In 1962, when France and Germany imposed duties on American items, together with chickens, Lyndon Johnson responded by imposing a tax on imported pickup vehicles. This resulted in a profitable part of America’s car market being produced virtually completely domestically.
For that reason alone, his model of interventionism could also be extra heavy-handed than any within the recent past. The Obama administration lost $535m in public ensures for Solyndra, a manufacturer of photo voltaic panels that filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Johnson’s subsidy for pickup trucks provides an explanation for why America’s massive carmakers had been so uncompetitive that they got here close to perishing in the financial crisis, surviving only after a bail-out by Mr Obama. It skewed production and left them unable to reply when high fuel prices shifted buyers in direction of more gas-efficient automobiles. American presidents can hand out favours in addition to harsh phrases.
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