Feature

Government is not always the problem

Indeed, the U.S. auto industry has added 53,000 workers since 2009, said Dick Polman in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dick PolmanThe Philadelphia Inquirer

When the Obama administration bailed out the auto industry two years ago, said Dick Polman, outraged conservatives predicted disaster. U.S. Rep. John Boehner said the rescue effort “guarantees failure at taxpayer expense,” and Sen. John McCain scoffed that if there were people who believed that “Chrysler is going to survive, I’d like to meet them.” Newt Gingrich went so far as to predict that “Chrysler taxes” would cause the population to rise up in revolt. Guess what? The free-market purists were dead wrong.

GM has emerged from bankruptcy stronger than Ford, with billions in profits, and acclaim for vastly improved quality and reliability. Chrysler has increased its sales every month for the past nine months, and will soon roll out 16 new models. The federal government’s bailout dollars are well on the way to being repaid; hundreds of thousands of jobs that would have been permanently lost have been saved. Indeed, the U.S. auto industry has added 53,000 workers since 2009.

The lesson: Sometimes, “government needs to step in to save capitalism from its worst Darwinian excesses.”

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