Downsizing America

The Nation
by John Nichols

06/01/09

The trouble with the whole ‘Nixon goes to China’ theory — which is grounded in the calculus that big progress is made when a politician goes against type to address a seemingly intractable challenge — is that sometimes the ‘bold’ gesture is really just more of the same. This is an important reality to recognize as the major media in the United States begins to play up the reshaping of General Motors by the Obama administration’s auto-industry task force as a courageous or groundbreaking ‘new’ initiative to ’save’ domestic automaking. It’s not. The GM bankruptcy and bailout is the continuation of post-industrial policies of the Clinton and Bush years. Those policies, which encouraged companies to shutter factories in the US and move operations to foreign countries with lower wages and weaker regulations, were defined by Wall Street rather than Main Street...

//tinyurl.com/ne6gsl



Obama’s socialized bankruptcy for GM

Christian Science Monitor
by staff

06/01/09

America’s recession might have been longer and the job cuts steeper if General Motors and Chrysler had been thrown into a normal bankruptcy. Under that route, a judge would have salvaged only the most market-worthy parts of the carmakers and liquidated the noncompetitive parts. Instead, President Obama chose a different course — prenegotiated bankruptcies — to reorganize each company. He decided to used his clout to force only certain concessions from stakeholders. And he decided to cater to political interests, such as demands in Congress not to allow GM to import its own cars made in China. As a result, his socialized bankruptcy left taxpayers as majority owner of GM and with many aspects of ‘old GM’ intact...

//www.csmonitor.com/2009/0601/p08s01-comv.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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