Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big Three Rescue Loans
Here's a note I wrote to our great leader (I assume it will have zero effect on its recipient, but ya never know):

Mr. President,

I would appreciate very much if you could act quickly to provide loans to the Big Three auto makers. While I would not disagree that these companies have focused on short term profits instead of long term solvency, I do disagree that their employees should bear the burden of their employers' bad decisions. UAW members work hard for their money and they have made numerous financial concessions to management to help insure the health of the industry. The insolvency of the Big Three would wreak havoc on our national economy and would leave millions unable to find living wage work for the foreseeable future.

I do not believe that an "orderly bankruptcy" is preferable to bridge loans, or even possible. Bankruptcy will mean that sales will decline more precipitously than they already have. Consumers will lose whatever little confidence they have left in the American auto industry, and the industry will never recover. Also, this is about more than the "Big Three." There are 3000 suppliers, employing at least 600,000, that will also face bankruptcy. This will not be orderly in any sense of the word.

Please act with the same due haste to provide loans to the auto industry as you did to bail out the banking industry.

Thank you.

Update: Great gawd almighty, Mr. Bush did the right thing. Here's my comments on the NY Times article, "
Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout":

"Automakers should not have to demonstrate viability by March 31, they should have to demonstrate that they can manufacture something our nation actually needs. Say windmills, photovoltaics, light rail cars, trolleys, buses, high efficiency appliances. Stuff that will help instead of hinder our national prosperity. Ford re-tooled post haste during WWII to build B-24 bombers, so don't say it can't be done (which is what car maker management always says).

I'm glad to hear this last shred of American manufacturing will get a leg up, but let's not squander this opportunity or destroy our unions' hard won collective bargaining rights in the process. Let's see some real progressive thinking instead."

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