Rarely has a story without physical violence struck with such impact. The United States Government, presumably limited in power under our system, has forced out the head of General Motors, and is requiring Chrysler to merge, as conditions of further federal aid. From The New York Times:
“WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday pushed out the chairman of General Motors and instructed Chrysler to form a partnership with the Italian automaker Fiat within 30 days as conditions for receiving another much-needed round of government aid.
“The decision to ask G.M.’s chairman and chief executive, Rick Wagoner, to resign caught Detroit and Washington by surprise, and it underscored the Obama administration’s determination to keep a tight rein on the companies it is bailing out — a level of government involvement in business perhaps not seen since the Great Depression.”
COMMENT: This is pretty chilling. Is it our future? Let me say right off that there’s a lesson here: When you take government money, you take government control. In fact, the government has a fiduciary responsibility to oversee the spending of its funds. Think of that every time you’re asked to vote for euphemisms like “paid for by the American people” or “made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.”
But the fact that Washington can now dictate who the next chairman of GM will be is profound. Washington has agendas that go beyond the health of General Motors. Watch, as the Obama environmental agenda, which may or may not be sound, is forced on the carmaker. Watch as the sheer number of union voters in the state of Michigan becomes a consideration, with the 2012 presidential election in the minds of White House “advisers.”
This is awfully close to full nationalization. Add this to the government’s power over banks, and we’re entering a brave new world, and without an exit strategy.
Most fascinating, to me at least, will be the reaction of the American people, generation by generation. Measuring that reaction will probably start immediately.
And watch for the GOP reaction. The party leaders should have been up all night crafting a creative reply that will move the American people and demonstrate the party’s vision and seriousness. Don’t hold your breath.
And do not underestimate the size of this story.
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