Maybe these people can save Detroit’s Big 3…

We salute you, automotive task force

We salute you, automotive task force

Yes, we’re all sick of hearing about GM’s woes.

But sometimes something so ridiculous comes up that you just have to comment on it. Take this Detroit Free Press article, directed at President Obama’s automotive task force, as an example.

The article attempts to sway the task force by telling the stories of some people affected by the automotive decline.

I just wonder why we’re supposed to feel more sorry for auto workers than anyone else who suffers a job loss or other financial hardship. Take this, for example:

Shirley and Wally Triffle expect their monthly health insurance bill to jump from $78 to about $700 come April 1, when autoparts maker Delphi Corp. cuts off 15,000 salaried retirees from health insurance.

The Triffles go on to say this means they won’t be able to take their grandkids on trips anymore. Sad, huh? Wow, maybe the government SHOULD bail them out. Or maybe Grandpa Wally should just invite the munchkins over to watch Pirates of the Caribbean instead of paying for them to cruise on it.

Then there’s this little gem:

In 34 years of selling cars, Vince Glod has seen good markets and bad… But he has the solution: Credit. The Obama administration needs to push lenders to ease up, Glod said. “A lot of people still want to buy cars but their marginal credit could prevent them from doing that.”

Right. Have you watched the news lately, Vince? Wasn’t there something a while back about how easy, cheap credit brought down the lending industry and then the whole dang economy with it? Hmm… sounds familiar. Wanting to buy a car and being able to buy a car are two very different things, and a powerful reason our economy fell off a cliff.

As I was reading the comments at the end of the article I was refreshed by a little common sense from an unlikely source who went by the name of Williams782:

As much as it pains me to say it, as a GM employee, I would tell the government to let General Motors fail. Just as a parent might use tough love with a child, the government must use it with GM. In order for GM to survive, they need the type of protection from lawsuits bankruptcy protection provides so that they can fully restructure. Because I want my job in the future, I along with all other GM employees must feel the pain now so that we can all prosper together in the future.

Well said, brother.

Do you think stories like these will influence Obama’s automotive task force to give more money to GM and Chrysler?

-tgriffith

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5 Comments

  1. The Big3 woes are indicative of an even greater problem in America. We have become a nation of consumers. We are overrun with ads, not just on TV but on our buses, our schools, our movie theaters, you name it. Nothing is sacred, nothing is spared from the relentless drive to make us spend our money on things we don’t need. It has gone on for so long that we now believe, with all our heart and soul, that we need to buy new cars to keep the economy strong.

    WRONG.

    I’m sure that barrelmakers and blacksmiths must have felt the chill of shifting economic winds when their jobs became obsolete. Perhaps they lobbied their elected officials for a bailout as well. But I tend to think they learned new trades, or enhanced their products to meet the new demands. The better ones did well and retired. The lesser ones found jobs elsewhere. That’s how it works. I have sympathy for the autoworker’s plight – to a point. But they have benefited from the wasteful consumer mentality of this country, and it has to change.

    Here’s a thought. If we stop buying new cars, of ANY kind, for 10 years, what will happen? Well, our mechanics, (the local guys who live in our own communities) will be very busy. New shops will open up. News parts stores will open up, and parts suppliers will have to hire people, and make more parts. The cost of used vehicles will stabilize as a larger market is created for them, and new vehicle costs will drop dramatically.
    The raw cost of steel, rubber, paint, copper, aluminum, and many precious metals will drop, freeing them up for other manufacturers.

    We all know that a well-maintained car costs less over ten years that buying new ones all the time. All it requires is a change in attitude. Stop being a consumer, start being a conserver. Let the Big3 go wherever it takes them. We will survive, quite well thank you, without them.

  2. The Big 3 have dragged the economy down with them. They have had wasteful spending, unnecessary travel expenses, overly high retirement benefits and so many useless expenditure like moving employees to different states every two years and then paying for all their expenditure! They have had people making 95% of their salary with benefits when they got fired, and did not have to do a thing other than work in a soup kitchen for 2 hours a day. If we should save the Big 3 from a structured bankruptcy, then let us all get jobs like what the Big 3 offered the UAE employees! I would like to sit on my but and make money that I do not deserve.

    We are in a free market. Why are we financing a private company like Chrysler, when the parent company will not invest any money and tells Chrysler to run and beg for tax payers’ money? If we are going to bail them out as good Americans, what about Circuit city, and all the other American companies who have filed bankruptcy and gone out of business.

    I am sick of hearing the governor state that no one will buy cars from a bankrupt company. Who says anyone is buying cars now. I will not buy a car from them in this state until they are stable and secure.

    AIG was a mistake and everyone admits to it. Lets no keep making mistakes with the GM and Chrysler, again and again. They are not happy with the 18 billion they got recently, they need more and keep asking for more. Whey should we fund for UAE retirees when they get Social security, pension and health benefits? Normal Americans only get social security and they rely on Medicare for health benefits. What makes these employees SPECIAL that they need to get more than the normal American?

    If the government is going to bail out the car companies, let them bail me out and I have a long list of people that would fill up thousands of pages that need bailing out. Most normal people do not need trips, believe me, the normal person is thinking of how to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head!

  3. Wow, that last quote pretty much sums it up. Why is it that I hear quotes like this and other common sense statement all over the place, and yet it goes unheard? Why are we allowing kind of BS to happen?

  4. I just have to say that we need to take a long, hard look at what we want then the decision will come easily. If we are not in the business of government handouts then what about AIG and the financial industry? Once we opened that door the rest of these difficult decisions came to the fore. If you have the financial ability to allow companies to survive then how do you wield that power? Everyone will tell you that you need a financial sector and that is why we have done what we have on Wall Street. Everyone in the auto industry will tell you that the government should bail out the big 3? Who can argue not to now that we have given monies to companies with the track record that they have? Nobody said that the big three are blameless in all of this but the funds are going back to the American people in a much more direct route than our financial bail out plan. We can all sit here and criticize the american automobile (and beleive me I am no big fan) industry but the bottom line comes down to fairness and vision. To be fair we need to give the money where it’s needed and we need some vision for the future. The automobile is such an integral part of American life and to have no American auto makers seems unthinkable to me, and I’m not American! We all have our principles and we also have compassion, now we just need to decide which is more important…..

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