Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bailouts for the moribund

Roger Cohen, writing an Op-Ed for the NYT, has some good points about bailing out the car-makers. He takes off from the death of Pan-Am and the artificially extended life of Italy's Alitalia with its gummint underpinning. He writes:
The whole financial crisis is about the death of responsibility: the buck stopped nowhere. Everyone profited from toxic paper. Bernard Madoff, he of the alleged multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, is only the latest example.
Irresponsibility has also characterized Detroit. I don’t see how you restore responsibility with a bailout. Obama has a deeper task than changing the economy; he has to change the culture.
Rather than adopting European subsidies, put billions toward more inspiring European examples: a high-speed railroad network or universal health care.

Read all here. I find myself mostly agreeing with his take on this money gusher for loser businesses.

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