Pan American Airline
Trans World Airline (TWA)
Pacific Southwest Airline (PSA)
American Motors Corporation (AMC)
De Soto (autos)
Security Pacific Bank
I suspect many readers are too young to even remember some of those names, but we’re talking about some big hitters: national flag-carrier airlines; auto manufacturers; a national retailer with both stores and mail-order catalogues (what we did in pre-internet days!); a steel manufacturer. That list could be a lot longer, too, with shipping lines, railroads, and others.
What do they all have in common? They’re all defunct. Bankrupt. Out of business.
In many cases, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. How will the industry survive? The world is coming to an end! This was particularly true when the major airlines – Pan Am and TWA – tanked.
Does anyone even remember those companies anymore, let alone miss them? When was the last time Pan Am crossed your mind – if ever? Are you sorry you can’t order from Monkey Ward anymore? Do you even care?
The reality is that since the Industrial Revolution companies have come and gone with great regularity, victims of mismanagement, financial insufficiencies, changing technology (bought any buggy whips lately?), skilled competition, general market forces… many and diverse reasons. And whenever one of the Big Ones goes, there’s a lot of ink given to possible consequences – generally portrayed as being “terrible” – and in a little while the world adjusts and we move on.
It’s a lot like dropping a rock into a still pond. There’s a splash and some ripples, but in a few moments the water stills, and life goes on.
This changed when Lee Iacocca conned the Feds into bailing Chrysler out of bankruptcy a few decades ago, and we’re now seeing the upshot: general panic and the government taking over private industry, the first significant steps down the road of fascism. Instead of the rock dropping into a pond, this time someone stuck in the business end of an outboard boat motor and turned that sucker on. The waters aren’t at all close to stilling.
In a healthy economy and free society, there’s no company “too big to fail”, because if there’s a NEED for that company’s product or services, some OTHER company will step in to take up the slack and fill the vacuum created by that company’s failure. If that failing company is in such bad shape that it can’t bail itself out, even with the assistance of bankruptcy court, it should be allowed to disappear.
Isn’t that the Darwinian process of “natural selection” that liberals all claim to believe in so much?
ADDENDUM ON 7 JUNE:
The rest of the world, especially those countries that have already been experimenting with socialism, are all turning to the Right and voting more conservative, while WE are rushing headlong over the cliff on our Left.
What delicious irony.