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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9703/its-the-fault-of-management/

It’s the fault of management

March 29, 2009 by

There’s something creepy about the impending resignation of the head of GM, in anticipation of an announced bailout of the company. Not that Rick Wagoner doesn’t deserve to go, but his departure will be used as the news to justify the continuation of a broken system. So too the Soviet system existed for 70 years with a general pattern that the head of state would blame all problems on the existing management of state-owned companies, that they were thieves, incompetent, disobedient, insufficiently loyal to socialism or whatever. It wasn’t the state, the intervention, the system, but always and everywhere the personnel–they had to be shot or imprisoned as a matter of justice–and if we could just get the right people in charge of the factories, it would be onward and upward to socialist utopia. The management served as the scapegoats, people for the public to blame all problems on as a way of distracting from the real problem. Something about this news suggests something along the same lines.

{ 48 comments }

AJ Witoslawski March 29, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I agree. In addition, I find it creepy when we blame the current economic crisis on bank and insurance executives.

Steve Hogan March 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

This is coming from a man who has never had a private sector job. He’s never had to meet a payroll or satisfy customers. Now he’s using the power of the state to confiscate by gunpoint what others have earned to prop up zombie companies, then dictates who can run them.

Words fail me. The arrogance of this outlaw regime is breathtaking.

Russ March 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm

I don’t find this creepy. I find it downright scary. This is a watershed moment for national socialism in America.

The upside, hopefully, is that this will scare more businesses away from taking taxpayer money that they have no right to.

Lowell March 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm

I’m in favor of firing thieving incompetents. When do we get to fire Obama?

Don March 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I find this neither creepy nor scary. I find it exhilirating and exciting. As more and more of our freedoms are stripped away, more and more citizens realize that government is our enemy. Hopefully soon, enough of us will get it through our muddled brains that Thomas Jefferson proposed the only method possible to stop this madness, when he said, “the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Don,

Extreme, but honest……. and, rightfully, truthful.

Paul March 29, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I do hope that Don’s comments ring true and that people see this for what it is …

AJ Witoslawski March 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm

There is nothing exhilerating about the decline of this empire. I am renouncing my citizenship and moving out of the country ASAP. I want no part in the completion of the moral, social, and economic collapse of the United States.

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm

AJ Witoslawski,

Unfortunately, when America goes down and people like you give up those things that are forefathers fought for, they’ll be no other place to GO……

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

What Don and many of you are saying is the same as the story behind “Pale Rider” with Clint Eastwood………

Gotta make a Stand Somewhere!

Joe March 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Notice how it wasn’t the GM shareholders or board of directors who removed Wagoner but the Government itself. Now the Government is going to dictate how that company is to be run to. This is just more creeping nationalization. Whether Wagoner should or should not go should be left up to the company to decide, not the Government. The old Soviet rulers would be pleased with the Obama Administration.

Jeff March 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm

It’s interesting that the Soviet Union had so much help from financiers in the US and other first world nations…without the banking structure of the 20th century I think the USSR would have collapsed much quicker.
Who will be subsidizing the USSA? I don’t think it can last nearly as long, as the system will implode without productive people

Russ March 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Hopefully soon, enough of us will get it through our muddled brains that Thomas Jefferson proposed the only method possible to stop this madness, when he said, “the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The waste that would be involved in the kind of civil war that you apparently relish is appalling. It’s not something any sane person looks forward to. You’re either nuts, or a plant from the people who brought us the MIAC report.

Jack March 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm

“The waste that would be involved in the kind of civil war that you apparently relish is appalling. It’s not something any sane person looks forward to. You’re either nuts, or a plant from the people who brought us the MIAC report.”

Why, that Revolutionary War was just a total “waste,” and that Thomas Jefferson was just a total nutcase! If this country becomes Soviet Union-ized, I think we should just shut up and take it! /sarcasm

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Russ, no disrespect, BUT

Then, this crap needs to STOP. I guess your attitude and complaint against stopping likely tyranny, as already warned by our Founders, is OK if you’re a coward and you will not Stand for any Principle and are willing to SELL your SOUL to the highest bidder.

So where does it stop? Will you sell out your CHILDREN when they realize and tell you there’s something wrong with selected genocide or other atrocities by the Authorities?

Oh yeah, that happened in Germany in the 1930′s. At least the World has some experience with that. And, I think I saw this in OMEN II.

Unfortunately, if we allow much of this to continue, we’ll get any colored pill we want as long as it’s BLUE then wake-up as a GREEN CRACKER………..

Nathan March 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Interesting that the man who brought in to development the Volt, virtual lovechild of the liberal environmental movement, is being axed under the guise of mismanagement.

Don March 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I agree that anyone who relishes war is nuts. Our founding fathers certainly didn’t relish war. In Patrick Henry’s speech of March 23, 1775 he points out that they had petitioned, remonstrated, supplicated, and prostrated themselves before the throne to implore its interposition, all to no avail. War was a last resort.

Haven’t we voted, written our congressmen, written letters to the editor, and demonstrated, yet, are we more or less free today? The answer is obvious.

Jefferson said what he did because he understood that it is the nature of government to become tyrannical. Free people who want to remain free must be ever vigilant and willing to make any sacrifice necessary.

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm

How about this:

Look Dad no hands and no morals…. or, the four more dangerous words in history: “Here, hold my beer.”

We’ll genetically build a creature just because we can and we now have the Scientific knowledge to do it. (If you don’t think we do, you might want to think again, or we’re not far off. Remember, the Military is about 30-years ahead of public knowledge).

We’ll fuse DNA portions of: human-intelligence; the physical structure of a gorilla; the teeth, jaw muscles, and skin of a crocodile, so on and so on. Holy crap, we built Alien!!!!

Now, oh yeah, the Russians were trying to do this in the 40′s and 50′s. And, did you see the mouse with a human ear growing out of its BACK?

All because we have no fear of answering for the consequences of actions, because there’s no being to answer to except ourselves. So the rest of the less intelligent and worthless humanity becomes insects.

As a God now, do you think humans have to explain to mosquitoes why we kill them?

Hmmmm, lets keep going with this activity!

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Don,

Isn’t that the problem with Society today: No one has made or will make any sacrifice, not even for their Children and Grandchildren…….

ehmoran March 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Anybody hear about the planned Financial Fool’s Day activities in England????

Now, that will be interesting, a must watch…..

HM March 30, 2009 at 12:01 am

It must be a full moon or something tonight. I actually have to credit this Mises organization. It keeps you guys busy and out of trouble.
Some guy on about fusing human DNA with crocodiles, some other character on about the Founding Fathers and war, and a whole lot about Russia. And a little reference to Soylent Green just for fun.
The only thing missing is maybe an explanation of how a return to the gold standard would fix all this.
Get a grip, you people.
The government just poured, or is going to pour, what a hundred or two billion into this rat-hole. And you think the government should have no say in how things are run ?
I’d say the Obama admin is learning from the past mistakes of GWB. He just handed over the money, crossed his fingers and hoped to get out of Dodge (pardon the pun – the auto business, get it) before the poop hit the fan.
I’m as right-wing as the next guy, but you guys take the cake.

ehmoran March 30, 2009 at 12:13 am

HM,

You didn’t like the four most dangerous words in history remark, got to have some fun (with a little seriousness behind it, however).

But the problem is that Washington isn’t listening, don’t appear to be telling us the truth (although many don’t want to hear it) about anything, and they continue down this Socialist/Communist/Fascist road in a blitzkrieg because they KNOW they CAN…….

Heck, we’ve got a President that doesn’t have to show his Birth Certificate or Legal Nationalization. This is required by the U.S. Constitution for U.S. Presidency, but Congress, the Senate, and Supreme Court Justices are making excuses for this lacked requirement.

Must I continue…..

Steve Hogan March 30, 2009 at 12:15 am

HM,

The people at this site would claim that the government has no authority to be propping up GM or any other business.

You’re right in one respect: it’s a rathole. The problem is, no government should have the authority to take from taxpayers and throw it down the General Motors rathole, or any other rathole, for that matter.

If you’re a right-wing guy, go crawl back under the rock from which you came. We don’t “take the cake.” We’re merely identifying the source of the mess.

Les March 30, 2009 at 12:31 am

” AJ Witoslawski

There is nothing exhilerating about the decline of this empire. I am renouncing my citizenship and moving out of the country ASAP. I want no part in the completion of the moral, social, and economic collapse of the United States.”

I would like to know where you can go that is better.

HM

The government just poured, or is going to pour, what a hundred or two billion into this rat-hole. And you think the government should have no say in how things are run ?

The problem is the stupid government that poured the billions in waste. I don’t understand how anyone can think that the government knows how to do anything right, except print money and steal from the citizens. Oh yeah, I forgot, the ones that think the government knows what is best for everyone. But of course, the government never asks how you wish you money be spent and for what purpose.
For my part, I don’t want to be a servant of the state; I want the government to be my servant or better yet, no government.

RWGoble March 30, 2009 at 1:39 am

I’ve been sick to my stomache ever since I read about this earlier today. Everything is happening so fast and no one, outside of certain websites, are talking about it. It’s reported in mainstream media, but in a very,”CEO gets what he deserves” kind of way. And though I would agree that anyone who dances with the devil shouldn’t be surprised when they get burned, it’s still quite unsettling when it starts playing out in such a dramatic way. The part that bothers me the most is the complete lack of concern in my co-workers and acquaintances.

National pride has taken precedence before liberty. “Land of the free” is a meaningless slogan. People tend to take it for granted, and there’s always someone who would point out some worse off country and say, “be thankful you don’t live there.” I’m not thankful for anything. Human rights do not require gratitude. But they do require defending, though 5,000 (if that) “intellectuals” are hardly a force to be reckoned with.

Lie low and wait it out… see what unfolds. This is the moment. These are times to be later misrepresented in history textbooks. It won’t be long and I’ll just be some crazy old man who gets scoffed at when some young punk is talking about what a national hero Obama was, how he tore the nation from the edge of the economic precipice, and I’ll be grumpily disagreeing with him while handing over the $1,500 he just earned mowing “my” strip of grass I maintain for the government.

Gil March 30, 2009 at 1:41 am

Or – yes there are other countries that share similar enough values with the U.S.A. for people to migrate (e.g. Australia, Britain (who aren’t as down&out as the U.S. are)) – but will people let the ex-U.S. citizens migrate? Will it be along the lines of “we don’t you banana-repubilc third-world socialists yanks bringing your stinkin’ values to our country”?

P.S. Mind you an article at the LewRockwell site talk of how shantytowns are appearing in the U.S.A. – that doesn’t bode too well. :\

ehmoran March 30, 2009 at 2:06 am

RWGoble and Gil,

Stand Strong on your Principles, Keep the faith, cause in the end, that’s all we HAVE to show…….

Gary Hall March 30, 2009 at 3:50 am

@Gil:

Or – yes there are other countries that share similar enough values with the U.S.A. for people to migrate (e.g. Australia, Britain (who aren’t as down&out as the U.S. are))

Seriously, Britain shouldn’t be a preferred destination if you’re after more freedoms. Between income tax, national insurance, sales tax and local council tax, salaries are whittled to the bone.

Here’s a list of the legislation passed since Labour took over in 1997: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/2008/03/06/loss-of-liberty-and-rights-since-1997/

And since Tony Blair left 10 Downing Street, we’ve got ourselves an unelected government.

I would rather move to America right now. I think the proposed government price fixing on units of alcohol would have pushed me over the edge.

Telpeurion March 30, 2009 at 6:56 am

Let’s try peaceful disobedience first before waving shotguns around. Think of it this way, live to fight another day. A few thousand of us storming the capitol, perhaps all getting arrested would make a good PR move… And would encourage more such acts. They can’t lock us all up.

Contrast that to us all taking the same action except going in with our silly B.B. guns and then getting mowed down by Federal troops. After the fact, you become a terrorist, not a protester.

If you must have violence, do it in defense. Stop paying your taxes and wait for them to come to you. Guerilla combat is much more likely to be a success for sure, and far less destructive of property. But… If you want to go in guns blazing, be my guest…

Those Founding Father figures that everyone seems so proud of were really poor at conducting war, Washington lost many of the battles and won only due to french intervention. The quickest route to independence is not lining up in a row firing muskets, and running at your foe with bayonets… Look at the tactics of insurgents in Iraq and elsewhere, that’s the way to do it.

I Hate Psychiatry March 30, 2009 at 7:53 am

Don,

“As more and more of our freedoms are stripped away, more and more citizens realize that government is our enemy.”

I think you are overestimating the average american’s intelligence.

You know, in WWII, the jews dug their own graves at gunpoint and then knealed and waited to be shot. Nobody tought that they could use their shovel to tackle the SS and die fighting.

Well, same thing for the american public, we are all digging our own graves at the moment and soon we will be asked to kneal.

“Thomas Jefferson [...] “the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”"

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today and would publicly proclaim such words, he would be committed at a mental hospital and injected with drugs.

The tree of liberty, thanks in part to psychiatry, is long dead and no amount of blood will bring it back to life.

I say burn the entire forest down !

I Hate Psychiatry March 30, 2009 at 7:57 am

Telpeurion,

Peace is for wimps, our government is anything but peaceful when he deals with us.

Why should we deal peacefully with those crooks ?

I Hate Psychiatry March 30, 2009 at 8:05 am

Telpeurion,

“They can’t lock us all up.”

Yes they can, did you ever heard of the FEMA camps ? Did you ever learnt history about the German death camps or the soviet goulags ?

When a government wants to dispose of a large chunk of it’s population, IT CAN !

I Hate Psychiatry March 30, 2009 at 8:12 am

Telpeurion,

“Stop paying your taxes and wait for them to come to you.”

Most of us are wage slave earners, meaning we earn our money through a wage which is paid for by a paycheck.

Therefore, the companies we work for already deduct the money we have to pay to the government. We cannot NOT pay our taxes because the companies we work for already deducts our taxes from our paycheck.

So, what else can we do ?

I Hate Governments March 30, 2009 at 8:25 am

Les,

It’s ironic that you don’t realize your double standards.

So government, who forks money, should have a say on how this money his spends is used.

However why do us, the taxpayers, who forks money at the government should have no say as to how the government spends that money.

I am a libertarian so I hate welfare and warfare, if I had a say at where and how the government can spend money it would be only on roads and that’s it.

The army would be replaced by a militia and the police with be replaced by letting people pack heat.

Since the government likes to force the needy on food stamps, I would force the government on road stamps.

Les March 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

I Hate Governments

I too am a Libertarian, and I hate government. But I don’t see a role for government. I believe anything the government does can be done better and cheaper by private parties. To me the highest form of government is the individual freely exercising what ever rights they deem as long as it doesn’t interfere with any other right.

Ken March 30, 2009 at 9:38 am

Those Founding Father figures that everyone seems so proud of were really poor at conducting war, Washington lost many of the battles and won only due to french intervention.

@Telepurion, French intervention contributed significantly, but your statement is an oversimplification. Washington’s job — which he well knew and admirably executed — was not to win battles, but to avoid the destruction of the Continental Army. Washington could not defeat the British Army in the field, but he didn’t have to — he had to convince the British that they couldn’t win at a price that was worth the candle.

There’s a lesson in there (who hath ears, let him use a Q-Tip), but there’s a caution too. The sorry record of the 20th Century suggests that the price a government is willing to pay to cling to power has changed a mite.

Walt D. March 30, 2009 at 10:05 am

What’s wrong with socialism? Don’t you remember how well the government ran the auto industry in the old Soviet Union? Um. wait a minute – nobody (except to Kremlin aparatchiks) owned any cars!
Obama is sailing into uncharted waters. Still, now that they’re running the show then can start producing electric golf carts, Prius stretch limos and a bunch of other products the market doesn’t want to buy.

Brian Macker March 30, 2009 at 10:08 am

What’s Obama going to do, run every failing company in the country?

Jeffrey Tucker March 30, 2009 at 10:17 am

Watching this disgusting Obama speech. It’s like a blast from the Soviet past. What does this guy know about running any company, a lemonade stand much less GM and Chrysler? We are just supposed to believe that the presidency confers on him omniscience? What a throwback. Statism is a cult.

Jeffrey Tucker March 30, 2009 at 10:23 am

oh, he says that he wakes every day wondering what he can do to give the American dream to you. He thinks he is dictator!

AC March 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I’m not a member of the press, but can somebody get me an interview with the President? I’ve got some simple questions for him.

1) What is wealth?
2) How is it created?
3) What is the American dream?
4) How does a gov’t give the American dream to someone?
5) Why is counterfeiting wrong?
6) Why is it ok for the government to counterfeit through the federal reserve?
7) Why is it ok for the federal reserve to counterfeit?
8) What is liberty?
9) If voluntary transactions are at the center of liberty, why is the government trying to increase the volume and magnitude of involuntary transactions with its citizenry, in which gov’t is the beneficiary?
10) Why is it wrong for me to steal my neighbor’s money even though I give it to the homeless?

Ok, maybe I can’t get an interview with him. But can’t someone ask these questions?

David Spellman March 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Considering the tenor of this blog, I think it would be a useful suggestion to revisit a document that all-too-many of us have truly forgotten: namely, the Declaration of Independence. I will quote a section to remind you of what Patriots are:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

And I ask, “When does the rationale given for the Revolutionary War become operative again?”

Ralph Fucetola JD March 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

To answer David’s question, “When does the rationale given for the Revolutionary War become operative again?” – as some point between when the Leader starts firing private company CEOs and when the Leader starts rounding up people who ask that question.

The “Ominous Parallels” are getting much more ominous.

A better question may be, “What is your exist strategy?” Most of our ancestors got out of Europe, for example, before the debacle…

Ralph Fucetola JD March 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

To answer David’s question, “When does the rationale given for the Revolutionary War become operative again?” – as some point between when the Leader starts firing private company CEOs and when the Leader starts rounding up people who ask that question.

The “Ominous Parallels” are getting much more ominous.

A better question may be, “What is your exit strategy?” Most of our ancestors got out of Europe, for example, before the debacle…

Timothy March 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm

“We prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form and to any people whatever.”

It must have been wonderful to live in a time when a man could make that statement and be elected President ten years later.

Those days are long gone, people. Didn’t you know it’s no longer tribute when “we owe it to ourselves”?

Ralph Fucetola JD March 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Well, AC, since the Chosen One most likely does not read Mises.org (would that voters had elected a President who does… or at least, like Dr. Paul, has pictures of Mises and Rothbard in his congressional office…) here is how our Constitutional Scholar, Social Activist president might answer:

1) What is wealth? [The power to command resources from others.]

2) How is it created? [by Social Conditions, not by Human Action.]

3) What is the American dream? [Equality, Fraternity and, uh, ummm... Service to the State.]

4) How does a gov’t give the American dream to someone? [By redistributing wealth to the right people, you silly person.]

5) Why is counterfeiting wrong? [It interferes with the Federal Government's "inherent power" to declare "legal tender" as determined by the Supreme Court in the Legal Tender Cases.]

6) Why is it ok for the government to counterfeit through the federal reserve? [That's not counterfeiting. Even though the Constitutional Convention removed the Legal Tender power from the first draft and put in the limitations that Congress may emit no Bill and no State may make anything but Gold and Silver a Legal Tender, the Supreme Court, packed with banker representatives after the Civil War, found "inherent power" to do what the govt wants with money.]

7) Why is it ok for the federal reserve to counterfeit? [It's not counterfeiting; it is just, uh, ummm... well, redistributing the wealth.]

8) What is liberty? [Let me check that out and I'll get back to you.]

9) If voluntary transactions are at the center of liberty, why is the government trying to increase the volume and magnitude of involuntary transactions with its citizenry, in which govt is the beneficiary? [I don't understand what you mean. Liberty is being allowed to vote between the two parties for your choice of Leader; what does that have to do with some obsolete notion about making your own decisions about your life?]

10) Why is it wrong for me to steal my neighbor’s money even though I give it to the homeless? [It would be wrong if you did it, and we would have to put you in a re-education center; but when the Leader orders a redistribution of wealth, say a couple of trillion dollars to the banksters and dinosaur companies, well, that's just Change like you can't believe in...]

right?

AC March 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for your response Mr. Fucetola….or should I say Mr. Teleprompter. Do you moonlight as our President’s teleprompter?

My list is in no way the 10 best questions to ask our President? But I would like to see questions that get to the truth of economics and individual liberty to pop up in press questions to any and all elected officials. Yeah, I know its quite a long-shot.

So many times we see the 2 political parties yelling back and forth, pointing fingers at who’s to blame. All the while the effect (whether intended or not) is the obfuscation of government culpability in creating the many evils we now endure.

Vanmind March 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Excellent observation, thanks.

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