Today’s editorial in The Oregonian confronts some of the complexities of the GM, aka Government Motors:
…this is not a comfortable place for either General Motors or the government to be. We share the hope expressed by the president that the bankruptcy of General Motors will lead quickly to the emergence of a trimmed-down manufacturing company with a fighting chance to survive on its own four wheels, without being towed along by the taxpayers.
Obama officials say they have taken “rigorous” steps to avoid interfering in the operations of General Motors, yet a majority stake in the company provides an obvious opportunity for an activist government to micromanage the business for social and policy purposes. The government now has the leverage it needs to put its thumb on the scale in ways that hurt competitors, interfere with trade relationships and impede profitability.
In recent years, General Motors’ most profitable vehicles have been gas-chugging behemoths like the Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Sierra. The Obama administration is pushing tougher fuel standards and encouraging the development of smaller, more efficient cars. This creates a natural, internal tension that won’t be eased until the federal government is out of the car business.
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