Monday, March 30, 2009

This is not bankruptcy, it's robbery

Barack Obama backs 'bankruptcy' to save US car industry

"'What I am talking about is using our existing legal structure as a tool that, with the backing of the US government, can make it easier for General Motors and Chrysler to quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down so they can get back on their feet and on to a path to success; a tool that we can use, even as workers are staying on the job building cars that are being sold.'" (Guardian)

They can't just tell the creditors you're not getting paid but we're carrying on in business - this is kindergarten logic. If GM is bankrupt then GM must be sold off to pay the creditors. Otherwise it's daylight robbery. Don't imagine the creditors are just a load of rich people who won't feel any pain - they're probably pension funds, insurance companies etc. Nobody is going to lend any money when they know it's all going to be written off later.

This bailing out is collapsing under the weight of its own silliness. They should have nationalised the banks properly, to ensure that any money put in was still in the right hands, i.e. the public's. If they'd applied logic instead of panic things would not be at this farcical, painful and disastrous stage. You can't turn straw into gold - no amount of moving the goalposts is going to turn worthless "assets" into anything other than damage that we have sustained.

I've said all along it's no use pouring every bit of water you've got into a leaky bucket. As long as they haven't nationalised the banks or kept everything under control with a specially constituted state commercial agency we will continue to haemorrhage money. At the same time if we don't erect protective tariffs our industries will be wiped out completely. They have already been allowed to be savaged by unscrupulous competitors who know nothing of human rights or fair working conditions. Everything from bonded child labour to prison slave labour to industrial dormitories with company stores have been allowed to compete unfairly with our better geared native industries in western Europe.

I still remember when my Dad's clothing factory was sunk with the loss of about 20 jobs by cheap imports from Taiwan. What did Taiwan ever do for us?


Response by Feargal Mooney (Gravitas constituency candidate designate): "The only solution that is going to work is to adopt what Gravitas has been proposing since the millennium, a world amnesty for all personal debt, backdated to 2000 and repeated every 100 years. Who would not vote for this now that banks are all getting trillions and the government is printing money? Why should Joe Public be left out?" Vote Gravitas to own your own house and car now. If you haven't got a house and car, we'll order them up for you to boost the building and car industries. (Of course it will be an electric car running on electricity generated from biocharcoal, which is made out of what politicians talk.)

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