Thursday, November 20, 2008

Um, Are We Really Going to Bail Out the Auto Industry?

So, are we? Detroit designs and manufactures crazy, huge, reckless and wasteful SUVs for years and then gas prices go through the roof (70's anyone? Must we keep learning the same lesson over and over, and then forget and make the same mistake over and over?!), and then people stop buying. "Oh no!", they say. "Our industry needs money to continue to remain competitive!" Yeah, no kidding! Did you NOT see the writing on the wall? Can't corporations look beyond the next quarter? Is there no foresight and vision?

And isn't business failure all part of the whole free market thing any way? Those that can not compete will make room for those that can, and the consumer will win out in the end. Since when are we propping up these giant corporations left and right?

Here's a term to think about:

Corporate Welfare

On the other hand, how many jobs will be lost if we allow the car companies to go under?

If we bail them out, are we going to make sure they have reasonable standards of MPG to meet? Can't they make something that gets 45 or 50 miles to the gallon? I bet they could if they had to.

If we bail them out, are we going to make sure they have their manufacturing plants here in the States to employ thousands?

If we bail them out, are we going to make sure there is a coordinated industry-wide effort to develop cars that work with alternative fuels? GM already made a great electric car--couldn't that be brought back?

What do you think about all of this? Yes or no on the bail out?


ebehm said...

I'm thinking yes to the bailout, with strings attached as you mention. I understand that 1 in 10 jobs in the US is connected to the auto industry so the scale of the problem is huge. I wouldn't expect the auto makers to dig themselves out of their mess on their own by giving them a lot of money, but with some accountability perhaps they have a chance. Without the money and on the same path they're on, they won't last much longer and many many jobs will be impacted.

Laura said...

1 in 10 is an amazing number, isn't it?

There better be strings...

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