Yes, fallout! Now there’s a couple of current subjects that this could address…
First is snow! Yes, snow has fallen in places that snow normally doesn’t. First, it was New Orleans, now Southern California and Las Vegas is getting dumped on with the white stuff. Where is Algore’s Global Warming mantra?
Next is the apparent fallout of the automotive loans. First, a bridge loan from the House, then it died in the Senate. Then the President states that time is of the essense, and now after a week’s delay from that implied promise, more study is needed. In the meantime, plants are closing down, GM halts construction on the engine plant for the much vaunted Volt, and time is running out. Is anyone going to be able to come back from Christmas vacation?
While the automakers have themselves to blame for the current situation, our politicians deserve their fair share of the blame. While I’ve chronicled much of the blame in current articles, what is now important is the problem before us.
There is a guest opinion in The Oakland Press that follows that states my thoughts in a fairly straightforward manner.
GOP senators’ actions almost treasonous
What about subsidies given to foreign manufacturers to locate there? Doesn’t foreign support detrimental to the American auto industry have the flavor of treason?
Strong words? No stronger than would be the cry for “HELP” if suppliers, dealers and other companies that depend on American auto companies go down.
Decades ago, another General Motors president, “Engine Charley” Wilson said, what was good for GM was good for the U.S. However arrogant that might have been, the opposite is also true. Down with GM would go one of 10 U.S. manufacturing jobs, plus three more service jobs. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow testified before a Senate Committee that “Midwesterners make and grow things.”
Paraphrasing Spiro Agnew, there is an effete Eastern culture favoring the financial industry and paper pushers, i.e. “service.”
Ross Perot’s “great sucking sound” of American dollars leaving for foreign banks is now accompanied by the roar of the tornado that picks up Dorothy’s factory in Kansas and drops it in a Chinese wonderland.
Off-shoring guts Kansas and American productivity. More economic stimulus checks will not do it either. Most would go to Wal-Mart and then to China.
We all saw it coming. Whatever benefits the UAW wanted it got, and then management too. Pay whether working or no, the best health care in the world, generous retirement packages, all seemed too good to be true. It was. It all went into the price of a car, which foreign competitors soon found they could make better and sell for less. But Michigan did wake up and corrective measures were soon underway.
So what to do now? Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a bad idea. The entangled legal process alone would sound the death knell. Who would buy a car from a company in bankruptcy?
However, given that bankruptcy itself is a legislative process, a Congressional solution was underway until the Senate killed it. Debt was to be cut and other measures put in place for the long-term survival of U.S. auto companies. But the U.A.W. wouldn’t agree to “a date certain” to make wage cuts.
Long ago Japan and many European companies recognized that to retain their vital industries, they needed to make them “champions.” They gave them support similar to that we give to U.S. farmers. It’s high time we make champions of our auto industry.
Try again Senators. This time consider tariffs on imported foreign cars and tax incentives to “buy American.” It might indeed be as good for the U.S. as it is for General Motors.
I think that says it all…