Saturday, December 06, 2008

Don't Celebrate Yet

A surprising 61% of Americans oppose the Detroit bailout of the big three (Ford, GM, and Chrysler). This is hard to explain, given the populace's distaste for seeing big employers go under.

I wish I could say the results are due to people understanding growth doesn't come from preserving failures. Or a realization that there are some things Americans shouldn't do. But while the big picture's the same, the reasoning's likely much more nuanced. Quick depreciation of American cars, declining sales in SUVs, and the rise of the foreign-made hybrid are everyday examples of a poorly performing sector of the economy. Now if only people would take the essence of the argument and apply it consistently.

Paradoxically, the results are also low. Despite the repeated failures of the auto industry, despite the everyday logic that if something doesn't perform you shouldn't work to preserve it, despite the fundamental reality that letting something go away allows us to do something else, nearly forty percent of Americans are not against a bailout.

And then things make sense again.

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