Friday, November 14, 2008

Big, Bad Bailouts Revisited

Another article on the bailout debate:
It is all a reminder that the biggest threat to a healthy economy is not the socialists of campaign lore. It’s C.E.O.’s. It’s politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state.

If ever the market has rendered a just verdict, it is the one rendered on G.M. and Chrysler. These companies are not innocent victims of this crisis. To read the expert literature on these companies is to read a long litany of miscalculation. Some experts mention the management blunders, some the union contracts and the legacy costs, some the years of poor car design and some the entrenched corporate cultures.

There seems to be no one who believes the companies are viable without radical change. A federal cash infusion will not infuse wisdom into management. It will not reduce labor costs. It will not attract talented new employees. As Megan McArdle of The Atlantic wittily put it, “Working for the Big Three magically combines vast corporate bureaucracy and job insecurity in one completely unattractive package.”

Generation Y is excited about this election because their votes helped put Obama into the Oval Office. On one hand, this is a great thing, because now they're no longer feeling disenfranchised by the election process. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that what they're about to experience is disillusionment.

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter who's elected as President, and it doesn't really matter who's elected to Congress. At this point, they're all equally bad. The only thing that Republicans and Democrats work together on is spending money that this country doesn't have, and Obama isn't going to be able to turn things around overnight, even assuming that he wants to. Maybe that sounds horribly jaded, but let me explain where I'm going with this.

As I've said before, "People do what you pay them to do." And our politicians aren't getting paid to represent the best interests of our country. (Well, they are, but not really.) Instead, their re-election campaigns are financed by lobbyists for special interest groups like the automotive industry, the pharmaceutical industry, tobacco companies, and teachers unions.

Now I do think that lobbyists have the potential to serve a valuable purpose. They can do research, and gather facts, and present logical arguments for new legislature. I don't have a problem with companies paying lobbyists to present their case to Congress. But I strongly object to the fact that lobbyists spend millions and millions of dollars to buy the votes of Senators and Representatives. How can politicians possibly put the best interests of America over the special interests of industries when their careers are being funded by lobbyists?

So until we have real campaign finance reform, all we're going to get is more of the same-- Our government will continue to fork over money to the industries that provide the biggest kick-backs.

1 comment:

knwd said...

This comment came from my friend T:

"You know you're an adult watch "BOOK-CSPAN" and pay attention to the author. Last night there was a gentleman on that just wrote a book called "Obamanomics" - however, prior to writing this book, he'd written another book predicting the mortgage/housing market crash - he published said book in 2003. Anyhoo, what you've said above rings true with what he presented per his book -Obamanomics. I agree with you - Obama may be president, but he's not our savior, he's just a man. The key is for us as individuals to get involved, to learn who our Congress people are and make sure OUR voices are heard. To make sure that OUR votes count more than the lobbyists and the CEO's..."