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View Diary: Michigan to Build Windmills--If You Let Them! (70 comments)

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  •  Go green and go GM but.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    condorcet

    ...a healthy GM is the only way it's going to happen!

    ????  Really?

    Obama/Biden 08 Strong unions for a strong America

    by realwischeese on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:16:40 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, chrome327

      What is good for GM, is good for the country, even if medicine is sometimes bitter.

      -Gabe

    •  You kill GM, you kill the manufacturers that... (6+ / 0-)

      ...will make the parts to go into the windmills and the solar panels and the green cars...

      Maybe in 10 years, when the green economy is strong, the supplier chain could withstand a GM bankruptcy.... 30 years ago, when there were many more buyers of manufacturing goods, U.S. manufacturing could have survived a GM bankruptcy...

      Not today...

      GM has to be propped up or there will be nothing made in America anymore... in time, we won't be so dependent on a car company... and maybe the car company won't be so dependent on cars (I see GM making all sorts of stuff in the future)... but, not yet... not now.

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:19:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  GM will not make windmills . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bincbom, realwischeese

        at least not on some converted assembly line that used to make Escalades.

        Some of GM's suppliers may make windmills, or parts for windmills, with the spare capacity they have from their old automotive parts business.  And the more windmill parts they make the less it matters what happens to GM.  But the windmills themselves will be made in plants suited to building windmills . . . and GM doesn't have any.

        Bankruptcy at GM has no impact on windmill production at all.

        •  retooling is much easier than new plant (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaleA, khloemi, LordMike, cfk, crystalboy, chrome327

          construction.

        •  They might... (7+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaleA, khloemi, cfk, JeffW, kyril, chrome327, firemage

          ...after all, there is $25 billion out there to retool a factory to make anything it wants...

          But, even if they don't a GM bankruptcy that kills all the tool and die machine shops out there will make it hard for a windmill manufacturer to do business...

          The skilled labor will scatter... the machining tools will be sold for scrap... and the capital needed will be too expensive to invest all over again...

          A GM bankruptcy would be disastrous on the potential green economy... the infrastructure would disappear almost overnight.

          Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

          by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:38:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  GM could make (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            khloemi, LordMike, firemage

            the innards of the windmill, the transmission that converts the spinning to electricity. Forget what they are called, but this is clearly something GM could do.

            •  Its not a windmill, its a wind turbine, ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW

              ... and no, the generator is the the part that GE would be making. But the suppliers that are at risk of collapsing if GM folds include tool and die shops that will be getting business from part of it, and electronic control shops that will be supplying to the electronic control assembly.

              If they still survive, that is, which means GM does not go bankrupt until after the recovery has started.

          •  the skilled labor, (0+ / 0-)

            if it "scatters", will scatter to the windmill manufacturers wherever they are.  It doesn't have to be GM.

            Unfortunately the market for windmills will be measured in the thousands, not the millions.

            The "tool and die machine shops" now making parts for GM will continue make parts for the surviving car manufacturers, be they Ford or Honda or Toyota, and for whatever "green technology" companies spring up around the vacated GM plants.

            The world didn't end when Delphi went bankrupt, and it won't end when GM does either.  The car industry has to re-size to fit the remaining market, and that means something has to go.  There is just too much capacity now . . .

            •  There are still people working for Delphi... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chrome327, firemage

              ...I just drove past there this weekend... plenty of cars in the plant parking lot...

              Delphi still lives and will continue to manufacture... if GM goes down in this economy, it goes down for good...

              Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

              by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:05:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  why does Delphi survive (0+ / 0-)

                in bankruptcy while GM would not?

                Large parts of GM will "go down for good" (Hummer, anyone?) . . . bankruptcy at least gives the worthwhile parts a chance at survival.

                •  GM buys stuff from Delphi (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chrome327, firemage

                  very rarely do consumers... only when they are making repairs, and even then, they don't buy directly.

                  No one will buy from a car company in bankruptcy.  CNN polling has shown that 80% of people would avoid a bankrupt automaker.

                  Chapter 11 is a sure way to go to chapter 7

                  Maybe... in better economic times... it could work, but not now...

                  Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

                  by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:27:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "No one will buy (0+ / 0-)

                    from a car company in bankruptcy".

                    People keep saying that, but it's not at all clear that it's true.  People don't buy a "GM", they buy a Saturn or a Chevrolet.  And when they buy a Saturn they don't care what happens to Hummer (or maybe they do, which is why they buy a Saturn).

                    GM has discontinued brands before (Oldsmobile), without negative impact on those that remained.  They could fold Buick, Hummer and Pontiac and Chevy buyers wouldn't know or care.

                    •  In the last year of the Olds... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chrome327, firemage

                      ...they had to practically give the cars away... people were afraid to buy them 'cos the nameplate was going away, even though they shared the same parts as every other GM product and the warranties would be valid...

                      Had I known this at the time, I would have picked up an Alero for cheap (that was a great car!)

                      Just think if no one bought Oldsmobiles 'cos the name was going away, imagine how people would feel buying a GM car having no idea if the company was going to even exist tomorrow...

                      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

                      by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:48:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  How can they survive with DIP finance? nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  Actually, that's a big chunk of the ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LordMike, JeffW

              ... jobs fall-out. We are, in case this is news, in the middle of a recession in the aftermath of an ongoing financial crisis ... car sales are on track for 10m/year, down from 16m/year, itself no break-out level.

              Those tool and die machine shops that go bankrupt as a result of GM shutting down, they won't be around to get that work.

              That is, without access to Debtor-in-Possession financing, GM will not just "restructure", while it continues to operate to generate cash flow, it will fold. And without access to Debtor-in-Possession financing, when suppliers go bankrupt, they will also shut down.

              That is, after all, why Ford wants GM to be bailed out ... Ford will be in financial difficulty if it has to shut down production while it sorts out new sources of supply.

              With the plants shut down, when the Wind Turbines begin to be built, those components will come from overseas suppliers.

        •  And the windmill factory won't be in business (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chrome327, firemage

          without GM buying their other products.  Very few companies survive any more on one product, but they can easily fail by losing one large customer.

          •  The windmill factories that are in business now (0+ / 0-)

            do not sell anything to GM.  None of the big players in wind power in Europe have any connection to car manufacturers (unless they sell them alternators, maybe, which do not come from the windmill plants).

          •  that's the painful part (0+ / 0-)

            the buggy whip manufacturers had to deal with.

            nature favours foresight.

            a lot of companies' growth built on a false premise will have to be broken up into parts small and hungry (and unentitled) enough to retool, and the benefits of the economies of scale will be supplanted by economies of detail instead.

            much less waste in the long run, and a lot more attention to reality.

            a lot of people in pain because of bad decisions by a few, that's tragic, and something we can all meditate on to our great benefit.

            the old model of industry will give way to a small-is-beautiful one, where nano and biomimicry will glom onto photovoltaics and other wondeful tech, and america will pull to a global leader again, but first all the old way of thinking has to die on the withering vine.

            it didn't have to be that way...

            :(

            why? just kos..... *just cause*

            by melo on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:23:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  First you say bankruptcy at GM will have a big .. (0+ / 0-)

          ... impact ... to quote:

          Some of GM's suppliers may make windmills, or parts for windmills, with the spare capacity they have from their old automotive parts business.

          So driving them into bankruptcy by driving GM into bankruptcy now, rather than after the economy starts to recover, means we will be importing those components instead.

          Then you say bankruptcy at GM has no impact on windmill production.

          Its the suppliers to GM that make up the majority of the direct job losses if GM goes bankrupt, not GM plants themselves.

      •  hmm, undecided then (0+ / 0-)

        If the only reason to prop up GM is because they buy something---anything!---from these manufacturers, and therefore keep them in business, then wouldn't it be more direct for the government to just buy up a bunch of stuff directly from the manufacturers, and cut out GM as the middleman?

        I guess it depends on whether GM, on its own merits, is worth saving as well. If propping up GM is 100% useless on its own merits, and the only reason to do it is to save their suppliers, then I'd support just giving the money directly to the suppliers, e.g. by buying up a bunch of stuff for infrastructure projects, or even as direct subsidies. If there's a chance GM can actually become a useful, sustainable company, on the other hand, it may be worth bailing them out. I don't have a good read on that issue, though.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:36:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bailing out one is easier than bailing out... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          khloemi, cfk, firemage

          35,000

          Think of the paperwork alone!

          But, the question is moot... GM is worth saving in and of itself.

          Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

          by LordMike on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:39:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            I think bailing out more little guys is better in general than bailing out big guys, though, even though the big companies are easier to bail out. Obviously some practical issues involved there.

            I am somewhat skeptical that the money will end up going to the right people---I think most of it will end up going to GM, not its suppliers, and more of it than we'd like to think will end up with GM shareholders, bondholders, and management. But I tentatively agree that there are no less-bad feasible options.

            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

            by Delirium on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:46:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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