Aside from the proliferation of Chinese food other than Cantonese world-wide, the coolest part of the People’s Republic’s grand opening 30 years ago was that the country started down the long road of disassembling State-run industries. If communism has proven anything, it’s that the government has no ability to properly run a business, any more than a corporation has any ability to run social programs (thank you capitalism for teaching us that nugget).
Now with the majority of State-run businesses at least partly privatized, and the future of an econimically powerful China prophecized,Â why is it that the Great Torchbearer of Capitalism seems to be taking economy lessons from Mao-era China?
I watched this GM-produced video about all the horrors that will befall the country as a whole should the American people not get behind the Big 3 Auto Industry Bailout:
And then I read “Chrysler shuts down all production“, where the company (somewhat following GM’s lead) has gift-wrapped an unpaid holiday for all its American employees. Though easy to excuse as the fault of “the times”, I can’t but see it as anything other than a thinly disguised ditch effort to rally the work/union voice for their bailout.
Aren’t we past fear-mongering for public support? Did a world under eight years of Bush control teach us nothing? Do we not understand that if a (semi)domestic industry is crying out for a patriotic duty to assist it in its time of need, everyone needs to back the Ford up and consider why it’s in trouble in the first place.
The reason, as if anyone didn’t know, is because it cannot compete. Sure, the flavour of the month is to blame the economic crisis, it’s the CFO equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card. But the US auto industry was in HUGE trouble LONG LONG LONG before people with no right to buy a sofa on credit were given hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgages.
Definitely, should the big three automakers fall, jobs will be lost. Many jobs. Good honest people will need to find a new industry to employ them. Local governments will need to find new ways to attract new industry to keep their populations employed. This is the way things work. Invest in that.
Or consider the alternative. Consider this bail out. You will be investing in an industry that has proven NOT TO BE PROFITABLE. You will all, as tax payers, become part owners of companies that suck. We’re not talking about investing in Google, and waiting for the bounce-back. We’re talking about dating a invalid 90-year-old widower with no pension and no savings.
If these companies get their payout, how long will it be before the domestic steel and coal industries, the few remaining non-outsourced call centres, the American-made silicon chip manufacturers, and a sundry of other globalized industries just barley holding on come a-callin’, demanding like I did as a child “but it’s not fair, THEY got some, I want some too!”
And what will you have at the end of the day? A government that has “wisely” invested billions of your dollars (that it doesn’t have, and has had to borrow at high interest rates) into industries that have proven they do not have a sound fiscal model for profit – let alone repayment or eventual buyback.
China calls its brand of commucapitalism “communism with Chinese characteristics”, maybe it’s about time that the US take a good hard look at what its elected officials are rushing through before you have “capitalism with un-American characteristics”.