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gentleindiff
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
*laughs so she doesn't cry*
tacit
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know the feeling.
clawbug
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
It would be funny if it wasn't terribly true.
winterlady
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
While I don't much like it either, I'd rather give them a bridge loan than dump 3 million more unemployed people onto an already over-saturated market. Not to mention the business repercussions from their demise.

:(


tacit
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Well...yes and no. I'm of two minds about that.

Presumably, if the Big Three fail, people will still need cars, so in the long term, a lot of those workers will simply be picked up as the other carmakers (like Toyota and Honda, who already make a large number of cars over here) hire them to expand and fill the gap.

On the other hand, yeah, short term, a lot of folks would find life sucking. And not for any reason of their own; the problems with the Big Three, and the shitty cars they produce, aren't the fault of the rank and file workers at all. They're the fault of failures and mistakes by upper management, who will doubtless be well taken care of even if the companies go out of business.
(no subject) - winterlady - Dec. 9th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorklord07 - Dec. 9th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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dwer
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
well, it's bail them out -- to the tune of less than 10% of what the financial industry got, and no one asked the CEO of AIG how he got to DC -- or watch the economy free-fall.

We can't let that many jobs disappear. I want there to be something left of the country for my son.
dorklord07
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
This is a valid point, I just wanted to comment on the irony of a modernist, liberal interpretation of the constitution combined with an icon from the Constitution party, no?

note: If it's not a Constitution party icon, I'm going to look retarded. XD
(no subject) - dwer - Dec. 9th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
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masterhyde
Dec. 9th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
I wish there had been this much uproar when we were handing out $700 billion to the investment bankers on Wall Street.
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mr_z
Dec. 9th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
My father just retired from GM. He was a millwright formerly working in Buick City in Flint before Buick demolished it. Later transferred to Saginaw for awhile.

I too am of a mixed opinion. GM at least gets a bad rap on quality. Sure, they shipped a lot of absolute crap in the 70s and 80s, but that was 20-30 years ago folks. I got 240k miles out of my '97 Grand Prix, and I drove that SOB hard. Ask anyone who's ridden with me. (And yes, I too go with Pontiacs.) My maintenance costs weren't bad at all considering how hard I drove the vehicle and the fact I had, erm, upgraded a few components, like the supercharger. (Trust me--the sorts of upgrades I go for do not increase the reliability of my cars.)

The albatross around GM's neck (and probably Ford an Chrysler's also) seems to be all the promises it made to the unions for long term (e.g. retiree) benefits. These were based on a stable market share and an increasing market. A few things happened: We got to the other side of the baby boom, credible foreign competition showed up, and fuel economy suddenly mattered.

So, you get all the crap the big 3 shipped in the 80s as it tried (slowly, clumsily) to figure out small cars. Want a K car, anyone? They eventually sorted that out, but lost considerable ground in the meantime. And then gas got cheap again and the market decided it didn't want a small car. Detroit, thinking it was off the hook indefinitely, took its eye off the ball. (Big strategic mistake!)

And, you have both a declining market share and increasing numbers of retirees. Is it any wonder that GM's total labor cost is roughly 3 times what might be suggested by their employee's average hourly wage?

Now, part of the problem is that they apparently didn't do what any financial planner would tell you or I to do: Put away money now while you have it to cover your future retirement. Sure, they put some money in the pension fund (as required by ERISA, I believe), but they apparently didn't do the same to cover health care costs. I guess they figured continual growth would cover it. It was set up like a Ponzi scheme, not unlike Social Security. (To be fair--if one of them plays the game this way, they all need to to remain competitive in the short run. That's why we need laws like ERISA, IMHO, to take that capital off the competition table.)

There's one big difference, though: Social Security doesn't have to sell you on anything. It's funded by the FICA tax, and that can be tweaked as necessary. In contrast, GM needs you to buy its cars, which gets harder to do when the market doesn't grow like it used to and new competitors keep showing up.

I'd like to see this money treated as a loan, with us, the lenders, doing due diligence to ensure our money is put to good use, and that we get a return on investment. I don't think that's too much to ask. The numbers I heard last night on Marketplace suggest we're doing exactly that. So, lets see. If the credit markets were functioning properly, these guys could just go to the market for these loans. The government is acting as a lender of last resort in this case, primarily because nobody's really lending to anybody these days.
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(no subject) - pstscrpt - Dec. 9th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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roadknight
Dec. 9th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
I'm stealing this...
I didn't think you'd mind...
mydwit
Dec. 9th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
It's funny because it's true (and sad because it's true)
james_the_evil1
Dec. 9th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
While this's accurate to a point one thing people forget in all this is that ALL the foreign automakers are ROUTINELY subsidized by their governments and one of the things that allowed the Japanese automakers to get so far ahead of the US was not only government investment AND state health care that obviated much f the need for benefits but also government intervention in things like steel production that drove down materials cost.

If the US government had taken steps in addressing some of these issues over the last few decades this situation might not be occurring.
winterlady
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
I was wondering when this was going to come up.

As much as foreign cars have investments here, I wonder what will happen to the price of those cars if there is no competition here.

...just a thought.
(no subject) - james_the_evil1 - Dec. 9th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacit - Dec. 11th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - winterlady - Dec. 11th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
creativecstasy
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
ohgodwhy
tacit
Dec. 11th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Lobbyists!
xaotica
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)

reposting this, with credit of course. hope you don't mind. it's beautiful. in that sad sort of "i can't believe it's not better" way (it being society, that is)
knaw
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
Car-azy.
I wonder if we can't use this recession to get rid of or weaken the more monopolist multinationals like Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Tesco and Microsoft? The economic scales are so finely balanced that a number of people suddenly flocking to a competitor could spark a major market change.

One of the commenters Social Security in your entry, which is my line of work in the UK. We're so busy that we're being offered overtime every week, and every third call is a builder looking for work.
tacit
Dec. 11th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Re: Car-azy.
Hmm. I think not; monopolies tend to be in a good position to weather economic change, usually, simply because they pose a barrier to entry to folks who want to try new things.
gushi
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
And yet, I suspect it's going to be as effective as the last bailout was.
winterlady
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Just an aside, really - but this can be a really emotional/touchy subject for folks. I appreciate that this can be discussed rationally.

I hope folks realize we're sort of all in this together.
libbydabomb
Dec. 9th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
that is hysterical!!! rofl!!!!!
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