Ralph's Rants

An outgoing assult on the inequalites of life

ralphp

ralphp
Location
Mahwah, New Jersey, USA
Birthday
January 09
Bio
The short take: married with two (almost) grown kids; currently living in the Netherlands (until Oct. '08); big time jazz fan and avid cyclist; life long migraine suffer

MY RECENT POSTS

NOVEMBER 6, 2008 10:04PM

Say NO to coming US auto industry bailout

Rate: 3 Flag

I know that the idea of saying NO to the forthcoming bailout of the big three US automobile manufacturers goes against the concept of protecting the blue collar auto worker but only by allowing these grossly incompetent businesses to die a slow and much deserved death will the US be rid of their fixation on last century's technology. Only by forcing the Big Three US auto makers to finally have to face the music for their complete and utter disdain of for rapidly changing global energy market can this nation move forward with the development of a transportation system that can successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century.

 Please write your Representative and Senators and demand that they turn a deaf ear to the pleas of these once powerful but now useless businesses and their overpaid management. And please do not forget to ask them to help the many auto workers find useful employment in the new industries which need to be developed so that the US can compete in the 21st century.

 I thank you in advance for your support.

Author tags:

business, politics

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Actually, under the circumstances I think that our brand spankin' NEW government should save them through a majority buy-out. This has served Germany quite well with Lufthansa and Volkswagen( to name 2).

But no hand outs.
Your logic is sensible, but so is artfish's. I'm glad that I don't have to make this decision. I just got a letter from the Netherlands. The young lady called me, "The Great American Poet." I love The Netherlands!!
Right, but I believe the funds were already allocated to them before the national bailout was approved.

Still, I heard a commentator on NPR addressing the unpopular view to let GM die. His reasons, as I recall, included:
* There are plenty of car manufacturers in the United States. If GM should die, will we be without cars? No.
* We're pouring money down a black hole. It's not as if the Big 3 have grown stronger in the years we've been bailing them out. We're postponing the inevitable.
* If you must give a bailout, spend the m/billions on the workers themselves. It amounts to about $70K per worker - which can be used for retraining, transition, etc.

I used to live near Detroit. The death of GM - or any of the automakers - would no doubt have a profound effect on the Midwest and the people who live there. If money were doled out, I say let it go to new technology and retraining those manufacturing workers to prepare for the century ahead.
Thanks for the comments, one and all.

A few notes:

I am no longer living in the Netherlands and am now back home in northern NJ. Seeing all these giant SUVs and pickup trucks after spending 14 months living amongst the more sensibly sized Euro cars is quite a shock.

Although I didn't go into the subject of protecting the workers in my original post I do believe that the "protect the worker" argument is disingenuous at best, i.e. where is the protection for the thousands and thousand of auto workers who are being laid off as we debate this issue?
Call me nostalgic, but the auto industry in the US has an incredibly rich history, and was founded visionaries so I would hate to see it go belly up. If the government had majority control there is much they could do to steer the industry away from its current gas guzzling track, and better support the workers. Starting from scratch would be a huge waste and relying solely on imports is not a good option.
Artsfish:

"Call me nostalgic, but the auto industry in the US has an incredibly rich history, and was founded (by) visionaries..."

That may be true but at present the US auto industry is now run at a level of incompetence that is simply blinding. Today's wold moves at a rapid pace and it's quite obvious that the monster trucks and giant SUVs STILL being produced today by the US auto industry are just not capable of keeping up. Please let them die before they do any further damage. Let's stop rewarding incompetence under the guise of "protecting the workers" since the simple fact is that the corporate boards of the big 3 US auto makers only care about "protecting the workers" when they go with their hats in hands begging for taxpayer money. Enough is enough.
That's why I suggested that the government having a majority ownership could steer the industry in a more beneficial direction.
Artsfish:

My objection to a government (read taxpayer money) owned majority is that last time checked the vast majority of incumbents were re-elected to Congress which pretty much means that it's still corporate America that's calling the shots, historic election aside. I also realize that there is no way enough interest, either pro bail out or anti bail out, will be generated since most people are "so done" with politics after that seemingly endless campaign.

So the long and short of is that the bail out will happen with the tag line that it's "about saving jobs" and corporate America once again receives a gift of tax payer money as a well deserved and just reward, according to their rules, for their absolute failure at doing their jobs. Man, I am just going to love the New America.
I have great difficulty assisting a corporation or set of corporations that obviously ignored the plight of America and making us even more dependent on Oil, and trying to stop if not permanently curtail environmental requirements. The heads and board of directors of these corporations who are never in danger of losing their home or their income, are using the specter of the poor blue collar worker to frighten people into supporting the bailout. I am not necessarily declaring that they auto industry shouldn't be assisted, but they need to drastically change, become innovative, and certainly more patriotic (in terms of supporting the American people) before we do anything for them. I want to see plans to put affordable hydrogen cars on the road in 9 months. We can do it. Ford did it with the Model A. There are no excuses, only opportunities to reinvent themselves in a positive way.
Again, last time I checked Bush is still the serving President and the old congress and senate are also still serving. Believe me, I'm also beginning to begin to start (as we used to tell our clients) to believe in America again but I'm still a long, long way from having any faith or belief in our government. Perhaps Mr. Obama can begin to turn things around but Bush and company still have over two months to reek even more damage and a big bail out of the US auto makers, with minimal or no strings attached, is just one more corporate "gift" from Bush to his backers.
The government is going to help the auto industry, no matter what. They won't sit by and watch the big 3 die. Ownership would be far better than a handout, and it would necessitate legislation governing how the companies would be run. And the management of the companies would be more transparent. The main problem now is that they are run solely for short term gain and for the stockholders - not for the long term good of the company or the workers.