The Corner

An Expensive Status Quo Ante

You know that feeling when you bring your car to the mechanic and he tells you that you have to pay a boatload of cash to get the hoosiwhatsis fixed and even more to get the framfra and queenestray aligned? It’s just enough money that you wonder whether it’d be cheaper in the long run just to buy a new car, but you go ahead and drain your wallet but then feel like you have nothing to show for it?

That’s sort of how I feel about the GM bailout. We’re ponying up $50 billion, but the total costs might be closer to $100 billion in the long run. And all we get is the same car company we always had.

So, I’m wondering: How much would it cost to just build a car company from scratch? I’m sure the start-up costs would be high. But the new company wouldn’t have to bow and scrape to the UAW and could probably just buy GM’s best plants at fire-sale prices.

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