Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The President and the Auto Industry

The news today was cram full of stories about the President's Auto Industry Commission report on what the government expects GM and Chrysler to do if they want to receive any more bailout funds. Straight talk apparently equals government interference according to the Repubs. It was to be expected. The Republicans are looking for any way shape or form that will help them get back the power that the Bush years cost them.

But I think that President Obama and his commission are right on course in this case. The facts stand out. GM and Chrysler are perfect examples of how the power of a monopoly of ideas (free market expansionism and profit first) can be distorted into a disaster. If we had time or were in another place, this situation might be something that could be managed by just letting the hand play out. But, to my mind that just lets the situation, like a bamboo plant, have another chance to do the same thing all over again.

It is time that we all grew up. Teenagers want fast cars. Macho men need Hummers to pose their image. Well-to-do Matrons and their clones have to have fear safe SUVs. But what an adult and intelligent person needs is sensible, affordable transportation. The auto industry has spent years and billions of dollars selling us on the idea that a car is an expression of our personality. Only a kid would believe that. Only a mercenary industry would think that such a morally reprehensible position was right and justified under the free market bannerism of "Caveat Emptor!"

But that is just my opinion. What do you think America, are you ready to give up your toys and grow up?

No comments: