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How Mussolini-Style Fascism Almost Came to the US

First, it was the National Recovery Act, where FDR explicitly tried to creat an economic system modelled on Mussolini-style fascism.  This was killed by the Supreme Court.  But the will of government to create an economic system where private companies win and lose based on how well connected they are to politicians never goes away.  The lastest attempt to set up such a managed system was via the Lieberman-Warner climate bill:

But perhaps even more pernicious is the way that “carbon credits” are distributed.

The credits are best described as a pulled-out-of-thin-air government-created fiat currency, that is accepted only by the government in exchange for the government’s permission to let you emit CO2. (If ever a system was perfectly set up to be abused and politicized by politicians, this is it.)

Government bureaucrats will decide sector by sector and industry by industry which companies get the credits. Implicitly, that same decision by government regulators also determines which companies will need to buy credits from the politically-connected companies who could get their carbon credits for free.

Posted on June 7, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink


That's why we need a carbon auction instead of just cap and trade, but then there's the question of what to do with the revenue. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a good suggestion: http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2008/06/mccain-obama-and-cap-and-trade-we-need.html

Posted by: funkalunatic | Jun 7, 2008 10:38:26 PM

Robert Reich!!! Surely you jest. The dwarf (as in mental midget)
is one of the last individuals on Earth to have any comprehension
of the workings of supply and demand. Coyote is correct. The fascist
impulse is alive and kicking in the halls of American gummint.


Posted by: Travis | Jun 8, 2008 2:00:39 AM

Now, will the current US Supreme Court save you this time?

I read somewhere that things like the Enviromental Protection Act are constitutional only through the "regulation of commerce" clause of powers given to Congress (is that true?), but if the Supreme Court changes the way this is interpreted (as in, how can emiting CO2 be considered commerce between the states?), things like Lieberman-Warner would be impossible. Has there been any recent test of the "regulation of commerce" clause by the Roberts court?

Posted by: Frederick Davies | Jun 8, 2008 7:03:14 AM

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