The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) announced today the launch of FauxEnterprise.com, a satirical mimic of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Free Enterprise website at www.freeenterprise.com/tour.
The Free Enterprise site chronicles the “Free Enterprise Tour,” which would be a welcome undertaking if not for the sponsorship of bailed-out General Motors. According to NLPC President Peter Flaherty, “I don’t know who looks worse, the Chamber for not appreciating that the GM sponsorship looks silly to many people, or GM for acting like it’s a competitive company operating in a real marketplace.”
Flaherty said, “The auto bailout was not about preserving free enterprise, or even saving jobs. It was about bolstering the political power of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Today’s GM is not a capitalist success story but instead is an example of state-directed crony capitalism.”
“There has been no GM comeback. The U.S. Treasury still owns a significant stake. It is unlikely taxpayers will ever recoup the tens of billions that have been poured into GM and related entities. The necessary changes to GM’s culture to make the company competitive have not taken place. During the next downturn in the automotive market, which will come, GM will come back looking for more taxpayer handouts.”
Visitors to FauxEnterprise.com will find stories that underscore how GM current operations are at variance with the values of free enterprise. “From the federal bailout to its long record of squeezing local governments for special advantages, GM’s history of seeking corporate welfare speaks for itself,” said Flaherty. “And, how does GM rationalize its operations in China which are dependent on its close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Said Flaherty “As small businesses face new taxes and more regulation, free enterprise has never been under greater attack. The Chamber compromises its credibility to highlight this problem when it accepts sponsorship from GM. I call on all those who believe in free enterprise to resist this blatant attempt at ‘freewashing.’ Please visit Fauxenterprise.com, and share your thoughts about this sham tour on Twitter using the hashtag #FEtour.”
Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life. NLPC has been a persistent critic of the financial and automotive bailouts. NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica, a wiped-out GM bondholder, has been a highly visible critic of GM and the bailout.