Ben Buchwalter

The Trouble with Compromise
November 21, 2008, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Congress, Economy | Tags: ,

I remember growing up learning that compromise was the greatest virtue. At home I learned to share; at school I learned about Henry Clay (“The Great Compromiser”) and the Missouri Compromise.

Christina (co-worker) and I were just talking about bailing out the auto industry. We distilled two ways for the auto industry to get back on track.

1.) The market will correct itself. If the Big Three files for bankruptcy, then an external investor will intervene to reinvent the company and make it work better

2.) The government can bail out the Big Three under the conditions of improving operations and making more efficient cars.

I favor the government approach because it will ensure that labor is protected and will put environment as a priority. In general, government wants to protect people and business wants to protect business. And I prefer people to business. (I’m forgetting for the moment that businesses are made up of and therefore protect people.)

When it comes to a government-supervised reconstruction of the auto industry, critics are likely correct: The government won’t do a good job. If the left (or right) has a good idea about how to do it, then they will have to bend over backwards to compromise to get a restructuring program through congress. This compromise will undoubtedly make the program close-to-worthless.

What starts with good intentions ends with good legislation, which is bad in practice.

Why can’t democrats win 100 Senate seats?


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