Bailout Watch 112: DetN Lopez: Mi Casa Es Su Casa
As the Detroit News‘ auto jefe AND a regular reader of the free-market Mises Institute, it’s no surprise that Manny Lopez is ambivalent about Motown’s bailout bucks. In his latest column, Manny accuses the Germans of sour grapes. “Auto industry officials in Deutschland are calling the auto loan program a ‘distortion of competition’ and bastardization of the free market, among other things. And in the purest sense, it is.” So, column over, right? Wrong. Lopez proceeds to turn protectionism into a question of relativity, comparing the bailout to closed Asian markets (which are being opened, thanks to the WTO) and the province of Niedersachsen’s stake in VW (which is also in the process of being weakened by the EU). Besides, says Lopez, BMW and VW are getting local tax breaks for building plants stateside. From there, it’s but a short step to bailout apologia. “Certainly (the bailout) looks like it’s going to favor General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. They don’t pay big bucks to legislative lobbyists for nothing, after all.” Which is argument enough for Lopez to support a $40b bailout for European automakers. None of which makes any sense. Jesus Christ Manny, Man-up! Either that or whisper words of wisdom and let it be.