Obama may be doing many good things with the GM and Chrysler bailout deals, but one thing he isn't doing is "reinventing capitalism for the 21st century"-- which is Marc "Spin Me" Ambinder's characterization of what Obama thinks he's doing. .... Indeed, here is the guts of the rationalization offered by Ambinder , presumably after consulting with administration sources:
The administration believes that its intervention will buy Chrysler a few more years. If it fails in a few years, that's bad -- but not destructive.
"Buying a few more years" isn't "reinventing capitalism for the 21st century"--at least I hope not. Seems more like gradually disposing of the carcasses of the Wagner Act industrialism left over from the 20th. ... Nor is it "creative destruction." It's the opposite--temporary preservation, not destruction. ... And we'll see if Chrysler (which now has 300,000 unsold cars !) even survives "a few years," though I guess if the federal government keeps subsidizing them they will. ... Maybe Obama, as Steven Pearlstein suggests, is saving us from the "mortal blow to national pride" ** that these iconic firms' "sudden demise"--as opposed to drawn-out, flailing, tortuous demise--would deliver. Again, not crazy, but also not very 21st century, especially when you consider the flourishing of Tesla- and Magna- like firms, many building electric cars, that would occur if the Detroit dinosaurs were no longer staggering around the landscape squashing newcomers. ...
**--When you see a Chrysler Sebring do you swell with national pride? I just get depressed. ... 5:26 P.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
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An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.