I’ve been scanning through the comments on the New York Times to Washington Takes Risks With Its Auto Bailout Plans. Most of them are screaming mad at the “bailout” plan for the auto industry. Incidentally, it’s not a bailout; it’s a loan. Anyway, at last I found a comment (#232) I can agree with:
Now we’ve got the mobs all fired up, screaming for the heads of the big 3 CEOs. Meanwhile, the bankers are skulking off with the entire US treasury in their back pockets, and not a hint of oversight. They’re raising interest rates on credit cards. Making it almost impossible to get a mortgage, or to buy a car. Who’s going to buy a car anyway when you’ve lost your job? Toyota’s and Honda’s sales are down 30-40% too. They’re not encumbered with huge contracts like GM and the other domestic producers are, because their governments provide healthcare for their employees and invest heavily in their auto companies. The big 3 were doing just fine a year or two ago, when Americans were buying their gas-guzzlers by the millions because that is what we wanted! It takes time to re-tool factories and make something different. Sure, fine, they should have started earlier. They’ve made their share of mistakes, but the banks, the financial markets, the oil companies and THE GOVERNMENT have been complicit in creating this mess. Free trade is not fair trade. GM is still very successful in Europe, selling fuel-efficient, well built cars. But they’re not allowed to sell cars in Japan. (By the way, the Brits are on the verge of having to bail out their auto industry too – people can’t buy cars when there’s no credit available or they’re unemployed.) So we have a situation where our own manufacturers cannot compete in our own market. And what do we come up with for a solution? Let’s get the government to regulate them even more tightly and make it even harder to compete here! Great! Let’s give the bankers the next installment of their bailout, with no strings attached so they can continue to withhold credit and charge usurious interest rates on whatever they do issue. At least we’ll have the heads of those evil, arrogant CEO’s! That should satisfy the mobs!
— Jim Doyle, Honolulu
Way to go, Jim! And I might add, who cares about the 3.5 million people who will become unemployed if our auto industry fails? As Jim says, we’ve got the heads of those evil, arrogant CEO’s.
Frankly, my dears, I’m sick and tired of people pissing all over our auto industry. And what’s more, the unionized workers are not overpaid. See Missy’s post on this.