"The good news is that the Obama administration's task force charged with revamping the auto industry has concluded what many suggested last year before massive taxpayer bailouts. The task force is now saying the best chance for success for both GM and Chrysler 'may well require utilizing the bankruptcy code in a quick and surgical way.' Now they tell us -- after $22 billion in taxpayer subsidies have been poured into the two companies.
"The bad news is that the Obama White House is now clearly deep into industrial policy by forcing out General Motors chief Rick Wagoner and most of his board. Mr. Wagoner, who joined GM in 1977, agreed to leave as one of the White House's conditions for more federal aid. The moves give President Obama political cover as he contemplates just how much taxpayer money to pour into the auto industry.
"But the moves also represent another step on the road to the dystopia that Ayn Rand depicted in her novel Atlas Shrugged. Rand envisioned an America in which bureaucrats dictated terms to both management and labor as it allocated state favors. As Michael Vadum of the Capital Research Center notes, such state managerialism is a peculiarly foreign concept to America. He quotes the Italian dictator Mussolini as saying: 'Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.' That merger is now underway here, at least until Mr. Obama and his Democrats get through the next couple of elections with the help of a grateful UAW."
-- John Fund, Wall Street Journal