Obama’s on the Road To Ruin with American Car Companies

“I don’t want to run auto companies,” President Obama said last week. “I’m not an auto engineer. I don’t know how to create an affordable, well-designed plug-in hybrid.”

To those of us who still quaintly believe in the power of private enterprise and free markets, that was a reassuring answer from the leader of a country heading toward owning 8% of Chrysler and 50% of General Motors. It suggested the president understands that, even with their lousy track records, business professionals are better equipped than government bureaucrats to decide what cars to make, what prices to set and how many people to employ.

By Eva Rodriguez
New York Post

Seconds after that promising, if relatively vague, opening, though, Obama took much of it back. He couldn’t help himself. “But I know that, if the Japanese can design an affordable, well-designed hybrid, then, doggone it, the American people should be able to do the same,” he said. “So my job is to ask the auto industry: Why is it you guys can’t do this?”

So much for hands-off. George W. Bush may have been this country’s first MBA president, but Obama is on the brink of becoming its first CEO in chief — and that would not bode well for Chrysler, GM or taxpayers.

There’s nothing wrong with Chrysler and GM building fuel-efficient green cars — if they can make money. I’d have no problem whatsoever if one of them manufactured a pink, snout-grilled mini-car that ran on manure — as long as it proved profitable. (I wouldn’t buy one, mind you, but I’d smile and wave as you drove by.)

My goal as a taxpayer is to see that these companies earn enough so that they return my tax dollars as soon as possible. And what if green cars aren’t the way to go? What if market research and consumer surveys show that as long as gas costs only $2 a gallon, US drivers will stick with the true road hogs, our SUVs? And what if CEO Obama doesn’t like these answers because they don’t jibe with his goal of reducing greenhouse gases?

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/05102009/postopin
ion/opedcolumnists/os_road_to_ruin_168446.htm

************************

From George Will

Proponents of today’s world-turned-upside-down economic policies say the policies might seem wrong but really are boldly modern in their rejection of markets in favor of pervasive government intervention in economic life. Hence New York, which until eight months ago was the financial capital of the world, is no longer even the financial capital of the United States. Washington is.

So says Ian Bremmer in “State Capitalism Comes of Age: The End of the Free Market?” in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. It should be read by Americans who are dismayed by the blurring of the line between public and private sectors.

Most Americans assume — and are encouraged to do so by those doing the blurring — that the government is doing this reluctantly and is eager to find an “exit strategy” to “unwind” its interventions. Bremmer, president of the consulting firm Eurasia Group, believes that although the governments of many developing nations have made “a strategic rejection of free-market doctrine,” governments of developed countries do not intend to “manage” their economies “indefinitely.” About the former, he is correct. About the latter, his wish may be the father of his thought.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/05102009
/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_end_
of_free_markets_168445.htm

Related:
Obama “Bailed Out” Auto Makers, Now “Takes Over” — In China, Vouchers Electrified Sales
.
Obama-Fiat-Chrysler-Union Plan Includes U.S. Made Luxury Alfa Romeo; Sub-Compact Made in China, Mexico, Korea

American Auto Industry: Unsustainable Losses

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