Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Government Motors

In the latest GM plan for survival, its White House-appointed CEO suggests that the reorganized company be owned 50 percent by the US government and 39 percent by the United Auto Workers. That seems about right, since the US Congress and the UAW are the two major culprits in the death of the American auto industry. Holman Jenkins does a nice reprise of their history of meddling and bullying in today's WSJ. As for the future, he forecasts continued infusions of taxpayer money, 'at least through the 2012 election'. That too sounds about right.

Meanwhile, over at Chrysler, the ownership split is even more hilarious: 55 percent for the UAW, 35 percent for Fiat. For accepting a third of Chrysler's stock, Fiat will allow its automobiles to be built in the company's factories. You may remember that Fiat once sold its small cars in the US, only to have them run out of town by the Volkswagen Beetle.

In comparison, the company that Henry Ford built looks awfully good. But it is only in comparison. Ford's right foot is still shackled by the UAW, and its left foot by the US Congress. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford (no relation)


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