Like most people, I am ambivalent about the automobile industry's request for funds from the government to try and stave off bankruptcy. As with TARP, the "right" answer is unclear.
Do I worry about the budget deficit for our heirs, or do I come to the unhappy conclusion that if the economy is destroyed, the deficit won't matter?
Is the answer to hold our noses, salvage what we can and hope that real leaders will emerge who care about the collective good of the country versus the benefit to their private portfolios?
Where is a modern-day Lee Iacocca when we need someone to wager their skill at $1/year for as long as it takes to turn things around?
Automotive company CEOs whine that because it costs more than $70 per hour for a union line worker, it makes them less competitive. They skip right over the fact that their compensation averages 344 times what an average American worker earns. A hedge fund and private equity manager gets a staggering 19,000 times what an average American worker earns.
We hear a lot of angst about what is the right or best answer for this mess. I'm not really sure we've figured out the best question yet, so how can we figure out the best answer?
I think what is more unsettling for most of us is that the supposed "best and brightest" are working on this, and we haven't really figured out the right question. This doesn't bode well.