That Which Is Not Seen

Jim Manzi points out an excellent example of my piece on how those claiming to want “change” cling so desperately to the status quo, at the expense of the economy and productivity:

The amount that would ultimately be loaned to the Big 3 is unclear, but most observers believe that when all is said and done, it will be much, much more than the $34 billion that the Big 3 have requested. Let’s assume $100 billion. As a pure thought exercise, how many jobs could we create with an extra $100 billion of venture capital? How much more sustainable would these be than jobs in companies that need to come to Washington to beg for capital?

We’re not supposed to ask those questions. These threats of financial armageddon if we don’t bail out the UAW are just scare tactics. It will be very bad in the short run for some locales (including my home town of Flint, and my family there), but the nation would survive, and if we can break out of this “too big to fail” mentality, much the better for it.

6 thoughts on “That Which Is Not Seen

  1. DaveP.

    Why create jobs? Why not just divide the $100 billion into $40,000 checks, and send them out to randomly chosen citizens? There’s 2.5 MILLION “middle class jobs” right there, and they’d be at lest as secure as the “green economy” jobs that Hopeychangey wants to create…

  2. Pat C

    It seems pretty clear that the “change” they “hope” for is really just a final repudiation of the Reagan revolution. Not that the Bushes haven’t done enough already to unravel it, but that’s a finer point lost on the collectivist crowd. W’s tax cuts were really the only nod to supply-side growth that I can think of.

    Again, a point lost on the hoping changers. If the government’s not involved at some fundamental level, they don’t like it.

    Too many people just don’t trust the free market at a gut level because no one really has their hands on the steering wheel. Though reaping the benefits of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, they fear it because no single entity can be held accountable when things go off the rails and a correction occurs.

    Of course, our current condition can be blamed almost entirely on some very specific entities, but they will never be held accountable since they don’t have (R) after their names.

    My entire adult life has been spent working under the benefits of a mostly freed-up economy made possible by Reagan’s legacy. I am not looking forward to finding out what it’s like to try and support my family in a remake of “That 70′s Show”.

    So long as they don’t bring back leisure suits and disco…

  3. PeterH

    1) the ‘hoping changers’ are too ignorant to recognize that the ‘change’ they hope for is just more of the same that created the mess.

    2) $100 billion of venture capital could create a lot of jobs, but they wouldn’t be union jobs.

    3) Those who distrust the free market, in my observation, don’t understand it. In a healthy free market there are 2 great offenses, force and fraud. Yes, there will be irrationality. But very rarely will the whole of a free market be irrational, and almost never all in the same way.

  4. Jeff Mauldin

    Who was it that said government has the following attitude:
    If it moves, tax it.
    If it survives, regulate it.
    If it is dying, subsidize it.
    (?)

    The auto makers have certainly gone through this pattern.

  5. Kelly Starks

    I’m of two minds on this. I’m not big no gov “help”, and certainly Congress wanting to try to run a car busness….. Well it would make the Worst of the auto execs bungles look golden.

    On the other hand its largely been congress making union exceses untouchable, and congress pushing the big 3 (but not other auto companies building in the US) to conform to production demands that force them to discontinue cars popular with the public, to build ones only really popular with congress. And then congress trashed the banking system, hence the ability of customers to buy cars. (I mean its not like the big three’s sales cliff fall is unique to them).

    Course now they are having to sell their soul to the devils that already cursed them to this fate.

  6. Paul Milenkovic

    Think of it people. Obama sees himself as Ronald Reagan, and when he takes office, he will have had a hand in the greatest act of union busting since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.

    Yes, Mr. Obama is not yet President, but come one now, he has the Presidential bully pulpit for all practical purposes, and Mr. Obama has been remarkably non-committal about any of this, falling back on the silly cliches about how we should rescue the automakers but how they should focus on building small (i.e. profit-free) cars.

    At some level, you are either for unions and what their world view entails or you are against them. OK, I saw one Obama sticker on a big honkin’ Tahoe (“You know you won’t be able to drive around in your SUV’s” and all of that). But I see so many Obama people driving “scab cars.” Yeah, yeah, big bad Detroit, I am so liberal, so educated, so entitled to drive a reliable, sensible Honda Pilot (I don’t see that many Corollas, but the whole Prius thing is another story).

    So Dr. Educated Liberal University Professor, you wouldn’t cross a union picket line, now, would you? But you are driving a scab car. But the Toyotas and Hondas are much better cars, you say, and your time is too valuable to fuss with a GM offering. Those GM workers are overpaid relative to US Toyota workers — cut those GM worker’s salaries as part of the bailout. Dr. Educated Liberal University Professor, meet George Mortimer Pullman.

    Oh, but we will have card-check to organize Toyota. Yes, we will get to reprise this whole thing in 20 years when Hyundai, or the Chinese take over the market.

    The WSJ says the UAW is hoping against hope for 10-12 GOP Senators to stand with them. Oh no, such bad karma with regard to the UAW of ever having had a good word about anyone from the GOP. Too bad the Democrats you have supported are happy with their Toyota and Honda scab cars.

    Disclosure: my father is a Ford retiree as a research engineer, receiving a pension and what is left of the health benefits. My momma told me, “Don’t you engineers look down on the unions. You are salaried employees yes, but you owe your pay rate to the unions; you have to be paid more than the fellow on the shop floor so you are willing to suffer through engineering school, but if it were not for this floor on your pay, you would be treated like dirt by your corporate masters.”

    My sympathies are with the UAW people demonstrating in some cities, telling people their jobs, and the jobs of the people next to them (suppliers), and the jobs of the people yet next to them (people in the communities) are all on the line. Mr. Obama and his liberal-elite allies don’t seem to want to stand with them — a simple gesture would speak volumes, but one must conserve one’s political capital.

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