Brains Not Included

Cracked Up, Whacked Out and Completely Out of Control

Winners and Losers Who Chooses

It’s taken me a couple of days to completely absorb the fact that a sitting president just reached into the board room of a major corporation and fired the CEO. Notice I didn’t say that the Board of Directors asked for the government’s assistance …they didn’t…

The news has been all over the place on this one, some say he needed to go. Others say the government shouldn’t have this kind of power. Even others justify the action ‘this one time’ because of all the money given to the company to keep it afloat.

As is usual with me, I have a completely different take on the situation and it is one that hasn’t dawned on many people yet. My question is not whether government should be in the business of firing CEO’s of private companies.

My questions is have we crossing some precipice? Some invisible line that takes into a dark abyss where government decides which companies succeed and which should fail.

I know many will argue that this has gone on for years visa vie tax policy and regulations and I would agree. However, when this economic mess started in earnest and we allowed the Treasury and the Feds to save some investment banks while allowing others (Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns, etc.) to fail, we started down a slippery slope.

Now we are in full slide! It’s not just which banks should be saved and which should be allowed to fail, now it’s giving one company 30 days to fix a problem and allowing another 60 days. It’s firing a CEO and putting in another by dictation rather than a vote by the Board.

When the Obama administration announced that the government would stand behind the warranty of GM’s cars, they took an even greater step towards choosing winners and losers in this economy.

I ask one simple question, how is Ford to compete with GM (Government Motors) when Government Motors has billions of our Tax dollars funding it?

I admire Ford for recognizing its problems many years ago and setting out on a goal to fix them. I admire Ford for eschewing government hand outs and showing the rugged individualism and toughness that is genuinely American.

I am genuinely worried that we are on a destructive path here. When ‘BIG’ Government gets to choose the businesses that will be winners and the ones that will be losers, the people are bound to suffer.

I need only point to one example. Take a look at the history of England. You will see that at one time the government controlled all the car companies. You will also find out that there were waiting lists months and months long to get a new car.

So get ready, if government gets to choose the winners in this economy, you could be standing in a long line for your new GM, your new ‘free’ health care and maybe even your block of government cheese very soon!


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