Good death

“Euthanasia” come from the Greek for “good death.”

If worst comes to worst, letting the Big Detroit Three fail gently might not be catastrophic.

Stephen Gordon put job hiring and job loses in a handy graph which shows the context in which possible job losses exist. He writes:

The most credible worst-case scenario of a collapse of the Detroit Three involve job losses of the order of 150k. (The estimate of 500k from the Ontario Manufacturing Council that made so many headlines is not credible.) Losing 150,000 jobs is certainly not good news, but in the context of an economy in which almost a quarter of a million jobs are lost every month, it’s fair to wonder just how big of a deal that is. If those losses were spread across a few months, they would hardly show up in that graph.

Having said that,

I don’t want to be misunderstood here: notwithstanding these considerations, the short-term consequences of an immediate, catastrophic collapse are severe enough to justify spending public money in order to prevent it. Hiring rates are not yet strong enough to absorb that kind of shock.

Frankly, I’m not sure I should even be allowed to have an opinion on the auto bailout. (What do I know?) But for what it’s worth, I’m not comfortable with propping up the automakers any more than is necessary to reasonably contain their collapse. I’m not rooting for the death of GM or Ford, but it’s not as if they were healthy during good times.

Also, have I professed lately my love for Worthwhile Canadian Initiative?


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