It's The Free-Market Stupid, Not The GOP

Most pundits on the far left, like self-described journalist Mike Papantonio, are really stretching the facts (like a slip and fall lawyer would) when he tries to whitewash the UAW’s role and its impact on the Big 3 automakers by saying that the GOP has always hated unions and that’s why, he asserts, they don’t want to bail out the Big 3. And he does this by saying that AIG, Freddy Mac, Fannie Mae are not unionized and they’re getting bailed out. Actually, none of them should be bailed out with taxpayer money. It was government intervention that put them in that position. The best thing the government can do now is to quit meddling with the free-market economy and let the market determine who wins and who loses.

So here’s my response to Mike Papantonio. AIG and the rest of Wall Street, they’re not unionized and they are failing. You say the Big 3 are failing too, but it’s not because of unions because Wall Street isn’t unionized? Nice try Mike.

I’ll tell you, Mike the journalist, what ALL of these failures have in common, in just two words. Government intervention. Intervention in a free-market economy. And there is one more commonality among all of them Mike, they are joined at the hip with Democrat lawmakers from the CRA to the UAW. That’s what they all have in common. That’s why all of them are in trouble. The Big 3 are unique however because they are unionized. For them, their problem is compounded because of the UAW and the agreements that the incompetent CEO’s signed on to. Granted it isn’t the only reason, the Big 3 have other problems as well, but it is the difference from operating in the red, or the black.

Their incompetence is echoed in their ‘plan’ before congress right now. Their plan includes the same cash-draining contracts that keep them from being competitive with the non-union automakers in the South. Because of that, they deserve and have earned the right to go bankrupt.

Reorganize, unload the union weight, be competitive, and prosper. And if it means going from Big 3 to Big 2, so be it. In a free market environment, the fittest will survive without putting taxpayers trillions and trillions of dollars into debt.

Bio: Mike Papantonio hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, the Ring of Fire, on Air America Radio and is the founder of He is a partner in the Levin Papantonio law firm in Pensacola.

related links: GOP Blames Unions for Detroit’s Ills | What Caused The Economic Crisis?

Plan B For Automakers, Do Nothing

Executives from the Big 3 automakers are in Washington making their case for $34 billion dollars (up from $25 billion a week ago) to ‘bail’ them out.

Their plan amounts to things they should have done years ago, but still amount to nothing more than duct tape over a gaping hole in the hull of their ship. Not one of them mentioned bankruptcy or getting out from under their current union contracts. That’s where the hole is and that’s why any amount of money now is just duct tape. It will also be nationalizing an industry doomed to failure if it doesn’t cleanse itself of the unnecessary union overhead that a bankruptcy affords them. All for the express purpose of propping up a labor union. I’m sorry, I believe our economy comes before a labor union.

GM’s COO Fritz Henderson is only fooling himself when he says that there is no Plan B. Of course there is. In this case, when you have an operation that ‘can’t fund’ itself, bankruptcy is always an option.

“There isn’t a Plan B,” said GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson. “Absent support, frankly, the company just can’t fund its operations.”

These auto execs seem unwilling to cut the umbilical cord to the UAW. That leaves the only other option, doing nothing. Why? Because Nancy Pelosi will get them the money they want one way or the other, making the automakers’ appearance this week before congress the obligatory dog and pony show. Pelosi is out to protect and preserve the UAW, not the company that employs them, and these execs know it.

“I believe that an intervention will happen,” Pelosi said at a briefing in Washington. “Everybody is disadvantaged by bankruptcy, including our economy, so that’s not an option.”

Pelosi said Congress will either approve new loans for the auto industry or the Bush administration will provide funding through the $700 billion financial-markets rescue plan approved by Congress last month.

Unfortunately for us taxpayers, and fortunately for the UAW, they will get their (your) money. Don’t you just love it when free enterprise capitalism is interfered with by the government? What makes it worse in this case is that the motivation is only to help big labor, Democrats’ special interest group.

related links: Big Three survival bailout requests rise to $34B | Pelosi Says Bankruptcy by Automakers ‘Not an Option’