I’ve written in this blog that I don’t believe the U.S. auto industry should be bailed out by the federal government. I’m a believer that people and companies need to suffer or be rewarded the appropriate consequences of their actions.
I can see the point, though, that a failed auto industry would wreak havoc on other businesses and cost the country thousands of jobs. That’s certainly not a good outcome, and it’s why the government is considering a bailout.
President-elect Obama addressed the issue briefly in his first news conference, saying, “The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted.”
That’s an eloquent way of saying he wants to fund a bailout. Obama appears in strong support of a proposed $50 billion bailout package, with $25 billion in direct loans and another $25 billion to come later, intended to help fund a United Auto Workers retiree health care trust.
I’m absolutely thrilled that Obama won the election and am proud to live in an America with him at the helm. I’m also a huge supporter of the auto industry and am a true car-nut. Yet I can’t bring myself to support the bail out of companies that have made poor choices.
Under Obama, the U.S. automakers will likely receive the help they need and avoid bankruptcy. If, that is, they can hold on until President Bush hands over the presidential reins.
My opinion, though, is that Ford, GM, and Chrysler would be better off – and we’d see better vehicles and stronger companies in the future – if they were forced to reorganize themselves under bankruptcy.
Do you agree?