We were, around these parts, fairly divided on the original bailout. Some of us thought it needed and some of us thought it perhaps needed, but a terrible idea and a road we should not travel.
Well, now we know. The bailout gave Hank Paulson a pile of cash that he is spending on his friends on Wall Street without very little accountability — the law of unintended consequences for some and the natural outcome of a reckless plan for many of us.
Now General Motors wants a bail out. The Republicans are pushing a restructuring of existing obligations and a demand that GM and the UAW renegotiate excessive employee perks. The Democrats want an all or nothing nationalization of General Motors. The money to be coughed up could better be spent on starting a new car company or reinventing the car company.
Liberals seem to believe in Darwinian evolution and natural selection in every part of the world save business. In business, liberal economic policy is to keep propping up decayed and dying businesses.
This is a hill to die on for Republicans. If a restructuring of existing obligations cannot be worked out, let General Motors die. Sure, it would be a painful hit to our economy. But better this short term hit than the long term destruction that keeping General Motors alive would bring.
In the natural world, the liberals see the old buffalo being picked off by the wolves and refuse to intervene. They say it is natural selection. If we intervened for the buffalo, who knows what long term havoc that spared life could wreck in the ecosystem. If only they’d think the same way about business.
Let General Motors die.