Letter: The big salvage yard in the sky

Drive down any street in our country and one thing is clear. America has plenty of cars. Our driveways and garages are full of all types of them. Big or small, fast or slow, curvy or boxy, miserly or lavish, we are free to buy what appeals to our tastes, desires and, more realistically, our budgets.

Our love affair with the automobile goes back to its inception. There were many remarkable car companies in the past that made beautiful cars that are now classics. Great American automobile manufacturers such as Nash, Packard, Graham, Franklin and Hudson are now just pleasant memories of our country's greatness in the automobile industry. These companies fell by the wayside because of many different reasons. But for whatever reasons, the bottom line is they ran out of money because they could not sell their cars and went out of business. These companies were closed down and their assets were sold off to other companies so the industry could remain strong, competitive and vibrant.

In a free market economy, this is the natural course of events. Economics dictate that companies will come and go based on the decisions company executives make in the operation of their businesses. Company executives who have decided to take unnecessary risks with the direction of their companies should not be rewarded, or bailed out, for the bad decisions they have made. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening today. Companies that have become too big and inefficient, or executives who have taken unnecessary risks, are lining up for a bailout from our government, using taxpayers' money.

Take General Motors for example. They are now getting billions of dollars of our hard-earned money to supposedly keep the company afloat and protect jobs. But where are these jobs they are proposing to protect? GM is an international company that has factories all over the world. GM is presently constructing a $1 billion factory in South America. Why should we give U.S. taxpayer money to GM to create and protect jobs in other countries, let alone give them any money in the first place? Let the free market work. Let GM build cars they can sell or let them join the other great car companies of yesteryear, in the big salvage yard in the sky.

Mervin Fried

Kingman