Healing the National Cars
December 9, 2008
New Orleans The morning papers seem to indicate that Congress and both the coming and going Administrations are ready to make a deal to try and save the auto industry. Finally, just like a national bird, we are going to have national cars — America, what a country!
The Times mused that Obama had been avoiding the “n” word for nationalization. The reporter and some of his sources worried that other countries would be problematic because we were not consistent. We had a double standard: one for us and one for them. Duh! Who thought differently? Seems we have threatened other countries in a bully like fashion when they have contemplated something less than the law of the wild, and now look at us.
Reminded me of a very close friend from deep in my past a million years ago who was a Christian Scientist. As a matter of faith, they did not believe in doctors and medicine, because in fact it was all about faith. My friend, knowingly used to say whenever asked, that “Everyone is a Christian Scientist until they get sick.”
To me this seems the same thing. The free marketers, the dog-eat-dog folks, and other hardcore ideologues could ignore the hypocrisy of the American system and ignore the internal contradictions found in public investment, and they could preach at the top of their lungs what other countries should and must do. They could even talk badly about sovereign wealth funds and other state investments. And, they could get away with all of that until the American economy got sick, and then, just like any other country, we put blind faith back on the shelf and tugged up our sleeves and starting doing whatever it took to get back on track.
Fixing the economy is the right thing to do.
The theorists can worry about what to call it later.
Maybe we’ll even remember what it was like to be sick, the next time one of fellow countries elsewhere in the world gets sick, too. But, hey, probably not.