Why Government Can’t Run a Business

John Steele Gordon has a good op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on why government attempts to run a business always fall short – whether that be health care, car companies, or liquor stores.

In a related piece, the Journal ridicules the plan to make bankrupt automakers build more fuel-efficient – and thereby more expensive – cars.  The Tribune Review also jumps on that ill-advised proposed mandate, als noting how Ford has rebounded – because their business model wasn’t developed by politicians.

On Cato-at-Liberty, Randal O’Toole explains how badly concieved the new CAFE standards are:

The bad news is that nothing in Obama’s standard guarantees that they will actually save energy. The rule only requires that the mean fuel economy of all models, not all cars, made by a manufacturer meet the 35.5 mpg standard. Not much energy will be saved if gas guzzlers sell well and hybrids don’t. …

The Obama administration estimates that the added cost of the new standard will be $1,300 per car, but that (if gasoline remains $3 per gallon) it will save drivers $500 per year. That means it could pay for itself in the long run — but only if people actually do buy more fuel-efficient cars.