09 December 2008

Our Road to Nationalization

The Drudge Report calls it right this morning. The headline on its front page is simply "Nationalization". As Congress makes the argument that the American taxpayer needs something in return for the "loan" extended to the Big 3 automakers (GM, Ford and Chrysler), it seems to me that this excuse is simply a cover for nationalization of the auto industry - and all of the jobs that come with it.

How this would be preferable to bankruptcy - both for the automakers and for the nation as a whole - is beyond my understanding. Most analysis that I've read indicates that the $15-17 billion that Congress is offering up is really only a band-aid, and a small one at that. Those billions will be burned through before spring...and then the automakers will come calling again.

It amazes me that Congress would spend that sum with more than half of the American people rejecting the idea of a carmaker bailout, according to a CNN poll. Perhaps Congress would have us believe that it can pick good investments, and that GM, Ford, and Chrysler are great investments, even if they need infusions of billions of dollars from time to time.

I say Chapter 11 for those who are unable to stand under the weight of their negotiated contracts. I do not want a stake in the Big 3. I do not want to support bloated labor structures and contracts. What's more, I do not want Congress to spend my money chasing the nationalization of an industry after they've already nationalized the credit system.

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