Friday, November 21, 2008

Americans are Not Helpless

One of the more revealing responses to my article on bankruptcy was the following comment from Paul Hooson:

Congress seldom has any problem spending billions for war or bombs, but when the lives of 3 million American jobs are in the balance, then the foot dragging really starts for a mere $25 billion which isn't a great deal of money.”

This is almost the quintessential liberal response to a difficult question. It ignores the topic and pursues a non-seqitur, it presents a false premise, and it assumes that people are helpless to take care of themselves. It also presents the absurd concept of ”lives of 3 million American jobs”. Jobs do not have lives, people have lives and people have jobs, and while a person cannot lose their life and just go on, just about everyone will lose a job or two or five in their lifetime, and they will move and survive, most of them will do just fine even if they lose a great job. If we start trying to protect folks from common life events simply because they are unpleasant, this will merely waste resources in yet another unrealistic adventure in government blundering.

The possibility that the three largest auto manufacturers in the United States may go out of business is troubling, but no more troubling than the failure of American steel, textile, electronics, and other manufacturing centers. The notion that the ‘Big 3’ deserve special treatment is laughable on its face, not least because the owners and management at these companies have clearly refused to take the necessary steps to make their businesses more viable. And what about the claim that the end of Ford, GM, and/or Chrysler would mean “dire” consequences for the nation? It would be difficult for many, but just as happened in so many places before, most of those workers would find new employment, and few would end up worse off in the long run. Especially since the demand for cars remains strong, and with ready-to-go factories in place and a supply infrastructure as well, it’s only a matter of fortitude and working out the math for a new super-company to emerge. Don’t think so? Hey, when I was growing up, the only choice you had for a phone was a wall-mounted landline by Bell. When I first went to college, computers were terminals physically connected to a mainframe IBM. So thinking that the top American car has to come from a company created in the early 20th Century can prove to be just as obsolete.


fred said...

Failure should not be reinforced or rewarded. Without a total overhaul, the day of reckoning will be put off.

Hawkins1701 said...

Too bad so many of citizens now look to government to solve all their problems.

Ronald Reagan correctly diagnosed our ailment, but whenever those in power try to curtail the government, such as say, education spending, or medical spending, or welfare spending, the line is "You don't care about X interest group!!" ("the children" being the favorite one), even if those programs don't work.

Wish I could say I'm optimistic, but until a, dare I say it, "fundamental change" occurs where people stop voting based on what the government can do for them, and we reject these assumptions formed over the past century about the government's proper role.....America shall not ever see a day where it is not in deficit, and will one day collapse from it.

I fear for the world my children shall inherit. I really do.