Friday, December 12, 2008

The Auto Industry and the Government

As most everyone knows, the auto industry is wanting a bailout by the government. But, the government wants concessions from stockholders and employees. As most Americans have budgeted their salaries into their 'stuff' this is a scary prospect. How will they pay the bills?

I told my husband this morning that at least the government was not going to ask for ownership of the companies and completely change our system of free enterprise. What the government proposes does hold responsible those who are accuntable for the mess in the first place. The government will not be scapegoated, which I think is wise.

I also think that the conditions are good for those who have an investment in the company. As the company will survive or not, depending on how all of the employees and sharholders cooperate with ownership. Not only does this hold others to accountability but it also brings responsibility to "community". That is a good thing, I think, as it was the choice of the Unions' leadership to continue to bid for higher and higher salaries, which ran down the profits for the company.

As for the shareholders, they are holding the bag in hope's of the company pulling out. They must hold steady and not bail out themselves. But, I wonder how Wall Street's bailout is nothing but a crass disregard for responsibility and accountability, as the government handed the money over. Those who work on Wall Street are good at knowing how to use other people's money for their own benefit. This shrewdness is respected in our country, as it allows those who want to be resourceful a means to that end.

In the responsibility and accountability mode, all parties are paying their dues to "abide in community". There is no one that is not affected nor held to the same standards. I think this is wise, otherwise, one creates a climate for revolution (when the worker and the employer are playing on a different playing field.). Socialism it is. Or isn't it?

No one asked for this economic crisis, but good can come from it. I was encouraged to hear that those in NYC were returning to re-soling their shoes, and re-finishing their furniture, instead of buying new. While I don't believe that there is any virtue in living in poverty, I do think that our government and our lifestyles need a more thoughtful approach.

Ethics in our form of government is based on social contract, which is collective ownership of companies, while maintaining private property. Private property should be protects as this divides us from a completely socialized society. P

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