Roger L. Simon

Should we bail out big auto?

Seems as if Pelosi and Reid are hellbent on bailing out GM and  other American auto companies. I’m of two minds about this and am trying to restrain my bias. It’s worth remembering that — just as Al Gore is finally irrelevant to the existence or not of anthropogenic global warming — just because Pelosi and Reid are for something, doesn’t mean you have to be against it. Again, they, like Gore, are irrelevant.  Stick to the facts, as far as they can be ascertained.

And that is where I am confused.  The knee-jerk libertarian response is clear – leave these clowns to twist in the wind.  And, yes, there is a good argument for that.  Our big auto companies were run by the biggest collection of troglodytes this side of the Sudan.  Almost anyone with an IQ in triple digits could see that the day of the gas guzzler was over for years now and that new technologies were needed.  But the high-paid, high-powered execs in Detroit persisted in doing it the old way, thinking in terms of short term profit and what they thought was the real (not the phony) interest of consumers – and they failed big time!  The results are everywhere.

So why save them?  [You own a small amount of GM stock you bought for a song, don’t you?  That’s a good reason.-ed. Shhh….] Well, for one thing, some big auto companies in Japan, Korea and Germany are going to be getting tons of government support and they are working on the same new technologies we are. Don’t help the Americans and our industrial base goes even further in the toilette.  Then what?  Some start up in San Jose saves us? The Tesla formula for one hundred thousand dollar electric sports cars doesn’t look so smart at the moment.  Not so simple, is it?  I turn it over to you, dear reader.

But one suggestion I have made before.  Make Steve Jobs CEO of General Motors.  At least their cars will look better.  My new MacBook Pro, on which I am typing  this post, is a much slicker piece of design than anything GM has put out in years. [Wouldn’t you rather drive a MacBuick?-ed. Somehow I knew you’d say that.]