"We don't want government to run companies," President-elect Obama said on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday. "Generally, government historically hasn't done that very well." Still, the new car czar will have to dictate certain things to the people actually running the companies:
They're going to have to restructure. And all their stakeholders are going to have restructure. Labor, management, shareholders, creditors—everybody is going to recognize that they…do not have a sustainable business model right now, and if they expect taxpayers to help in that adjustment process, then they can't keep on putting off the kinds of changes that they, frankly, should have made 20 or 30 years ago.
Perhaps the right approach is the one taken by America's drug czar, who tries to eliminate an industry and thereby ensures its continued existence.