Thursday, November 20, 2008
When They Write The History...
When they, the economic historians, write the economic history of this period, it will be interesting to read where they will place the blame for all the unnecessary pain and suffering that millions of Americans went through. Some where in their analysis of the period they will discuss the lack of responsible leadership in both the White House and the Congress to meet the challenges that eventually drove first the American economy and later the rest of the world’s economies into the depression that consumed us all.
Unfortunately, the debate as to whether the federal government should loan the auto makers $25 billion is merely an ego trip for some to demonstrate their knowledge of a few economic numbers, while for others it is covering themselves and protecting their job in Congress. Few seem to be able to see beyond their little area of expertise or self interest.
Inaction on this loan will cause problems that even the smartest economists have not considered. To argue the three American auto makers’ cost per vehicle at this point in our economic recovery and stabilization is absurd. Such an argument misses the trauma that awaits us.
Perhaps there are people in the world, or governments, that are wise enough to realize what the American government is dancing with, and will enter the debate. The Japanese, who are forever being thrown up in our face as an example of a country and people that do it right, would not hesitate for a second to save their auto makers if the situation was reversed. They are of a different culture. The safety of the group, their society takes importance over the ego of the individual. When Japan’s steel industry was in trouble they came to its aid out of necessity and national pride. Perhaps it is time for them to explain to our leaders what real national pride means.
I repeat, this short sighted decision to not loan the three American auto makers the $25 billion will be felt around the world. More than just Americans will suffer from this stupid decision not to act and act now.