I’ve felt this rant coming on for a while

5 06 2009

It’s pretty hard not form an opinion of the bailouts/restructuring/whatever of Chrysler and General Motors these days, and I guess I’m coming to the table with my opinion kind of late, but I haven’t heard it discussed from the perspective of a 20-year-old college guy all that much.  Getting these things down on paper is therapeutic, too.

I'd imagine it's even more theraputic when you're holding the most powerful pen in the world.

I'd imagine it's even more theraputic when you're holding the most powerful pen in the world.

I’m a car guy—it’s not that I’m not passionate about automobiles.  It’s not that I’m into foreign cars—how could anyone who has seen a top end Corvette neglect Detroit?  And I’m certainly not wishing for the destruction of General Motors or Chrysler, just a rebirth uninhibited by the shackles of government.



This “bailout mentality” that has sprung up of late must be stopped if my generation is to enjoy a future more bright and prosperous than this one.  Is that really a selfish thing to ask for?  It has gone too far already; no manufacturer (or bank, for that matter) is “too big to fail.”  The avenues for cronyism that government interventionism opens up should be obvious; barring any of that, how can classifying a corporation “too big to fail” encourage responsibility?  After all, if you knew you were considered to important to fail, why wouldn’t you go for broke?

Many my age haven’t given this recent bout of interventionism any thought; they either unquestioningly accept it as necessary since the current administration can do no wrong, or they vaugely oppose it for one reason or another.  Few see this endless stream of bailouts and stimuli for what they are—a mortgage on our futures (a phrase that, though overused, is quite descriptive and very fitting)—and I am worried that this will not occur to them until it is too late to fix.  Debt has this tendency to snowball beyond the point where it can be paid, and that is what I see happening right before my eyes.

Which sucks.

What alternatives do we really have, though?  Well, the simple one would have been to let GM and Chrysler enter bankruptcy like any normal company would have.  You know, before giving them a few billion to keep them afloat, then shepherding them through bankruptcy proceedings that violated contract laws like it was going out of style, then providing additional billions (billions don’t even seem like much these days, do they?  Isn’t that disgusting?) to keep them afloat.  Do you really think GM won’t be going back to the trough for more?  Haven’t you ever heard of British Leyland?

But the President said he didn’t want to run an auto industry!  True, I guess he won’t be sitting in the executive’s chair, but what the hell is the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry for?  Why do we need a Car Czar?  Have any of these people ever changed a tire on a car or checked their oil levels before?

This guy looks reputable.

This guy looks reputable. And extremely professional.

And the government has more of an impact on what kind of cars are made than Obama or anyone else will ever admit, through arguably necessary measures like safety laws and through serious, potentially harmful mandates like CAFE standards.  Mandates that our competitors like China and India feel compelled to strictly adhere to, I’m sure.  And I am absolutely certain that the likes of Al Gore would love to legislate that beautiful Corvette off the road for the sake of the planet, else make them even more unaffordable through taxes and fees.

Bailing out a company that is, for one reason or another, about to go under, is bad economic policy.  Not to mention completely unfair to any successful company, like Ford, which now has to compete with companies owned by its own labor force (which is funny in an absurd way I guess).  And what about foreign automakers like Toyota or Honda, who are opening factories that employ American workers in the States even as American automakers expand overseas?  It’s almost like these bailouts had more to do with propping up unions more than…nah, that’s just crazy.

Besides, can you guess which of the two cars below was produced by a state-run auto company?

It speaks for itself, really.

It speaks for itself, really.

I guess the cute, little Trabant was pretty environmentally friendly, since a broken-down car made out of soybean-based plastics can’t produce any harmful emissions and is partially biodegradable.

I know I haven’t really offered any alternatives to bailing out these companies.  Rest assured, I will, probably tomorrow, or maybe next week.  I just needed to get that off my chest…you all know how it is.




One response

8 06 2009

I don’t know if you have seen the “2012 Pelosi GTxi from Congressional Motors

It’s worth a view

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