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Next in Line: The Three Big Guys From Detroit

Business  (tags: government bailouts, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, government loans, automakers, economy, presidential candidates )

- 3685 days ago -
The CEOs of Ford, Chrysler & General Motors met Wednesday afternoon with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The topic on the table? Federal rescue of the ailing automakers in the form of $25 billion in loan guarantees from Uncle Sam. It seems they came away :).


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RC deWinter (418)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 3:37 am
I understand the practical rationale for saving American automakers all to well - aside from the product, imagine all those American people out of work.

BUT - why is it when we talk about health care for all the cry is "Socialism!", and when private industry begins to crumble, the government is right there with the checkbook?

On the political side, because the states that are most affected by the slumping American auto market are important ones in the upcoming election, both presidential candidates are racing to jump on this bandwagon with both feet. And Congress seems inclined to go along for the most part as well.

Hans L (958)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 4:54 am
Now the carmakers get the money for their mismanagement and there is no more money for research and development of GREEN ENERGY and CARS! This 25 Billion is moneyburning!
Give it to young small companies who create jobs do you realy think that GM Ford and Chrysler will save jobs with this money! They will produce where they can reach maximum profits! Shareholders matter the workers do not matter at all never have...not in the USA not in EUROPE! The only company where people realy matter is VOLKSWAGEN and this will be over as soon as PORSCHE takes over all the shares!

The money has to come from India, China, Japan, Russia or Europe but what will happen
will they keep on pumping money without end.....your next president will be a chinese !

I feel that this election will not be the same as allways!

Clever Pseudonym (176)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 5:09 am
They may as well piss those dollars away like they're worthless. They soon will be. Should we begin to worry when the CEOs come for their handouts and request payment in Euros?

Joycey B (750)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 5:39 am
Noted with disgust. Thanks Cate.

RC deWinter (418)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 6:32 am
What bothers me is that these fools in charge won't take the money and make cleaner's be the same old same old...

Michele DiGiorgi (320)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 6:35 am
Cate, these are the times when I would just like to wave a magic wand and say to get with the program, wake up! No more, haven't we had enough?

I am truly upset w/this. Very noted. As always great work Cate.
Namaste' to all,

Pamylle G (461)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 6:57 am
Please forgive the question: how many cars do we REALLY need to make ? Isn't part of the problem the assumption that more and more of a product must be made, and more and more sold ? Everyday I see SUVs and 4 passenger trucks drive by and NEARLY EVERY ONE of them has ONLY the driver inside. After purposely undermining public transportation across this country decades ago (creating pollution such as the famous L.A. smog), I have absolutely no sympathy for this industry. I do feel for the workers, and such sympathy is how we are manipulated into finally accepting corporate bail-outs, instead of re-training and phasing workers into more vital and beneficial activities.

Stephen Hannon (203)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 7:51 am
Noted, thanks Cate.
Free trade opened the auto market for more and more imports starting in the late 50's early 60's. I used to go down to the ship yard and watch the cargo ships unload Saabs. I was amazed because they were front wheel drive vehicles. Something I never saw before. I laughed when the peeled out leaving rubber, and I couldn't help notice it was the front wheels that made all the smoke from the burn out. But American cars were doing much better until Honda came along. Honda changed the whole landscape of imports to the US, and we've been paying for it ever since. The main reason imports were more popular was because they weren't in the repair shop as often as American of Canandian made.
But I still believe this bail out is still going to cost in uncertain times with an uncertain enonomy.
I agree with Cate though with regard to workers losing their jobs. Ford has already began the process of laying off managers and factory workers. I asked to soon if there was any end in sight, then I read Cate's article. I should have kept my trap shut eh?

Marion Y (322)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 10:18 am
Let the automakers sink. They failed our country and even moved offshore to continue manufacturing. They should have invested in alternative fuels and vehicles years ago.

Only a Roosevelt-Scale Counterrevolution Can Prevent Great Depression II

RC deWinter (418)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 11:49 am
That's what I have been pounding away at for a long time, Marion, and there is no FDR on the horizon. We have a rockstar-wannabe and a feeble old geezer given to us by the 2 major political the PARTY is OVER!

Dawn B (11)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 12:35 pm
WTF are they talking about??? MOST of their cars are NOT made here in the US... WHY ON EARTH would we give them a loan using our tax money?? This is horrible. Why are we not spending our money where it counts instead of bailing out a bunch of companies who have mismanaged and screwed up continuosly??? Don't get me wrong - I feel bad for the Employes of these companies (and I am one of them). But I'll be d'd if I will ever agree with bailing out these companies. Sorry - I had to vent.

Kathleen H (293)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 12:36 pm
As a wife of a man who's worked VERY VEYR hard for 40 years with Chrysler, I can tell you the personally about the rollercoaster ride we have taken in our lives, and continue to take! There's mismanagement on ANY corporate level - hey, look at the government and Bush for your fine examples of the American Dream. Look at the candidates "we" didn't even back in the primaries!

All I know is that my husband can't even afford to retire from Chrysler! 40 years & he's completely frustrated with any retirement package they are offering - and after 40 years! AND...with a union protecting his job as he turns 58! What the heck??? Yes, many of the car companies let the others countries come in and take over - but what they took over were SLUSH FUNDS that would have easily paid for a LOT of peoples' retirement plans. The Germans raped Chrysler and then sold out to a company that knows NOTHING about building a car - let alone a GREEN car!

But what you're missing is that these companies truly ARE the backbone of our country....if you think they're only bailing our Michigan & Ohio, you have NO CLUE where these companies reach and how many "smaller" and "newer" companies are involved in the productino and building of so much that has to do with a car. Yes, the auto companies CONTINUE to persevere! Our nation is allowed to spend BILLIONS of dollars on a VERy unpopular war....pour TONS of money into a SPACE program, and yet have nothing to give back to hard workers who are suffering complete ALL OVER our country. The govt. i going to find that unless they start giving back to the blue-middle class Americans, we are NOT going to have America!

You can preach new businesses (which for the most part fail in the first 10 years), you can preach no $'s for the environment (hey, if you're mad at the car companies....RIDE A BICYCLE OR GET ON A BUS, YOU COMPLAINERS) - have you truly ever sat at your local city hall meetings & ask where the LOCAL money is pouring into when it comes to developing mass transportation instead of new highways? You can preach about a very sad health care and education system - get our there and CUSS at your state and congressional representatives about it! But don't think these "hand-outs" are anything different than our cities, states and congress do when they don't tax the corporate world or listen to those blue-collar Americans.........and don't -whatever else you do, COMPLAINE when you're not going to VOTE.

Just one American's opinion.....

Kathleen H (293)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 12:39 pm
Please excuse the typos....the cheap keyboard I'm using was probably made in China! :))

Marion Y (322)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 12:47 pm
Cate...There are FDRs out there. They just have to override BushCo.

Kactus Kat...It's time to think outside the box. Your husband may not have a choice if Chrysler folds. He could get proactive and look for another career field if he still wants to work, like train for a green job while still employed. Or, take the retirement and have more time to decide what he wants to do. Can you move to a place with jobs?

Ten years ago I retired from a major corporation that put me through numerous downsizings with more work each time employees were eliminated. It took me 5 years to get my mind back. I now work from home and am very happy. Actually, both of us work from home. Much less income for me, but much less expenses. There are tradeoffs, but we should look at all options and consider how our health is being affected by not making a shift.

Kathleen H (293)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 1:16 pm
Trust me, Marion, we've been thinking "outside the box" for about 4 years now. Have you heard of the word "age discrimination"?? Have you heard the word - right to work state? Have you thought about up-rooting a family at almost 60 in order to go where? He's applied to a LOT of non-automakers companies. Besides, if he goes back into the car companies at all, I'd divorce him! :)) We're in a place with jobs...unfortunately, unless you're in construction (AZ), they have the same problems that Michigan and Ohio have........and let's not keep poundnig away at those 2 states. Been there - done that. He worked 36 years in Michigan....I was born in Ohio - still have family there, and raised in IN, yanno, next door to Obama? And a lot of the jobs the automakers still have aren't even IN those 3 states.

This isn't about our own personal issues, though...these are AMERICA'S issues, and certainly, I'm not saying other businesses aren't in the same exact position. I spoke up on behalf of the automakers because this is something that affects our lives personally, but I'd love to hear from the other millions of Americans who are going through MUCH worse than we are - because, you know what? They're out there!

Marion Y (322)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 1:47 pm
Kactus...I know it's difficult. Maybe we're more independent, but we moved from our families at the ages of 60 and 55 to a remote desert. We started roots new here because it was affordable, isolated and safer than the inner city. We've both taken many risks to get here and have sustained some losses along the way. Our methods may not work for everyone, but might give someone ideas. Neither of us is materialistic, so that helped. Because both of us came from poverty, we knew beforehand the sacrifices we would have to make. In the end, it was the best decision we ever made and wished we had done it sooner.

Yes, there are millions of Americans in a failing company or have already lost out. This Depression will be worse because manufacturing is primarily outsourced. People will have to think about practical skills they can offer to fill a need in this new situation. There's an out of work construction contractor near me. He found work cleaning and hauling trash out of foreclosed homes and is getting good business because of all the foreclosures. Ultimately, people will do what they have to do to eat.

Kathleen H (293)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 1:59 pm
Marion, I am so happy for you & your husband. I am probably the least materialist person that you'll ever want to meet. There are personal reasons that I have learned to be more less materialist, but I think I've actually been that way always. I'm one of 6 husband is one of 5. I'm glad you found your remote desert to go to....we found ours (not too remote, tho) here in the Valley of the Sun." Yes, you can find peace, health & happiness almost anywhere, I consider myself VERY fortunate that pretty much my extended family can be gotten to with an expensive plane ride. But as I've said before, this isn't JUST about me. I wouldn't even bring this subject up if it were JUST MY STORY - but it's completely all around me. In a radius of maybe 15 houses, there are 5 for sale! (including ours) - Ours is the only one not in foreclosure - and we're very much glad about that. We've led a life of making do with what we have, been satisfied that we had health, family & happiness to surround and nurture us. I wish for America, that everyone could live with all the personal things we have - and I don't mean cars, boats, big houses, fancy clothing....we're MIDDLE CLASS America. We're also a tough little family who realize that we'll work until we die - there will be NO retirement for the baby-boomers. There will be no Social Security, and there will probably be less quality of healthcare. Our govt. has overlooked the people who built this country, and now EVERYONE will be bleeding because of it. Don't blamd JUST the car's a way more deep and complex issue than what you're driving - or NOT driving.

Next, let's talk drugs and what's THAT doing to our country.....

Marion Y (322)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 2:52 pm
Thank you, Kactus. Like many, you're doing the best you can with what you have. Yes, there are many problems in America all hitting us at the same time. We have a major crisis in this country that started with housing, loss of jobs, higher gas, food and energy prices, and now the banks. The decline of America has been coming for a long time and now it is moving rapidly.

Keeping people in homes and jobs should be the priority. It would make sense to bail out the auto companies with stipulations like they must convert new vehicles to alternative, efficient ones. There should be no handouts without ensuring they won't continue as a losing business.

On the other hand, if the banks aren't bailed out, China and the other countries will call in their investments and the US will collapse quickly. So, the Feds are trying to stave off this collapse. But...economists say this fix is only patching the inevitable. I don't have answers either, but it looks like the pyramid scheme is finally falling.


David S (55)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 3:01 pm
When a poor man is about to loose his house or is unemployed and cannot repay debt, this government and society is quite willing to let such a person loose their home, even openly die on the streets if it comes to that. I have seen it before, and I imagine I will see it again.

If your wealthy enough, or a large and greedy enough capitalist, this government and society is quite willing to openly help you out of your debts, even if they are entirely of your own making. That Bush, a person who's entire business career was formulated on failed companies that were bailed by government connected friends, should choose a rescue of the wealth while ignoring the very real plight of the workers in this country is no surprise to me. That a Democratic congress would do much the same to in effect try to "buy" union votes rather than doing something to actually earn it also does not surprise me.

I think what we are seeing is not a "financial crisis" as such so much as an organized effort to unload the bad debts of capitalisms failures onto the American population at large, or what has been famously called "socializing debt", while the wealthy vacate the country with their gains like a robber sneaking off in the night, gains, of course, produced on the backs of everyone's labor.

I would not be against nationalizing automotive production, for the purpose of public investing in re-organzing around producing cars people actually need and want, and doing so for the purpose of rescuing the workers from greedy and incompetent private owners, for the purpose of turning the entire industry back to those very same workers as soon as possible.

RC deWinter (418)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 5:00 pm
Kat, age discrimination is alive and well...we know! Rick cannot find a job, he is just 50 and even though well-qualified in the tech field no one wants a 50 year old who is going to use their precious health-care benefits like most 22 or 28 or 35 year-olds won't. Why do you think I stay in my state job that I despise? What major company with decent benefits is going to hire a 57 year old woman, even with with a great resume and years of experience in several fields, including management, when they can get a much younger one, many more years away from retirement, who is perhaps less experienced but capable, for less money?

David Gould (155)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 5:23 pm
Speaking as one from a country in which the car industry folded in spite of loads of government handouts i would say hold onto your industrial base for as long as possible because most big corporations know they can get the same product made cheaper in Japan, Korea, Britain we watched as sucessive Governments continued to pump more aand more money into the industries and the Unions demanded bigger and bigger pay packets till the product was priced right out the market and no one wanted a British car was made in france, Liz's car was made in Sweden and before that I had eight Japanese cars...even Rolls Royce is now made in the far east.
If you can ride out the storm while continuing to badger for cleaner cars then do so...'cause once its gone its gone for good and won't never come back no how.

Pete Conrads (91)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 6:07 pm
This would all be hilarious if you weren't from this planet... lol!

Leonard Cohen's Everybody Knows, thanks Jenna;

Mike P (24)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 6:56 pm
Bob Lutz of GM was just on the Colbert Report last night talking about the Volt and how great it will be to have a plug-in hybrid. What a great idea!!!! Did they just figure that out or did they just find an EV1 underneath a Hummer they were hauling to the scrapyard?!?! It's also fun watch him squirm while trying to defend his 'there is no CO2 global warming' view.

Mike P (24)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 7:11 pm
So once again, will someone explain to me why we have a socialist style rescue of so many foolishly mismanaged companies, while Bush vetoes a plan to extend health benefits to a few more kids - because it might seem like socialized health care???

Marjorie G (29)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 7:25 pm
Our auto companies have seen this coming for at least 6 years,and rather than be even remotely responsible to their workers,stock holders or their buyers,. they have refused to fill the need of the market.Instead they shove the biggest gas guzzlers ever built down the US consumers throat,while they build hybrid and electric autos for the European market,and build them in Europe to boot.Now they want to rob us again! These companies take no responsibility for the mess they have made of their companies or the havoc they have created for their workers.The only way to force them to do what is right is to stop buying their gas eating machines and buy fuel efficient cars from other companies.Here locally the dealers are giving half blue book value on trade-ins when you buy a fuel efficient foreign car. The lots are filled with guzzlers that they can't sell at any price.The only winners here are the foreign car companies and the consumer who buys their cars.The purchase of a Prius actually gains in value after you take it off the lot,and will pay for the added cost in less than a year.

Kathleen H (293)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 8:15 pm
I'm still not sure a hybrid will be the ultimate answer to all the problems that come along with riding ANY KIND of automobile. Again, everyone shys away why no one is sitting in their city council meetings seriously talking about getting better mass transporation into the big gas-guzzling cities in this country. Yes, we might have been built on automobiles, but it is no longer - whether with gas, or hybrid sustaining us any longer.

Why is mass transportation shrugged off so completely by so many people? Yes, it'll cost a heck of a lot of $'s to put in some light rails, train systems, more massive bus routes, but we're already pouring our $'s into less needed things! Yes, the hybrids are smaller and more efficient, but wouldn't sharing a ride with some co-workers or friends be an even better solution?

. (0)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 8:23 pm
noted thank you

Marion Y (322)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 9:39 pm
MIT and others have been working on green cities, environments and energy. This is what one green, future city looks like:

It solves the problem of eco - energy - transportation - population - jobs

By searching for these companies, letting them know your skills, many people can get on lists for employment when the the time comes. This is the trend and where we're going in America, if Obama and McCain keep their word. Regardless, alternative energy and green jobs will be the best employment in the near future. Those who train and network now, will be in line immediately when these companies get rolling.

Regardless of someone's age, those who have the skills with the least demands will be employed first. A job is a job when none are available.

See what's available for alternative energy jobs. This is an example. I haven't explored the site.


Mary H (47)
Thursday September 18, 2008, 10:26 pm
Cn't think of anything to add -- Ty Cate

Friday September 19, 2008, 1:37 am

Kathleen H (293)
Friday September 19, 2008, 1:45 am
Marion - I certainly don't disagree with all the "dreams" you have for our future, but I don't see any of this happening in the near future, and again, you mention nothing abuot ALL THE PEOPLE unemployed right NOW! No, there's no quick-fix, but I don't want to have to wait for an MIT graduate to help pull Americans out of the gutters tomorrow. I am VERY enthusiastic about a GREENER tomorrow - if not for those running the country right now, then for their children and grandchildren and all our wonderful critters - but MIT grads, no matter how brilliant, aren't the Jetson's, nor will be their lifestyle for a couple decades yet.

It's great to know our children & grandchildren will have all these wonderful eco-friendly jobs - because without Social Security, and no retirement healthcare for the Baby Boomers who would like to retire, I'm hoping some of these MIT'ers are ready to take care of us, too!

Kathleen H (293)
Friday September 19, 2008, 1:47 am
OMIGOSH..........2030 ?? (Just checked out the site you posted on the MEGA CITY of the future......wonder when they're projecting THAT for Detroit!!

Marion Y (322)
Friday September 19, 2008, 1:49 pm
Kat...I'm like you and realize these ideas are down the road. Yet, if we fail to look down the road and plan for the future, one day we get there and look back and regret we didn't act when the time came.

There are those who will get ideas from this site. As a former instructor, I showed my students how to look at trends, see what interests them and pursue it now. As for putting food on the table today, that is an ongoing issue and is a priority for us all.

Do you have solutions for 'all' the unemployed? I don't and neither does anyone else. I'm not in the business to find jobs for the masses. I do try to help people on an individual basis and have done a good job so far. This was merely my way of showing you I care2. If each of us helps just one person, that is progress.

If my ideas or anyone else's ideas do nothing for you, you can choose to ignore it. Cheers!

Locan Sleeping-Squirrel (209)
Friday September 19, 2008, 7:26 pm
The goal of big business today is to effect as many people as possible and then uncle Sam steps in to foot the tab. I feel so bad for our youth they don't even know how fu%&ed they are. I guess this is what you would called selective capitalism?

Denice G (45)
Friday September 19, 2008, 8:31 pm
Thanks Cate. Nothing left to say.
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