Dear Toledo Blade: Americans Can Invest in Companies Without Bailouts

Editor, Toledo Blade

Dear Editor:

Detroit auto executives advocate "government getting a stake in the auto companies that would allow taxpayers to share in future gains if they recover" ("GM exec: bankruptcy not an option for industry," Dec. 3).

I remind these executives that each American is already perfectly free and able, with no action from government, to "get a stake" in these companies. Of course, few Americans now choose to do so – a fact that reflects the considered judgment of millions of people that these companies are unworthy recipients of investment funds. If millions of investors, spending their own funds, refuse to invest in GM, Ford, and Chrysler, why should Congress force them to make such investments? Why should we trust that Congress will make wiser investment decisions with other people's money than these people themselves make with their own money?


Donald J. Boudreaux

Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.