It's All Management

More

Megan McArdle says we shouldn't blame bad management from GM's staggering $15 billion loss:

The company is scrambling to retool for small cars, and I'm sure we'll hear a loud chorus of voices saying that GM did this to themselves by becoming so dependent on light trucks. Well, they did, but I'm not sure it's fair to blame management. GM's historical pension and healthcare obligations, and the vast difficulties they have in permanently laying off workers, mean that the company had to maximize cash flow as best they could.

But look: This is all management. GM could have struck a different bargain with its workforce that entailed higher salaries and lower long-term pension obligations. Its management thought it would be wiser to strike a different bargain, and the results have wound up being non-pretty. Running a large enterprise is difficult which, I think, is why the executives make the big bucks. But when decisions don't pan out, you take the blame. Meanwhile, car company management could have strongly backed the Clinton administration's effort to get health care under control back in 1993.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Breathtaking Tour Above the Moab Desert

Filmmaker Ian Cresswell rigs an HD camera atop a remote-controlled "octocopter" for some spectacular aerial views.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In