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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not Much of a Socialist

By Keith R. Schmitz

Despite the doubts, the venerable General Motors got by with a little help from its friends -- in government. What was sad was that so many seemed to just give up on GM. Where was the American can-do attitude?

But don't believe me. Take it from the free market The Economist:
So was the auto bail-out a success? It is hard to be sure. Had the government not stepped in, GM might have restructured under normal bankruptcy procedures, without putting public money at risk. Many observers think this unlikely, however. Given the panic that gripped private purse-strings last year, it is more likely that GM would have been liquidated, sending a cascade of destruction through the supply chain on which its rivals, too, depended.
My point always has been that if GM went down, there was a network of suppliers throughout the Midwest and here in Wisconsin that would have swirled around the drain with it. The impact would have been huge, painful -- and in this case averted.

The critics, who seem more skilled at projection than personality analysis, have accused Obama of wanting to wrap the tentacles of government around vulnerable companies.

Didn't happen. Never happened. And as The Economist put it:
The lesson for American voters is that their president, for all his flaws, has no desire to own the commanding heights of industry. A gambler, yes. An interventionist, yes. A socialist, no.
The point is Obama saw what needed to be done, and he did it. That's leadership.

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