The problem is that we push rampant unregulated capitalism until it becomes inconvenient for the biggest benefactors of rampant unregulated capitalism. The end result is that large “too big to fail” corporations run roughshod over everyone else, and then when they screw up, they get bailed out by taxes generated by the very people they trampled.
I’m not inherently opposed to the idea of the government bailing out a struggling car company, but I am opposed to the idea of the government being ready and eager to throw wads of cash at corporations, but suddenly when smaller concerns or individuals need help, oh well gee the wallet’s empty! I’m also opposed to the attitude that corporations should be allowed to do virtually anything they want in the name of making money - the attitude that government regulation is destroying American productivity and that’s why we have to eliminate fuel efficiency requirements, safety regulations, etc – but any time a large lowly-regulated corporation steps in it, we absolutely need to forget all about that free market baloney and give them as much money as they need, right now!
The housing crisis was the classic example of this mentality. Instead of bailing the banks out directly, we could have bailed the borrowers out, and the borrowers would then have given that bailout money to the banks. This would have allowed the banks to stay afloat while allowing people to keep their houses.
But no - we bailed the banks out directly, and they immediately and gleefully foreclosed on the borrowers. As usual, the little guy got screwed while the fatcats got fatter, and all sorts of BS was spread around talking about how it was all the borrower’s fault because they were too stupid to realize they couldn’t afford the loan they got and therefore they deserved to lose everything. All the while conveniently not noting that the banks, whose entire job it is to be financially savvy, must have been doubly stupid to fake data in order to “legally” give loans to people who could not afford them, and therefore the banks, too, deserved to lose everything.
And the same thing happened with the car bailouts. When GM got bailed out, and the one condition for giving them the money that Obama set was that they had to replace their leadership – you know, the leadership that had driven them to destruction – immediately idiots started running around howling about the “gubmint” taking over independent corporations and that’s communism!
Then, ever since GM needed the bailout, we’ve been hearing about how it’s all the damn union’s fault! The union forced GM into a contract that drove it to bankruptcy! We should punish the workers by busting the unions while throwing fistfuls of cash at the corporation!
You don’t often hear the other side, which is that GM could afford the union contract when they signed it, and maybe - just maybe - if GM hadn’t then decided to build the cheapest piles of crap they possibly could, while selling them at prices that should have been reserved for good cars, then GM’s customers wouldn’t have gotten fed up and abandoned them.
But no, let’s blame the working stiffs instead of the executives who decided to cut corners, and continue our charge toward full free-market capitalism forever! (or at least until another corporation needs money). It’s absolutely insane.