December editorial: Bailouts and handouts

I'm typing with clinched teeth this morning as the news reports continue nonstop about the automotive industry's demand that taxpayers bail out its poorly managed, high-union-labor-cost industry. One pundit called giving the automakers any bailout simply pouring bad money into a black hole. He continued by asking what do you get after $25 billion? His answer: the same bankrupt, inefficient, high-labor-cost industry, making cars people don't want.

It seems to me that most of the industries clamoring for tax dollars are looking to be saved from their own greed. A recent example shows how one company responded when the government rode in to rescue it from its own bad decisions. The insurance giant, AIG, was called too big to let fail, so in early September, the government loaned AIG $85 billion.

Read the rest in our online magazine archive.