But this week the automobile companies were back in front of Congress begging for more money. Woods has written about letting big companies go bankrupt. I found the following passages succinct--
". . . the idea of bankruptcy should not be so unthinkable as the Fed and the Treasury consider it. A firm doesn't disappear when it declares bankruptcy. Its capital equipment and its assets continue to exist. But they pass out of the hands of those who have failed to employ them in ways that best satisfy the public, and into the hands of those more likely to do a capable job. If they in turn should fail, these assets will pass into the possession of still other owners."
". . . these firms we're told are too big to fail are in fact too big to be kept alive. The longer they are kept on life support, the more they drain capital and resources away from fundamentally sound firms that could put those resources to much more productive use from consumers' point of view. Keeping such firms alive via government bailouts discourages rather than encourages capital formation and economic recovery."
All my adult life I've been loyal to Ford and General Motors automobiles, wanting to "support the US." Yet for the last 40-50 years I've watched these companies fail to match the products of other manufacturers. No doubt union contracts and expenses have hampered them. But to force the US taxpayer to subsidize these auto manufacturers will only reward incompetence and delay the inevitable while increasing the national debt. (I also object to "bailing out" big banks . . . as well as state governments which are starting to salivate for federal funds).