Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trucking Company Goes Under, Without Bailout: GE Responsible?

I have mentioned my brother's trucking company before in this blog. It employed--at least in reasonable times--200 people. The company is now ceasing operations. Yes, it is going out of business.

Bailouts for GM, which evidently is asking for another 30 billioin. Bailouts for homeowners who purchased more house than they can afford (or made a bad investment). Bailouts for fish farms. Bailouts for banks, and companies like GE. No bailout for my brother and his employees (unless, perhaps, my brother and/or his employees now get their homes foreclosed upon). Two million dollars would have saved my brother. Meanwhile GM and banks get more taxpayer money with less certain results benefiting (on a cost-benefit basis) fewer employees per dollar spent. This is the Age of Obama, where the Federal Government determines the winners and losers.

My brother actually was not expecting a bailout, and does not think it would be good policy for the government to bail out all small businesses. What gripes him is that he sees the government bailing out OTHERS with HIS tax money. Why do they "deserve" to be bailed out, while his company does not? There is no answer to that question, and I defy President Obama (or anyone else) to try to give an answer.

What gripes my brother most is GE (General Electric--owner of NBC). The trailer leasing unit of that corporation could have saved my brother's business, and helped its own, by merely working with my brother to ease his excess cost problem caused by the economic downturn. My brother had more trailers (by a lot) than he could use. He desperately needed GE to "restructure" his lease of GE trailers in a way that would enable my brother to survive, and ultimately provide much more revenue to GE than they are going to get this way (where they can't get significant revenue out of the trailers they are now getting back). My brother has tried since last April to get the GE unit to work with him--only to be stonewalled. GE is one of those "too big to fail" conglomerates, with many business units, which would have already gone under it it had not received help from sources as diverse as Warren Buffet and the Federal Government. My brother has not received that kind of help, and has to watch HIS tax dollars being used to help the very company that was most responsible for doing him in: GE. GE will, of course, face a significant loss with my brother's company going under. It could not happen to a nicer company (GE).

As I have repeatedly said, and as my brother realizes, the problem here is not that my brother failed to receive a bailout. The problem is that others are being bailed out, while my brother (just as deserveing, or more deserving) is not bailed out. Instead, my brother's tax money is being used to bail out those the Federal Government faovrs, including the company that doomed my brother's company (GE).

This is really bad policy. Yet, it is the inevitable result when the Federal Government starts "bailing out" some companies, and people, and not others. The ones not being bailed out are paying for the others to be bailed out. To say this is not "fair" is an understatement. It is indefensible, and ultimately disastrous. Our country will be lucky to survive this central planning stupidity. My present opinion (pessimist that I am) is that we will not survive the Age of Obama, in terms of our former status as the foremost country in the world. If we do survive, it will only be after an enormous upheaval perhaps amounting almost to a revolution.

Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

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