Sunday, December 21, 2008

Harper Announces Auto Bailout, Sheds A Single Tear For Lost Principles

Gasp. Can it be? Are the rumours true? Has Prime Minister Stephen Harper betrayed his free market convictions for simple political expediency?


Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty have announced a $4-billion aid package for Canada's struggling auto industry.

Shock. Betrayal. Surprise. I feel ... none of these emotions. Harper has made his willingness to cater to whomever demands it of him perfectly clear so long as it prolongs his time in power.

For one, I disagree unreservedly with the popular wisdom that a man must either be principled or practical, the point being that the two spheres are mutually exclusive. In my mind, there is nobody more practical than the person who acts on principle. Evidently, Mr. Harper begs to differ.

I've made my thoughts regarding the auto industry bailout rather clear so I won't beat a dead horse in this post. I will, however, recruit Publius to summarize the bailout decision as well as my own opinion on the matter to provide a little bit of closure:

This is, we belabour the point because it is not made enough, the economic equivalent of putting four billion dollars on a huge raft, lighting it on fire and then letting it drift to the middle of Lake Ontario to sink.

So for now, the Canadian auto industry will avoid bankruptcy. Financial bankruptcy, that is. They've been bankrupt of integrity for years.

ALSO: The cold hard facts about auto profits and sales (or lack thereof) in the United States. Again, linked by Publius.

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