[FoRK] Let GM and Chrysler die

Joe Barrera j3 at barrera.org
Fri Nov 14 13:34:25 PST 2008


On Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Bill Humphries <whump at mac.com> wrote:
> Andrew Sullivan's been posting letters pro and con letting the big three
> die.

Oh hey, I see he just posted an approving reference to Brooks's column.

> I don't know enough to answer if GM going into chapter 7 will kill the
> economy.

And this gets back to the "why do we allow companies to be 'too big to
fail'?" question. I liked Lindorff's article:

http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/news/1/6083-too-big-to-fail-has-an-easy-answer-anti-trust-or-public-control-.html

"Companies, whether banks, car makers, or media companies, should
never be allowed to grow to a point that they become "too big to
fail." If that can be said about any company, whether because of the
assets it holds, or because of the number of people it employs, it is
time to break it up.

Think of GM. If GM were ripped up into six or seven competing
companies, it is certain that at least one of those smaller entities
would be producing electric cars by next year. The Saturn plant
already made one, the Impact, that was wildly popular (see the
excellent documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car"), and if left to
its own devices to sink or swim, could probably be cranking those out
in volume for the 2010 model year.

Some companies would certainly fail. But that's what is supposed to
happen in a capitalist system.

This piece is not meant to be a paen to capitalism. But having said
that, if you're going to have capitalism, which is the ruling ideology
here in the US of A, you have to let it function as intended. As soon
as the government comes in and starts encouraging the establishment of
monopolies or quasi-monopolies, and preventing the failure of poorly
managed enterprises or dying industries, as it is doing in the case of
the banking and automotive sectors, it is no longer true capitalism."


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