I must admit I feel strongly about both alternatives. My capitalistic tendencies – and virtually all of my business colleagues – say “let ‘em die”. There certainly is a lot of blame to spread around, none more poignant than the studies that have been done about the enormity of the non-existent value generated by GM and Fords’ capital investment history.
Contrarily, I think the economy is too weak to withstand hundreds of thousands of job losses which will likely appear in the immediate aftermath. Ben Stein agrees in his recent article, What if a Slowdown is a Never Ending Story?, reflecting similarly on the lack of any kind of economic growth path that will absorb the auto workers and their compatriots in related industries.
The scariest notion of all is of Congress deliberating over GM’s business plan and trying to assess its wisdom and direction. It’s reasonable to expect accountability and a wise deployment of assets, but allowing Congress to make those determinations is like asking Moses where to split the river.
On a more whimsical level, you have to wonder what the big deal is when we’ve got a $700 million bailout that isn’t working and isn’t near fully invested. What’s another lousy $25 billion?