What do automobiles and American founding principles have in common?
Obama Speaks to the Muslim World
G-20 Summit Agrees to International Spending Plan
Sometimes it’s no fun to be an economist. Or, to be more specific, it’s rather frustrating to understand Bastiat’s insight about the “seen” and the “unseen” and to always be asking “at what cost?” and “to what effect?” when politicians make inane statements.
I don’t particularly relish picking on a president who, on virtually every policy front, is showing all the markings of a man in way over his head. But the president’s actions and statements are becoming excruciating to watch—like a highly-touted Olympic figure skater who can’t complete a maneuver without falling to the ice.
President Obama’s salutary statement about GM’s IPO yesterday reveals a man so focused on defending his policies that he can no longer conceal the incongruity between his political objectives and the country’s imperatives.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning of GM’s IPO today. A common narrative in today’s media is that GM’s return to the stock market affirms the wisdom of the auto bailout. Some tougher customers in the media insist on a higher threshold being met—that taxpayers get back the entirety of their $50 billion investment in GM—before declaring “mission accomplished.” And then there are the rabid partisans who—in their seething animosity toward the Obama administration—reach conclusions devoid of logic and rich only in conspiratorial-mindedness. For exam
NPR’s 9:00 a.m. newscast this morning included this accidentally accurate line:
Government, rather General Motors is expected to announce plans for an initial public offering of stock this week.
The comment can be heard here at about 3:10, but I assume the online hourly report is updated throughout the day.