Thursday 13 November 2008

These are still the same problems as two weeks ago

"Momentum is building in Washington for a rescue package for the auto industry to head off a possible bankruptcy filing by General Motors, which is rapidly running low on cash.
But not everyone agrees that a Chapter 11 filing by G.M. would be the disaster that many fear. Some experts note that while bankruptcy would be painful, it may be preferable to a government bailout that may only delay, at considerable cost, the wrenching but necessary steps G.M. needs to take to become a stronger, leaner company."

NY Times: G.M.’s Troubles Stir Question of Bankruptcy vs. a Bailout, 12. November 2008
According to Wikipedia, General Motors currently employs 266 000 people around the world. They make cars for several different brands and are now hit by a huge number of problems: Like, for example, the fact that SUVs don't sell so well in times where environmental concerns have entered the public mind and more importantly, gas prices are high. In the past few days, NPR's Planet Money podcast has discussed the idea of a government bailout vs. the idea of letting GM go bankrupt.

Wall Street Journal: Bailout Turns on Auto Makers' Viability
NY Times: U.S. Shifts Focus in Credit Bailout to the Consumer
Financial Times: US drops plan to buy toxic assets

I also read about some of the measures taken by president Roosevelt in the 1930s to fight the depression, or more specifically the policy package called New Deal. So how do you escape a depression? You reform the bank and finance system, nationalize corporations, create jobs and training programs for unskilled workers, provide social security (the "Social Security Act" of 1933). Guess what happened to most of these things: Ronald Reagan.
"The money changers have fled their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."

Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Inaugural Speech
The celebration of the kinda better feeling continues: the Seattle Stranger has asked 11 authors, among them Sarah Vowell and Dan Savage, to write about the New Era.

Seattle Stranger: Eleven Writers on the First Week of a New Era


? said...

Ill put you down as the German chancellor

flame gun for the cute ones said...

The really weird thing is that somebody actually said that to me before, a few years ago. But I think the Germans are a bit wary of Austrians leading their country.

flame gun for the cute ones said...

Alright, I'll try to live up to it anyway. Thanks! The guy who first had the idea of me becoming German chancellor said something like "If you were chancellor, nobody would wear T-shirts saying 'I am displeased with the entire situation' [Ich bin mit der Gesamtsituation unzufrieden] anymore.