Friday, May 20, 2011

Lies conservatives tell: Part 329

Well, they're wrong again. Conservatives/Republicans berated Obama's efforts to revive the economy, especially his bailout for the auto industry. They claimed it would hurt the economy and be "anti-capitalist". Yet, Detroit has undergone a big turnaround, especially Ford and General Motors, which have seen several profitable quarters now after being on the verge of bankruptcy. Many thousands of jobs were saved, with the prospect of many jobs being added as well.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.

For more details, see today's NYT column by Paul Krugman.

Do the conservatives have any track record for predictions? They were wrong about de-regulation, they were wrong about tax cuts producing prosperity. They were wrong in Texas and wrong in Alaska. They were wrong about Iraq.

They are like the rapturists who keep predicting the end of days every year, and are left high and dry in this world. (Check out tomorrow, another rapturous day BTW.) Next year the Mayans (if there are any left) and their followers will have their turn to join the right-wingers in the predictions-that-don't-come-true department.


  1. You make a prediction that turns out incorrect and it's a "lie"?

  2. It's a lie because it is based on ideology not either research or experience.

    As far as Iraq, say, is concerned, we know that almost everything relating to that invasion was based on misrepresentation, even though the facts were known to just about everyone.

    The extent of cover-up and lying about the recent financial crisis is still being laid out, and criminal charges have yet to be filed, though certainly criminal activities have been documented in dozens of publications.

  3. It's an opinion but it is not based solely on ideology. That's BS. You could say with a straight face back in 2008 that it's a bad idea for the government to selectively bail out certain industries and certain companies (Chrysler and GM) within those industries. Other industries and companies have gone through restructurings just fine without the amount of money that Chrysler and GM got.

    Did the newspaper companies get bailouts the magnitude of Chrysler and GM? No. How about the airlines? Car rental companies? Home builders? Nope. But those industries seem to have survived. We have a bankruptcy process for a reason.

    There have been many other government bailouts in history. Some worked and some didn't. Just because some worked doesn't mean that you can't say at that time back in 2008 it was a good idea to bailout GM and Chrysler.

  4. Of course it's ideology. The Party of The Rich (as well as a lot of Democrats)was fine with bailing out banks and investment bankers, who caused the disaster; they didn't like the auto companies because they have unions. I think the ideology is clear.

    It would have been terrible for the government to give money to the press, for obvious reasons. The airlines, like the oil companies, have been getting handouts -- in money, infrastructure, tax breaks, and technology -- for decades. Home builders have been helped by the mortgage deduction for decades as well.

    In my opinion, when the government bails out a company or industry, it should retain controlling stock and bond interests and probably fire the executives and boards of trustees. I think most of these people are nowhere as competent or "irreplaceable" as they would like us to believe: only a tiny percentage are Lee Iacoccas -- most are Edsels.

    There are some principled conservatives who oppose all bailouts, but they are not running the show. There are only a few of them anyway, and too many of them are social-Darwinist types, who take a hard line on helping anyone.

  5. Oh, so if I'm not rich then it's not ideology if I criticize the government for selectively bailing out certain industries and companies for political reasons? I said it in 2008 and I will say it now that it was a horrible idea to bailout GM and Chrysler. I was upset at the government for bailing out both the banks and the car companies. But there's also a big difference between the banking system and the car industry. When the financial system explodes we lose the economy. If GM fails, Ford trucks won't simultaneously explode. But if AIG had failed, then alot of other companies would have done so too. The banking system is a lot more interconnected than the car industry.

    It's not a "lie" for me to say back then that it was a terrible idea. That's where you're wrong. Detroit was hemorrhaging because of uncompetitive labor and legacy costs as well as making bad cars. There's no logic to a bailout if these companies are just going to blow through the money and come back begging for more. Did it turn out OK in hindsight? Maybe, but I'm not sure if that was just luck or not. The car companies are in a lot better shape after fixing their labor and legacy cost issues. But they could have done that in bankruptcy as well. And you know that GM and Chrysler will operate going forward with the assumption that if they get into trouble again the government will come to the rescue again. That's a bad thing. We've now bailed out Chrysler two times. I don't want to do it a third time.