WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush announced $17.4 billion in emergency loans to faltering U.S. carmakers on Friday in a dramatic step to guard the industry from imminent collapse and save hundreds of thousands of jobs from falling victim to a deep recession.
So. Bush has done the mad mad deed. $17.4 billion to the motor industry. What an idiot. What a complete and utter numbskull.
Bush is pouring public money into motor cars. Motor cars are an energy drain. Also a money drain. If you don't believe me, just put your household invoices into Excel and make a pie chart. See that bit of the pie that is so big that only a greedy person would eat it? That's your motoring expenses.
This act would have Keynes spinning in his grave. It ought to have the free-marketeers out in the streets throwing Molotov cocktails, but it doesn't, because they have shares in the motor industry, and in the end, money is more important to them than principles.
I understand full well the consequences of leaving the motor industry to free-market forces, but as the Good Book says, "He that lives by free market forces will die by free market forces".
If nobody wants to buy American cars, no amount of money in the world will save Detroit. What Detroit has to do is to be adroit: they have to make a swift and intelligent change in direction, like a great quarterback jinking past the opposition to make a brilliant touchdown. There is plenty of things that motor engineers can do. They can repair the old cars that people are hanging on to, because they cannot get a loan for a new one. They can even design a new, more efficient engine, one that they can drop into the old car. Except that the old car will tend to rust up due to planned obsolescence - so they will have to provide a Waxoyl (r) service. &c.
Or they can turn their hands to making gearboxes for wind and sea turbines, or wood gasifiers, or biogas digesters, or anything, but not cars. Not American gas-guzzling cars, because nobody wants them any more. They are soooooooooooooooooooo 20th century, and so like totally uncool.
The point in a recession is for the government to use the people's money intelligently on behalf of the people, to give security to them and their children. We are taking Investment here, Mr President, not Giving Money Away to People So They Can Snort it Out of Their Tailpipes, driving around using up the scarce resources that you sent your boys to lay down their lives for in Iraq.
Investment means giving money to energy sources, not energy drains. Benign energy sources that do not upset the atmosphere's infra red absorbent characteristics.
The worst thing is that because Bush has done it, Brown will want to do it.
Here is a letter that you can copy, paste and send :
Mr G. Brown
10 Downing Street
Dear Mr Brown
If Mr Mandelson whispers in your ear that you want to give a few billion to the motor industry -
TELL HIM TO GET LOST!!
Tell him that prudent investment of taxpayers' money in the economy is for energy conservation and benign, renewable energy production, NOT for the dirty toxic congestive unhealthy killing maiming energy drain that is the motor car.