For the Government and the Carmakers, a Risky Path Ahead

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As an assertion of government control over a huge swath of the industrial landscape, President Obama’s decision to reshape the automobile industry has few precedents.

In essentially taking command of General Motors and telling Chrysler to merge with a foreign competitor or cease to exist, Mr. Obama was saying that economic conditions were sufficiently dire to justify a new level of government involvement in the management of corporate America.

His message amounted to an inversion of the relationship that had helped define the rise of American manufacturing might in the 20th century; now, Mr. Obama seemed to be saying, what is good for America will have to be good enough for General Motors.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto IndustryPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama

14 Comments
Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:03 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. robroy wrote:

We were talking about this today in the OR. The nurse pointed out that when the airline industries were in trouble, they went through chapter 11 and restructuring and came out able to compete with the world. How do people think that the government bureaucrats/managers will do with GM?

March 31, 2:03 am | [comment link]
2. Dave B wrote:

I was listening to some one on talk radio yesterday and they said what experiance does Obama have at running any thing?  When GM fails and 100,000 workers are laid off it will be Obama’s responsiblility, he is making the calls.  Their is no end to Obama’s ego.  How are his cabinet appointments going?  I guess organizing his government isn’t that important, he is running GM!  Obama’a last appointment is an old AIG executive!

March 31, 5:47 am | [comment link]
3. dawson wrote:

I bet that GM wishes they had listened to mark Sanford and told the government to keep their money [and meddling]. They could have then taken their medicine and probably restructured into a profitable PRIVATE company, not a wing of Obama inc.

March 31, 5:59 am | [comment link]
4. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#1 Dr Dr Rob Roy
“We were talking about this today in the OR.”
That fills one with confidence.

March 31, 6:30 am | [comment link]
5. Br. Michael wrote:

You think that Obama will appoint NPR’s “Car Talk” as his official car repair talk show?  Or maybe he should add a car repair area on the Presidential web site.

March 31, 7:22 am | [comment link]
6. Katherine wrote:

I had chills when I heard the President saying the U.S. government now stands behind car warranties.  Some internet page I read said, “If you love the DMV, you’re going to love this car company!”

March 31, 7:45 am | [comment link]
7. robroy wrote:

Br. Michael, I love click and clack, the car guys! But one question: is Tom or Ray going to be the new GM CEO?

March 31, 8:14 am | [comment link]
8. tgs wrote:

The important thing here to me is that Obama’s actions are totally unconstitutional yet no one calls him on it. If the President can unilaterally and with no oversight or approval from Congress just announce that the American taxpayer is taking over the warranty costs of automobile manufacturers then quite honestly our Constitutional Republic is dead. Yet there is no mention of this nor any real outrage from Congress or the American people. This is really scary.

March 31, 8:46 am | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:

The constitution has been dead for some time.

March 31, 9:29 am | [comment link]
10. Jeffersonian wrote:

I’m just looking forward to watching Larry Summers change my oil while Tim Geithner rotates my tires.

March 31, 10:25 am | [comment link]
11. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Elections - General AND Primary - produce consequences. 53% of voters elected Obama and we have them to thank for this grand social/political experiment in which we are the lab rats. Buyer’s remorse anyone?

March 31, 11:16 am | [comment link]
12. libraryjim wrote:

Not me, I didn’t vote for the clown, and urged everyone I knew to avoid him like the plague. And got called “racist” for my efforts.

March 31, 11:32 am | [comment link]
13. Jeffersonian wrote:

Don’t feel bad, Jim, you’re not alone.

March 31, 11:39 am | [comment link]
14. tgs wrote:

#9 - Br. Michael, sad to say it certainly is dead if all Americans felt as you do. Thankfully, many don’t.

March 31, 6:29 pm | [comment link]
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