A Class in Denial

Ruling social classes age. After they get their boots squarely on enough necks, they begin to flatter themselves for it. Eventually, as memory of reality recedes, senility sets in, and they lose the capacity to do anything creative or flexible or realistic. Boondoggles become the only game in town.

The U.S. overclass entered into terminal dementia beginning in the late 1970s, and is now utterly braindead.

Consider this post from the editors of Investor’s Business Daily. In it, the IBD editors rightly disparage the Chevy Volt as a hopeless boondoggle.

But they also manage to say that the Volt is the product of “government stupidity,” rather than capitalists’ long-standing and utterly unchallenged dictatorship over transportation policy in the United States:

It wasn’t exactly Michael Dukakis riding in a tank wearing a Snoopy helmet, but it was close. President Obama, who reportedly hasn’t driven an inch himself since taking office, visited a GM plant in Hamtrack near Detroit on Friday to drive a Chevy Volt 10 feet off an assembly line. It was a perfect image, as the American economy is being driven off a cliff by this White House.

The administration, at taxpayers’ expense, has labored mightily and brought forth an Edsel that needs to be recharged. If a camel is a horse designed by committee, the Chevy Volt is a car designed by government. It is a perfect example of industrial policy run amok, of what happens when government picks winners and losers. Without heavy subsidies and government ownership, it never would have been built.

Aside from being absolutely false — the Volt was designed by GM, of course, the self-flattering blindness on display here is simply epic. Whatever one thinks of the cliche about camels being bad horses, the inarguable fact is that the automobile is capitalists’ idea of a horse, with all that implies about capitalists’ idea of energy efficiency and safety and sustainability in human mobility systems.

As this shows, our out-of-control moneyed overlords are so far gone on their own BS, they can’t even tell when they’re plainly tying their own nooses. The Chevy Volt is a sign of corporate capitalist dominance and desperation, as is market-worshipper Barack Obummer’s sponsorship and pimping of it.

If the public ever gains control of transportation policy, we will have to show these heedless murderers what government’s real idea of a horse is.