December 9, 2008

Conundrum

I spent the day at a big three automotive plant yesterday. The talk of a bailout was a hot topic of conversation from the management to the engineers to the UAW guys on the line. Most of them felt just as we do, pissed off it is necessary. Further, they do not understand why there is so much anger when all they are asking is for loans. The Government gave, and continues to give money to banks and insurance giants, with no strings attached. No banking Czar has been appointed, no one is telling them to manage their business in a certain way. The large Wall Street firms have reported they will be paying bonuses to mid and high level executives this year. The Big Three are asking for loans and they will only get them if we allow the government to tell them how to run their business.

Should we be bailing out the big three? I do not know. Bankruptcy will kill little vendors like my company if the automakers only pay cents on the dollar for the widgets we provide. Do they need to change the way they do business? Sure, but we need to face reality. One, Americans do not like to drive small cars, no matter what the press tells you. Statistics show that Truck, SUV and van sales are UP since the price of gas has fallen. Environweenies can suck it, that is the way it is. Two, does anyone really believe a government official is the person to tell the automakers how to run a business? The people who brings the BMV, the Social Security Admin, the IRS? The same Congresspeople who have created the foreclosure/lending mess that poked the holes in hull of this foundering ship of economics? The same Government that brings us $20 hammers and $50 toilet seats? The same Congresspeople who approved the Bridge to Nowhere? The same geniuses who think it is good business to pay farmers not to plant and refuse to drill for our own oil?

At this point we have to look at it as a loan, it worked pretty well for Chrysler thirty years ago, why not try it again. What is a few billion among friends?

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