I see that Eastman Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it attempts to transform the 130-year-old photography pioneer into a digital company.
The company, which invented the hand-held camera, said in statement that it had also obtained a $950m, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to give it the cash to keep going. Antonio Perez, the chairman and chief executive, said: “Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation.”
This is now the free market should work. It should punish companies that fail to keep ahead of the curve, it should force innovation or failure. It’s always sad to see an iconic business melt down, of course, but “red in tooth and claw” applies here.
But just think how different the State sector behaves. It rarely transforms itself, innovation is unusual, inertia is the preferred state for the State. There is little if any motive for the State to continually challenge how it operates, to drive for efficiency, to transform. Business will always try to do things better with less resource. The State tries to do the same, or less, with more resource, that’s why it’s numbers tend to grow all the time. Business that provides poor service and inferior products gets punished. The State can do both and still reward itself because it is insulated from economic reality by virtue of lack of responsibility and a limited ability for those at the receiving end to to hold it to account. This is one reason why shrinking the State is a sign of a healthy Nation. You don’t see many of those about except in old pictures….