President Obama announced what amounts to a do-or-die ultimatum for the struggling automobile industry on Monday, laying out strict standards that the carmakers must meet to get more government aid and declaring that the industry must survive because it is “like no other, an emblem of the American spirit.”Obama went on to call it a "failure of leadership" as if GM has been the only example of fail in this entire thing; despite other car companies across the world struggling in the downturn; despite GM's onerous UAW contracts. Here's a GM supplier who knows a little about fail.
Or how about government failure? How about the fail that was created when the govmint wormed its way into the mortgage business in an effort to appease minority voting blocks and siphon campaign contributions? Chris Dodd pressuring AIG to contribute to Chris Dodd--stuff like that.
Right here in Memphis today a caller to the Thaddeus Matthews radio show pointed out that the local NAACP Chapter pressured local banks about their 'discrimination in lending' (rates too high). He said it without a whiff of understanding as to how that might have impacted our current predicament. Matthews (no friend to conservatives and a pseudo 9/11 truther) asked the caller how many times the NAACP had come down on "we tote the note" used car dealers over the years. To silence.
So we've got LOTS of fail to go around. Obama really has no choice but to bail out GM now--almost any president except Ron Paul would--but what is more bothersome is the notion that he's using the crisis to enact change rather than just save a company. When Penn Central Railroad failed (along with others) in the 70s and the government deemed them too big to liquidate (they were bankrupt) ironically in part due to its impact on the auto business, the feds helped them restructure but didn't run the trains. Obama seems interested in figuratively sitting in the cab with GM, giving them directions as to product line, etc. While a railroad has fixed plant and limited competition and often captive shippers, automobile companies are different.
If they want anyone besides General Services Administration to buy GM vehicles they best keep their paws off the operations and stay the hell out of the way. The biggest car buzz around GM right now is the return of the Camaro, yet market demand will seemingly take a back seat (sorry) as 'change' elbows in--in this case the chance to change GM into a liberal's fantasy, like Al Gore's for instance:
Gore calls for making "the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization." This means "to use, in short, every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system." One method in his plan of environmental totalitarianism is a Global Marshall Plan which would provide aid and technology to developing nations to develop in a more environmentally friendly way. Gore's central planning through financial and technological aid would be supplemented with government agencies filled with "experts" who would help developing nations use environmentally friendly technologies. Then there's Gore most famous proposal from Earth in the Balance: eliminating the internal combustion engine.Taking over the company amidst the most liberal government in 70 years is certainly one way to get there.
Or perhaps Obama's fantasy.