Business

Looking for a Silver Lining in Government-Owned GM

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Not too many people are dancing over the news of GM’s bankruptcy, but opinions are decidedly mixed on what the government ownership of the car company will mean.

Lee Cary, of American Thinker sees the era of Government Motors dawning with coercive attempts to force a Green fleet onto American consumers. This, in Cary’s opinion, will be quickly followed by the unintended consequences, namely a falling market share followed by more government infusions of money, followed by tariffs on foreign automobiles, followed by retaliatory tariffs on American-made goods, followed by economic disaster.

How about Robert Reich, who has routinely applauded the Obama economic agenda? Well, he’s not exactly sunny either. Reich says the government part-ownership of GM will do nothing more than slow its inevitable demise. He accuses the administration of trying to have it both ways by appeasing autoworkers (who want as much bailout as possible) and average taxpayers (who generally oppose the government’s intervention).

So the Obama administration is, in effect, paying $60bn to buy off both constituencies. It is telling the first group that jobs and communities dependent on GM will be better preserved because of the bail-out, and the second that taxpayers and creditors will be rewarded by it. But it is not telling anyone the complete truth: GM will disappear, eventually. The bail-out is designed to give the economy time to reduce the social costs of the blow.

Certainly someone must think things could turn out just fine. Oh sure. There’s Michael Moore. He sees this as a great opportunity for the government to seize American industry in the name of fighting a war against global warming and dwindling oil supplies. He wants massive mass transit, he wants it now and he wants it built in GM factories by GM workers who would, of course, be government workers in Moore’s world.

Feel free to leave your own predictions/desires in the comments. As for me, I’m going to take some more antacid in the hopes of quieting a stomach turning circles over the prospect of a government-owned car company.