“No Taxation Without Representation” The early cry of those pesky Boston revolutionaries…
Today (November 20/2008) Congress is telling auto makers: No Legislation Without a Plan!
Congress has sent the auto executives back home empty-handed…with one directive: YOU HAVE TWELVE DAYS TO SHOW ME YOUR PLANS!
The CEO’s of these three companies, GM, Chrysler and Ford didn’t find much sympathy at the Capitol. And the story about their fancy, expensive private jets did not help, either! GM’s Rick Wagoner says, well, he’s been swamped lately, so he hasn’t done much flying on the company jet. At this point in time, Mr. Wagoner, you don’t need a jet. You need a bailout plan. Ditch the jet and come up with a plan. Quickly!
I saw on T.V an auto worker, who like many others, was shouting to save her job. She said she had worked in the auto industry for 26 years; she just needed another four to retire. I’m like: So what. Just because you want to retire in style, why should taxpayers foot that bill? Many can’t even afford to retire! I saw her as a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the auto industry.
It’s not that I don’t feel sorry for this woman. I would probably feel the same way in her shoes. But many of these auto workers retired at fifty! Which leads me to think that the whole retirement culture in the U-S needs to change. Workers need to start taking responsibility for their own retirement.
The age of cradle to grave employer largess is almost over. That was the Mesozoic age. T-Rex is gone. (If the Googles out there want to do it, no problem.) This is the age of the 401K.
When we don’t plan wisely, we play the blame game. The United Auto Workers President says lawmakers need to take immediate action…because “inaction is simply not an option.” If you’re looking for dinosaurs…here’s another one.
Ron Gettelfiner says: “If one of the companies goes over the cliff, it could take one or more with it.” Translate that to mean: it would also take the UAW with it. Are we to believe he’s more concerned about “jobs” than the UAW’s currently shaky future, without a bailout? Many people don’t seem to mind the auto companies going down at all! It would give the three companies a chance to tear up those constricting UAW contracts, for one!
The UAW boss is also blaming states like Alabama, and their lawmakers, for offering billions in juicy tax breaks to foreign auto companies, (to compete against us) while opposing help for Detroit.
Maybe telling Toyota to go set shop up in India would have made more Americans buy more hummers or Escalades? So now Ford, GM and Chrysler are facing bankruptcy because Honda is making cars here? If we’re going to be buying foreign cars, anyway, are we not better off making them here…and salvaging some auto jobs?
The auto companies say a 25-billion-dollar bridge loan will let them stay afloat through to the end of the year. Now that’s what I call a REAL Bridge to Nowhere. The Alaskans insist that their bridge was going somewhere, and it was. (Sorry Ketchikan!) Nobody can see where this rescue bridge across The Great Lakes is headed. Not even Congress. Hence the need for a plan…
Like how GM plans to stop bleeding 2-billion-dollars a month?
Like how Ford, GM and Chrysler plan to make better/cheaper cars?
How they plan to reign in suffocating health care costs?
How they plan to streamline their assembly lines?
Show me your new green/fuel efficient technologies!
Show me how you plan to restructure!
And finally, when do they plan to call Sarah Palin to help put their jets on e-bay?
All is not lost. Lawmakers (including a bipartisan group from key auto manufacturing states) are still trying to cobble together an agreement of some sort.
Hopefully we’ll have some blueprints, after Thanksgiving.