Earth, American companies didn't relocate manufacturing to China for the weather — they did it because labor costs were significantly lower there. We all took the deal, and we all bought the cheap T-shirts and cell phones and pills that globalization put in our stores. Like it or hate it, that is how capitalism is supposed to work. And yet, Reuters reports that Republicans are contemplating a $25 billion "reshoring fund" to pay companies to bring their production back to the US. Because Republicans hate an inefficient, government-run economy, right up until they see a chance to bang on the table and shout racist shit about the "Wuhan virus."


"Coronavirus has been a painful wakeup call that we are too reliant on nations like China for critical medical supplies," Trump lapdog Lindsey Graham said last week. Which helpfully locates our supply chain woes overseas and skips the part about President Lazyass wasting two months pretending Americans were impervious to coronavirus and then refusing to centralize production, forcing states to bid against each other and FEMA for desperately needed medical supplies.

Graham's fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who rails against socialism and sued to invalidate the Affordable Care Act when he was Missouri's attorney general, is similarly gung-ho about "generous investment subsidies" to entice pharmaceutical and medical supply companies to relocate production to America. Sure, shifting production to Sheboygan would necessitate spending huge amounts of money to subsidize and administer employee health care plans, but that is just good old capitalism at work. Bribing pill producers to set up shop in the US (over and above the whatever tax abatements companies can wrest from local governments) is simply the cost of doing business.

We couldn't possibly take that money and subsidize Americans' healthcare directly, which would also have the effect of making it much cheaper to set up a factory here. Because, SHUT UP, YA DAMN DIRTY MARXIST! We have to give it to the companies, because ... well, reasons.

And fuck the World Trade Organization and its stupid rules we actually agreed to. What are they gonna do, sue us?

Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark "Yellow Peril" Green goes even further, proposing the government actually buy up companies critical to US national security to keep China from getting its hands on them. Because Republicans hate socialism. Except when they don't.

Look, there's an entirely rational argument that we should bring critical manufacturing back to the United States. But Republicans, who affect to worship at the altar of unfettered capitalism and scream that Americans should take personal responsibility and just die if we can't afford to pay for chemotherapy, are the last people on earth who get to be making it.

Well, maybe the second to last. When it was wasting time hyping supposed miracle drug hydroxychloroquine, the Trump administration sourced 50 million doses from India, including from a lab that had been cited for multiple quality control lapses and was not approved to import to the US.

Because, China-bashing aside, none of these people give a rat's ass about American supply chains. There's no "conservatism" any more. The GOP wants cheap shit at Walmart, and they want to scream about socialism. That's it, there's nothing else left.

[Reuters]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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