The Subsidy Maze

Gary North’s “Victim’s Rights” addresses the kind of subtle, big-money corruption that the government is shot through with.

—<Quote begins: From Victim’s Rights>—

The State as Insurer

The State even enters as the “insurer of last resort” when no private firms will insure extremely high-risk people or industries. One example in the United States – which is common in Western industrial nations, though not in Japan[1] – is the government-guaranteed coverage for accidents connected with the generation of electricity through nuclear power. Power companies are government-licensed public utilities that possess regional monopolies. The “Price-Anderson” legislation of the 1950’s sets relatively low ceilings for financial liability by such firms – $560 million per accident[2] – and then the federal government collects the premium money. By limiting its liability, the federal government forces residents who live near nuclear power sites to co-insure against a disaster, since there is a maximum pay-out per accident. The larger the local population that could be affected, the more each resident co-insures, for the lower the per capita payments would be. Taxpayers also co-insure: in case of an accident, the tiny federal nuclear accident insurance fund could not payoff more than 2 percent of a single $560 million damage suit. Money taken from the federal government’s general fund would have to make up the difference. Because of this federal legislation, public utilities have been able to expand the use of nuclear power generation. In this sense, today’s nuclear power industry has not been the product of a free market economy; it has been the product of special-interest legislation in the form of liability maximums and compulsory State insurance coverage.

Anti-nuclear power advocates tend to be anti-free market, and usually blame the free market for the nuclear power industry. Nuclear power proponents usually are pro-free market, so they seldom talk about the statist nature of the subsidy. But when the chips are down, the pro-nuclear power people accept federal subsidies to their program as being economically and ideologically valid. Writes nuclear power advocate Petr Beckman: “Yes, the American taxpayer has paid $1 billion to research nuclear safety, and I consider that a good investment. . . . “[3] He also argues that the Price-Anderson insurance program makes money for the federal government because power companies pay premiums to Washington, along with money sent to private insurance pools. “You call that a subsidy?” he asks.[4] Of course it is a subsidy. The premium rates are far below market rates, even assuming private firms would insure against a nuclear power plant disaster, which is doubtful. The maximum liability is fixed by law far below what would be demanded in a court if some major nuclear accident took place in a populated area. This is why the Price- Anderson legislation was enacted in the first place: to subsidize the power industry by reducing its legal liability and its insurance rates. Furthermore, taxpayers are co-insuring: the fund which is to cover all power companies nationally was $8 million as of 1976; the liability was $560 million per accident. Taxpayers would have to make up the difference. I do not want to give the impression that I am against the development of nuclear power. What I support is the development of a free market in power generation.


[1] H. Peter Metzger, The Atomic Power Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972), p. 218.

[2] Idem.

[3] Petr Beckman, The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear (Boulder, Colorado:Golem Press 1976). p. 154.

[4] Ibid., p. 156.

—<Quote Ends>—

The Environmentalist: Nuclear Corruption

Can you imagine how much corruption is woven right into the fabric of the government? If such an obscurity as “insurance for power plants” can be turned into a stream of income for the Right Sort — quite literally stripping money from the public, and depositing it into the pockets of the nuclear industry — then the sky’s the limit!

So long as total taxes remain 40%, the debt load continues to grow and grow, and the people “feel prosperous, right now!”

Note this bit, from the quote above:

Anti-nuclear power advocates tend to be anti-free market, and usually blame the free market for the nuclear power industry. Nuclear power proponents usually are pro-free market, so they seldom talk about the statist nature of the subsidy. But when the chips are down, the pro-nuclear power people accept federal subsidies to their program as being economically and ideologically valid.

This cheerful collectivists’ desire to get what they want, with the liberty and money taken by someone else, is all over the place in the environmental movement.

The Environmentalist: Greenpeace & Global Warming

I am most definitely thinking of Greenpeace yapping about Global Warming for 20+ years, acting as a front for

  • those corporations who are looking at those yummy Carbon Credits to reward themselves while crippling their competitors;
  • those racists who think the brown and yellow people are getting entirely too rich;
  • those globalist power-seekers, dreaming of a World State to manage and tax and control everyone – “So we have to wave a green flag, instead of a red one. Who cares?”

while the oceans were simply killed off by pollution and over-fishing (points to the subsidized fishermen of South Korea.)

“But there are no enemies on the left!”

Indeed not. As the Soviet Union demonstrated, the Right Sort just couldn’t care less about the environment, or the working class, or equality for all… including the Emperor and the Party Leadership Ruling Aristocracy.

Nah. They’re just in it for the power.

Conclusion

Massive, bone-deep, decades-old corruption…

(Any guesses on how much that 50’s nuclear subsidy is costing the public today?)

— coupled with simply unrestrained power-lust, “because we care!” —

…cries out for punishment from On High.

I’m amazed that the only punishment coming — after decades of evil — is a massive depression (via the lockdowns and the trade wars), woven with a population bust (via aging… and eventually, diseases coupled with bankrupted government health care systems. The Messianic Healing-State idol topples.)

(Well, there was another price to be paid: a vast elimination of our liberties, and a vast surge in legalized and state-enforced, state-funded evil. But few actually care about that now, “so long as the Free Stuff comes in!”)

If the lockdowns carry on to November or so, there’s going to be a massive culling in the ranks of the bureaucrats. Nothing to tax, and no income to service the loans, means the end of the bureaucratic state at the level of the city and state governments, who can’t just create their own money.

It will take time, before the federal bureaucracy is forcibly shrunk too.

One thing at a time.

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