Former House Majority Leader Richard "Dick" Armey has joined the chorus of Republicans calling for the death of the auto industry. Armey leads an activist group called freedomworks.org whose alleged mission is to reduce the size of government and cut taxes. He recently wrote on behalf of this organization:
"So far, the forgotten man, the middle-class U.S. taxpayer, has had to bail out Wall Street, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We are sick and tired of having to pay for the recklessness of others, and we are not going to take it any more."
I can only assume that his use of the term "we", refers to the multi-national conglomerates his party represents who have been shipping American jobs overseas for the last thirty years. It certainly doesn't apply to the three million auto workers doomed to unemployment by his plan.
Former Representative Armey consistently supported the Reagan policy of deregulation. The Reagan era deregulators asserted that industry dynamics would create an atmosphere of self-regulation. They argued that this market driven business environment would keep corporations honest and provide the best prices for consumers. The crumbling financial markets seem to indicate that their argument was exceptionally flawed.
The argument that the Automakers, and their three million jobs, should be allowed to pass into oblivion is based on the same logic as were the principles of deregulation. Corporations should not be restrained, restricted, nor bailed out by the Government. Sort of a Darwinian version of capitalism where the strong survive and the weak die off. Unfortunately, in this model the strong who survive are the Corporate leaders and the weak are the workers and consumers.
The last thing America needs to do is to follow the advice of those who's policies created this catastrophe. Particularly when the advice is once again to let corporate nature take its course. I argue that corporate nature is taking its course. Corporate nature is self destructive and corporate greed eventually unhinges the social structure which enables the profitability and ultimate survival of corporation. Unrestrained corporations focus only on short term profit margins and lose sight of everything else.
I believe that Dick Armey and his army of deregulators should be shut out of the rescue process. In fact, their advice should be accepted only for its value as an indication of what actions should not be taken.