Friday, November 7, 2008

Let 'em fail?

There's been a fascinating debate on CNBC's Fast Money lately.

Since we're well down the road to soft socialism with these bailouts already, what should happen next to the auto makers?

On the one hand, if GM and Ford fail, the number of jobs lost could bring about the big bad "Great Depression II" everybody's been talking about. On the other hand -- as conservatives like Jeff Macke have (ironically) argued -- since we've already launched this socialist Utopian dream of propping up an economy that really needs to fail (because you just can't artificially maintain a bubble forever), better to let them fail and give this money directly to the people effected.

Hard to deny the logic here in our illogical times.

Today's LinkedIn poll on CNBC blew the talking heads away, finding that 70 percent of respondents would prefer to watch the big three die and let things take their natural course, rather than continue the charade.

As Businessweek senior writer Robin Farzad said today on Power Lunch, "We have equal protection under the Constitution. Why should taxpayers be on the hook for pensions [for people in one industry], for the sins of Roger Smith committed 10 years ago?"

So true. The amount of money lost by individual investors like you and me is in the bazillions. We all have to own our mistakes as traders. Small, medium and large business are dropping like flies, too. As far as I'm concerned, that gives us the right to demand corporations suffer the same fate.

Then again, "Great Depression II" doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun either. Or is it inevitable regardless of what we do?

All I know is we'll get through this, and we'll have learned our lessons. The next system to come along will be a more honest, transparent way of doing things as a result. Which is fine by me. As a Christian capitalist, I believe in the biblical mandate for government that enforces just weights and measures -- something we've not had since the mid-1990s at least.

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