Herbert Sweet

Herbert Sweet

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Government Takes Control of GM

Well, now the government is going to own GM. First the government took control over the banks and now a good chunk of the auto industry. I’m sure that the conservatives will howl about this. We’ll hear a clamor about nationalization and socialism and all of that.

On the other side of the argument is the fact that both banking and automobiles are a very large part of the economy and are intertwined with just about everything. Let them fail, and, for sure, the country, and even the entire world, would be facing a depression or even worse.

IMHO, the solution is not a return to laissez-faire capitalism. Indeed, it is unrestricted capitalism that allowed these entities to grow to the point where their survival threatened the entire economy. These enterprises should have been downsized long ago to have kept this from happening.

In addition, medium size companies always have to be worried about their survival. Medium size companies provide an opportunity for ownership and management to be intertwined. For these companies there is less likelihood for their managements to rob the till for bonuses and golden parachutes and, instead, do what they are supposed to do – manage.

The lessons learned in the Teddy Roosevelt era and then again in the Franklin Roosevelt era have either been forgotten or seemed to belong to history and therefore not considered to be relevant. Beware of calls for ‘reform’.

It is government and only government that can control the economic environment so that individual decision making can produce thriving individual enterprises. Laissez-faire, after all, is just another word for anarchy.

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