Apparently, the Obama administration has asked Rick Wagoner to step down as part of his deal with the administration.
Stop, stop! Journalists don't use "apparently" for facts. Either he has or he hasn't. Let's--what's the word?---Google.
That took about three seconds to find.
After his administration forced GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner to resign
and pressed Chrysler to form a partnership with Italy’s Fiat SpA to get more
taxpayer aid, Obama today said that company creditors, shareholders, workers,
dealers and suppliers will be expected to make more sacrifices.
Rick Wagoner is no managerial genius, but I'm not sure this will actually help much.If he's a poor manager, who cares if he goes? We already know he insisted on selling SUVs despite rising gas prices and the slow train wreck that is this economy. People who can't run businesses successfully get fired all the time.
GM is caught in the jaws of its own structural problems--labor costs, yes, but also its corporate culture, its legacy physical plant, and so forth."And so forth." Very profession journalism there too. Labor costs were already cut to help the company survive. Its corporate culture is a fantastic reason to fire Wagoner--he's the one who creates and/or maintains the corporation's culture to a large extent. And since when is owning a factory a detriment instead of a source of potential income?
Perhaps most perniciously, GM is the victim of a brain drain--it's difficult to recruit top talent to a dying firm, especially when it's located in a dying industry.Since the brain trust already there destroyed the company they should be tossing those brains out on their asses. From here on it's someone else's baby. And although the car industry ought to be a dying industry, it isn't. People need cars and will continue to drive them until they are forced to stop through extreme circumstances. By McArdle's standard newspapers and magazines are dying industries too. She should quit at once. (For so very many reasons.)
On the other hand, it can hardly hurt.Here she goes again, hedging and qualifying every post into irrelevance with one or two sentences that she can point to later to prove that she isn't wrong, when she so often is.
And the symbolism, both to the taxpayer and the employees, is important.Yes, and it was also true with AIG. Not that you cared then.
GM can't be given vast sums without some visible sign of serious change. Let's hope the new CEO actually brings some, rather than providing window dressing for a continuation of business as usual.In other words it's dinner time (see the time stamp?) and McArdle is too busy to do anything but on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand-gee-I-hope-it-works-out-bye-now-cocktails-are-here.
This post is no surprise, of course. We all know McArdle supports the elite no matter how wrong they are.
Obviously, there are people who were right about the war for the right reasons, and we should examine what their thought process was--not merely the conclusions they came to, but how they got there. Other peoples' opposition was animated by principles that may be right, but aren't really very helpful: the pacifists, the isolationists, the reflexive opponents of Republicans or the US military. Within the limits on foreign policy in a hegemonic power, these just aren't particularly useful, again, regardless of whether you are metaphysically correct.
"It won't work" is the easiest prediction to get right; almost nothing does. The thought process that tells you something probably won't work is not always a good way to figure out what will, even if you were right for the right reasons, as I agree lots of people were. That's why libertarians have a great track record at predicting which government programs will fail (almost all of them) and a lousy track record at designing ones that do work.
On the other hand, "I thought it would work for X reason", when it didn't work, is, I think, a lesson you can carry into both decisions about what to do, and what not to do. On a deeper level, understanding the unconscious cognitive biases that lead smart and well meaning people to believe that things which will not work, will work, is a very good way to prevent yourself from making the same mistake.
America gets a lot of things right, I think, precisely because it includes people who have gotten it badly wrong. Most societies shun people who err; a senior business executive in Germany who has been attached to a failing company should not expect ever to be trusted with responsibility again. America, on the other hand, is a nation of failures, and has always been more hospitable than anywhere else to the people who made an honest mistake, even a lot of them. I believe that our economy works better than our foreign policy process precisely because foreign policy tends to be decided by either the successes or the failures, but never both.
Yes, Iraq was never anything but an honest mistake anyone could make. Anyone like McArdle, that is. Sorry, but I don't think failure should rewarded as long as an elite does it. God knows the non-elite have to pay for their mistakes, often for the rest of their lives.
My god, this woman is despicable. Anything for the rich, nothing for anyone else. The naked worship of money and power sickens the soul, and is sickening to watch.
I'm no businesswoman, so maybe someone else can explain this to me. How can a corporation that manufactures and sells a commodity that is still highly in demand be a "victim" of a brain drain? Isn't there some implication that they are somehow at fault for not being able to attract talent in what is still a lucrative and innovative field?
After all, in the free market, it's the best of all possible worlds!
If he's a poor manager, who cares if he goes? We already know he insisted on selling SUVs despite rising gas prices and the slow train wreck that is this economy. People who can't run businesses successfully get fired all the time.
McArdle isn't criticizing the decision to fire him, so why are you defending it?
Labor costs were already cut to help the company survive.
Yeah, probably not by enough though.
Its corporate culture is a fantastic reason to fire Wagoner--he's the one who creates and/or maintains the corporation's culture to a large extent.
And although the car industry ought to be a dying industry, it isn't. People need cars and will continue to drive them until they are forced to stop through extreme circumstances.
Sure, they just won't be American cars. It's the US auto industry that's dying.
By McArdle's standard newspapers and magazines are dying industries too.
Good, you finally present an argument.
First: Megan is criticizing the decision to fire him, but mostly is upset that the government fired him as a condition of receiving federal funds. You know very well McArdle is against government interference in business unless it comes in the form of a check for millions and billions of dollars.
Second: You can't dispute that the UAW has given up benefits and wages, therefore you argue that it wasn't enough. That might be true, but it's not the UAW's job to beggar its members so that nobody else upstairs has to suffer. Cuts should be equitable across the board.
That lovely free market that McArdle supports unstintingly will guide the car industry like all others. If foreign cars win out it's because American car companies couldn't compete. There are several reasons for that--southern states gave big tax breaks to attract the plants in areas with little employment. These businesses are able to pay lower wages because their employees have little option. And foreign car companies build the type of cars people want--efficient and durable.
Regarding your last point, you misunderstand. I'm agreeing that newspapers are dying. McArdle wants the auto industry to fail so the UAW contracts will be dismissed in bankruptcy. It's a narrow view that would mean McArdle should find another profession as well so her dying industry can fail instead of be saved. The sooner the better.
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