20 Nov 2008

Why Stop With Detroit?

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Heck, Declan McCullagh suggests, why not bail out everybody?

The Honorable Henry Paulson
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Paulson:

I understand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are urging you to hand $25 billion or more to Detroit’s nearly bankrupt automakers. While President-elect Obama indicated on 60 Minutes that he likes the idea, the Bush administration has been skeptical.

That is unfortunate. Bailing out companies that lose money on every vehicle they manufacture and cannot adapt to changing market conditions is not merely necessary in today’s economic climate — it’s the American way.

It would be shortsighted to stop at GM, Ford, and Chrysler. My modest proposal is that plenty of other nondeserving companies could use a helping hand.

Mervyn’s department store can’t compete with its rivals on price, selection, and locations. But its stores are a fixture of local neighborhoods across California and the West, and the federal government surely has an obligation to prop up this failed company — even if it means everyone else pays more in taxes. This is the price we pay for keeping part of the American dream alive. …

Read the whole thing.

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