Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Tough Love" for Detroit: Both Sides

represented at The Washington Post

Richard Cohen says no to a bail out and yes to Obama's decision:

"This is where bankruptcy comes in. It slows things down. It's a mechanism. It's a process. It takes things step by step. It has been designed for situations such as the one the auto manufacturers face. It puts things into court and out of the political arena, where both the United Auto Workers and the Big Three can play the lobbying game. Bankruptcy can save the industry."

The rest of his argument isn't very convincing. Yes, politics shapes what can and can't be done but it isn't an intellectually gratifying argument that he is offering and the difference in standards imposed between auto company and banks is jarring.

Eugene Robinson
more or less disagrees:

"The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds."

I largely agree with this argument but it should be noted that this isn't an argument for a bail out as much as it is an argument for (a) all ball outs or (b) for no bail outs or (c) imposing strict standards on bail outs for those who take them - not an argument for giving the auto companies a bail out.

One thing they both agree on - Wagoner's exit - but who can argue with that?

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