Watching the capitol hill antics this week gave me pause. First, I was simply stunned at the auto execs un-preparedness for those hearings (though they're much better this past session…with room yet for improvement). I have not heard a single question posed to them that should have been unexpected. Glad they chose to finally do some homework this past week. However, it does make me wonder if they are the right people to lead this "reformation". If they are so disconnected to have missed all the signals for a tough questioning, why should I believe that they are in any position to read the desires of the American public? And be able to bring desired cars to market? Gads, lord help us!
With all this, I've thinking about all this mess at a macro level. Is the best public investment in the companies? Or would it be better to invest the public money in a safety net? Providing solid unemployment benefits, as well as career transition assistance for the displaced seems to me to be the better investment. It would be more likely to instill confidence and recharge spending.
In addition, it would make me feel better to hear policy-makers talking about how to best serve those now unemployed. I think this will last for quite some time, and we would do well to consider the long term recovery process. These half-million new unemployed, and those who follow soon, will probably take some time to get re-absorbed into the economy. Tough times ahead, indeed.