[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
That would be the same GM who got a $15 billion bailout:
The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses for its workers and a promise to reopen an assembly plant in Tennessee as part of its tentative new contract with General Motors, according to people briefed on the negotiations.
In what is being viewed as a landmark deal, the union also preserved health care and pensions and improved profit-sharing for its roughly 48,000 members who work at G.M.
(Source.) Mickey Kaus goes into detail about how this is bad optics for GM and his points are all valid, but I worry about what kind of unfair competitive advantage that our money is giving to GM over companies that didn’t take bailout money, like Ford. After all, companies are always in competition for the best workers, in part.
Which might explain why Ford put out this ad featuring an allegedly spontaneous reaction of an allegedly ordinary purchaser, where he makes the case to buy a Ford because it was not bailed out. Whether it was a spontaneous reaction or a set up, however, Ford chose that one to put out as an ad, so it’s not exactly spontaneously going out to the people.
Still whether it is a cynical message on Ford’s part or not, they have a point. The best way to prevent bailouts like this, essentially allowing for the nationalization of certain industries, is to intentionally support the private industries over the ones subsidized by the government. If you make it sufficiently bad business to receive a bailout, most companies will refuse to take one in the first place.
Oh, and who is this John Galt guy I keep hearing about anyway?
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]