Many of my friends had major problems with W., and reasonably so. He may have claimed the label of Conservative, but he was certainly not a President with a respect for constitutional limits or free markets. But rather than a positive change, Obama is turning out to be more of the same. If Bush was driving blind, Obama is driving blind down a mountain pass with the clutch wide open screaming, “At least I’m doing something!”
Today we learned that Rick Wagoner is resigning as CEO from G.M. at the request of the Obama Administration. A new precedent of companies acting in response to Government desires rather the desire of the consumer has been set, and it is worrisome.
The auto industry is dying in the U.S. quite simply because the car buying market is not interested in buying enough cars at their current price-point to keep the big auto-makers afloat. So far, the “Big Three” have either been unwilling or unable to adapt. Apparently Obama thinks the problem is that the auto industry just isn’t churning out enough “green” cars. Either that, or he must think that he can both revive the auto industry and force a radical makeover of their product line at the same time, requiring them to flood the market with a product that only a niche market seems to desire. Obama apparently knows nothing of early adopters, those consumers willing to take a hit on price and reliability in exchange for being the first to try a new technology. But why would he know anything about that? He’s never run a successful business. (Or any business, for that matter.)
Require an industry to churn out something that neither the market demanded nor the resources supplied and watch the impending disaster. Government should be in the business of government, not in the business of business. Government cannot intelligently and consistently make the right market decisions. That whole ethanol thing seemed to work out real well for us, didn’t it? Just ask the a few of the 100 million people new to poverty thanks to rising food costs.
The very thing that is so impressive about market forces is that we do not need to have great amounts of Hope that one person or a few small groups of people take a risk and get it right. The market is a vast sea, full of business-owners, managers, and start-ups taking all sorts of risks. The best ideas are rewarded because a sufficient number of people desire the offering, and the worst ideas fail for the opposite reason. That’s the invisible hand Adam Smith wrote about. If it’s all up to the elite in Washington to make the right decisions, I’m worried for our future. I just can’t let them reserve the right to be the risk-taker in this economy. That really would be Too Big to Fail.
The auto industry is simply not in the business of applying the President’s wish-list to its assembly lines. Their compliance will bring us the long-awaited dissolution of those great giants, of course. They already fail to compete in the marketplace race. Now Obama’s broken their legs and wants them to run the race with these brand spankin’ new prosthetics. But it’s promising technology!
If only we’d ignored the politics of fear, they could’ve reached their demise sooner, cheaper, and, some might even argue, cleaner. Jeffrey A. Miron called for bankruptcy instead of bailout back in September (regarding the banks, but the principle applies), explaining:
Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.
Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.
Friends on the Left, why do you let the leader of your own party run unencumbered with a banner you never would have even let the opposition party’s leader carry? Trust? Do you trust one and not the other? Trust neither! It is our duty as citizens, not to demand the most from Government, but to ensure its constraint! Regardless of our ideological situation, we should all be students of history. And if history shows us a simply remarkable inefficiency in an institution, by a degree proportional to its size, should we not strive against its growth? And if that institution is named Government — an institution which, to be sure, always retains the ugly potential of tyranny and oppression — should the true patriot not then struggle against the very bloat that will lock his children in chains?