Friday, November 14, 2008
Don't let MotorCity Stall.
Surprise, the Republicans are opposing bailing out the car companies. Unlike financial jobs and companies, they don't seem to worry about the ramifications and human costs of losing union jobs and manufacturing, especially when they reside in a state that just voted democrat in the presidential election. As Satan said about this Republican opposition: "That's my boys!" Sure, dating back to the days when there was little competition and the car companies were flush with cash, the unions won contracts loaded with high costs for health care, retirement and hourly wages that during the more recent times of intense competition, have helped to derail the car companies. Of course, it was also the manufacturers own lack of foresight in the areas of quality and hybrid technologies, that also cost them dearly in the competitive marketplace. True, also, the public continued to ask for, and buy, gas guzzling SUV's, which did little to encourage the manufacturers to make the changes to better fuel economy that manufacturers in other countries already had to contend with because of the high price of oil in their local markets. Now, of course, the public changed its tastes very quickly in the face of high gas prices, and the manufacturers have to play catch up. It is important to note, that the situation was not ignored, and the manufacturers did not remain stagnant. In recent years they were winning concessions from the unions, improving quality and updating their green technologies. Because of all of this, the car companies were in the midst of a promising turn around when this terrible economic slump derailed them. It is the combination of the sagging economy and tight credit that has halted car sales in their tracks, and all the manufacturers are suffering. These conditions were brought on as much by bad government policies and poor stewardship of the economy by the financial services sector that has now received its own bailout, as any missteps by the car companies. Don't let this temporary economic upheaval, exacerbated by factors outside the control of the automobile manufacturers, permanently impair manufacturing in America. We would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, both automakers and the companies that support them, erode the tax base of the middle of this country, reduce our exports to other countries, completely cede our personal transportation choices to foreign manufacturers and give up the ability to innovate and recapture global sales in entire sectors of the economy. There is more at stake here than 3 irrelevant companies and a few over compensated line workers, whatever some conservatives would have you believe. I know I am asking you to write a lot of letters to politicians lately, and, well, write another one!!