Monopolists will never let a good emergency go to waste.

Cory Doctorow
7 min readMar 11


An old general store. Instead of a grocer, the counter is manned by an ogrish, top-hatted capitalist caricature, yanking on a lever in the shape of a golden dollar-sign. He holds aloft a carton of eggs, disdainfully, pinched between a gloved thumb and forefinger.

The decision to pass modest sums out to working people to prevent them from starving or losing their homes during the covid lockdowns made the right furious, especially inflation hawks who insist that any improvement in everyday people’s material lives will transform America into an amateur revival of Weimar, complete with wheelbarrows full of useless bank-notes.

“Democrats” like Larry Summers — a Clintonite ghoul who is on record as saying that women are biologically incapable of doing science — insisted that preserving workers’ living standards was a terrible mistake, only prolonging the inevitable day when they would be shoveled into the furnace that keeps The Economy running.

And indeed, the lockdowns were followed by a series of price rises. Some of these were obviously the result of capacity problems:


Cars got more expensive because panicked car executives canceled their microchip orders. That’s a problem, because they redesigned our cars to be mobile surveillance platforms stuffed full of anti-repair digital locks, which means that cars need dozens of chips just to function:


As a result, fully assembled, chipless cars piled up in warehouses around the world, inert and immobile, awaiting the breath of life to be kindled by semiconductors. At one point, car makers even bought up washing machines to shell them for the chips inside, discarding the husk of the machine:


With fewer cars being made, and some cars being scrapped or retired, there was more demand than supply, and car prices rose, temporarily. This is obviously a capacity problem, not a demand problem. Working people don’t cause capacity problems. Bosses do: by selling off buffer stocks, eliminating redundancies and safety margins, and chasing lax labor and environmental regulations to the corners of the world, stretching out supply chains across vast distances.



Cory Doctorow

Writer, blogger, activist. Blog: https://pluralistic.net; Mailing list: https://pluralistic.net/plura-list; Mastodon: @pluralistic@mamot.fr