My mother, who gets a lot of her news from the MSM, is nevertheless slowly becoming aware of the Solyndra scandal — not just the fact that a big solar panel company went bankrupt, but that it went bankrupt at great cost to her, because the Obama administration had bet the farm (or should I say, the taxpayer’s farm) on Solyndra. “That’s not what government is supposed to do,” she said.
“Au contraire, Mama,” I replied. “This is precisely what Obama-style Leftist government is supposed to do.”
I went further than that. The Obama approach to business is precisely like the Nazi approach to business. And before anyone gets all hot and sweaty here, and despite Obama’s disgraceful attitude to Israel, I am not likening Obama to Hitler or trying to say that the Progressives are Nazis. I am making, instead, a very specific point about American-style socialism, which is very different from Soviet, or North Korean, or Cuban style socialism.
When people think of socialism, they think in terms of government doing away with private industry entirely in favor of total nationalization. That’s why, when you remind people that the fascists were socialists (i.e., Leftists), they’ll always deny it. “That can’t be true. Hitler didn’t take over private business.”
While it’s true that Hitler left ostensible corporate ownership in private hands, the practical reality was that the Nazis made the big decisions. Baron von This and That and Herr So and So got to call the corporation their own, and got all the glamor that went with being rich industrialists, but the practical reality was that they looked to the Reichstag for direction and, because the Nazi Party conferred significant economic benefits on them, they supported it in word and deed. One could say that German businesses, although nominally private, were in fact subsidiaries of the Nazi government.
That fascist approach, which sees businesses retain their status as “private,” even while being completely answerable to the government, is the Obama model. He doesn’t want to nationalize companies, he just wants to direct them. American businesses, in his mind, should be subsidiaries of the Obama White House. That’s why Obama happily took over GM, and that’s why he and his Chicago cronies saw no problem with using taxpayer money to prop up an already failing solar company.
This same attitude permeates ObamaCare. We conservatives sometimes forget that the hardcore Left hates the individual mandate as much as we on the conservative side do. We hate it because it decreases individual freedom. The Left hates it because the insurance companies will continue to thrive and, indeed, can profit mightily. The Left cannot understand how their man in the White House could betray them that way. They forget that Obama, although a socialist, is not a Communist. He is an economic fascist, and merely wants to manage American business, which will keep a steady stream of money flowing from those same businesses right back to him.
In theory, it’s a lovely solution for both the government and the businesses. In practice, as Solyndra shows, Obama is a disastrously bad business manager. It’s also worth remembering, as the Germans learned to their great cost, that while power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s one thing for business to have a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” relationship with government. That’s the nature of power. It’s another thing entirely when a government simply co-opts a nation’s business.