Many have decried the various bailouts as leading us down the path to socialism. They are wrong. We aren't heading for socialism, we are headed for fascism.
Italy and Germany developed a distinct economic model. The means of production were privately held, but controlled by the government. Facists were neither capitalist or communist.
The fascist economic model believes that profit is private, but loss is public. In other words, if you are making a profit you can keep it. If you have a loss the state will bail you out. In return for this protection, businesses had to allow themselves to be "guided" by the state. The purpose of private business became to serve the needs of the state, not of the owners.
A land owner that raised sheep might be told they must grow wheat instead. An automotive company might be told what type of car to produce (the people's car, or Volkswagon in Germany for example.)
Historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because "the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise... Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social."**
In Nazi economic planning, in place of ordinary profit incentive to guide the economy, investment was guided through regulation to accord to the needs of the State. The profit incentive for business owners was retained, though greatly modified through various profit-fixing schemes: "Fixing of profits, not their suppression, was the official policy of the Nazi party." However the function of profit in automatically guiding allocation of investment and unconsciously directing the course of the economy was replaced with economic planning by Nazi government agencies.**
The goals of the USA today are different from the goals of Italy and Germany in the 1930s. They used the econimics of fascism to promote their military aspirations. America's economic planners seem to have a different goal: green.
There is news that Obama may adopt an Israli electric car design to build in the US. Who is going to build this car? Private American auto companies. Who is going to tell them to build it? The government.
We have seen in the past where the government has used regulations to attempt to control private enterprise. Now that we have entered the bailout era, where the government assumes the risk for loses, we are seeing the government taking the next step: bluntly telling companies what they should make and how they should be run. Private companies run by the government for the needs of the state are here.
We have entered the era of American economic fascism.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism since it is the merger of state and corporate power." -Benito Mussolini, Fascist Dictator of Italy