We're witnessing history. Bailouts accelerate the change of our economy from monopoly capitalism to state monopoly capitalism, "Stamocap." What's bad about Stamocap? Economically, our global monopolized economy encourages limitless consumption. Production so concentrated destroys the environment, but is so efficient in squeezing surplus from world labor that consumers are unable to buy, at profitable prices, everything produced. So global monopoly capitalism is unsustainable. It tends toward stagnation; then to bubbles which must, even on credit, burst and crash repeatedly. Under state monopoly capitalism, our government is extracting from us by forcible taxation indebtedness, support for failing corporations merging with it. Each specific "no strings attached" bailout is an assault in class war by wealth concentrations against the people. So the question is "To what extent can the people get government to require public interest behavior out of nationalized banks, auto makers, etc.?" It's absurd that $trillions of our taxes should be invested or loaned to them without requiring far-reaching public interest regulation, especially in manufacturing process and product mix.
Super-exploitative monopoly capitalism must encourage, through advertising, the belief that we have God - given rights to consume anything we can "afford": blood diamonds, furs, self-damaging cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy foods (and then expensive medical repairs) home "theaters," "power user" computers with 500 functions (of which we'll master 30) mini-mansions, SUV's and so on, despite impoverishment this contributes to elsewhere. Here's the problem in a nutshell. Although more profitable for the auto makers to build and sell, many of the 20 million SUV's on our roads are much bigger than their purchasers needed. Their excess gas consumption wastes oil and pollutes the air.
The Big Three's stockholders profited handsomely after they replaced sedans like the Dodge Intrepid with the more profitable, monstrous Durango. Biden attended the September 1997 “celebration” of this in Newark, Delaware. These stockholders took their risk, and now the market cap of all three US car makers together is probably less than the bailout loans requested. So if they want our tax money to be risked on loans, the federal government should do much more than the silly symbolism of appointing a “Car Czar.” It should condition a bailout on the Big Three's finally accepting the UAW's 1934 demand: abolish overtime, reduce work to 30 hours/5-day week and keeping pay steady. It should require the Big Three to put their job bank employees back to work. It should require reduction in the number of models and prices by eliminating annual model changes in favor of a 5-year or 3-year body style. And to deal with the SUV devastation they should have to dismantle, say, 50% of their capacity to produce SUV's, these WMAD (Weapons of Mass Atmospheric Destruction) and melt down key parts.
In my opinion, it would be too ambitious, even at this time, to demand that our elected government issue new, debt-free money, despite the absurd height of speculation ($680 trillion in derivatives.) But if we don't succeed in mobilizing restrictions on bailouts, the political danger under Stamocap is that there's zero organized power left countervailing to corporate government. Stamocap is accompanied by "friendly fascism." There's permanent war against "terrorism." Hatespeakers grow Nativism, hatred of immigrants. Standing corporate armies like Blackwater build U.S. bases. Hero worship, a de-facto religious test for high office, and restrictions on civil liberties increase. Moribund unions and a temporarily mobilized netroots aren't countervailing power. Bailouts must be conditioned to serve the publicinterest by an aroused public or nothing will stand between American individuals and the corporate state "U.S.A. - Engulf and Devour, Inc."