Government Aid and Government Stakes

The current version of the Federal assistance to American airlines contemplates the government taking stakes—in the form of warrants convertible to (voting) common stock—in return for sending money to the airlines to help tide them over the disruptions resulting from the current Wuhan Virus situation. There are a number of objections to such a condition, most of them valid. Flight attendant unions have their own objection. They’ve

urged federal officials not to make grants to airlines contingent on government stakes, saying they believe executives would refuse—costing jobs in an industry hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

What Are They Going to Do?

Cut us off?

The chairman of Huawei Technologies Co warned the US to expect countermeasures from the Chinese government if it further restricts the technology giant’s access to suppliers….
Eric Xu, Huawei’s chairman, said he believes Beijing would respond with restrictions of its own on American companies operating in China if the US.

In addition to the draconian restrictions already inflicted on American companies—and other nations’ companies—operating in the People’s Republic of China. These restrictions include demands for government-controlled backdoors into companies’ operating software and transfer of companies’ technologies to domestic partner companies—which are required for most foreign companies in order to operate in the PRC.

State Governments and Socialism

A current government move to control the means of production—classic socialism when the controls are widespread—is this, involving what’s left of our nation’s insurance industry, at the State level.

In at least three states, lawmakers have proposed legislation to force insurers to pay billions of dollars for business losses tied to government-ordered shutdowns.

Never mind what already agreed policies say. To Hell with signed contracts. Government men Know Better, and being above petty commitments themselves, can’t conceive the idea that commitments actually matter in a free society, in a free market economy.

Some regulators have declared moratoriums on cancellations and nonrenewals of policies.

Progressive-Democrats and the Law

And contracts.  Since the SARS epidemic of some years ago, insurers have declined to cover losses related to virus or bacteria damage, and they wrote their policies to that effect. State regulators—who controlled and still control the structure of insurance policies and the premiums allowed to be charged for those policies outside Obamacare—agreed.

However.

New Jersey Assemblyman Roy Freiman, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would retroactively rewrite interruption coverage contracts and force insurers to foot some losses for any policyholder with fewer than 100 full-time employees.

Contracts be damned. They don’t fit the Progressive-Democrat agenda, so by Progressive-Democrat-run Government fiat, they must be tossed.

It Depends

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors are stewing about the Wuhan Virus relief bill that just passed the Senate. To an extent, the WSJ is justified in its concern; $2 trillion isn’t chump change (the editorial was written before the Senate voted the bill up, so details at the link might differ from Senate-passed reality). Couple things about the paper’s concern, though.

The bill includes $250 billion for $1,200 payments to Americans whether or not they’re affected by the virus. The cash will do little or nothing to help an economy closed by government fiat.

Strings on Airline Emergency Support

As we contemplate (what should be) a one-time support/subsidy for airlines in the midst of the present Wuhan Virus situation, a letter writer to The Wall Street Journal‘s Letters facility had a suggestion.

[I]f we the people are going to bail out the airlines then a caveat should be that senior executives take a pay cut and don’t receive their usual massive bonuses.

Agreed, but they’re not the only ones. The management teams of the various airline industry unions—national and Local—also should be required to take substantial pay cuts and forego their benefits, however the unions might couch the labels on those benefits.

YGTBSM

And now the Greens, the climatistas, have shown their true colors. Valentin Dupouey, Head of the Communications Unit at European Green Party, say this, as paraphrased by Eric Worrall, writing for Watts Up With That?:

[A] major overhaul of Democracy is required to force acceptance of the economic de-growth required to address the climate crisis.

Because we’re just too screamingly stupid to know what’s good for us, so to hell with us—the Greens will do democracy for us.

And this, a direct quote from the Right Reverend Dupouey [emphasis Dupouey’s]:

Progressive-Democrats and their…Preferences

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has buried another item in her 1,400+ page demand list of “relief” supports that she is requiring in quid pro quo for her support for the Senate Wuhan Virus relief bill that her minions in the Senate are actively blocking: $35 million for operations and maintenance for New York’s JFK Center for the Performing Arts. Pelosi’s bill would provide funding for

…employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers….

Government Ownership of Private Companies

There is a move afloat that, as part of a (supposedly) temporary support measure during the current Wuhan Virus situation, the Federal government should inject money into troubled businesses by taking equity stakes—buying shares of stocks—in them.

As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, that’s a bad idea, and it illustrated the dangers by describing the failure of Japan’s moves in this regard.

As it happens, we have a domestic example of the dangers of governments buying private company stocks: CALPERS. That huge (State) government pension fund has, for all the best reasons, invested in a broad range of American companies, and it has invested in some of them heavily.

Progressive-Democrats and Crises

We’re seeing their execution of Rahm Emanuel’s theory in spades these days.  The Republican-majority Senate has a proposal in the Senate, agreed in bipartisan fashion with Progressive-Democrat Senators that would aid average Americans and the small, medium, and large businesses—including our farmers and ranchers—weather the government-mandated shutdown of our economy in response to the present Wuhan Virus situation.

The bill would provide loans to businesses to help tide them over the current loss of revenue—many of the loans converted to grants if the businesses retain their employees on the payrolls.