Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Government Motors and the Tea Party

I have two good links for you today.  (My blog seems to be very political this week.  Don't worry - it won't last.)

First, check out Adam's latest publication:  How the 'New GM' Can Steal from Toyota. From the abstract:
This essay explains how a 2006 court decision arising from the manufacture of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet paves the way for government-owned General Motors to steal intellectual property. In Zoltek v. U.S., the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a loophole in the Tucker Act (28 U.S.C. § 1498) prevented owners of patented processes from suing the federal government for certain types of unauthorized uses of their patents. The Zoltek court also held that patents are not secured as constitutional "private property" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. At the time, many judges and lawyers thought that these statutory and constitutional loopholes for patent-owners were insignificant; at worst, they argued, this benefits only military contractors and the like.

Fast forward four years and the federal government now owns the "new GM." It was inconceivable in 2006 that Uncle Sam soon would be in the business of making cars, not to mention in the businesses of banking and insurance, setting salaries of CEOs, purchasing mortgages, etc., etc.

The only part of that I would take issue with is the word "inconceivable."  I do not think that word means what he think it means (heh!).  Ayn Rand certainly conceived of it.  But seriously, if the idea of reading an article in a law journal scares you, give this one a chance - it's short and easy to read.  (Click "one-click-download" at the top of the screen to get the full article.)

Next, we have Harry Binswanger's excellent article on the Tea Party Movement.  This is the best statement I've read anywhere about the Tea Party because Dr. Binswanger does the opposite of what most journalists do: he essentializes.  I've been struggling to get to the heart of the Tea Party myself, and this article helped to clarify my thinking a great deal.  (It also includes a great list of the best Tea Party demonstration signs!)  I've come to agree with Dr. Binswanger that:
... Objectivists should recognize and value what is a startling, unprecedented phenomenon: the rise, in an eyeblink, of a pro-freedom, pro-American, avowedly *individualistic* political movement--a movement friendly to Ayn Rand, favorable to Atlas Shrugged, and popularizing the phrase "Who is John Galt?"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to Adam's article. I have found his other articles to be accessible and look forward to reading this one. I'm curious as to how it might relate, if at all, to the Right to Repair House resolution.

    Don't worry. That cranky feeling you might get from writing about the sorry state of politics right now will go away as soon as you write about something good. Although, this post was good and didn't make me cranky at all - yet.