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Time to Say “Ouch”

Mary Laney 28 May 2009 5 Comments

Unemployment is up.  Food prices are up. Welfare is up. Businesses are closing. Housing is down. And now the federal government is talking about imposing a national sales tax – on top of city, county and state sales taxes.

The federal government has thrown billions of dollars at the banking, insurance and automobile industries.  It has taken over ownership of Citibank, Chrysler, General Motors, and the largest insurance company in America. It’s not only taken ownership, it has flexed its muscles as never before seen in our nation.  Before General Motors even declared bankruptcy, President Barack Obama fired its CEO.  And, before Chrysler went before a bankruptcy Judge, Obama appointed a Task Force that made a list of dealerships it has ordered to close.  This is an unheard of government show of power in American history.  It removes a Constitutional right to own property and it denies the dealers due process under the law.

It would be one thing if the people in this government making these decisions had backgrounds in business, in meeting budgets, in organizing a corporation.  The fact is, there is no such experience in Obama’s cabinet or in his task forces.  Each are made up of lawyers, university professors or teachers, and government careerists.  It’s one thing to have experience in studying theory of how business works; it’s quite another to actually be in business.  Put another way, it’s one thing to study how to run the automobile industry, it’s quite another to actually have worked in the automobile industry.  What’s that old phrase?  “Those who can, do; those who can’t teach.”

There are a number of lawsuits now filed by people involved in the car industry and its related businesses.  There is also a call for an investigation into charges that the Chrysler dealerships the task force ordered closed are those owned by dealers who donated to Republicans.  If this turns out to be the case, it has ominous implications.

The Government, using our tax dollars, now owns 69% of General Motors with another chunk of ownership going to the United Auto Workers Union.  It also owns a large share of Chrysler.  This raises the question of how one major owner, the government, is going to compete with itself in two different companies. What kinds of cars will it build?   How will it compete with Ford Motor Company?  Will there be a fair playing field?

If the government had simply let the automobile industry face its own economic dilemmas – instead of throwing billions of dollars at it – Chrysler and General Motors could have filed for bankruptcy, reorganized, gotten out from under crushing union retirement and no-work rules, reopened and prospered.  Instead, the billions of our dollars simply allowed the task forces to give the union part ownerships of the companies – before going before bankruptcy courts.

History shows us that the auto industry is capable of going bankrupt, reorganizing, and coming back a stronger company.  Henry Ford did just that when his first attempt failed.  He reorganized and thrived.

Interestingly, it is the Ford Motor Company that turned down any and all bailout offers from Washington.  It is also the only one of the big three that is now under the government’s thumb and facing bankruptcy.

First, they came for the insurance industry, then the banks, and then the auto industry.  Now they’re going for the health industry.  Does it make you wonder when they’ll come for you and your company?

America is the country based on free enterprise, the right to own property, and the right to own a business.  It is not France.  It is not Venezuela.  It is not Cuba.  But it’s beginning to look a lot like we’re heading into their directions.

What do you think it will take and when do you suppose Americans will wake up en masse and say “Stop!”

5 Comments »

  • factoringmaster said:

    Just like with Chrysler… You can’t compete if you keep building crap

  • Igor Marxomarxovich said:

    Want to loose car dealership or other job. Donate money to RNC or any opponent of Obama.

    Next he start shipping people to Siberia or North Alaska work camp!

    Since Obama refused to release her certificate,

    I Igor produce Barrack Milhaus Hussein Obama Birth Certificate at http://www.igormaro.org

  • Wayne Wolkowicz said:

    Hi All:

    I would start by reading Thomas Sowell’s new book concerning the housing bubble. Then start to investigate systemic risk, moral hazard, and how companies like AIG, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and others were reckless and foolish, all with the blessing of the Congress and different administrations that turned a blind eye towards these financial malpractices while encouraging minority home ownership.

    It was the perfect storm who is now manifesting itself. Congress can’t understand what is happening and is throwing money at it, not understanding the implications of what it is now doing. We have elected professional fools and will now be reaping the whirlwind of those stupid people that know how to get votes and reelected and nothing else.

    We have turned into a country that is smart and ignorant, educated and dumb, and thinks only in election cycles and focus groups.

    We deserve what we are going to get, and boy, is it going to be a rough ride!

  • PR Adkins said:

    Once again Mary Laney is spot on with her insights. (Perhaps she should share her crystal ball with Barack Hussein Obama?) Never before has this country been faced at such an x-games level with the unravelling twinset of formidable problems and rampant incompetence in the ranks of leadership. Obama\’s Gang is still railing against what they call \"Bush\’s power grabs?\" Puhleeze. What they are doing is against all established law, moral law and ethics. Since when do Executive Powers include some of the moves mary cites? I don\’t declare for any party. I think they all have let us down and we should have \"fired\" them all in the last election. I mean, if any of us were to demonstrate such idiocy in our jobs, we would have been fired long ago! Never was Pogo more relevant. I say, be patriotic and Buy Ford!

  • p.kawior said:

    Laney writes of an America I can hardly recognize. Obama has arrogated to himself the greatest usurpation of power since FDR. It will take years for Americans to undo this horendous mess. Kudos for her insights.

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