Free Markets, Free People

GM = Government Motors

I thought I’d quickly steal that title from one of our commenters (Brown). It pretty much encapsulates the latest and rather significant change as apparently the CEO of General Motors stepped down at the behest of the White House. Apparently Obama is now in the car business.

The two following paragraphs are significant:

“We are anticipating an announcement soon from the Administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. We continue to work closely with members of the Task Force and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement,” the company said.

The surprise announcement about the classically iconic American corporation is perhaps the most vivid sign yet of the tectonic change in the relationship between business and government in this era of subsidies and bailouts.

The folks who run the post office and Amtrack are now stepping in to run the auto industry. That’s not to say the auto industry has done so well itself, but there’s a market result for poor leadership, and it isn’t to prop up the industry and let government run it.

I’m sorry but this pain avoidance scheme which is costing us trillions of dollars we don’t have has now spun off into the absurd. If you think the auto industry is ailing now, just wait until the “Administration” engages in “restructuring the US auto industry”.


34 Responses to GM = Government Motors

  • The phrase “death by a thousand cuts” keeps coming to mind whenever I think about what is going on with our country.

  • “I thought I’d quickly steal ”

    Sly Devil…LOL.

  • *sigh*  Great plan.  Sitting President extorts the firing of the CEO of a publicly traded company, and then puts in charge people who can’t get run services properly.

    The country is indeed in the very best of hands.

  • Speaking of the ongoing march towards nationalized everything, read this article from the Daily Mail, where it’s noted that if anything happens to Obama in Britain, they won’t dare let him anywhere near the National Health Service:

  • Of course, if GM goes down now……well we get to lay that right at the Lightworker’s feet now don’t we?

    Or will he whine that “I inherited the prolem…’s hard?”

  • But Pogue told us that Obama is a politician and he didn’t mean any of that stuff that he talked about before the election.

    I fear now that he actually was holding back and the best is yet to come.

  • Jeez, I sure hate to sound like a broken record, but I must say it again: just when you think that The Clown™ has done something so awful that he can’t do much worse, he goes and pulls this kinda crap.

    So, folks, remember: three years and 9 ½ months left of The Clown™ and His Clownettes™ fugging up this entire country and everything we hold dear.

  • On the up side, maybe we’ll see the production of a people’s car.  Inexpensive, compact and dependable.  A real “folk’s wagon” if you will.

  • Hmm. Combining a large business with a government that can pass any laws it wants – what could go wrong?

    I’d say the real fun comes if/when “Government Motors” makes themselves above the rules the other manufacturers have to follow on safety, mileage, accounting principles. After all, our country is in the very best of hands. 

  • It’s called leadership, McQ.  You’re finally seeing some in Washington after eight years (or longer) of simply going along with big money, or killing people out of some grandiose fantasy of changing the Mideast.  Given the utter incompetence of the past decade or so, and the way the automobile industry has created a huge hole for itself, it’s about time someone held them accountable.  They want a bailout, otherwise it’s bankruptcy.  I don’t want my tax dollars to go to a bailout if there isn’t oversight on how the money is used — indeed, that’s the criticism of earlier bailouts.    Obama is actually getting things done, and not letting critics left or right force him into political decisions.  You’re just not used to seeing real leadership from Presidents.  It’s needed, and we’re finally getting some.

    • No Scott.   It is not leadership.  It is politics as usual seasoned with more than of a dash of control.  It is not just Wagoner.  It is also a majority of the board being replaced by outsiders.

      I am listening to Obama now and I feel the need to put my galoshes on.   As usual he won;t stop talking.  He just said something about putting a labor guy in charge of interfacing between his auto task force and GM.  Oh, and he just pulled out the “This is moment” clause. 

      It kind of looks as if he is giving GM $16 billion in preparation for bankruptcy.  But, if we are going to bankruptcy, why throw good money after bad?  Obama also came back to the “clean car” or “green car” idea.  This is management via hope and hope is not a strategy. 

      One of my favorite lines seems appropriate: “What could go wrong?”


    • No it’s not, it’s called panic.  These guys respond to whatever fire they think is brightest (most likely to result in public anger).

      You’re basically willing to let them do anything on the premise “it’s leadership”.
      Contrast that to your reactions to Bush’s actions on any given issue where you disagreed with him.
      It was ‘leadership’ that decided we should fight the war on terror instead of sitting with our thumbs up our butts waiting for the next attack.  But you didn’t see it that way and still don’t.
      So, excuse me if I doubt that replacing the head of GM, a formerly private company, is a sign of Presidential Leadership.

      Leadership would have been letting the market DO IT’S THING, and let GM suffer (which it will eventually now anyway) from it’s business decisions and have to file for bankruptcy.  THAT would have been leadership, THAT would have been not listening to critics from the left or right who were forcing him into political decisions.

    • Trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
      Through our threads he’s rollin’
      With his ego swollen
      Scott Erb!

      (Thanks to the earlier inspired commenter who did this first.)

      • Yes, that’s “leadership,” all right. It’s the type of leadership being revived by Hugo Chavez, the Mussolini of our time. in Venezuela. That sort of thing, for some reason, always has had appeal to limp-dick academics.

      •  Your version is much better. I am honored to have contributed to it.

    • Leadership!? LOL. No Erb, we are learching towards fascism or socialism, without any leadership in sight.

      An example of leadership was the Surge, which won the war in Iraq. Bush for all his failings displayed real leadership from time to time, so far Obama doesn’t seem to grasp the concept.

    • His “leadership” sure has inspired the world markets.

    • “Obama is actually getting things done…”

      Sorry, but “getting things done” doesn’t mean that those things are right. Hitler got things done, but I don’t think anyone says he did the right things (except for the likes of Pat Buchanan and his ilk).

      Obama is sucking the lifeblood out of America. It is that simple. For someone to come into office and spend us into a deficit of $10 billion in the next decade is not irresponsible, it is madness. And the dimwitted Dems in Congress could care less if they vote to enable this spend-a-thon.

      If you wish to believe that “Obama is getting things done,” be my guest. But please do not argue that he is doing anything good. Because he is saddling us with a debt 10 generations out will be forced to pay, not to mention that he is slowly socializing America with his radical leftist and anti-family policies and making us less safe by doing more to protect the rights of terrorists held at Gitmo than those who own guns in America.

      I am praying that the 2010 election comes quickly enough, because if Nancy Pelosi is not thrown out on her fanny we are all finished. 2012 can’t come soon enough, either.

      • Since I doubt that anyone else will, I guess I will defend Pat Buchanan.

        I have read a fair amount of his writing and heard  him on television also, and I do not remember ever hearing him say or write anything that could be construed as supporting Hitler and his actions, nor do I think any fair minded individual could put him in the same class.  Got cite?

        • Hitler was “an individual of great courage. Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”

          That’s on Hitler. 

          “Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody [i.e. thousands of Jews at Treblinka].”

           He routinely criticizes Israel, which is fine.  But, he has said plenty of anti-Semitic, disgusting garbage, which serves to delegitimize any of his warranted criticisms.  He’s a bigot.  He has said plenty to earn that title… against Jews, blacks, gays, etc.   

          • What is it about the statement about Hitler that is morally unacceptable? The charge that his opponents were weak? Or that Hitler saw the weakness and took advantage of it?  A little context and a source would also be nice.
            The rest of your statement is just more  unsupported accusations. Surely someone as awful as Buchanan is must have left some sort of record.

    • Thomas Jefferson once said:  A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”

      Yep, Obama sure has got this government thing whipped.

    • Leadership by itself is pretty useless.  The goals of leadership are what count, as innumerable  examples will show those familiar with history. And, contrary to your statement, Bush did show leadership, you just disapprove of the results.

  • Government trying to micromanage the auto industry for the last 3 decades is exactly the cause of their current woes, Erb. this is a governmentally created crisis.

    • Between nonsense like UAW and CAFE standards, etc., the government sure owns a big part of Detroit’s failure already. Top that off with the AGW nonsense, all the “green energy” nonsense, and idiot Obama’s attempt at managing Detroit (look how well he’s done with his own administration so far!), and our auto industry is toast.

      All that will save it is welfare, and that will be provided to continue UAW and all those donations Democrats are dependent on.

      • Don, I’m glad someone finally said what should be obvious.  GM, Ford and Chrysler did not just mismanage themselves into crisis.  It has been a 30-plus year slow death inflicted upon them by Congress.  And now, Pelosi, Reid and Obama (none of whom are even qualified for the auto industry’s trainee programs) are going to tell the auto companies how to restructure.  You could pick the greatest managers in the world and they would have failed at the Big 3 because the US government will not allow them to succeed.  the CAFE standards, dual fleet rules, environmental extremism and unionism have been working to kill these companies and the bailouts and government ownership/management will finally finish them off.    At least Waggoner is getting out.  Can you imagine having to take business advice from this administration?

  • I noticed that the coverage of “The Won”-s European Vacation seem not to understand or mention that the talk at the G-20 about a stimulus is in regard to yet another stimulus, not the already passed burden on future taxpayers.
    Obama, Pelosi and Reid have been talking about another round of stimulus, call it “Stimulus II,” served up just in time for the November 2010 elections, but the polls don’t show any public support for another round of audacious opulence, so Obama was hoping that the G-20 would give him cover.
    I’m waiting to see the response when Madame Speaker Pelosi finds out her plan for “Stimulus II” is out .. killed by another woman German Chancellor Merkel.
    The only remaining question ………
    will Obama/Pelosi/Reid do it unilaterally ?

  • So now “leadership” means letting people know he’s serious and Wagoner had to go so we’d know that.

    “Levin said he and three other lawmakers were informed of the decision in a phone call Obama made from the Oval Office. Obama told the members of Congress that Wagoner needed to resign so that the administration could show the public it was making an effort at a fresh start with helping the auto industry, according to Levin.”

    Well, I guess we could say he’s being a leader, he didn’t ask Mom(Nancy) & Dad (Harry) for permission first.

  • I’m going to take a very unaccustomed and, indeed, UNEXPECTED action…

    And agree with Erb.

    It’s called leadership, McQ… Obama is actually getting things done, and not letting critics left or right force him into political decisions. 

    One can argue that the actions taken by TAO are ultimately futile and even destructive not only to GM but to our country (I believe these things), but we can’t accuse him of voting “present” in this case.

    Sigh… We may find ourselves wishing that he spent MORE time eating wagyu and arugula and LESS time governing.

  • I find that I cannot even begin to argue over the merits of this because I still can’t get my arms around the fundamental issue:

    The President of the United States has determined that a private citizen should not have the current job he has.

    That’s just scary and sets a precedent, irrespective of the particular citizen in question, that should frighten both the left and right (or so it seems to me).

    • Obama is heading in the direction where he sees the power of the presidency as though it were analagous to the power of the head of one of the Hollywood movie studios. He gets to make all the final calls on the script, casting, production personnel and financing of the movie called America.