Bailing Out GM and Chrysler, The Wrong Thing To Do


By: Ken Hughes

It seems to be the pattern with Obama and Congress to hitch the horses to the wrong end of the wagon. Large checks in the billions of dollars were sent to both G M and Chrysler without knowing what they would be used for. It seems there was no preplanning or preconditions discussed, the public was told if the check wasn’t in the mail that day the gates to the plants were closing. The urge to rush is always a good indication things aren’t right and patience should overrule hast. One has to wonder of all the automobile manufactures in this country why only G M and Chrysler are in this much trouble? Ford seemed to have seen this coming and planned accordingly. Many of the suppliers of parts to the auto industry followed Fords lead and began downsizing a full year before crunch time came around. The automobile debacle wasn’t something that showed up one morning uninvited it was years in the making. Obama and congress show up every morning uninvited or that’s what it seems like at times. They are only weeks in the making and they haven’t had time to discover what the facts were before jumping into the fray with both feet and their jaws flapping.

Where do we look to assign blame, G M and Chrysler blame the Unions, the Unions blame G M and Chrysler management, the public blames everyone and the public is probably closer to being right than anyone. The automobile industry is a nasty nest of nepotism. If your grandfather and father worked at Ford or G M you are automatically qualified for a job, if your brother in law is in management then you’re qualified for a supervisory position. Even if there isn’t a job one will be created for you. Every department manager, line supervisor and janitor has three relatives working in the same plant, union or nonunion it’s the same thing nepotism not corporate management rule the plants.

Now Walmart, Home Depot and Burger King Employees without equal benefits are expected to subsidize auto workers earning from $40 dollars to $75 dollars an hour with benefits. We’re told if we don’t come to G M and Chryslers rescue we’ll be wiping out an entire middle class. Those workers down the food chain expected to pay the bill for this bailout never made it to the middle class, they’re still climbing up the ladder hoping to some day reach middle class.

There’s to much blame to lay it on any one group, Lets start with the public including union auto workers who for years have been enamored with foreign cars, “Buy American” was a slogan not a fact. The State of Michigan shares much on the blame for its taxing policies and not having worked closely with many small parts manufactures. The Granholm administration was only interested in the bigger picture. The state of Michigan refused to give tax concessions as a matter of fact Granholm increased business taxes until they were shot down by state Republicans. The unions refused to discuss concessions and company management refused to give concessions. Had all of the parties sat down together and taken a serious look into the future of the auto industry maybe much of this wouldn’t have happened. They can’t use 20th century tactics and rhetoric to solve 21st century problems.

President Obama in an unprecedented move for any elected official stepped into the position of Headmaster of G M and forced Rick Wagoner former CEO of G M to resin. As long has Obama is holding some people accountable wouldn’t it be fare to ask the Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm to resin as well? And what about Ron Gettelfinger the President of the United Auto Workers Union [UAW] shouldn’t he also step down after all his union has been one of the biggest road blocks for years in redefining the work place making it more efficient. Or does Obama plan on laying all the blame on the G M corporate officers? Many knowledgeable people are becoming concerned a man who’s never held any position in the corporate world now feels qualified to dictate policy to some of the largest companies in America. To some his ego isn’t any different than what Hugo Chavez and look what he’s done to the Venezuelan economy. Obama doesn’t understand if he robs from Peter to pay Paul both Peter and Paul will soon be flat broke very soon.

Who can count the number of automobile companies in the past century that have filed for bankruptcy, gone broke or been swallowed up by the big three? The wheels haven’t come off, America is still motoring merrily down the road. Lee Iacocca used the same gloom and doom tactics on congress in the 70s for a bailout of Chrysler. Iacocca used his bailout as leverage to get unions to assist with concessions for a Chrysler’s recovery and it worked. There are no Iacocca’s left in the auto industry today and even fewer in congress.

Cars will continue to be made in America the names may change to Honda, Toyota, BMW and Ford but it’s an industry that isn’t going away. In all probability Ford will come out larger than GM ever was because they were wise enough not to let the government in their board room. Ford will be free to make cars the public will buy not those government bureaucrats designs. If the automobile industry can hang on until 2010 when the 111th congress is thrown overboard and Obama is locked in the ships brig [so to speak] and Corporate America gets back to making business decision not just America but the world will get back to normal.

Most of the former Communist Republics have warned Obama socialism is not a road he wants to travel. After the 1949 revolution victory The Peoples Republic of China secretly and slowly began to build a capitalist economy. They painstakingly worked out the problems other capitalist economies were facing. They capitalized on the consumer junk market as the Japanese and the Taiwanese had before them. In 1987 I was having coffee in the airport in Tokyo Japan talking with a Chinese mid-level government official who explained to me if China started at the bottom they could only go one way and that was up. If GM and Chrysler are allowed to fail and regroup they can only go up or out depending on how they plan and how they execute their plans. Either way the government has no business in the board rooms of these companies.

Barack Obama has violated if not the letter of laws of the constitution at the very least the spirit of the constitution and what America has stood for the past 200 [plus] years. There must be a way to wean the voters off this addiction of one government fits all. There has to be a way to educate voters not only is their government taking them to the cleaners their taking ten generation in the future to the cleaners as well. When was the last time we heard a congress person or a president suggest rather than raising taxes they cut sending and mean it? It’s not happening and it won’t until the mentality of congress changes then president will follow.

I beg you in 2010 vote for anyone you like for congress as long as it isn’t an incumbent. There are so many qualified young men and women willing to serve why should we the people settle for the grafters we’ve had for so long? Allow God to assist with your decision when voting.

e-mail ken-hughes@comcast.net

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