≡ Menu

I'm Not a Businessman, But I Play One on T.V.

Here's a letter that I sent earlier this week to the New York Times:

Pres. Obama's plan to oversee the Detroit bailout supplies more
evidence of the prevalence of the belief that high government office
gives its holders magical abilities ("To Fix Detroit, Obama Is Said to
Drop Plan for 'Car Czar'
," February 16).  While I'm delighted that the
President will not appoint a "car czar," I take no comfort in learning
that the "revamping" of G.M. and Chrysler will be in the hands of
Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers – and that, as you report, "the
president was reserving for himself any decision on the viability of
G.M. and Chrysler."

All are very smart men, but Mr. Geithner is
a lobbyist-turned-international-finance-expert-turned-central-banker,
Dr. Summers is an academic economist, and Mr. Obama is a
lawyer-turned-politician.  None of them, as far as the public record
shows, has any experience running private, for-profit firms; none has
worked in the auto industry; and none (unless you count a lobbying firm
as a private enterprise) seems ever even to have worked in the private,
for-profit sector.

The rule of experts would be troubling enough, but here we have the rule of non-experts.

Donald J. Boudreaux