Congress and the President-elect are doing a deal to “bail out” or provided “loans” to major American industries and businesses. Then there is an idea that perhaps the Chief Executive Officers need to retire — a decision made for decades in America by stockholders and Boards of Directors…not by legislators or other politicians. Are we on the slippery slope? And to what?
When President-elect Barack Obama talked on Sunday about realigning the American automobile industry he was quick to offer a caution, lest he sound more like the incoming leader of France, or perhaps Japan.
“We don’t want government to run companies,” Obama told Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press.” “Generally, government historically hasn’t done that very well.”
By David E. Sanger
The New York Times
But what Obama went on to describe was a long-term government bailout that would be conditioned on government oversight. It could mean that the government would mandate, or at least heavily influence, what kind of cars companies make, what mileage and environmental standards they must meet and what large investments they are permitted to make — to recreate an industry that Obama said “actually works, that actually functions.”
It all sounds perilously close to a word that no one in Obama’s camp wants to be caught uttering: nationalization.
Not since Harry Truman seized America’s steel mills in 1952 rather than allow a strike to imperil the conduct of the Korean War has Washington toyed with nationalization….