#TCOT Why This Conservative Currently Supports the Auto Loans

I’ve experienced a decent amount of condescension from my fellow TCOTers for questioning the wisdom of denying the extension of loans to our auto manufacturers. I wouldn’t mind it so much if the condescension was attached to arguments that addressed anything resembling the world we actually live in.

As my friends on the other side of the aisle can tell you I will argue all day long that, generally speaking, limited government and freer markets provide the best outcomes for all. Unfortunately, we live in a world that often demands that we make difficult decisions between two less-than-ideal choices.

Telling me that the White House and Congress are not a bank is not a valid argument. Of course they aren’t but, and I’m just spit-ballin’ here so correct me if I am wrong, I am fairly certain that the legislation would direct the Treasury Department to loan the money.

I don’t want the Federal government to have to loan the auto manufacturers this money. I would prefer that our auto makers be able to pull themselves out of this hole themselves but that’s not the only consideration in this process.

My belief in limited government and the power of free markets is, at some point, theoretical in nature. WAIT. STOP. Before you freak out let me explain. I say somewhat theoretical because “limited government” is a fairly vague phrase – if you were to be successful in making your case over time then the logical end to the statement “government should always be smaller” would eventually be no government. That’s obviously a silly thing to advocate so while we may believe that smaller government is better, we also acknowledge there is a need for government involvement of some kind.

The same goes for free markets – having studied economics and been blessed with the basic level of common sense that comes with being a human I believe that, generally speaking, markets that are more free to operate provide a more efficient means of producing wealth. But an absolutely free market has NEVER existed on a, economy-wide scale. On a continuum that has a purely unregulated free market on one end and a 100% government owned, regulated and controlled economy on the other, the US economy is certainly much closer to the purely unregulated free market than say, France’s. BUT we still allow for some government regulation because we have seen that human nature is such that the harms caused by no government regulation eclipse the harms caused by some government regulation.

My point? No matter how firmly we may believe in the core tenets of our ideologies we obviously recognize that the world we live in does not allow us to implement solutions in a vacuum.

It is for that reason that, after surveying the potential harms of the only two options we have been given (provide the loans to the auto industry or do not), I have determined that the potential damage that could be caused by not providing the loans GREATLY outweighs the potential damage that could be caused if we do provide the loans.

Let me end by briefly laying out some assumptions that I have made as I have made my decision.

* I believe our economy is already in a precarious state and that exacerbation of the adjustments the auto industry had already begun to experience years ago would have devastating effects on our economy

* I believe that that the inter connectivity of our auto industry’s part suppliers and auto dealers as well as the national security implications of losing US-based ownership over our entire auto manufacturing industry confers an importance on the auto industry that, like our agricultural industry, is unique and there fore worthy of aid that I would not support for other industries

* I believe that these are loans, that the last time we loaned money to an auto maker in trouble our government was repaid and made several hundred million dollars on top of that

* I believe that the severity of the threat the collapse of our auto manufacturing industry is great enough to make the provision of a relatively (compared to what has already been outlaid for banks) small amount of loans a reasonable solution, even if there is a risk that some or all of the loans will not be repaid

and to reiterate – most importantly:

* I believe that the potential negative impact of not providing the loans is outweighed by the potential benefits of providing the loans

I have tried to lay out some of my reasons for supporting the loans and make it clear that my goal is to support the solution that I believe provides the best outcome.

If you can provide compelling and logical reasons why I should value something other than the best outcome or why the assumptions I have used to make this decision are wrong I would love to hear them.

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One Response to “#TCOT Why This Conservative Currently Supports the Auto Loans”

  1. #TCOT Round 2: Convince Me I Am Wrong on Auto Loans and I Will Publicly Recant « Aurelius Maximus Says:

    […] Aurelius Maximus I strive to steer clear of easily divined points – how am I doing? « #TCOT Why This Conservative Currently Supports the Auto Loans […]

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