No More Bailouts, Detroit or Otherwise: Learn the Lesson

Yes, there will be pain, but saving irresponsible companies bad for US future
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 12:41 PM CST
Auto executives testify on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Given the failure of the Wall Street bailout, to think doing the same for Detroit would help the auto industry and America in the long run is fantasy, Kevin O’Brien writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The only thing that will help is to feel the pain. “No more bailouts,” O’Brien writes. “Not for private industries. Not for states. Not for cities. Not for school districts.”

Sure, letting the Big Three sink or swim will be painful for them and for the people who depend on the business. But “look at the drubbing our economy is taking now, after the bailout that was supposed to defer the pain,” O’Brien writes. “Tell me innocent people aren’t suffering.” The auto industry needs what the financial sector avoided: “to suffer the consequences and to learn—and teach—the valuable lessons failure provides.”