Mob Rule Wins?

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.

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  1. Minds Erased’s avatar

    Bailout or loan, however it’s dressed up, it’s only a temporary fix. It’s a methadone fix for a strung out junkie. Fine, it’s a loan, but you watch – in another decade or sooner – or perhaps sooner – the auto industry fat cats will drag their sorry asses up to the Hill once again begging for more cash. If the auto industry is failing, let’s call a spade a spade and get these poor working stiffs into some other line of work.

    Hmmm. Too many people who need cars, don’t have enough money to get those cars, which means they can’t work, which means they can’t get a car…. round and round. It almost sounds like there are just too many of us HUMANS walking around in the first place! (Oh… I feel a new post coming on!!)

  2. debi_in_hawaii’s avatar

    I agree. I was JUST telling a friend this very same thing on myspace when I saw one of his relatives comment “let the big 3 fold and the government should instead bail out everyone who got in trouble with money instead”. I was like “WHAAAAAT?! So it’s all about ME ME ME, eh?! People who buy stupid crap with their credit cards that they don’t really need, and get in the habit of continuing to use the credit cards. (the loser ex was guilty of this…expensive music equipment-I don’t know why…he doesn’t use the stuff-his ex-girlfriend (before me) had him buy her designer handbags all on credit cards he couldn’t pay off and he filed for bankruptcy instead. Has he learned or tried to re-establish himself? No. He chooses not to work and pay taxes.)
    I proudly support our workers by buying their products to help keep their jobs!
    Has my friend’s relative ever stopped to think that if the 3 US autoworkers were allowed to fold, as she so shallowly wishes, that would do irreparable damage to the economy because employees in EVERY factory making cars, parts, delivery of the cars and parts, managers, salespeople, technicians, body technicians, finance staff, lot attendants, DMV clerks, in EVERY dealership in EVERY state would have to file for unemployment, and/or food assistance? Of course not!
    I told my myspace friend ‘remember after 9/11 how business was bad? That was only temporary. If this were allowed to happen, business would be bad permanently. His job and my job would be gone. I told him that
    I have a friend who worked YEARS for a dealership when they closed a few months ago and he STILL hasn’t found another job!

    And yes, very definetely, it is the UNBALANCED trade that is partly at fault for this. They dump massive amounts of their cars here, but we aren’t allowed to do the same? What is wrong with this picture?

  3. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks for your comments, Minds and Debi.

    Yes, Minds, it could be true that the plan would fail. Nothing is certain in life, is it? Then again if it saved some people’s jobs for a while, giving them a chance to look elsewhere for work….

    Yes, Debi, there would be wide repercussions if the plan ends up in bankruptcy court. There’s a lot wrong with this picture, as you say, like, we can only sell, like, 1000 cars in Japan whilst they can sell 300,000 cars here. Taint fair!

    Well, the Richard Shelby’s and the Mitch McConnell’s of the Senate will probably see to it that any Democrat-WhiteHouse plan is torpedoed by preventing at least ten Repub senators from switching over. It’s a lost cause. Prepare for the mother of all depressions!
    :mrgreen: 😈

  4. Neil’s avatar

    There’s no doubt that more oversight should be in place regarding the financial companies who’re receiving government assistance. I don’t quite understand why that isn’t happening. Am a bit confused by the current adminstration’s actions there. I’ve read about how the bailout was supposed to do this, but then it was changed to that, the money should have been spent on this, but now it will be spent on that, seems quite messy to me.

  5. Mardé’s avatar

    Are you confusing the $700 billion bailout of the financial companies with the $15 billion temporary bailout of the auto companies? The latter is now dead unless Bush allows a small piece of the former to be used for the latter. But yes, after a meeting the other day the administration was requested by Congress to track more closely how the big banks are spending the first $350 billion that was provided to them.

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