Columnist - Milo Nickel Sr.
We Americans are getting so accustomed to slow but sure socialistic moves by the democrats who control the federal government that nothing surprises us anymore. There is no outrage over the pending demise of the free enterprise system that made this country the greatest in world history. The freedoms that we have enjoyed, and yes, taken for granted by young people today, are being taken away one by one. Few seem to care as like lemmings, we march in lock step towards the sea of disaster.
Surprisingly, last week in European countries, voters overwhelmingly voted against liberal/ socialistic candidates in governments in favor of conservative candidates.
Voters in country after country repudiated socialism in an amazing display of gross and widespread dissatisfaction with socialism but you didn’t see much mentioned by the national television folks with the exception of Fox News. This earth shattering event should have been headline news but it went counter to the left wing press in our country so they just failed to report it.
As Ron Paul points out below, the bond holders, mostly older and retired people who put up their hard earned savings to finance GM, received only 10% interest in the new GM.
Labor unions got 17.5%. Despite all the spin put on why GM failed, the root problem was the result of labor bosses whose incessant demands for years crippled the company to the extent that it could not compete against the low cost producers.
Ron Paul posted the following on the internet and it was forwarded by the courtesy of Ken LaRive. I think it summarizes the problems in a nutshell.
“Last week, General Motors finally declared bankruptcy. Many in government thought $20 billion in taxpayer dollars would save the company, but as predicted, it only postponed the inevitable. The government will dump another $30 billion into GM and take a 60 percent controlling interest for it. Public officials are now involving themselves in tactical business decisions such as where GM’s headquarters should move and what kind of cars it will build.
The promise that this is temporary and will eventually be profitable is supposed to ease the American people into accepting this arrangement, but it is of little comfort to those who remember similar promises when the American taxpayers bought Amtrak. After three years, government was supposed to be out of the passenger rail business. 40 years and billions of dollars later, the government is still operating Amtrak at a loss, despite the fact that they have created a monopoly by making it illegal to compete with Amtrak. Imagine what they can now do to what is left of the great American auto industry!
In a truly free market, GM would get your money one way and one way only – by selling you a car you want, at a price you are willing to pay. Instead, the government is giving public money to a private company in spite of the market signals it has been sending. Throwing money at GM does not stop it from being an engine of wealth destruction; on the contrary, it simply gives it more wealth to destroy.
Had it been allowed to fail naturally, the profitable pieces of GM would have been bought up and put to good use by now. The laid off employees would likely have found new jobs and all that capital would be in private hands, reinvested in companies that produce products demanded by consumers. Instead, we are all poorer now.
Political pressure, rather than the rule of law, is deciding how to divide up the remains of GM. The bondholders had billions in retirement savings invested in the company, and though they were entitled to nearly three times as much as the United Auto Workers, the bondholders were left with just a 10 percent stake compared to the union’s 17.5 percent stake. For their 60 percent stake, taxpayers have a future of constant bailouts to look forward to.
Commingling public control of private business is known as fascism. While today’s politicians may feel emboldened with all their new power, history will only repeat itself as all this collapses on itself. It is the height of hubris for bureaucrats and politicians to attempt to control the market and the freewill of the American people. In the end, the market always wins out. Maybe one day future generations will wise up and allow free markets to function and thrive without the albatross of government around its neck. For now, it looks like those in charge have not learned the lessons of the past, and have doomed us to repeat those mistakes once again.”
Well, as I said, Ron says it plain and simple but don’t give up, don’t despair. Can we make a difference? Yes we can.
After decades of being promised something for nothing, Europeans, in droves have decided enough is enough and are voting the rascals out wholesale. It could happen here too unless we become a nation of want something for nothing lemmings!
That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Milo A. Nickel is the former President and COO of Louisiana State Newspapers.