Why Barack Obama resembles GM CEO Roger (Roger and Me) Smith 

Terrific piece by Connecticut lawyer Ironman comparing Barack Obama and 1980s General Motors CEO Roger Smith. A couple of smart paragraphs:

 

“If there is to be pain, better it be dealt with now while the public instrumentalities across the nation are still going concerns, rather than later when actual insolvency turns our state governments into little Irelands and Greece.

“The Democratic Governors claim their approach is "more pragmatic"   In the short term it will be more popular to keep labor peace and give bond money away. The GM management would have been excoriated in the short term by Wall Street had they pressed hard enough to cause a strike by the UAW. But in the long run, one or two bad quarters would not have caused the firm to fail.  Kicking the can down the road did.”

 

Ironman's point is that in his posture toward labor unions and the costs they impose, Obama today is following the same strategt that Smith did at CEO: trying to preserve an unsustainable status quo by throwing money at it. Smith propelled his company toward bankruptcy. Does Obama want to do the same?

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Michael Barone

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