Friday, November 14, 2008

The Auto Bailout...


Ok. Here's the "cut to the chase" part. They shouldn't be bailed out.

However, America is dealing with hundreds of "shouldn'ts" already. This doesn't mean I don't think it would be best if congress bails them out.

The Chase...
If you've been in business for, let's say, a hundred years, you should have your act together well enough to stay in business on your own...period. If not, so be it. It's called "Financial Darwinism". I'll bet you didn't see cave men running around talking about "we need to save the dinosaurs from extinction!" (I know that men and dinosaurs were separated by millions of years according to scientists... just making a point;-). However, what happens to all the people that work at the auto plants? And...what happens to all the industries that only exists because there is an "auto plant" in their town. Mercedes built a factory a few miles down the road from where I live. When I toured the facility, the most amazing part wasn't that they roll a new Mercedes off the line every 18 minutes, 24 hours a day. (Keep in mind I toured the plant a few years back and they've expanded since then so now they can produce more than 80 vehicles per day or at least they have the capacity to... that's more than 1,600 per month even with weekends off!!). It wasn't that they think they can sell every last one of them. The most amazing part to me was that every part the the M-Class (except the motor) is made near the area. The seats, dashboards, tires, windshields, radios, antennas, breaks, etc. If they close the M-Class plant in Alabama, many more jobs would be lost than just the ones at the actual plant. Since this is true here, I'm sure this is "the system" by which the auto industry operates in America. Meaning, if a plant closes there will be a "systemic problem". This is why bailing out the "big 3" seems like a necessary evil. But is it?

What if...
What if congress DOESN'T bail them out? What if they all go the way of the dinosaur? I think it could "not be as bad" as we think it'll be...just different. Which would be more "cost effective"? To support, through unemployment benefits and health benefits the workers that have lost their jobs until the industry can "re-tool" or to keep giving the big 3 money so they can keep pretending they're making money from all the cars they obviously ain't selling? The truth is that the CEO's are gonna be financially ok...they already are. So, as long as the "workers" are "ok" do we really care that there is no GM, Ford & Chrystler? In the past 100 years USA can only produce 3 auto makers? Remember "Ma-Bell"? The one phone company model? Long distance, mobile calling, phone features all started to improve when they broke it up and gave some "fresh blood" a chance to enter the market. I think us, the consumers, are over-all better for it.

Resolution...
So, if we do indeed, bailout the Auto Industry, I think it should be done with major quid-pro-quo! And I hope that our government is willing to give the "googles" of the country a shot at making us some "smart cars" so we will "want" to buy and drive American again and I can stop felling guilty about driving my Honda Fit from Japan!

I'm Thed Weller and I approve this message.

5 comments:

Thed-litical said...

and now I'm mad that they've come out with the "New body style Fit"...oh well.

Ascenderman said...

Yo!!!!!

I maintain that it is the old model of doing business that has the auto industry in trouble. They keep talking about the innovations they have made, but nothing has really changed. A Ford Explorer that gets 50 miles per gallon would sell. A Ford Mustang Hybrid that got 38 miles per gallon would sell. We can give them money, but they are just a gas shortage away from closing their doors for good anyway.

Steph said...

Who's buying all those Mercedes? No one I know!

Blog Queen said...

It's all too complicated for me. If we bailout the Big 3...we sink further in debt. We reward mismanagement and it sends the signal to other industries that our new "socialist" style govt will save them....On the other hand, if we don't 3 million jobs will be lost...the economy will most likely collapse....Shit...how did things get so bad???

Holly Hall said...

I lived in an area that once had 10 paper mills (paper factories). My Dad worked at one for 30 years. A few months after he retired, they announced the closing of his mill.

I left that area and am now back. Only one mill is left and that is sinking fast. It won't stay open.

No amount of bailout could stop this nor should it. Manufacturing jobs in this country an unstable and unreliable way of making a living.

That is a fact of life.

And seriously, it is sad and all the workers and the families will suffer when the plants close.

BUT THEY SHOULD CLOSE.

Why don't they take the bail out money and retrain these workers, start up new types of businesses.

It makes no sense to pour money into a lost cause.

Mrs. Hall