by Ryan Avent

Back when everyone was discussing whether or not we should bail out the automakers, some folks were suggesting that saving the Big Three could help Detroit transition into a hub for the production of green technologies. I tended to point out that the Big Three had often fought against policies that would encourage green innovation, so saving the automakers would maintain a major institutional barrier to a Midwestern economic renaissance.

Similarly, folks like Matt Yglesias pointed out that if we were going to hand over a bunch of money to failing automakers, we should at least require that they not continue to fight against green policies. This was pretty sensible. Not only would such a provision have been a decent pro quo for the taxpayers' quid, it would also help us avoid an embarrassing situation in which Detroit uses taxpayer money to fight green policies that would benefit taxpayers.

Um.

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