More Like Failout: Auto Edition
In keeping with its recent tradition of giving money away, the United States government, and her elected officials, recently heard the case of the failing automobile industry. And after a few days of procedural foreplay, Uncle Sam paid (put) out.
It still remains a mystery how this could have happened to the Big 3. It seems 25 years of corporate mismanagement, suffocating Unions, a tragic love affair with the SUV, and an industry-wide disregard for environmental and consumer trends has led the Big 3 down the road to financial ruin. By bailing out Big 3, the federal government is essentially putting a band-aid on a hatchet wound. Buick and Oldsmobile aren't exactly inspiring brands. Adding federal funds only serves to sicken an already dying breed.
But what's really lost here, besides billions in American tax dollars, is innovation. Why take a chance on a new auto technology when the old way will probably just get bailed out again in 15 years (or months). By pumping cash into a Stone Age business plan, the American government (and taxpayer) are basically salting the game of any up and coming auto industry entrepreneurs, who may bring with them a fresh perspective and approach to a century-old industry. It's not as though had the Big 3 failed, people would have stopped buying cars. Telling the Big 3 to 'beat it' would have been a tough call. It would have cost politicians some votes. But it would have been the right call.
So long, flying cars. See you in my dreams.