GM is a perfect example of failed central planning.
It is argued repeatedly that GM doesn’t make products that consumers want; they make what the producers want. That sounds like a central planning committee.
It is argued that they maintain a bloated workforce, paying people to sit idle. That sounds like “To each according to their needs” to me.
It is argued that those who do work don’t know what they are doing, aren’t properly trained, and don’t have the expertise to install and maintain today’s hi-tech manufacturing equipment. That sounds like “From each according to their ability” to me.
They offer health-care for life and a generous pension plan for 269,000 GM retirees and 69,000 surviving spouses on the backs of 73,000 workers.
GM is not a failed business entity; GM is a failed socialist model.The primary tenets of socialism, as I understand it, is “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” where everyone works not for profit, but for the betterment of the common man. GM fits this model quite well. When they do turn a profit, it gets dumped right back to the workers instead of capital. Workers’ wages are not negotiated based on the value of their work, but based on an estimate of what a fair “Living Wage” would be. GM will go down in the history books as just another in a long line of failed socialist utopian experiments.
The manufacturing aspect of GM also suffers from overly intrusive central planners. Those process engineers, software developers, and tool designers do not give the plants the proper freedom to adapt to a changing manufacturing environment. They attempt to standardize the tooling controls down to individual rungs in PLC ladder logic; they attempt to implement a standard weld process that does not allow for common variations in metal fit and gun wear. They send tooling that doesn’t fit the application, and prohibit common-sense reworks to make the equipment run better for a specific process.
The argument against a bailout for GM isn’t that they are a failed business; GM ceased being a business long ago. The argument against a bailout for GM is that they are a failed socialist experiment, soon to join the dustbin of many other failed socialist experiments.
The next question, of course, is who saves the US once we become just another failed socialist experiment.