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Mark A. Goldman                                                                     Dated: 12/14/08


Bailing out the US automakers is not advisable in my view. We don’t need more combustion engine cars and the US automakers are not serious about making the kind of cars we do need. If taxpayers are to subsidize the auto industry it ought to support those companies that are enthusiastic and committed to making affordable electric vehicles.

The big three, if they want to produce cars fueled by renewable energy, can say so during bankruptcy proceedings and reorganize themselves along those lines.

Instead of using oil to burn as fuel, a better use might be to make carbon based materials out of which we can make durable lightweight cars.

Trying to protect jobs that produce products we don’t need, and should not want—just to keep workers’ paychecks coming—lacks wisdom. Instead, we should review and restructure, if necessary, the safety net that protects all workers who find themselves out of work or working for failing companies. This is also why we need a single payer healthcare system similar to what has proven to be so successful in other countries.

We should protect those workers but not their jobs. Any money the government doles out should go to unemployed workers to help them get retrained and back on their feet, not to corporations that will continue to misallocate enormous amounts of physical and human resources.  This is not to say that workers should ever be rewarded for incompetence any more than senior executives should be.

Every citizen is entitled to basic human rights and protections, and that’s exactly what we are talking about here. Government’s job is to protect and serve The People and not a select class of elites who, because of their undeserved wealth, have acquired enough undeserved power to cause legislation and/or resources to be misallocated in their favor.

Every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law, so government ought not to be picking and choosing which companies and their workers are too big to fail. Companies should be allowed to fail; but people should be protected wherever possible.

We need electric cars and the electricity to run those cars should come from wind and solar energy and perhaps other renewables, but not from fossil fuels which are... not renewable, not safe, and not economical when you consider the true cost of using them. We know for certain that fossil fuels are damaging to our environment.  Let's try to use some common sense. Our environment is our life support system… our most valuable asset and resource.  Let's stop destroying it for near term economic expediency. 

I have no objection to government offering incentives to industry in order to promote what society needs. In that sense we need to amend our tax laws on one hand, and offer imaginative incentives on the other... to promote products, ideas, and opportunities that are progressive… which is to say, that make progress towards a secure, sustainable, and humane future for all life on spaceship Earth.

Some things only a government can do efficiently... like protect basic human rights.  When government fails to protect those rights, it no longer serves its purpose and needs to be replaced.

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