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article imageOp-Ed: Has it really come to this, America?

By Jason Corley     Dec 9, 2008 in Politics
The Democrats' dangerous disregard to free markets and the natural economic system in America are in danger of fundamentally changing our country forever.
As if the capitalist gods are not already upset with our lawmakers for having shown disdain for the free market system that has produced unmatched wealth and a standard of living to America unseen anywhere else in the world; the Democrats in Congress are really about to bring down the thunder.
To ensure they do not lose vital support of their urban base the Democrats are on the verge of delivering $15 billion bail out plan to General Motors and Chrysler, and Ford will receive help too bringing the total to around $35 billion (I may be off by a billion but does it really matter? It’s only paper money) that will restructure the auto industry.
The money comes with oversight. We will now have a “car tsar,” or a “Minister of Interior Production” if you will. The Democrats are pushing for a seven-member board that will set up guidelines for the auto-industry to operate by. If Ford, GM and Chrysler, or the Big Three as they have so affectionately become known by, falter or do not meet satisfaction the “Minister of Interior Production” will recall the money.
What is wrong with that, you ask?
As I said earlier, union workers and urbanites keep the Democratic Party fed and clothed so there is no way that the auto-industry and its unions in Detroit will disappear. The laws that govern the markets are as perfect as the ones that govern nature. Unfortunately, our lawmakers govern us, and they are very imperfect.
My point is this; we are still going to pay regardless. We will prop up the auto industry whether it succeeds or falls. If it does indeed fall, the federal government will be the owners of the auto-industry. The new CEO will be the “Minister of Interior Production.” We pay. And we pay. Those are the options. That is the decision formulated by the brightest minds in Washington.
Never mind that the economic environment in our country can no longer sustain our automotive industry. It is not even supported by the current economy and consumer choice. Alas, that is where our tax dollars come in. Once again, we pay. Once again, they are the lawmakers.
The Democrats are stipulating that benchmarks will be drafted so that they will have major say so on executive pay, bans on stock dividends while the loans remain outstanding. They would even have to seek government approval for any business transaction of $25 million or more. The new “Minister of Interior Production” can also convene on meetings of stakeholders in the auto-industry.
These are all just concessions, of course. The real problems are not being addressed. That includes our trade policies, where we remain at huge disadvantage, and our corporate tax that handcuffs us in the global market. It’s the second highest in the modern industrialized world. Why, to protect unions so they can make $85.00 an hour of course.
And it is union labor that has driven the auto-industry off a cliff (no pun intended). When an average foreign mid-size car can be built in the South, where the work force is labor-union free, and can offer $1200-1800 more in modern features because that money is not used to pay inflated labor cost, pensions, and retirement, it is a no-brainer for the consumer.
I am as patriotic as any American. I buy American products and support America. However, I own two Toyotas — don’t worry they were built by American labor. Furthermore, by me purchasing the Toyotas I helped to feed American families and helped to secure a number of jobs for Americans. I chose not to buy a car with vastly limited features at a higher cost and, best of all, the market provided me that choice.
That is the fundamental problem that is facing our American auto-industry. It is a failed model from antiquity and no amount of money, oversight, or restructuring will change that. The industry must adapt to the demands of the modern consumer or…we will support them, unwillingly, through our tax dollars?
Not quite the desired effect I had in mind.
Sadly, that is the reality of the situation. For years the Democrats bought union workers with handouts and protection. It looks like now we will be buying their support for them.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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