WIN Short: Automobile Industry and National Well-Being

This is a project of Workers Independent News brought to you by Democracy at Work. 

Hello this is Richard Wolff from Democracy at Work. Today I want to talk to you about the automobile industry once again. Yes I know, they have been in the news for not telling us about ignition problems that killed and wounded a lot of people. I know they have been in the news for having problems with seatbelts. And I know they have been in the news, with VW particularly, having faked emissions tests. But now this last week another bolt from the blue, this one from the Japanese corporation Mitsubishi that produced a million cars last year.

And what did they tell us. Well, you might have guessed it. It turns out that for the last 2o years they have been faking emissions test. And you know what that means. It means they have lied to their customers and the public as to how much bad pollution their cars are pushing into the air. Air that we breathe, that our children breath, that hurts our lungs it gives us emphysema. Automobiles are the largest causes of air pollution

So what does this teach us? It teaches us that big capitalist corporations fight against well-being when it hurts their profits. It took years of agitation by doctors, by victims to get the public aware that air pollution kills. It took more years to get the car companies to admit that their product was the culprit here. Then it took more years to fight the politicians, paid off by the car companies, to finally pass rules and regulations to limit the emissions. And now we know the corporations, having stalled off all of that for years, faked it decades beyond that. 

What’s the lesson here? The lesson is capitalist corporations see rules and regulations as so many obstacles to work around, to evade, to fake. They work for what they are there for, making money. And what the fallout from that is, they just don’t care. And we have to think about what that means for our society.


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