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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Obama Shutting Detroit Down

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:21:11 PM EST
    Tags: Rick Wagoner, GM, bailout, Obama, nationalizing, central planning, UAW, stimulus and regulation mindset (all tags)

    This is not the official video (that's due out any day now) for what has become a runaway-popular country protest song, but this is the closest thing to official that's available right now.  Around about the last week of January, John Rich began circulating his latest work around to radio stations, in person.  The country fan base began requesting it so frequently that his label moved up the album ("Son of a Preacher Man") release date from May to last Tuesday, March 24th.  Already the single occupies the number 13 spot on the American country music chart . . . and it's climbing!

    Given the two most recent GM-related headlines coming out of the Associated Press, perhaps Mister Rich was singing truer than he knew.

    Anyone with a shred of common sense knows that the government is going to attach strings to any money that they dole out.  So when Rick Wagoner - along with Robert Nardelli, the head honcho of Chrysler - accepted about $17.4 billion in government aid back in December, I think that we all expected that this was the beginning of the nationalization of the American auto industry.  (Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford, is starting to look like a genius for turning down that bailout money.)  With the UAW unwilling to make any real concessions, and being stuck with financially unsustainable arrangements with suppliers and dealers, GM was recently faced with the unpleasant choice of either declaring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy or asking the Obama Administration for more money . . . guess which of the two Wagoner chose?

    In exchange for an additional $21.6 billion in government loans (read: additional taxpayer dollars), Obama has demanded Wagoner's resignation.

    Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday.  The news comes as President Obama prepares to unveil additional restructuring efforts designed to save the domestic auto industry . . . Wagoner's departure indicates that more management changes may be part of the deal.

    Sure, like Socialist-Democrat planned and mandated restructuring of a private business . . . in a way will likely make that business state property.  And I'd be willing to bet a year's pay against a doughnut hole that whomever BHO leaves in charge isn't going to be much more of a puppet . . . with That One pulling the strings.  But of course Barry is a big fan of spreading the pain around:

    President Obama believes U.S. automakers have not yet achieved a viable restructuring plan and is calling for "sacrifices from all parties involved," including management, labor, shareholders, and suppliers . . . "Everybody's gonna have to come to the table and say it's important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road," Obama said.

    This from a guy who has not once in his life had so much as a shred of executive experience prior to assuming his role as Pelosi & Reid's mouthpiece.  But not to worry, BHO's gaggle of incompetents (the auto industry task force) has things well in hand.  Somehow or another, they've come up with a plan that will well-position GM and Chrysler to weather this economic tsunami and be more competitive on the other end than they are now.

    Funny thing about that, though.  As Ronald Reagan warned more than once, "Outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as economically or as effectively as the private sector."  So, since I can't seem to find it, could someone scour the Constitution for me and point out exactly what legitimate government function involves the effective nationalization of a business that would be better served by bankruptcy?

    And it's not like the administration hasn't already admitted this, if indirectly:

    The companies have until Tuesday to submit restructuring plans to the government but are not expected to meet that deadline.  The plan Obama is expected to announce on Monday will take up whether bankruptcy is a viable option should the companies fail to restructure arrangements with unions, shareholders and creditors.

    It was always a viable option, and certainly better than permitting a government takeover of a critical industry, but for whatever reason Rick Wagoner didn't have the stones to go through with the one thing that would have guaranteed a leaner, meaner, and more competitive company . . . without government management.  Instead, he opted for one more trip to a heretofore-reliable trough, and wound up as a potential business school case study for what happens to a company that doesn't heed the advice of its own consultant (Peter Drucker, Concept of the Corporation).  Of course, Ron Gettelfinger had his share of the blame, not that he'll ever mention it:

    Under terms of the government's first round of assistance to GM and Chrysler, the companies are pressing the United Auto Workers to accept stock in exchange for half of the payments the companies are supposed to make into a union-run trust fund to cover the cost of retirees' health care.

    Accepting shares of stock would require workers to share in the companies' losses as well as their profits, which could in turn incentivize workers to perform in a more productive manner.  There is, in my experience, no way that any AFL-CIO affiliated union is going to do anything that doesn't protect mediocrity (where it doesn't outright reward poor performance).  In and of itself, this ought to make the case for Right-to-Work being on Michigan's 2010 ballot, assuming that there are enough voters left in this state by then to make an initiative worth the trouble.

    But since we are talking about an Administration that fronts for a Congress that readily caters to unions (or at least puts on a good show of it), don't expect the unions to actually do much sacrificing:

    The administration is in a tight spot, eager to show it is sensitive to the concerns of unionized workers and the manufacturing sector after allowing Wall Street executives to collect millions of dollars of bonuses from bailout funds.  Yet administration officials privately acknowledge the strong public sentiment against what some perceive as rewarding auto executives for bad business decisions.

    Yeah, about that bailout-mindset that seems to pervade this country of late.  It seems to me really weird that as a nation we've systematically created an entitlement culture that rewards the couch-potato class with what they have not received, at the expense of those who must earn without receiving.  Of course, the fact that the common citizen (those 68% of us that constitute the "average American") is getting more than a little fed up with this surprises no one outside of the political class, their cheerleaders, and their beneficiaries.  But, not to leave any stone unturned, That One is also looking at ways to screw people who have the means to get their money out of the government's reach:

    Obama said regulatory reform would include discussing what to do about offshore tax havens, which he said were an issue because it was important to ensure everyone was playing by the same rules.  "We don't want people to be able to game the system or circumvent regulated capital markets," he said, adding it was important to make "sure our regulations are targeting not just banks but any institution that could pose a potential systemic risk to the system."

    You mean, like, those people who insist that the fruit of their labors is theirs, as specifically opposed to yours?  How dare they?  And the growing resistance overseas (in Europe, of all places) to an increasingly statist approach to economic difficulties doesn't even seem to flap BHO's feathers:

    "The press has tended to frame this as an 'either/or' approach," Obama said.  "I have consistently argued that what is needed is a 'both/and' approach.  We need stimulus and we need regulation.  We need to deal with the problems right in front of us and we also need to make sure we are taking steps to prevent these types of breakdown from happening again."

    Well, here's a novel thought; how about you get your fingers the hell out of my wallet?  It never seems to occur to a Communist (he is what he is) that the market, absent government intervention, is perfectly capable of correcting itself.  Unfortunately, the historical over-meddling of our government has created a bathtub-sized crock of horse manure that isn't going to clean up easily.  And, like any other Ponzi scheme, socialism stops working as soon as the government runs out of other peoples' money.

    But maybe, just maybe, Barry isn't the cranial-rectal inversionary that we all believe him to be:

    "In all countries there is an understandable tension between the steps that are needed to kick-start the economy and the fact that many of these steps are very expensive and taxpayers have a healthy skepticism about spending too much of their money, particularly when it is perceived that some of the money is being spent not on them but on others who they perceive may have helped precipitate the crisis," Obama said.

    Smartest thing I've heard him say in awhile.

    < Obama Sacrifices Wagoner to "Look Tough" | Stabenow toxic waste wells under fire (again) in Romulus >

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    Kevin (none / 0) (#1)
    by Eric T on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 03:25:13 PM EST
    Great post!!!

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