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Sense on state bailouts for car manufacturers

Dominic Lawson writes a good deal of sense about proposals to to use public funds in the UK and US to rescue various stricken car manufacturers, such as Jaguar and GM. Like Mr Lawson, I cannot quite see how the average UK voter, who can barely afford a Jaguar car, feels about handing over money to ensure that these cars stay in business, and certainly not if a prize political creep such as Peter Mandelson is involved. Do not misunderstand me: I love the brand, but would it not be better to let the firm shrink to the status of specialist niche product for those who are willing to pay for it?

Anyway, finances permitting, I am upgrading to buy myself and the missus an Alpha Romeo., assuming I can get one second-hand in great condition. Discounts for cars are likely to be pretty generous over the next few months.

5 comments to Sense on state bailouts for car manufacturers

  • As the blokes on Top Gear have mentioned in the past Alfa’s are crap cars but they are things of beauty, I wish you luck with your hunt for one Johnathan.

  • Damon


    Surely as a car fan you would know it should be ALFA: “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili”


    The 159 is pretty, but the 8C is just…I dunno…beautiful…

  • Paul Marks

    The continuing bailouts,not just in the U.K. and he U.S. (G.M. is a bank now of course – GMAC being run by a pal of Bernie Madoff) but the “lose money” policy in nations as far away as India and China (even Australia is getting in on the act with that copycat swine Kevin Rudd raiding the budget to imitate his wildspending heros in other lands) ………..

    Well the continuing bailouts and credit bubbleism (what the “Economist” would call “modern economics”) have one good effect – a selfish one for me.

    I am impressed by the ability of human civil interaction (voluntary cooperation) to overcome even vast ammounts of statism – this system should have collapsed long ago, but by super human (or perhaps that should just be “human”) efforts it has not only not collapsed but, in part, prospered.

    Even with the insane policies of so many years I was still tortured by hope that collapse could be avoided (the torture of doubt) – but with the policy choices in so many nations now at least this torment is over.

    There is now no hope for this system whatever – the statists have doomed themselves (even though they do not know it yet).

    “But they have doomed us as well Paul” – well yes, but that can not be helped now.

    There is no chance now of avoiding the worst economic decline of my lifetime – or long before.

    The Welfare State will go down – so those people who are still on their feet when this ends (sadly this will most likely not include me) will at least have the chance to build something good.

    Whether they take the chance remains to be seen.

  • Tanuki

    I too am not in favour of pumping taxpayer-cash into bailing out Jaguar – while at the same time NuLabour’s politics-of-envy ratchets up the road-tax on luxury cars! Far better for them to stop the sumptuary/green taxation nonsense and so give the prestige brands their chance to thrive in an un-manipulated market.

    And as to your choice: alas, current Alfa Romeos are nothing more than pimped-out FIATs.

    Nobody who actually *enjoys* driving would put up with front-wheel-drive.

  • krm

    I don’t see how these bailouts do any good as long as the US companies are running a business model (like wages 2x to 3x above what the competiton and other industries pay similar semi-skilled labor). It is like giving a transfusion for a severed artery – without closing up the artery. All it does is delay the bleed out.