Great moments in Orwellianism, and more “fun” from the intersection of Detroit and DC, as “General Motors Co. is sponsoring a two-month cross-country tour on the importance of free enterprise in the U.S. economy,” which is being put on by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit News reports:
GM’s embrace of free enterprise comes as the automaker has in recent years been derided by many as “Government Motors” after it won nearly $60 billion in government bailouts, including $49.5 billion from the U.S. Treasury and $10 billion from the Ontario and Canadian governments. The government intervention in late 2008 and 2009 kept GM from liquidating.
After GM’s 2009 government-sponsored bankruptcy, the U.S. Treasury acquired a 61 percent majority stake in the Detroit automaker.
The Treasury now owns 16 percent of GM and has recouped about $30.7 billion of its bailout. At current market prices, U.S. taxpayers would lose about $10 billion on the GM bailout. GM still operates under government oversight for executive pay. In April, Treasury rejected proposed cash salary pay increases for 12 of GM’s top 25 executives.
Shortly after World War II, a very different General Motors sponsored the publication of an illustrated pamphlet-sized version of Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. As I wrote last week, “If Only General Motors Had Taken General Motors’ Advice.”
This panel seems to dovetail well with both GM’s current state, and the intersection of Big Business, Big Government, and Big Journalism:
As I concluded last week, I won’t give away the pamphlet’s ending, but needless to say, like most of General Motors’ product today, it’s not pretty.
Perhaps somebody could print up a few of the pamphlets from here on their laser printer and show them to whoever’s hosting this year’s tour for GM to get their response — which I imagine would be quite astonishing to watch.
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(Headline via Matt Drudge.)