What's everybody think of this excerpt from this link?--[Just looking for opinions.] A Step Toward Feudalism: The Chrysler Bailout "...A Step Toward Feudalism: The Chrysler Bailout IV. The Way Out The Chrysler subsidy would violate two political principles that have been highly important in this country: the principle that individuals are responsible for themselves and the principle that the government should treat people equally. It violates individual responsibility by making Chrysler stockholders and employees into wards of the state and taxpayers into servants of the state. It violates equal treatment by bailing out a particular firm. Yet the ends are desirable to many. Who wants to see Chrysler employees suffer, even if only for a short time? Does the end justify the means? Taken literally, the question must be answered yes. The end justifies the means. What else could? But the end does not justify all means. In particular, the end does not justify a means inconsistent with the end. The end is to help people whose suffering has been partly caused by government. The means suggested is to tax innocent people. This means, by imposing still more government coercion, contradicts the end. There must be a better way out, and there is: Remove, as much as possible, the regulations responsible for the present problem. Four specific steps could be taken. (1) Repeal the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This act removes the freedom of motor vehicle manufacturers to produce cars that do not comply with government standards, even if buyers want such cars. Under this act, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has imposed over forty standards regulating the design and manufacture of passenger cars. The act mandates expensive bumpers, seat belts, starter interlock, head restraints, and other items that add hundreds of dollars to the price of a car. Although it has made automobiles safer, car owners do not value the additional safety at what it costs them; if they did, they would have purchased the safety equipment voluntarily. Ralph Nader argues correctly that without government safety standards, people are not concerned enough about safety because the government abets their accidents with "free" highways and medical care. But the alternative to deciding that government should therefore regulate safety (from which it follows that government should also regulate smoking, drinking, and any other activity that harms our health) is to end the original intervention that caused the problem. Although the argument against safety regulation does not depend on the actual effects of the regulation, these effects are worth noting. Because safety regulation makes driving safer for occupants, they take more chances and actually increase the hazards to pedestrians. Professor Sam Peltzman of the University of Chicago found the increase in pedestrian deaths due to the NHTSA regulations equal to the decrease in driver deaths.* (2) Repeal the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The justification for this act is that it conserves oil by forcing people to drive cars with higher gas mileage. This conservation is at the expense of other scarce resources, however, because cars with higher gas mileage cost more to produce. Car buyers should be able to choose the gas mileage that suits them best. People who want "gas guzzlers" should be able to choose them. After all, they pay for the gas they guzzle. (3) Repeal price controls on oil and gasoline. One reason car sales have been 90 low lately is that U.S. price controls cause shortages whenever they are set below the market-clearing price. When drivers cannot be assured of gasoline supplies, cars become less valuable. The demand for cars is lower now than it would be if drivers did not believe there was a good chance of future shortages. This uncertainty about the future particularly hurts sales of recreational vehicles, one of Chrysler's few product lines that sold well. (4) Repeal the laws that force employees to join unions. The earlier statement that Chrysler employees are not willing to sell their services to Chrysler at a cost below projected revenues needs qualifying. Individual employees might be willing to work for less than they are now being paid in order to keep their jobs, but they are not allowed to make that kind of bargain because the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has a monopoly on bargaining for most Chrysler employees. It is illegal for any worker to work for less than the wage the UAW has bargained for. If compulsory unionism were repealed, Chrysler would not be in as serious shape as it is in..."