Our Best Minds Must Be in Government

Yeah, we could discuss the rights of a governing entity that is spending billions of dollars to prop up a specific company, but that would slide past the real question of political philosophy that makes this such a frightening proposition, no matter which step we highlight as the one in the wrong direction:

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.
On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

It is nearly irrelevant whether Wagoner deserves to lose his job (the answer being pretty self evident, if you ask me). The critical first principle requires an explanation of why it can be supposed that a handful of brains on a Presidential Task Force can be expected to step into a gigantic, ailing industry and prescribe the appropriate steps to save it:

Industry sources had said the White House planned very tough medicine in Monday’s announcement, which turned out to be an understatement. And it went to the very top. The measures to be imposed by the government will have a dramatic effect on workers, unions, suppliers, bondholders, shareholders, retirees and the communities where plants are located, the sources said.

One needn’t have the IQ of a Task Forcer to predict one likely path should the industrial plans of an entity with the power to tax fall flat. One needn’t be a community organizing short-term Senator and first-rate orator to see the incentives tilting in all the wrong directions. When the chief executive of a business is — in fact, if not on paper — the chief executive of the United States of America, the need to safeguard a résumé and reputation meets with unparalleled power to buy and coerce cover-ups.

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15 years ago

“the need to safeguard a résumé and reputation meets with unparalleled power to buy and coerce cover-ups”
Correct. Additionally, while this “Task Force on the Auto Industry” might be comprised of individuals who possess the skills and knowledge to determine what is best for a particular car company, the next Task Force on the Auto Industry, and the ones after that, will almost certainly be made up of Barney Franks and his self-serving, deliberately misinformed ilk screaming “Off with his head!” for all the wrong reasons.

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