Monday, November 17, 2008
I have mixed feelings about the bailout in general, but the so called "big three" auto makers in the U.S.~ GM, Ford & Chrysler.
My gut level feeling is- they are privately owned corporations, if they can't run a successful business, then they would have to fold just like any other unsuccessful business.
But this is a complex issue. We only have three US major car manufacturers in our country, and perhaps it is in our best interest to help save them. I am not so much interested in saving them to support the corporate model, as in corporations over people, but the two are tied together. If a company goes out of business, they take with them the pensions and health insurance of all the worker bees, who may have given a lifetime of hard work to the corporation, with the promise and understanding, they would have a pension, and health care after retirement. It is for those people, and all the family wage jobs, and the concept that we should have American made cars in this country- besides Toyota & Honda. We as a country need to pull it together to have our own thriving vehicle manufacturing going on right here in the US.
But the waters get murky, and this is the part of the bailout that bothers me. GM has a lucrative "war profit" account, supplying the military with Humvees. They all are top heavy, the upper execs get paid ridiculous sums of money and get hefty bonus money and perks. In other words, they squander their profits.
Over the years, they seem to have adopted the philosophy that the main goal is to bow down to the almighty shareholder, pulling in a big profit is king, and cutting corners is the way to get there. US autos have become an inferior product, with low consumer ratings, and a shorter lifespan than foreign made cars. They really missed the boat on Hybrids, and energy efficient vehicles that are sippers rather than gas guzzlers.
Meanwhile American Express credit card company asked the government if they can declare themselves a "bank", in order to get a piece of the bailout pie. Somehow, I think credit card companies have devised every method possible in which to make profits. 24% interest rates, steep fines, and fees. Do we really need to give them a $3 billion dollar bailout? The more money that goes to these bailouts ,means the less money available to help deal with the foreclosure situation.
If the big three are to be bailed out, it has to come with a no more business as usual mandate.
Where do you stand on this issue?