This article by David Herszenhorn and Jackie Calmes titled “‘Car
Czar’ prescribed for automakers” describes a fundamentally flawed proposal to rescue collapsing industries. It would have an
elite group of industry-wide managers led by an appropriately named ‘Czar’ guide the failing American auto industry.
The name Czar reminds us of Russia and its instinct to centralize control
over industries and the economy in general. That kind of economic
management is what caused the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
Competition is suppressed along with innovation for various self-serving
reasons in economies that are managed this way.
Lack of competition and innovation is also why the American auto industry is failing in the face of foreign competition. The ‘Big Three’ are essentially a cartel that has ruined the American auto industry’s free market. This scheme to appoint a body of central managers over the industry is only going to enshrine the industry’s fundamental dysfunction.
There is a better way to use the money that would be used
to fund the auto industry’s bailout; and the money used to fund the new bureaucracy meant to manage the industry. Give it to average taxpayers in the form of a voucher. These vouchers
would subsidize the purchase of energy efficient, environmentally
friendly, American made cars. This would let consumers decide what
American auto companies, either old ones or new start-ups, deserve
help from the government.
We can avoid the pitfalls of both Russian styled socialism and US styled free capitalism. The corrupting and smothering affects of centralized market controls by governments and big businesses are kept in check. We must restore the rightful status of consumers as the leaders of our economy, for freedom’s sake.