The most recent big indaba du jour in Canada is the fact that Federally and Provincially-bailed out aerospace company Bombarider's honchos have made boodles in terms of salary, laughing at the taxpayers. I remember Wooly Bumblebee, a superb artist in her own right who honchoes Anti-Intellectuals and who is also promoting this rad new site Akkadiantimes.com, voicing her displeasure last year when the government bailout of Bombardier was announced. As well, Jordan Owen--who, in addition to having put out the superb documentary The Sarkeesian Effect, is also a cogent and strongly moral Internet voice speaking in favour of libertarianism--would also have a problem with the Bombardier bailout. While I tend to be somewhat more agnostic on government bailouts, and government involvement in industry, as concepts than Mr. Owen and Wooly would tend to be, I am also unhappy with the specific situation of Bombardier.
I derive most of my economic ideas from Alexander Hamilton, Otto Graf von Bismarck and Bill McKinley. These three men viewed tariffs (as opposed to income taxation) as a means through which a great nation could be built, much in the manner of Andrew Jackson's arch-enemy Henry Clay (and Clay's American System.) As they viewed tariffs as a viable alternative to income taxation, it is not wholly outside the bounds of reason to speculate that they would also not be hostile to government involvement with industry if this also was an alternative to income taxation.
For this reason, unlike libertarians, I do not regard government involvement in industry per se to be an absolute evil, if it reduces the burden of taxation. I will return to this in a moment, but, under the rubric my comfort with the concept of government involvement with industry, I am also not irrevocably averse to government bailouts per se. The reason I say the latter is that Tim Geithner, President Obama's first Secretary of the Treasury--and, unlike Paulson before him and many Trump appointees of today, a career, high grade, extremely high wattage-between-the-ears (unlike Sarabyn and Chojnacki, the two Armani-clad ATF dimwit attention whores who thought it would be a good idea to raid Waco in broad daylight so the media could see the bright yellow "ATF" on the raid jackets) civil servant and lifelong political independent, makes an extremely convincing case for the 2009 bailouts in his book Stress Test.
As regards government monopolies, Québec, Ontario and New Brunswick all have liquour monopolies which are nominally under government control, and the former two Provinces also have electricity monopolies. New Brunswick has de facto sharia law, arresting anyone who enters the Province whilst being in mere possession of liquour bought from anyone other than its liquor monopoly. Québec, in this regard, is sharia-light. It does not arrest people caught in possession of alcohol bought from sources other than its liquor monopoly, but, in terms of supply, its liquor monopoly functions like a cartel, forcing microbreweries to sell only to them. Ontario's liquor monopoly, by contrast, allows microbreweries to sell directly to customers. I fully condemn New Brunswick's sharia laws on alcohol and I fully condemnd the Québec liquor monopoly's cartel intimidation of private microbreweries. But I cannot globally condemn the practice of government liquor monopolies because Ontario's liquor monopoly does not behave in anything remotely resembling the authoritarian manner in which the New Brunswick and Québec liquor monopolies hold customers and producers hostage.
In other words, I generally have an open mind when it comes to the questions of government involvement in industry, and, specifically, government bailouts. I object to the government-sponsored mega-payola of the Bombardier honchoes for reasons specific to the aviation industry. Both the economic and aviation media admit that there is a de facto duopoly of Boeing and Airbus that essentially controls global civilian aircraft manufacture. Unless Bombardier can make a product from its aircraft line (the company also makes trains and ski-doos) that is so revolutionary, so radically different--and better--than what Boeing and Airbus put out, it is a fool's errand to pump taxpayer dollars into Bombardier and expect any kind of significant return. Thus far, Bombardier has not put out any product from its aircraft line that has former Boeing and Airbus customers flocking to them like the revolutionary iPhone had tonnes of former BlackBerry customers flocking to them after Jim Balsille got complacent and went in search of a hockey team to own (just like his fellow playboy Tony Fernandes dilettantishly had his Caterham team in Formula 1) instead of innovating like Steve Jobs over at Brand-X did.
What is more, Bombardier is not the only pint-size aircraft manufacturer to try to break into a market dominated by the Boeing-Airbus duopoly. Brazil's Embraer is a similar-sized company and it puts out a similar product. Like Bombardier, Embraer has been having an extremely tough go at cracking past the duopoly and into the market. Unlike Bombardier, Embraer thinks outside the box. Seeing that, on top of the thus far insurmountable Boeing-Airbus duopoly, it also has to compete with Bombardier in the civilian passenger aircraft market, Embraer saw, as reported by the Smithsonian's Air&Space Magazine, that there was an opportunity in the market for light, Combat Air Support birds for smaller countries like Afghanistan which lacked the resources to handle the A-10 Warthog--and Embraer took a shot by putting up a contender for this market. By contrast, Bombardier does not innovate in its military aircraft subdivision. It puts out an ISR (intelligence-gathering) airplane, the C4ISR. So does France's Bréguet (the ATL-2, described in this edition of the French military magazine RAIDS.) There is only a limited market for ISR's just as there is only a limited market for Bombardier's short-range passenger aircraft. By contrast, there are a lot of poor countries that cannot afford or cannot handle an A-10 Warthog that are in the market for the crop duster-sized Combat Air Support aircraft of which Embraer, unlike Bombardier, already has a contender.
Despite its stereotypical image as a "peace-loving country," Canada has a not significant military industry. Canada sells tankettes--although of nowhere near the quality of the battle-proven Eland 90--to Saudi Arabia. The fact that, unlike Embraer, Bombardier did not see the opportunity in the crop duster-sized Combat Air Support aircraft market indicates that the taxpayer bailout of Bombardier, and the concomitant boodles raked in by the honchoes, was a damned mistake.