A very nice lede from Joshua-Michéle Ross. “Shibboleth” is too strong; change that word and this is nearly perfect.
Hat in hand the U.S. Auto Industry lined up for their slice of government aid and it appears as of this posting that they will get the money they are asking for. These titans spent years hiding behind the “free market” shibboleth when convenient (the market wants gas guzzling SUV’s) and when punished by that same market we hear that they are victims of factors outside their control and that they are “too big to fail.” It has become a hackneyed expression precisely because it summarizes the situation so well; this is the privatization of profit and the socialization of loss.
I find some oddly similar cognitive dissonance in the MLA’s hat-in-hand foray into my inbox. Dear MLA executive committee: we wouldn’t need to subsidize graduate student travel to the MLA convention if it was held in more affordable locations.