Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Beating Up on the Big Three

Hard times bring out the worst in everyone, and politicians and the public are venting their unhappiness on Detroit automakers with a vengeance.

In a new poll, six out of ten Americans oppose using taxpayer money to save General Motors, Chrysler and Ford after Congress' trashing of their chief executives for flying to Washington in separate corporate jets to ask for billions in bailouts.

This week they are arriving in hybrid cars with restructuring plans, but the lame-duck Congress is not inclined to relent even as the President-Elect expresses hope for "maintaining a viable auto industry" while stressing the need for "a more serious set of plans" for restructuring.

Even the Wall Street Journal is urging "tough love" for Detroit but, behind all the posturing, there is the reality that allowing the American auto industry to crash and burn would make a failing economy even worse than it already is.

As they debate the specifics of reform this week--more fuel efficiency, union concessions, fewer dealerships--members of Congress should stop taking cheap shots at the automakers' chief executives and start negotiating and taking responsibility for their terms of surrender to the economic crisis.

Unlike the financial houses that are being propped up with much less pressure to mend their ways, the auto industry actually makes something besides money.


(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Same subject, another perspective.

John said...

It's a little like Bremer disbanding the Iraqi Army. As they consider whether or not to let the Big 3 fall apart, the nation should ask, "then what?"