Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Letter to National Review Magazine

Dear Sirs:
I enjoyed Mr. Herman's review of Car Guys vs. Bean Counters by Bob Lutz. But, the title should be Car Guys vs. Government. Bean counter Roger Smith is a product of an industry trying to cope with government intervention. Mr. Lutz properly lays the blame for Detroit's woes on government's CAFE standards, but he is wrong to blame its labor trouble on the "uneasily cozy relationship" between Detroit and the UAW. This is just another example of an industry trying to come to terms with a previous government intervention--the Wagner Act. The New Deal era Wagner Act destroyed traditional legal principles that protected the automakers' property. This seems to be a lesson never learned--that government intervention in the free market always results in the OPPOSITE of its intended purpose. The CAFE standards led to more, not less, American dependence on foreign oil. And the Wagner Act harmed the working man. Everywhere it has been vigorously enforced industries decline along with blue collar employment. Ludwig von Mises' Human Action explains all and should be required reading in every American university.

Patrick Barron

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