News that Obama has fired GM’s Rick Wagoner doesn’t surprise me and, I suppose you can’t retroactively fire his predecessors of the past 40 years who guided GM to build cars that were poorly made and unwanted. Just as it seems within the power of the government to rescind bonus contracts for AIG executives now that taxpayers own 80% of the company, dumping the chief executive of a company begging for billions of dollars of taxpayer money is probably overdue and fitting.
What worries me though is the fact that our largest companies are, in exchange for these billions, ceding control to the government. Today the president of the United States fires Wagoner. Tomorrow, won’t Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, goaded by their Green constituency, demand new products from that same company? If we own these companies or they are in our debt, shouldn’t we have a say in what they produce? What they pay their workers? The benefits they must supply? It’s not hard for me to envision the cessation of fuel-guzzling, wasteful pickups by GM and the introduction of new products, designed and approved by Ralph Nader and Green Peace, that will have 2 cylinder, 15 horsepower electric motors and cost $55,000 apiece. No one will want them, but they’ll be all that’s available, like East Germany’s beloved Trabant.
Socialism specializes in producing waste and inefficiency – we’re watching it come here and no one seems to care. Better, I think, to let GM fail and disappear than set the model for a new “partnership” between government and what’s left of private enterprise.