Whether you voted for him or not, President-Elect Biden has big plans for the not-too-distant future for America, particularly in the realm of the economy. In this regard, his office could play a major part in getting the American auto industry back on track and help make numerous recoveries in this area. He’s particularly keen to see a renewed focus on clean energy – especially Electric Vehicles (EVs), and since so many manufacturers are playing in this sandbox, this seems like a natural fit for future development.
Industry experts have some concerns, however, about the way in which the pendulum seems to be swinging back and forth with each presidency. Some changes are always to be expected, but such a violent about-face every four years has some people wondering if it wouldn’t be better to have businesses like the auto industry depend on the products they make and their customers rather than on politics and government policy. This might seem crazy to some, but as the soon-to-be President looks to what his administration might accomplish, the auto industry is front and center in his vision for the future.
Our last President (and it very nearly felt like he would be our last President) had a clear focus: cut everything that could be beneficial to other human beings. Or at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. He ran on a ticket of economic growth, promising to bring jobs back to the US – especially factory jobs like those that are the backbone of the auto industry. And he did it.
For the most part, he fell short of any and all promises – from the Great Wall of Mexico to the promise of a new Middle Class boom. Initially, there was some growth, and some new plants were built here in the US (and are still being built). But in his trade war with China, the President managed to scare off a lot of businesses that didn’t like the rising costs of importing goods and materials from overseas. So, ultimately, it was a bust, and other programs like tax incentives to buy EVs were diminished as much as possible.
Now, things are about to change – or at least it seems that way. Mr. Biden is about to become President, but this isn’t his first time at bat. He was a key player in the Obama Administration, particularly when it came to dealing with the auto industry, so we kind of know what to expect here. In this regard, his record is pretty solid, so it’s no surprise that he intends to rebuild the US auto industry and make it stronger with a renewed focus on building EV models.
Economic Growth the American Way
“How would he do that?” you might ask. Well, I’m no expert financial analyst, but if I had to guess, I’d say “tax breaks.” Nothing gets corporate executives breathing heavy quite like the promise of reduced taxes – or no taxes for that matter. So, there will probably be some serious tax incentives on the table – way beyond anything like the $7,500 federal incentives offered to consumers for buying EV models.
He’ll probably make some promises: if auto manufacturers build plants here and create jobs for American workers, they can pay reduced taxes. Or maybe no taxes; or maybe, like, $750 in Federal income tax, that seems to be a popular choice. And, in particular, Biden and his Administration will push for low emissions or zero-emission programs. They’ll give manufacturers massive tax breaks to develop vehicles, charging stations, windshield wipers, household cats… anything they can that will possibly be carbon and emission-neutral.
It’ll be a golden age for the American auto industry (like the fourth or fifth one at this point, right?). Once more, we’ll be able to march boldly into the future, hoisting hard-workers like Elon Musk upon our mighty shoulders and lifting them high above the rabble. I, for one, welcome a new era of the rich getting richer!
A Strong Foundation
And this makes sense, right? It’s definitely the President’s role to create jobs for middle-class workers by adjusting tax rates so that auto companies build plants and “create” job opportunities. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Constitution…
Yes, here it is; Article II, Section 2. reads: “The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties… appoint Ambassadors… and set Tax Incentives to encourage Businesses working in the manufacture of Transport to set up shop and pay their Workers a modest wage.” Right there in black and white.
It would be ridiculous to propose something crazy like that companies should build factories in the US and hire American workers to make products simply because they want to. The American middle class was definitely built in the 20th Century by businesses that were bribed into having factories here in the US. It certainly makes sense for American workers to be held ransom by a commercial and political system that puts their wellbeing in danger by moving jobs overseas and then manipulates them into voting for a candidate – typically one that has been paid by those companies that moved overseas – who promises to undo the harm of the people paying him. Let me check my notes on this…
Yeah, that makes sense.
One industry insider, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say, “We pay these guys so much in bri– I mean campaign contributions, sometimes we wonder if it’s all worth it. It might actually be cheaper for us to invest that money into the industry and create more jobs instead.”
He pondered his own words for a moment, then continued, “But, that would be a lot more work, and there’s no guarantee. We know how little it takes to pay these guys off, so we’ll stick with what works.”
I can’t help but notice how close he came to a moment of real self-reflection there.
A Modest Proposal
I cannot help but wonder if there’s not a better way to go about this. Perhaps the President might not have anything at all to do with the auto industry because he’s busy being the President of the United States. Maybe the auto industry could just, I don’t know… build factories that make cars, trucks, and SUVs. And they could build those factories in America so that their workers have money to buy things… like the vehicles they make.
And all of this would just take care of itself without any tax incentives, massive spending bills to encourage companies to develop clean vehicles or tax breaks for people that want to buy EV models. Perhaps there could be some kind of system where these companies were no longer operated and controlled by just a few people, but instead, they could be owned by everyone. So that when people go to work at these businesses, they’re working for the common good of all Americans – and when you buy from one of these companies, you’re supporting yourself, your friends, and your neighbors.
Some kind of system where people, all people, control the… I don’t know, what’s a good term for this? Maybe something like… “the means of production?” Something like that? Yeah, that sounds good; but what would such a system even be called? Let me know if you have any ideas.
Editor’s Note: Please note that any frustration you feel due to the swinging back and forth of American politics and policy is entirely natural. That system of frustration is in place to ensure you lack the energy or confidence to actually make your life better. Please continue to not question it, this is how things have always been, and the future is brighter than ever before. Thank you.