Monday, November 24, 2008

Big Three in big trouble? Too bad.

I was hoping to say something original and provocative about the Big Three’s recent attempt to get a government bailout, but I’m finding myself drawn to the ‘survival of the fittest’ camp. It sounds like they could use a shake-up; the North American auto sector has had this coming after years of mismanagement and ambivalence to customer needs.

This isn't as big a deal as they're making it out to be. These companies aren’t going anywhere in the long-term. North Americans will still need cars once this awful recession is over. And once the dust settles, auto manufacturers will emerge from this crisis leaner and meaner than the bloated incarnations they are now.

Moreover, people need bailouts, not corporations. The government should save the money they would otherwise waste on these companies and spend it to support those people who are about to lose their jobs. Giving the Big Three a wad of cash would only result in a retrenchment of the current paradigm. What’s needed is a complete collapse so that the auto sector can reinvent itself for the 21st century.

It sounds heartless and Darwinian, but it’s true. Recessions and shake-ups happen because corporations that work within uber free markets cannot self-regulate. The banking/credit crisis has proven this. Capitalism works to eat itself, which is why we get correction periods every now and then. The current recession is merely the elastic band swinging back from its over-extension.

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