My 2 Cents On The Auto Bailout

Posted by Kevin |


My friend Justin Chandler inquired on my thoughts about the American auto industry and their need for a bailout, since I not only live in Michigan, but also work in the Motor City for General Motors. So here they are...

We live in a capitalist market, which means they deserve to fail.

But so did the Financial institutions we already bailed out?

The unions have long since outlasted their value and can be attributed for a significant piece of the problem. But for congressmen to say they make too much money working on an assembly line, that is ridiculous - since they make way too much money sitting in a chair. And their criticism of the CEO's and their corporate flying habits could not be more hypocritical - while true, they do the exact same thing with tax payers dollars.

We cannot afford to lose the national auto makers - the impact would be widespread and affect far more than people realize; From dealers and their service and parts departments to advertising agencies - from mom & pop software companies to large scale consulting firms - from parts suppliers to credit lending banks. Thousands of small business depend on the auto industry and they too would go bankrupt if they had to settle 50 cents on the dollar for money owed them by the auto makers.

Plus they're not asking for a bailout, they're asking for a bridge loan - which is different. But I totally agree with the scrutiny and ridicule they are enduring to get the loans. This is a great opportunity for them to restructure and fix all that has gone wrong over the past few decades. I only wish they had put the financial institutions through the same thing.

But in the end, I think the loans will happen, I need the loans to happen, our country needs the loans to happen and I just pray people smarter than me are in charge of the process.

Here's a previous post about all this bailout stuff.


Ryan Billings said...

I actually agree. The asshole in me wants to watch them fail, solely based on their accrued negligence to adapt. The city planner in me has always hated GM for their role in the demise of city streetcar systems all across the country (they basically bought up several rail companies in many cities and made them fail in attempt to make the automobile the dominant urban transportation device).

The realist in me understands the consequences of their failure, as Kevin already stated. Also a good point is the fact they are getting a loan, not a handout.

It still bugs me that companies (Banks, GM, Ford, etc) can be SO large and influential that their collapse affects an entire country and world. I hate to say this but it seems like there needs to be more regulation across the board.

And, for Kevin's sake alone, I hope they stay afloat.

Ryan Billings said...


GM, and for that matter Chrysler and Ford, need to prune the brand tree. Its time to let the rebranded and dinosaur car/truck companies go. Companies like GMC, Buick, and Mercury. They only exist because of their history and name. Peace.

Ryan said...

I agree as well. I feel like they should be allowed to fail, but at the same time I recognized the thousands of jobs that will be lost. I really think we need to do something to prevent that.

There are a few things I would like to see though. Mainly very strict guidelines as to whet the money can be spent on. Ie no bonuses, raises and so on until this is all worked out. Also, I would like to see something that pushes the automakers toward alt.

Thats just me though.

Kevin Davis said...

Ryan B - the transit systems is so true and unfortunate. I think if they have one thing to apologize for it is that. As mush as I say I want regulations, I don't - the free market can maintain itself - but of course you have to let companies fail too.

Ryan J - I'm totally with you on the guidelines to control what it is spent on and I especially want some alternatives!

Ryan Billings said...

^Right, but apparently we can't let them fail. So...

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Kevin Davis said...

Good thoughts from Jim Wallis on the crisis - http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/?p=4708

Justin Chandler said...

Thanks Kev for posting. I thought it would be interesting to hear it coming from Michigan instead of from Springfield, MO. The numbers they are throwing around for loans, it almost makes you wonder how we can keep pulling this numbers from dark and otherwise unseen places. We are either going to reap the benefits of this, or all of us (and our children) will be facing two months and a crap load of money. Thanks again for the post man.