"Government isn't the solution, government is the problem." That was the message Ronald Reaqan gave us, and his followers for three decades have pushed de-regulation and allowing as much freedom as possible in the private sector. And the results? Like an intersection without stop signs or stop lights, we've found ourselves with our critical intersections full of crushed cars, frantic paramedics and economic gridlock resulting from this series of disasters.
And where do the incompetent business people, who for years have decried government intervention into their realm, look for help? The government! OUR GOVERNMENT! Financial institutions make decisions that assume one possible scenario where they can be profitable. When that scenario doesn't pan out, is it the government's responsibility to bail them out? I am on the record as saying no. The candidate I supported, along with his opponent acquiesced and said it was ok to bail them out because the scope of the influence of these incompetents was too sevier to let them go down in flames. I'm swallowing my basic instincts and saying ok, I don't want my opposition to be responsible for our economy go from severely bad, to catastrophic.
Now, enter the people whose incompetence makes AIG executives look like Nobel Laureates. AUTO INDUSTRY EXECS. These first class, high paid, corrupt, incomparably incompetent dufuses now want the government to bail them out because they were dumber than a screen door in a submarine. That evil government, that has prodded the unwilling to save lives with seatbelts, airbags and some basic concerns for fuel efficiency, are now going to be asked to bail them out because government was right about what they should have provided, and because they didn't provide it, they are now bordering and chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Reagan where is thy wisdom, when government is more inspired than the private sector? Why is it that your favored class now comes to those evil bureaucrats seeking favors without condition? Should we impose true market conditions upon you? Or will you just blame the UAW for your faults? Oh yeah, their the guys. For the record, let's compare your salaries/benefits/stock options to those execs who work for Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, etc. Let's truly examine where the disparity exists.
My father, as a patriotic American made a good faith effort through the eighties and nineties to buy American. However, he got really tired of having to buy new transmissions every other year, or have to have fuel pumps fail every 18 months. Getting stranded in Montana in January finally sealed the deal. He's been driving Toyotas ever since.
What sealed the deal for me was when my mother called me at her work because she couldn't figure out how to change a flat tire on her Chevy Suburban. The jack they had assigned to her vehicle would only fit under her vehicle when the tires where inflated. So I took my Toyota Celica jack and raised the suburban high enough to get the suburban jack underneath the vehicle enough so I could change her tire. The carelessness and incompetence of GM made an unmistakable impact upon me regarding the thinking of those who worked in Detroit. Do I want to bail out these idiots? Not until they can demonstrate to me that they deserve to be bailed out. Nothing I have read from Consumer Reports has indicated that they deserve our consideration.
The failures of the auto industry and the financial industry are complex with multiple variables. But government was not the major factor in their failures. Unmitigated capitalism was the failure. This isn't about ideology, but a manifesto for economic realism. The failures of corporate governance as well as government oversight are well documented. But the answer is not to further remove governmental controls, but to make them more rational and meaningful.
The paradigm that set my generation upon a negative view of government accentuated by Reagan, was fatally flawed. Reagan was no prophet in fact he was a false prophet. He was a radical ideologue who had no real understanding of economics. Where we are now, is a repudiation of his shattered legacy. When a liberal like me is a lone individual concerned about government taking equity interests in financial institutions, I can only conclude that conservatism is philosophically incoherent, inconsistent, and ultimately irrelevant.