Monday, November 24, 2008

Automotive Bailout My Butt

I can’t believe our federal government is still even talking with the automotive big bosses about bailing them out.

We’ve been in a recession for some time now – though economists are weak minded followers, unable to use the forbidden “R” word – AKA “Recession” – without a slap on the back from their employers.

Surely the automotive “big three” of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford had seen things coming for some time. If they weren’t so blinded by their own weak minded followers, they would have changed things up long ago, to prevent what has happened now.

Now, General Motors – GM – one of the world’s largest companies – is seriously considering bankruptcy, with Ford and the Chrysler Corp. bound to follow GM’s lead.

To stave off their creditors, GM and the other two giant’s of the automotive sector, are begging for a cash infusion from our federal government.
Granted, millions of people throughout North America depend on the big three automakers for their livelihood. The automotive sector is one of the largest employers in the world.

Problem is, governments really have no place in keeping companies afloat in a democratic, capitalistic society – which just so happens to be the one we’ve lived in faithfully since Canada and the States were founded many years ago.

We do live in a Darwinian social-state, so-to-speak, where companies fend for themselves in a fair market. Competition keeps prices fair – for the most part – and those that win produce the products and services we need and want, at the prices we are willing to pay.

Having a publicly funded government provide money to keep a business in business is just wrong – no matter how many people may lose their jobs.
The automakers outside of North America have suffered too, but they planned ahead, and although they haven’t made big profits, they certainly aren’t near death, like their North American counterparts.

While GM did everything it could to quash the electric car back in the 1990’s, Honda and Toyota worked feverishly to advance their technology around alternatively powered vehicles. It wasn’t until California imposed a law, forcing all automobile manufacturers to produce cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles, that GM, Ford and Chrysler even blinked at the idea of hybrid gas and electric vehicles.

If GM goes belly up, so be it. When a business falters, it is no one’s fault but those of the brains behind the extinct organization. Maybe those now running GM will learn something from their failure, and go on to create a better, more viable company, which will succeed?

Or, if history repeats itself, as it often does, perhaps those at GM will just go on to create another mega-company, which will have a finite lifespan, only to beg for public funds once again.

That is of course, presuming our government makes the right decision not to interfere in the affairs of private business.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau once said, “the government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.” He said this during a controversy about people’s personal sexual preferences.

If Trudeau were alive today, he’d be wise to utter the same comment about government’s role in the business world – because just like sex, where and how we choose to work, is our choice, and our choice only.

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