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Jewish World Review
April 6, 2009
/ 12 Nisan 5769
General Motors is doing rather poorly so President Obama steps in and fires the chief executive of that company. The headline on the Drudge Report says it all, "GM now stands for Government Motors." Since when does the federal government have the authority to call the shots in private business? The fact is, sad to say, it has been happening more or less for quite a while. One could probably cite all kinds of examples in our recent history where government agencies have been sticking their bureaucratic noses into private companies. And then there's the argument to be made that whenever a private concern takes public funding, the government has the right to dictate certain terms.
Okay, but this latest "take over" of the auto industry by the feds has pushed the proverbial envelope further than it's ever been pushed before. And now the latest news is that the Obama administration is proposing a fix for General Motors and Chrysler that would divide their "good" and "bad" assets and send the car companies into bankruptcy to purge their biggest problems. As The Wall Street Journal says, "it would represent one of the biggest-ever government incursions into private enterprise."
Far left liberals go ballistic over separation of church and state, ranting and raving how our founding fathers decreed that religion be kept out of the public forum (which is not true, by the way, but that's another column). What is real and more important for our country's well being, however, is the separation that must exist between the public and private sectors. That's what makes us what we are. To be more precise, that's what separates the capitalists from the socialists.
In the good old days, if a company succeeded, it made money and grew. If a company failed, it went bankrupt. Period. A bankrupt company had to dramatically restructure or simply go out of business entirely. That's called free enterprise and it works fine. Usually there are damn good reasons why a company fails. Either customers weren't buying for one reason or another or the company over extended themselves or some other thing, but a company fails for a reason. For the government to step in and save a company that deserves to fail is wrong. Let the company live or die on its own. This might sound hard, but lots of things in life are hard.
Similarly, no one held a gun to my head and forced me to take out a loan to buy a house. That was my choice. If I can't afford to keep my house, that's my problem. I either make the payments or lose the house. That's the way it has always worked. The government should have no role in that, but thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they now do.
And if I take out a loan to buy a car, and for whatever reason I am unable to make the monthly payment, then the loan company takes the car, right? Not anymore. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have announced incentive plans designed to get car buyers back into dealer showrooms by offering to cover auto payments in case of job loss. That's right - can't make the car payment? No problem, you don't have to.
Through April 30, GM will offer to make as many as nine car payments of as much as
$500 for car purchasers in the event they are laid off within the first two years of buying the car. Ford's plan will cover up to 12 months' worth of payments in the event of unemployment. The maximum payment it will cover is $700 per month, and it's valid on all purchases up to June 1, 2009.
The announcements came the day after President Obama unveiled his blueprint for restructuring GM and Chrysler, which have to date received $17.4 billion from the U.S. government. He gave GM 60 days to resolve its structural problems and get on track to viability or face bankruptcy, while Chrysler now has 30 days to come to a deal which would allow Italian automaker Fiat to buy Chrysler. Ford has not taken any federal loans and therefore not being overseen by the administration. Just give 'em time.
So who do you think will pay for all these car payments? The car companies don't have any money, so it won't be them. If you said the US taxpayer, go to the head of the class. You got it right! You and I will be making car payments for other people's cars - cars we don't drive. Nice eh?
Oh, this is only the beginning, folks. Welcome to the start up of United States of America Motors. Welcome to European style socialism. Big government getting bigger. You wanted change? You got it, you got it but good. Or to put it in Marxist terms, bye, bye bourgeoisie.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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