Bail Out Detroit: Let the Big Three Fail

In response to Julian E. Zelizer’s Let’s See That Audacity In Action at HuffPost:

I’m all for helping out the urban areas, but not if the tradeoff is throwing good money after bad at the Detroit automakers, a veritable black hole of funding.

Suffering urban areas need decent jobs, and decent jobs require thriving companies- which the Big Three automakers are absolutely not. Any bailout that allows them to stay in business in any way resembling how they are now just delays the inevitable, and throws our tax dollars away.

Whether it’s due to mismanagement, poor product planning or exorbitant union benefits (my guess is “all of the above”), the Detroit automakers simply are not competitive. Why should consumers who chose better, cheaper cars now have to subsidize the losers?

Some have suggested the government put Detroit companies into receivership. I can’t think of any other entities less fit to run auto manufacturers than the Big Three– except perhaps the federal government. The government’s role is to look after the public interest; the automaker’s role is to sell cars. We don’t need a government-run auto industry looking to appease social interests; we need well-run auto companies looking to appease consumer interests. Let’s avoid the American Yugo, shall we?

I say let the Big Three seek bankruptcy protection, restructure themselves, their product lines and renegotiate their contracts to do business in the 21st century. If they still can’t hack it, then let the Japanese companies come in and run Detroit for a while. At least they seem to know what they’re doing.

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