Have you heard of these automobile manufacturers: Pierce Arrow, DuPont, Studebaker, and Packer? Where are they today? They did what all unsuccessful businesses do. They closed. Hundreds of other car makers have come and gone.
Should the government have bailed them out? Should the government bail out every business that is struggling and about to fold? Can the government do so without going broke?
I think that a lot of people are looking at our economic problems in a way that is not helpful. Instead of asking whether this or that company should be rescued, I think we should first ask whether it is the job of the national government ever to rescue any private company. Some things to consider:
1. How would members of Congress ever choose which companies are worthy of saving and which ones are not? Are they blessed with some special grace that allows them to make such decisions inerrantly?
2. Wouldn’t the members of Congress act on such matters based on how they could win the most votes? Nobody’s naive enough to doubt that they would, I hope. Isn’t that a form of bribery, and wouldn’t we usually refer to it as corruption?
3. Is there enough money in the national treasury to bail out every business that faces bankruptcy? (HINT: Our country is currently in debt–huge debt.)
4. Is it what the people want? You do remember that we are a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” don’t you? Do the majority of Americans want our hard-earned money confiscated in order to prop up businesses that are already selling us products of questionable quality at inflated prices? In other words, do we want to pay for our loans, our cars, our insurance, our airline tickets, or anything else, two times (once when we buy them and once when we are taxed to support their purveyors)?
5. If a certain company closes, isn’t that good news for other companies in the idustry that are doing a better job? Won’t that help consumers in the long run, because the other companies will have to win over new customers with higher quality and/or lower prices?