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It continues to upset me that GM, Ford, and Chrysler can produce inferior vehicles and expect the government to bail them out. Their cars are worse in every way: reliability, fuel economy, style, safety, and engineering. Like Michael Moore said recently, directed at the management of the Big 3: "Go to a Toyota showroom and just drive one around the block. Just one." He’s right, of course. If executives in Detroit took an even cursory glance at what’s going on around the world, they would realize that they are getting their tailpipes bent over by foreigners not because of the credit crunch, but because other countries around the world are making better cars.

I’m of mixed opinion on how to proceed. On the one hand, I know that if the government pays up $25 billion to the Big 3, it will be like pissing in the wind, throwing good money after bad, as I so often witness government doing at all levels. The guys in charge are not going to stop making junk cars. Their sales are not going to improve against the Hondas, Volkswagens, Toyotas, and Tatas of the world in the future. American manufacturers have gotten lazy and depended on the government protecting them through tariffs and subsidies and bailouts in the past. Why not expect more handouts? Wouldn’t another one just come along down the assembly line from Uncle Sam anyway? That’s what I’d do if I were one of them, and then I’d ride my corporate jet back to Detroit, too: because I’d be living in an artificial bubble of reality with my $25 million paycheck. On the other hand, I am concerned about the potential bankruptcies because of the ripple effects it will have on the economy.

If plants shut down and 30,000 people at a blow are laid off, we will survive. We’re watching the investment banks do that right now. However, what concerns me is that each of those jobs represents multiples of that number of livelihoods in terms of support services: the suppliers who provide the tires and brakes and engines and headlights; the bars and restaurants where auto workers go after work for a beer and a burger; the shopping malls and movie theaters; and the dealerships and auto repair garages who need a steady stream of new car sales to keep their shops running. This so-called ripple effect will be felt from Taiwan to Texas. Unless.

Unless the core principles of international trade are to be believed: separation of specialties between countries is a good thing. Let Japan and Korea and Germany make cars. We’ll buy them, and sell back Britney Spears songs and Google software- focused on things we are good at doing, like pop music and hi-tech entrepreneurship. And everyone will buy champagne from France to celebrate in the meantime. International trade tells us this is the optimum use of resources for everyone globally in the long run. Mr. Obama and Congress: let the Big 3 fall on their bankrupt asses unless they can innovate themselves out of it like 99% of businesses in America and around the world are expected to do. Just because they’re gigantic should not make us throw out the economics textbooks. Let the assets and employees get re-purposed toward making things we really need, like light rail systems, monorails, bridge reconstruction, hybrid car batteries, etc. I’m all for spending that money, Washington.

Originally posted to Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:25 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't have any big problem with letting (12+ / 0-)

    the big 3 fail:  they can restructure and make decent cars (fewer of them) and maybe Americans will buy them.

    But the rethugs are trying to break one of the last American unions:  I DON'T like that.

    •  I agree with you and the diarist (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, kalmoth, phrogge prince

      I'd like the corrupt and/or incompetent industries fall instead of for them to be artificially sustained at taxpayer expense (again). I'd be all for "bailing out" the disenfranchised workforce.. perhaps use the unions as anchors for furthering their education in like industries, or similar labor-friendly protections. I've heard very very little concern from the MSM or WADC about Us Little People on the bottom.. they are concerned only about the frameworks of these industries headed by corrupt and monstrous people with whom I'm ashamed to be a member of the same species.

      •  So we throw hundreds of billions at banks but not (9+ / 0-)

        a fraction of that to car companies?  In what way are the banks which cased this crisis (not the car companies)not providing an "inferior product."  Are we not "artificailly sustaining" the banks?  In what way has the management of the banks been superior to that of the car companies?  What is the criteria for determining this industry must be saved and not that one?  

      •  I hope that if you're in danger.... (5+ / 0-)

        of losing your job, Kossacks aren't as unsympathetic to your plight.

        This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

        by djtyg on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:59:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, wow.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kcc, djtyg, Clem Yeobright

          i was a little stunned by:

          If plants shut down and 30,000 people at a blow are laid off, we will survive. We’re watching the investment banks do that right now.

          granted, the diarist does go on to voice concern for the other jobs that will be hurt by those 30,000 lay offs.  but, geez, i don't know how someone can so casually blow off 30,000 people that way.  and "we will survive"?  huh.  i suppose that's easy for someone who isn't one of the 30,000 losing their job.  

          (OT - woo hoo!  my first day as a Trusted User!  i feel like a real member of dkos now!)

          [more than] 2,000 years after 1 man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change...

          by betty brown on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:21:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not down with this (7+ / 0-)

        I'm increasingly angry that we're being told it's imperative that we prop up an "industry" that creates nothing and whose "assets" are smoke and mirrors but we are being advised we should let an industry that creates concrete products "die" as we have let most of our manufacturing — i.e. REAL wealth — die over the past decade and a half. Until we get back to producing tangible wealth instead of paper wealth, we're going to be on shaky ground. i would much rather save the jobs of someone who manufactures something than the jobs of people who create paper wealth. By the way, this state for one wouldn't survive. We've been in a near-depression here since 1991 — we never recovered from the recession of the early 90s — and we are heavily auto-manufacturing dependent.

        I'm also disturbed at the fact that the only "corruption" that seems to be a disqualifer for existence is that of unions. But when corporations are corrupt, no one suggests that corporations are a negative influence and should cease to exist.

        I don't like the way this issue has been framed by anyone.

        •  You are exactly correct... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, CandyKat

          Very well put...and isn't it odd how silent the WTO has been lately..?? do you think the WTO has something to say for itself now..??

        •  Exactly! Profit and wealth... (0+ / 0-)

          REAL wealth

          ...are two different critters.  The finance industry produced huge profits for the mega-investors but absolutely no wealth - in fact they created negative wealth.  
          There are multi-billion dollars of asset wealth in the auto industry.  If the industry fails the Chinese or some other country will buy up that wealth for pennies on the dollar.  I fail to see how that benefits America.

          Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it." -- Philip K. Dick ....... {-8.25 / -5.64}

          by carver on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:55:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not impressed with the UAW.... (5+ / 0-)

      I was a member of the UAW. What a waste. i can't believe I could not pick up a wrench to fix a machine because it was not my job. Whatever.......

      Detroit will recover leaner and meaner than ever; with ingenuity instead of bad executives and incomprehensible union bureaucracy.

      Loan auto companies money to have them build vehicles we need. If they can't then refuse the money. But there is too much infrastructure and lives in the balance to do anything else.

      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

      by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:41:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you training in how to 'fix the machine'? (4+ / 0-)

        Did you ever think that those rules are safety related? You think you tighten a bolt and a man killing machine is ready to go, but what you needed was a torque wrench torqued to a specification you know nothing about.

        •  Safety? (6+ / 0-)

          I am not talking about safety. I am talking about common sense. I tell ya, Detroit did not become the center of American industry with over-burdensome rules. The UAW had a place, but when the bureaucrats running the union are divorced from the rank and file and the concept of production, it is a no win situation.

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:50:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, It Became the Center of the Auto Industry.. (14+ / 0-)

            ...because people were there who knew how to work on boat motors and grinding metal.  And because those people were exploited, they had 12 minute lunches, they lost fingers and hands and arms and their lives in machines that anyone would toss a wrench in to because the companies knew they could get away with it, and because people needed jobs and didn't have a voice to speak for them in the workplace.

            Then, in the 1930's, the workers--enabled by the FDR-passed National Labor Relations Act--organized themselves in to a union, the United Auto Workers.  And they were able to make sure they got paid a fair wage.  They were the first manufacturing workers in America to get their employer to provide them with health insurance.  They made their employer make their worksites safer, and they stopped losing fingers, and hands, and arms, and their lives.  They made enough money to become middle class, and the auto companies prospered.  

            Then the auto companies decided to start building factories overseas where they could pay Mexicans and Brillians peanuts, and where if the Mexicans and Brazilians lost their fingers, or their hand, or their arm or even their life, there was no union to look out for them.  At the same time, Japanese companies came to the US, but mostly to the South, where there weren't really unions, and they paid their employees OK, but they had a huge advantage over the US auto companies because they had all new employees, and didn't have to pay that pesky health insurance to a bunch of retirees (including a ton who were white collar and never in the UAW).  And the management designed crappy cars that nobody wanted.

            Eventually, the management finally figured out they needed to get their act together.  They designed cars that UAW workers built that were generally as highly rated for quality as the Japanese and German cars.  They finally, FINALLY started to produce economical, gas-saving cars.  But then the Bush depression hit, all the auto companies world-wide lost their shirts, but becuase the US companies were still paying all that health insurance for retirees, they were the ones in the most acute state.

            Oh, and people who don't know a damn thing about the auto industry, and don't know a damn thing about how it will probably result in about 2 million job losses nationwide if the Big Three go down, and who don't know that if GM goes down it will probably go Chapter 7 (liquidate all assets) and that in turn will bankrupt a ton of parts producers, who will then shutter their plants and probably take down Ford, Chrysler and the US facilities of the foreign companies, people who don't know any of this stuff, and don't seem interested in learning, those nitwits say "let Detroit fail."

            Crazy times we live in, when so many people can be so stupidly wrong about such a basic fact of the US economy.  

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:08:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh...well said...here is the UAW blog that the (3+ / 0-)

              the UAW local 609 man had me go to yesterday..I spoke with the UAW yesterday about buying the big three..and saving the auto industry as the market cap is so low..just a thought...the UAW 609 man loved the idea..and I think it is doable on a broad no risk basis..just a couple of shares per citizen and we have an industry to call our own..

              http://www.farleftfield.blogspot.com/

              •  Thing is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RubyGal

                The UAW would probably have to put up its strike fund.  If it were a successful buyout, then maybe the point is moot, but that's most of the UAW's liquid assets.  That's a lot of money to risk.

                Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:00:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am suggesting a massive American peoples' (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Linnaeus, Odysseus

                  supporting the UAW to buyout the auto companies...and let the Union have a major voice at the board table...you know..executive compensation..I sort of see this happening all over the country,..in the Southern states as well...bring back the mills and textile jobs..and everything we used to make here from Schwinn bicycles to Levi jeans...I want my country back the way it was before Reagan came along...

      •  service unions are the way of the future (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        american pastoral, Roger Roger

        Yeah, a lot of the old-school union rules are ridiculous. Organizing to get fair compensation is one thing. Organizing to prevent your company from increasing productivity is another. I see much more forward-looking policies from the SEIU and related unions.

        car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

        by HarlanNY on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:51:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Unions couldn't trust management. (0+ / 0-)
          Some of those rules are specific innoculations to abuses which were tried in the past.  A mechanic sweeps the floor, and management claims he's now a janitor, at lower pay.

          You get some amazing distortions when you're truly working with people you can't trust.

          Organizationally, these kind of calluses never go away.  Nobody ever dissolves the rule when it's not immediately needed anymore.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:42:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah I hate them unions too (12+ / 0-)

        I hate the weekend.

        I hate having the holidays off.

        I hate health benefits.

        I hate a living wage.

        I hate that I don't have to live in fear of losing my job because I support the "wrong" candidate.

        I hate safe working conditions.

        I hate all those men and women who were beaten, inprisoned, blackballed and killed so that we could enjoy a higher standard of living.

        To hell with unions. Worthless.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:52:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I never said unions did not matter... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tnproud2b, Roger Roger

          Shit i was a member of the IWW for quite some time. And the UAW with its top down approach sure ain't close to the IWW, nor is the AFL-CIO. Don't confuse trashing the UAW with being anti-union.

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:01:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My apologies if I misinterpreted your remark (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            american pastoral

            I have no illusions about the of some union. After all their members are people who come with all the baggage that entails.

            I don't want the UAW or any other union to go down. I see this whole scenario becoming another part of the shock therapy that will allow the plutocracy to gain more power and wealth. Unions have made concession after concession. It time for the fat cats to make seriousd concessions too.

            Once the UAW folds, it will only be a matter of time before other unions go down, and more people become part of the working poor.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:30:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sometimes things have to fall apart.... (0+ / 0-)

              in order to be recreated in a better light. i don't now if that is true for unions, but something is wrong when non-union Toyota workers in the US get a better deal on wages and compensation than UAW workers. I don't have the source to back that up, but I remember that quote. i will work on finding it.

              "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

              by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:33:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You might be referring to the latest contract (2+ / 0-)

                UAW-represented workers and workers for the Japanese companies in North America make, for the most part, comparable wages and benefits.  Much of this is due to the fact that the Japanese companies peg their compensation to UAW contracts; effectively, those workers benefit indirectly from UAW contracts.

                The latest round saw a fair number of concessions granted to the Big 3 in the interest of trying to help them out (and, in turn, help those employed by the Big 3).

                Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:46:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  we'd be better off (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djtyg, RubyGal

        without corpoate bueaicracy and infrastructure. when corporations cease to have any power, then maybe we can talk about letting unions fade away. How come Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom et al didn't elicit the same howls that corporations should legally be eliminated?

    •  Three million people in various industries (4+ / 0-)

      related to the auto industry will be out of work and on unemployment overnight..we can't handle this situation..it is better to have the auto companies remain..but an idea that is being talked about on Air America and other places is to buy the stock of the auto companies which has a much smaller cap value than the bailout..maybe 1.5 billion vs. 25 billion..and organize it with labor on the board of directors .. allowing designers to develop the new technology that they already are working on and moving forward from there..

      The problem is that foreign corporations like Kia and Toyota have interests in our market and their factories are in Southern states where the workers are nonunion..not good for this country..we need a strong middle class..and we need to build the middle class again..

      •  Where do you get the 3 million number? (0+ / 0-)

        From what I've been able to find, the real number is something like 1 million.

        http://www.ita.doc.gov/...

        The automotive parts companies experienced an 8% increase in employment from 1990 to 2005
        (12% from 1991), growing from 782,800 to 848,400 workers, at least partly as a result of the
        many workers reclassified as parts industry employees when GM, in 1999, and Ford, in 2000,
        spun off their in-house auto parts divisions (Delphi and Visteon, respectively). Employment
        growth has been tempered both by increasing worker productivity and by decreasing motor
        vehicle production by Detroit. There also is evidence that workers in other countries effectively
        are replacing U.S. auto parts workers. U.S. auto parts imports increased dramatically between
        1991 and 2005, rising 309% in current dollars to $92.2 billion. Like the motor vehicle industry,
        the recent employment trend is not good. Since the year 2000, when employment for the sector
        peaked at 1,022,200 workers, the parts industry has seen a 17 % decline, a loss of 173,800 jobs.

        All-in, the total industry is well under 2 million, and the part made up by the big 3 is probably under 1 million today due to their continued decline since 2005.

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:06:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have a friend who's a shrink in Dearborn (6+ / 0-)

          Ford will survive this crises with or with out the bailout. GM, they are really the ones who need this. And if they do go bankrupt, Ford and Chrysler would probably benefit from that. But I was gonna say. My friend would have to close her office if Ford went bankrupt because most of her clients are Ford employees.
          I've another friend who works at a glass manufacturer near Detroit. They aren't exlusively an auto parts supplier but it's a large part of their business.
          There's a lot of unmeasurable 'collateral' damage that would come with bankrupting any of the Big Three.

          •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

            I'm just tired of seeing exaggerated and unsourced numbers thrown around.  At one point I kept seeing 12 million employees...which is ridiculous.  4% of our population doesn't work manufacturing cars!

            I'm inclined to trust the government study I found, since its purpose was to get an accurate handle on employment trends in the industry and it seemed pretty non-partisan.

            And like you say: without a bailout, not all those jobs will disappear, just some of them.  Even with a bailout, some of them are going away anyway; the trend from 2000 to 2005 was a 17% job loss.  I'd imagine that's continued or accelerated.

            No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

            by steve04 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:22:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The trick will is to restructure the industry (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shayes

              with out a man made catastrophe. Allowing it to collapse is just a lot of unessesary suffering. Besides it would cost taxpayers more to clean that mess up than a good restructuring loan. The loan may not cost anything. Washington has had it's back turned on 'Detroit' for 8 years.

          •  That is correct...the fallout would be horrific (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            hundreds of companies..millions of people...

        •  There would be so much fallout (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dconrad, happymisanthropy, RubyGal

          it could easly be a million in this state alone, and that could possibly include my job, which is in no way directly connected to the auto industry. You could see everyone from sales clerks to bartenders to strippers to accountants to journalists (me) losing their jobs in the massive domino effect. Ohio would basically be out of business.

        •  this is why so many people will be affected... (0+ / 0-)

          here is an article regarding the fraud trial of David Stockman..

          http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/...

          There are hundreds and hundreds of companies like Stockmans that are global that will go down if the auto industry fails..

  •  Right there... (27+ / 0-)

    Their cars are worse in every way: reliability, fuel economy, style, safety, and engineering.

    ...is the moment I knew you were full of shit and stopped paying attention.

    1. Not true. Ford is on par with Toyota, according to JD Power.
    1. Not true. The Prius gets a lot of press because it's a hybrid, but GM and Ford both make high-mileage vehicles.
    1. Subjective.
    1. Not true. Plenty of cars from the Big Three have 5-star crash ratings.
    •  with all due respect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qi motuoche

      their reputations for crap are longstanding and well-earned.
      Foreign automakers are doing a lot more to advance high-mileage vehicle development in general. I'll grant you that our domestic manufacturers ARE getting better, but I don't think it's enough to excuse their past mistakes or to give them a pass in the form of a bailout.  

      •  They are asking for a 5 year loan not a bailout (11+ / 0-)

        You may not remember the Chrysler loan in the Carter administration ..but Iacocca paid it back sooner than it was due with a $300 million dollar bonus..they are asking for a loan not a bailout..

        •  They are asking for a loan. (0+ / 0-)
          but there is no realistic likelihood that they'll be able to pay it back.

          I'm 50% Barack Obama, 40% Ari Gold, and 10% Eric Cartman.

          by I Love Cheezy Poofs on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:37:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  all it took was for a great many Americans to buy (0+ / 0-)

          shitty Chryslers out of pity. Many were government sales, and those cars sucked.  

          Sorry about your rights, we hope to have them restored shortly.

          by qi motuoche on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:14:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Chrysler Did Quickly Pay It Back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RubyGal

          But in the case of bailing out Chrysler in 1979,  the feds had months to come up with a workable loan package.

          It's almost inconceivable that all of the "big three" automakers have workable reorganization plans within the next several weeks.

          A "friendly takeover" of the automakers by the federal government is also daunting. Who would be installed as CEOS? What role would the UAW have in the reorganization?

          An employee (or union) purchase plan may show the most promise, although the feds would still need to extend credit (or mandate that the large banks who've received TARP assistance do so).  

          Every false debate we're drawn into is a real conversation we don't have with the American people-Joe Biden

          by Indieman on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 11:51:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That would be a surprising comment (0+ / 0-)

        considering their market share, if it wasn't such a popular myth. People like cars that are new and different looking. And irrational brand loyalty, derived mostly through first time buying (cheap, small, first job cars, i.e. Hondas). The rest is pure marketing, just like your comment.

        •  Irrational brand loyalty? (3+ / 0-)

          My first Camry lasted 15 years and got me over 250,000 miles. I now have a used 2001 that will go just as long as my first. My fiancee, who grew up using a Caprice Classic and an Impala, recently declared that she doesn't want to drive anything other than a Toyota because of its performance and reliablity.

          I don't like cars that are new or different looking. I want the most bang for my buck. I want amortization. If Toyota has treated me and my family as well as it has, why on earth would I ever want anything else?

          "So long as they don't get violent, I want to let everyone say what they wish, for I myself have always said exactly what pleased me." - Albert Einstein

          by kingyouth on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:58:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My last Ford pick up had 240,000 miles (0+ / 0-)

            I drive a truck for work and I buy only used Fords. they have always treated me well and kept their value. The new F-150 even gets fractionally better milleage than the Tundra.

            If Toyota has treated me and my family as well as it has, why on earth would I ever want anything else?

            Right, why would you even shop around after making your decision about these cars so long ago?

            That's what I meant. Brand loyalty is developed early and it's very strong in the auto market.

          •  It's most definitely not irrational. (0+ / 0-)
            If Saturn built the same SL1 they sold me in 1998, I'd buy it again tomorrow.  That was a great car.

            Sadly, there is nothing in their line now that is nearly as good.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:59:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Stormy, most of the people who are pissing on (6+ / 0-)

      Detroit have been driving Hondas for 20 years.

      The "Detroit can't make good cars" nonsense is like a lot of the Republican tripe about tax cuts fixing the economy... urban myth.

      I've driven a lot of rentals (Malibu's, Foci, etc.) and generally I'm impressed with the ride, pickup and feel of Detroit's cars.

      But GM, Ford and Chrysler are not going to win at this as long as their top management makes 20 times what Honda pays their management.

      If GM, Ford and Chrysler want to compete, they need to

      1. be in favor of increased CAFE standards
      1. be innovative in terms over voluntarily turning their fleet green
      1. give 100,000 mile full up warranties to compete with Audi and other manufacturer's warranties and reputations.  They won't win at the reliability game unless they put their money where their mouth is.
      1. I'll buy American when I can be sure that the American car companies act like American companies rather than foreign nationals on our shores.

      Behind every great man, there's a woman saying "Stand up straight"

      by captainlaser on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:43:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for addressing corporate pay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, slatsg

        The omnipresent corporate greed is the real problem underlying all parts of the current financial crisis. Just because you're a CEO doesn't mean you deserve to be a millionaire.

      •  I'm not arguing with you... (5+ / 0-)

        I was merely addressing the diarist's bullshit argument.

        Look, you know as well as I do that I *have* to be an apologist for the Big Three. If the Big Three goes under, we might as well turn I-75 and US-131 into one way streets and vacate the state right now. The Big Three *have* to survive or our entire economy and our entire manufacturing base implodes.

        That being said, while Rick Wagoner, Alan Mullally and Bob Nardelli are in Washington with their hands out, I'm the one screaming "Hey assholes! This country's got a great system for giving companies money! It's called CAPITALISM! Build something the people want and they will GIVE YOU MONEY no strings attached!"

        •  I agree with you. If NYC is worth saving (5+ / 0-)

          so should MI.

          But we can't keep bailing out these incompetent assholes.  Today we find out that 10 managers at Wachovia will take home $100M in buyout money.

          AFTER THEY MAKE THEIR COMPANY GO INTO THE CRAPPER.

          (Stop shouting).

          I wish to hell I could demonstrate my incompetence in a more effective manner so that someone would give me $10M to go away.

          Kos?

          Behind every great man, there's a woman saying "Stand up straight"

          by captainlaser on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:55:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Audi's cheapest car is 30k (0+ / 0-)

        I need a pick up truck for work. The F-150 gets better mileage than the Toyota Tundra.
        Comparing apples to oranges doesn't make the case for cafe standards.
        Until gas prices went through the roof the grim reality was most people didn't give a shit about milleage. So the Big Three filled the market where they could make money. They sell small effecient cars at a loss or no profit. The double punch of gas prices and the financial meltdown crushed them. The problem with forcing the auto makers into a certain product line is that it may force them into bankruptcy. They make the cars people want but can't remake their production lines over night to match people's preferences.

        •  So. Many. Things. So. Wrong. (0+ / 0-)
          Until gas prices went through the roof the grim reality was most people didn't give a shit about milleage. So the Big Three filled the market where they could make money. They sell small effecient cars at a loss or no profit. The double punch of gas prices and the financial meltdown crushed them. The problem with forcing the auto makers into a certain product line is that it may force them into bankruptcy.

          First, any significant constituency (and high-mileage eco-freaks are significant) should have a model addressed to them.  I lust after the Smart Car, myself, being a single male - there is no reason in the world why I need a 15 foot long boat.

          That they sell them at no profit is their problem.  Things cost what they cost.  Lying about the cost doesn't help anyone.  Price the goddamned things right.

          When you have a CEO talking about "focusing on high-margin SUVs", he's just written a book on mismanagement.  You compete in all designs - diversity is good, and protects you from market changes.  It also doesn't help to tip your customers that you're ripping them off with overpriced vehicles.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:57:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lying? (0+ / 0-)

            That they sell them at no profit is their problem.  Things cost what they cost.  Lying about the cost doesn't help anyone.  Price the goddamned things right.

            I think in this diary the health care costs built into the price of the auto's is addressed. If they charge more for a comperable car than foreign competitors they just wouldn't sell. The option the way you've addressed it is for them to just close up shop and have no revenue to pay legacy costs.

            The U.S. makers do compete on all designs in volume but not in profit margin because they have costs that don't exist for their competitors. Health care benifits 'cost what they cost' unless the government is picking up the tab.

  •  Don't think so. (14+ / 0-)

    Your compadres in this are all far-right wingnuts.

    This is an attack on the concept of unions, and it is not a Democratic position.

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:33:40 PM PST

    •  I don't support the UAW... (4+ / 0-)

      but I believe the government should act to loan Detroit money to get it moving in the right direction. That should be a condition of the loan, to get excellence in the system. FDR did it with military production in 1940, Obama can do it again.

      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

      by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:44:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My dad was a union man (IAMAW) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, djtyg, Big Tex

        He had his gripes against the union, but he also chaired the Apprentice Committee and he appreciated that his life - and theirs - would have been far different without the union.

        If I were not independent, I would join a union in a NY second. Just makes sense.

        I support the UAW.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:50:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I ain't anti-union.... (3+ / 0-)

          but things just don't look the same as they once did in this country. I worked in Detroit at Mack Stamping and Immerman Screw and Presscraft; all union jobs and I was miserable.

          I got out of SE Michigan, got a shit-load of debt for an education and now run a small business. I work my ass off now for a decent wage, and I infinitely happier. True the whole fucking thing may come tumbling down, but the UAW won't stop that from happening.

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:55:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that says little... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Big Tex, Clem Yeobright, shayes

            ...about the principle of trade unionism.

            I got out of SE Michigan, got a shit-load of debt for an education and now run a small business. I work my ass off now for a decent wage, and I infinitely happier.

            Good for you.  But not everyone is you, and I don't see why we can't have institutions like labor unions to give some dignity to folks who don't end up like you do.

            Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

            by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:05:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  my family is all in Detroit... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Linnaeus, Clem Yeobright

              None are in a union. Non are happy.

              Regardless, i think trade unions have served a valuable function over the years, I always liked the IWW. And I thought the Anarcho-syndicalist in Spain were especially effective. I also know that unions have been detrimental as well. I still remember getting the SHIT kick out of myself by union carpenters for demonstrating against the VietNam war.  

              That was a long time ago...I also took part in a wildcat strike that the union was too chicken shit to support. When I look at the UAW from its inception, things just are not the same as they were when Sinclair wrote the Fliver King.

              "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

              by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:19:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No one's saying they're perfect (5+ / 0-)

                And I'm a UAW member.  Son and grandson of them too.

                Like any human institution, they're an imperfect instrument.  But I can tell you the UAW had a lot to do with the opportunities I've had in my life, and it's certainly made a difference in what I'm doing now.

                Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:22:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How abourt Coleman Young... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Linnaeus

                  When I read his history as an organizer, I thought he was so great, then I look at what he became as mayor, people do change and not only for the good.

                  To be clear, I support the government funding Detroit and the industry on some specific conditions. one example.:

                  They create products that people need instead of playing to peoples emotions(muscle cars, Hummers, Soccer Moms F150s)

                  I cringe when I see the governor of Oregon (a democrat) lobbying a Chinese auto-maker to open a plant here in Oregon, and he already got a deal with Nissan to build cars in Oregon. Part of that is a function of the fact that Oregon buys more hybrids than any state and they want to make hybrids here. Where is Detroit on that stuff...

                  "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

                  by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:29:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Some changes are necessary (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    american pastoral

                    I'm in agreement with you there.  The question is how best to bring them about, what are the consequences, and how do we deal with those?

                    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                    by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:33:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What I think might happen... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Linnaeus

                      We will build less cars and they will be built all across the country and they will be built more on regional needs.

                      Detroit will become greener. So will Youngstown and the rest..

                      Lets hope Obama uses FDR's example of forcing the auto-manufacturers to produce something we need.

                      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

                      by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:37:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  sort of like democracy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  "the worst system, except for all the other systems."

                  the means IS the end

                  by jrcjr on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:46:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The decline of union strength has led to (7+ / 0-)

        an increase in the disparity in the distribution of wealth. The destruction of unions will mean an even larger income gap.

        But who cares about working folks. I'm doing well enough. I got mine ... screw them.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:58:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I, personally, have a problem... (20+ / 0-)

    with letting the big 3 fail.  Our manufacturing base has essentially drifted to non-existence.  As I have indicated before, I am still non-committal, but leaning more toward supporting the bridge loan than not, but some essential questions must be answered first.  The biggest question is assurances that money from US taxpayers will not be utilized to transfer more jobs abroad.

    As for the serious notion of having a zero manufacturing base, I believe there are long term national security problems with having a totally service based, tourist based, economy.  In the event of another world war, which is entering high probability status here, nations would be picking sides, and those that manufacture have an advantage.  

    Of course, as it relates toward the big 3, there is another question about the death of labor unions.  Yes, unions have brought about positives and negatives, but mostly positives.  With globalization, I believe we should be more inclined toward increasing labor unions than eliminating through bankruptcy the last gasping US industry that relies upon them....

    •  In the event of another world war... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RubyGal

      ...none of this, including the election of Barack Obama or the attainment of a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate, will matter. Trust me on that.

      I know not what weapons will be used to fight World War III, but I know that World War IV will be fought with sticks and bones. ~Albert Einstein

      •  I wasn't really speaking... (0+ / 0-)

        of Obama's election or a Dem majority in the Senate as mattering in the event of another world war.  What I meant was that because we have no manufacturing base, we couldn't even defend ourselves.  As globalization gripped our country, with each manufacturing plant shut down, so did all of the equipment that went along with the plan, shipped afar to new foreign plants.

        Anyone remembering history remembers that even manufacturing plants such as those run by the auto industry during WW2 were turning into plants that manufactured what was needed for WW2.  It is not a pleasant thought.

        Honestly, I think water and food are going to be the source of WW3, and I don't think we are all that far away.  Today, I read a story about a farm in Colorado where some 50,000 showed up just to gather food products not already picked during harvest...

        If I find the link again, I will post it...

        •  Article I mentioned... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, Big Tex, Clem Yeobright, RubyGal

          just see how desperate Americans are for simply necessities...and lets talk about why we need to save real job producing industries...(so long as they don't use our money to ship jobs abroad).

          A farm couple got a huge surprise when they opened their fields to anyone who wanted to pick up free vegetables left over after the harvest - 40,000 people showed up. Joe and Chris Miller's fields were picked so clean Saturday that a second day of gleaning - the ancient practice of picking up leftover food in farm fields - was canceled Sunday.

          "Overwhelmed is putting it mildly," Chris Miller said. "People obviously need food."

          She said she expected 5,000 to 10,000 people would show up Saturday to collect free potatoes, carrots and leeks. Instead, an estimated 11,000 vehicles snaked around cornfields and backed up more than two miles. About 30 acres of the 600-acre farm 37 miles north of Denver became a parking lot.

          Read the rest of the article here...

          http://www.wjla.com/...

          •  wow...that is remarkable... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, LtdEdishn

            We are in such fucking trouble and the worst people imaginable have been in control of our country...I am so hoping Obama can get a handle on this outrageous situation..

          •  Not clear (0+ / 0-)

            It's not clear that any of these people were "desperate" for anything.

            "Everybody is so depressed about the economy," said Sandra Justice of Greeley, who works at a technology company. "This was a pure party. Everybody having a a great time getting something for free."

            It sounds more like a psychologically driven phenomenon than one based on tangible need.

            •  Honestly....it sounds as though... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              djtyg, Big Tex, Clem Yeobright, shayes

              you might be spending too much time in a think tank type thought, without suffering any need, than understanding what ordinary people are suffering.  Of course, just as there as those who abuse government programs, I am certain some of those who picked put their own needs above those were were really desperate.  

              On the other hand, I see a lot of people simply donating what they can for those in need.  The farmers here are just one example.

              If you put yourself in charge of desperation, based upon your comments here, I can see your thoughts turning into cutting off Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. because psychologically you believe the populace is driven to get whatever they can for free.  

              I am often a skeptic, but I don't see myself as aligning with your thought here...

            •  In my Redford, MI Freecycle (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Free Spirit

              today I got two messages asking for food.  One was from someone asking for a friend who has Crohn's disease and having to pay $427 a month for meds with not money left over.  The other was for a family out of work in need of food to get them by.  They sometimes ask for things for people they know, mostly household things, but this is the first time I saw one asking for food.  If freecycle.org is unknown here you can subscribe and get messages in your box, to offer things or ask for them.  I have been using their site to offer things since we moved in here 2.5 years ago and have given away things from mattresses to wood that came from downed trees on our lot.  I gave away carpeting, lights, loads of things.  When you go in there subscribe for your city and anywhere in the country has a group for keeping things out of the landfills.

        •  Ummm... (0+ / 0-)

          I think you totally fail to grasp the concept of another world war. We already have all the weapons stockpiled that we would need to "defend" ourselves for the short time another world war would last. And when it was over, everyone would have lost and there would be nothing left to defend, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

          •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

            We have nukes.  We don't have weapons that would actually be used.

            Voting changes things. That's why they don't allow it.

            by happymisanthropy on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:56:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In the event of another world war (0+ / 0-)

              Nukes would be used. Don't kid yourself. They've been used before.  We went to the brink with only two countries involved and in a "cold" war. We've talked openly about nuking Iran.  And there are god only knows how many nukes floating around in the hands of god only knows whom since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    •  we seem content on living in reaganomicsland... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, llamaRCA

      That is debt, spend, and don't produce. it is the strangest thing, we forgot what made us strong. WORK, grime, and sore fucking backs....

      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

      by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:47:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is odd isn't it..the Reaganomics thing .. and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        american pastoral, qi motuoche

        the younger people here don't remember what the country was like before the Republicans took control...David Stockman is under indictment..he faces 30 years in prison for fraud .. he apparently took control of a company that produced interiors for automobiles..hmm...

        •  We are living out the logical conclusion of Rea,, (0+ / 0-)

          Reaganomics. Funny, I see Clinton as one of the strongest proponents of Reaganomics. I sure hope we are able to find a way out of this mess, but until we give up spending as a way to save the economy, we are in a heap of trouble.

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:58:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At this point..if we maintain capitalism the way (2+ / 0-)

            we have been conducting it for the past 150 years..we will have to do more spending to get out of this..but spending in the right places..the spending on military weapons systems has done us in ..those are the worst spent dollars in the economy..the Nixon recession of the early 1970s did not tip into a Depression although it could have..what saved the country was the dollars spent by welfare recipients and Social Security..those dollars are dollars that have to be spent..they have a greater velocity in the economy than than the dollars held by discretionary spenders...the wealthy..believe it or not..it is true..

            •  I don't know... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RubyGal

              I always thought that capitalism had run its course by the mid-70s. Then we were told we could just buy-buy-buy on debt-debt-debt and it worked for...well until now.

              I support spending on infrastructure and think it will pay off in the long run..Although i don't know if the Government will be able to pull it off...two wars, bailouts for more debt, things look shaky, but I hope we can pull it off.

              "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

              by american pastoral on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:07:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What we have had with the Republicans is a system (0+ / 0-)

                whereby their cronies have been rewarded with things like nobid contracts..they have been the biggest recipients of tax dollars and contracts..their military contractors..billions and billions of dollars with the proviso that those dollars be kicked back to the RNC and Republicans to keep the balls in the air in a huge juggling act..the act is imploding..no doubt about that ..but

                We have to do spending in order to move the dollars down to the people who need them just to survive..us..we are poor people..in comparison to the ones in this country who have had it so good..we are truly poor .. even if we have jobs or own small businesses...they have wanted to create an oligarchy.. an aristocracy..they have succeeded to a degree but the environmental catastrophe that is coming isn't going to bipass anyone..rich or poor..so the retooling and the greening of the economy is vital for everyone and everything..

  •  There's so much more to this (12+ / 0-)

    First of all, let's agree that the car companies have been in criminal collusion with the oil companies for decades...

    But I really believe that ended recently; the problem is, technology takes time.

    The Republicans are raping and pillaging on their way out, and castrating the auto workers' union is part of the plan. DOn't buy into it.

    I've got a new Chrysler that gets 30 mpg, and a 30 year old VW that gets 40. I've also got a soft spot in my heart for the unions who built America's middle class while they built our economy.

    So don't drink Kool-aid. We need to provide a bridge to the future for the auto industry.

  •  LET THE BANKING SYSTEM FALL (10+ / 0-)

    heh...

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

    by Statusquomustgo on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:36:36 PM PST

  •  The real push by Republicans has to do with (16+ / 0-)

    killing the UAW. They'll do anything to kill the unions, and much of the political drive to deny Detroit is to do just that.

    Get rid of all the management at the big 3, break up the existing companies into work units and keep the unions intact, the workers employed - making energy efficient cars, stills to make ethanol and bio diesel, windmills, solar panels, geothermal capture technology, tidal wave capture technology.

    These plants and the trained workers are a national resource.

    Nationalize them.

    2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

    by shpilk on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:37:04 PM PST

    •  This is how I'd like to see the fall happen (0+ / 0-)

      thank you for your illustration.

    •  Diarist is in bed with Zach Wamp (R-TN) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrcjr, djtyg, sydneyluv

      here

      To paraphrase: Tennesseeans are willing to work for minimum wage and no benefits and that should be good enough for the UAW too!

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:44:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  by the way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        I never once brought up the UAW- so don't put me in bed with anyone on this count please.

        "If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do" mahout.blog.friendster.com

        by Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:48:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  By your friends so shall ye be known ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          djtyg, dconrad, sydneyluv

          I appreciate the logic of your position, but the future of American independence at this time is tied up with that of the auto companies, and the future of a decent distribution of income lies with the UAW.

          Sure, control them, nationalize them if necessary, but let's keep American industry alive.

          How many times can you cut my hair and me fix you a taco? Where's the future in that?

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:56:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Shpilk, you got the "restructuring" nailed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, qi motuoche

      This is all about breaking the Unions, walking away from health care and pensions and upping their profits after they are done.

      Screw GM, Chrysler and Ford.  Give the $25B to the UAW and let them buy out whatever they think they can put together to make a good American car.

      Behind every great man, there's a woman saying "Stand up straight"

      by captainlaser on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:47:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you..but I think the Republicans who (0+ / 0-)

      are Southern and with foreign auto companies in their states are looking out for the auto companies that have come to take market share..

  •  retool Detroit for rail cars (5+ / 0-)

    wind turbines and solar systems. No more war, please.

  •  How do I put this so I don't get HR'd.... (17+ / 0-)

    I am going to be as polite as possible.  Did you not read the news today?  Well, let me recap it for you...FORD tops the Insurance Institute for Higway Safety, missing from the list are Lexus and Infinity.  Lexus is made by Toyota.  Ford is making the safest cars on the road and they own the safest brand out there-Volvo.  Please for the love of chocolate get your effing facts straight before you write a diary promoting people losing millions of jobs and sending our already troubled economy into a depression.

  •  Excuse me. I want as many good-paying union jobs (7+ / 0-)

    with benefits to survive as possible. The right wing now is going after the unions, and they want GM to fail as a way to further dent ANY union clout left in this country (which is a shadow of its former self). Now is the time to shore up union strength and grow it, rather than weaken it now by wiping out thousands of jobs.

  •  here's something to consider (6+ / 0-)

    I don't know whether this has  been linked to in the past few days, but it is worth reading, from the Detroit Free Press Six myths about the Detroit 3

    Don't tell me you're a patriot. Let me find it out for myself.

    by indybend on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:41:50 PM PST

    •  Great article but I disupte myth #5 (6+ / 0-)

      Not for accuracy but as a weaselly concept. It ignores the fact that our domestic auto industry created the demand for those bloated, overweight, wasteful vehicles in the first place and touts their profitability as an excuse or justification. I don't think that was the explici intent of the article's author, I'm just saying..

    •  good article but... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      steve04, dconrad, qi motuoche

      Myth #3 isn't exactly comparing vehicles that are anywhere near each other in quality.

      For example, comparing a Corolla to a Focus is a joke, even in the context of fuel economy.  I help run a major vehicle fleet for a living, and I've driven the Focus, it's a crappy car.

      "If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do" mahout.blog.friendster.com

      by Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:49:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Myth 6 is bogus (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dconrad, qi motuoche

        Ford's multiple hybrids...let me see, the Escape, and the Mariner?  Would those be the same car with a different name and logo?

        Honda canceled the Accord Hybrid because it couldn't go toe to toe with the Camry Hybrid with its made in America tax credit...leaving it with the Civic Hybrid.

        The article's mention of future products is all well and good, but Honda has future hybrid products too...and they weren't mentioned.

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:18:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's odd (0+ / 0-)

        I love my Focus.

  •  I grew up in Michigan. (8+ / 0-)

    It's in terrible financial shape and a lot of that can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the of the auto industry and state officials who never did enough to diversify the economy, but if we let the big three fail, you might as well move everybody to Texas and turn out the lights.  Michigan would be toast.  That can't be allowed.

    This space for rent.

    by bherner on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:42:43 PM PST

  •  Shout it from the rooftops. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I don't think we should fail to save Detroit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, RubyGal, sydneyluv

    if we are going to save Wall Street.

    "I always wanted a son named Zamboni." Sarah Palin

    by llamaRCA on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:47:48 PM PST

  •  On behalf (7+ / 0-)

    of the 3 million people whose jobs and livelihoods depend on the auto industry, and their family members, go fuck yourself.  We've lost enough of our manufacturing base in this country.  Bail out the Big 3, and use the bailout as leverage to force them to make needed changes.

    •  glad to see some civility on here. (0+ / 0-)

      If you read till the end, I said I'd be all for the govt. spending that money if they were forced to make needed changes.

      "If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do" mahout.blog.friendster.com

      by Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:52:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Source for 3 mil? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex

      All I can find is a government study from 2005 that indicates a bit over 1 mil are employed directly and indirectly.

      No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

      by steve04 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:26:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here you go (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djtyg

        Millions of jobs at stake in carmaker woes

        [...] If the Big Three carmakers were to cut U.S. operations by 50%, 2.5 million jobs could be lost in 2009, according to a study released Wednesday.

        The Center for Automotive Research reported that the total employment impact includes nearly 250,000 jobs lost at the automakers and nearly 800,000 at suppliers.
        In addition, the organization estimates another 1.4 million job losses outside the industry, such as those caused when stores go out of business in communities hit by plant closings.

        In economic terms, cutting operations in half would reduce personal income by more than $125.1 billion in the first year, and $275.7 billion over three years, the center said. Such a decline in personal income would cost the government tax dollars -- $49.9 billion in 2009 and more than $108.1 billion over three years.

        [...] But a larger fear is a complete shutdown. A 100% reduction in Big Three operations would cost about 3 million jobs in the first year alone.

        "A complete shutdown of Detroit Three U.S. production would have a major impact on the U.S. economy in terms of lost wages, reductions in social security receipts, personal income taxes paid, and an increase in transfer payments," Sean McAlinden, the center's chief economist, said in a statement. "The government stands to lose on the level of $60 billion in the first year alone, and the three year total is well over $156 billion."

        •  Thanks, but that article is messed up (0+ / 0-)

          The government study I linked in another comment in this thread puts the direct employment at 250 K and around 800K at suppliers, which agrees with this article.

          Where it goes wrong is the break between paragraphs; 800,000 people are not 50% of the supplier work force, but 100% of the work force.  The way I read the article, they're getting to 2.5 mil with 250K + 800K + 1.4 mil outside dependent jobs, or 2.45 mil, which would be a 100% collapse, not a 50% collapse.

          The annoying thing is since it's dead tree press, they don't provide a link to the study!

          No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

          by steve04 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 05:35:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Union Workers will win via ESOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrcjr, RubyGal

    However this will not happen quickly. My guess is the current leadership will attempt to secure all the loans they can find and then file 11.

    It matters not.

    In the end the Union Workers will gain each company in the form of an ESOP.

    Employee Stock Ownership Plan

    Before new leadership is found every effort should be geared toward finding the very best GREEN SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP possible because that is what will be required to beat out VW, HONDA, and whoever else.

    Green retooling must be done very wisely and every union member should see this as the most important united effort they have ever advanced.

    While the FED Will be their partner for many years that will change as the union members and the FED decide it is time to shift the three companies to an independent level.

    Ecosystems empowerment for the rural poor.

    by 1Eco on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:59:43 PM PST

    •  I called the UAW local 609 in Detroit yesterday (5+ / 0-)

      with just this notion in mind...I wrote a diary yesterday about the labor union buying the auto companies with the help of a netroots campaign..the market cap of the stock is so low, China might step in..and I really don't want to see China get our auto industry..I am sorry...but I don't want to see that happen..

      •  Ditto. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RubyGal

        "There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums." Larry Flynt

        by sidious666 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:30:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  a few brands may go (0+ / 0-)

        Just a guess mind you.

        The brands that might be sold off are here, and this has to do with dealers more than anything else.

        http://current.com/...

        Union Workers will not need to buy anything.

        The ESOP would be designed by the FED with the workers in mind.

        What the UNION Will need is a green leadership TEAM, and that TEAM must be the very best in the WORLD.

        That Green Leadership can not get this wrong. If they do the ESOP will over time FADE. It will be in the shoulders of each worker to find the very best green design VISION and share that insight with the leadership team.

        There can be no holding back NOW.

        Ecosystems empowerment for the rural poor.

        by 1Eco on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:03:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not a dime without a serious restructuring (2+ / 3-)

    With a whole lot of give from labor and management.
    Everything to be done with an eye toward efficiency and economy.

    Unions have to give up the silly ass rules that requiore twice as many people to do the job, while half of them sit and watch. Everyone can turn a wrench, everyone can sweep a floor.
    Executives have to give up the multi-million dollar compensation packages, and the frivilous perks.

    And if a task requires no more skill than flipping a burger, then it shouldn't pay any more either.

    There will have to be serious downsizing, and a wholesale thinning of the management ranks.
    And the legacy benefits cannot be passed on to future balance sheets.

    The auto industry, if it is to survive, will have to be just like most other industries out there, no special wages, bennies, or perks.

    Labor and management have only themselves to blame. Time to pay the piper... or pull together and try to survive. If they do, we should do what we can to help.

    But my tax dollars shouldn't go to continue to support the greed-mongering black hole that the American auto industry has become. If we do step in, then the US Govt. needs to fire all upper management, replace the BoDs and nationalize the union. I don't believe the greedy bastards are capable of doing it themselves.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:06:16 PM PST

  •  What's sauce for the goose ... (5+ / 0-)

    We have hundreds of billions for Wall Street, but nothing for Main Street.

    Let Detroit fail. Fine. Then let Citibank, AIG and the rest of them fail. Let the magic of the marketplace do its work. Separate the wheat from the chaff and all that.

    Whatever.

    Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

    by slatsg on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:07:55 PM PST

  •  To all the people bristling over the popular (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad, qi motuoche

    wisdom on American cars being inferior to Japanese and German ones: pull the 2x4s out of your behinds, and tell me more, please.

    Detroit's reputation for suckitude IS well-earned, it IS long-standing, and it IS well-documented, dammit.

    Things may have changed recently (as in MAYBE), but if you are the expert on why Ford, Chrysler and GM are suddenly the new world standard for excellence in automobiles, please, enlighten us. And don't act all butt-hurt if people are skeptical and not so easily convinced. My Honda Element fucking ROCKS, motherfucker. Got a problem with that? We can take it outside, then.

    I'm willing to be educated, or even proven wrong, but the long, painful, expensive relationships my father, my wife's father, and the parents of several of my friends who 'bought American and learned' with their American cars tell me you're bullshitting. Quit yr cryin' about my lack of patriotism and start kickin' some facts.

    Continue, please. We're listening...

  •  Detroit is a city of people not a company, (6+ / 0-)

    And not many of the auto workers and I'm sure not one executive of the Big three live in the city of Detroit. Did you write a diary titled "Let New Orleans drown" when Katrina hit?

    •  What I meant: (0+ / 0-)

      Detroit, as in, the Big 3, not the City.  It's a term of art.  ie, when a newspaper says "Moscow" it doesn't mean the City of Moscow; it means the Russian government.

      "If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do" mahout.blog.friendster.com

      by Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:13:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        I got it already. When you say Detroit, you mean all that is economically influenced by the Big Three. Detroit proper has already suffered the destruction of our manufacturing base. The rest of the region will follow if the Big Three fall. Do you get it?

        The auto industry is not a few stupid executives, there is an entire economy attached to it bigger than most countries. From food service to uniform cleaners to delivery services, trucking, advertising, you name it. When you say "Let Detroit fall", you're saying 'fuck all y'all'. I don't work in the auto industry and no one in my family does. My customers do.

    •  Excellent point (4+ / 0-)

      The president of GM makes over a million dollars a month..really, he does not live in Detroit..

  •  yeah let's be the only country (4+ / 0-)

    with an auto industry that lets them go under out of spite.

    you really ought to drive an american car that was made this century. some feel cheap, but so do many hondas and mitsus and toyotas and nissans, and yes even volkswagens. and some have gotten very nice. Michael Moore said that when, in 'Roger and Me'?  what decade do you live in?

    their competitors start out with a several-thousand dollar head start on the cost of a vehicle due to our healthcare costs.  this has effectively priced them out of the small-car and small-family-car market right in the beginning.  as a result they had few choices but to focus on bigger vehicles, finding suv's as a profitable entity for awhile.

    even so, the big 3 did reorganize and shuffle their entire product line to compete, and currently have some of the best cars on the market.  yes, they do.  go test them, read the reviews.  it's true.

    now every maker is struggling with the downturn, but detroit is being hit the hardest.  why?  because they've already been making all the long-term investments in restructuring that armchair quarterback all over the country are clamoring for.  that, and, oh yeah, our healthcare system puts them at a price disadvantage to other makes.

    oh but toyota and honda and mercedes and bmw make cars here, and they don't appear to be about to fail.  that's because those countries are treating parts of the US like their own third world factory.  they've been paid by our state govts to set up factories, given tax incentives for years, and practically guaranteed lower wage costs.

    so yeah, let's throw millions of incentives at foreign makers to come here, help them set up nonunion shops, allow them to be subsidized by their own govts, then kick out our own automakers just when they've restructured and are showing real promise to compete with that with several great new cars and several in development, all so we can spite our own economy.  and kill off a pension.  and of course, to bust a union.  

    that's the key-- set up new plants with lower wages, well below the $27/hour average in detroit.  I mean, 50k a year is waaaay too much money for an American worker to make, right?

    sure, we'll survive.  but we can do better than that.

    the means IS the end

    by jrcjr on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:32:06 PM PST

  •  PEOPLE! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I Love Cheezy Poofs

    What the hey is going on here???

    The purpose of my diary was to encourage some debate about this issue.

    It wasn't to see all of this swearing, ranting, raving, discussion of "taking this outside," etc. and insults.

    If you have something to say, please respond to one of the points in the diary or the comments.    

    "If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do" mahout.blog.friendster.com

    by Mojo79 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:32:16 PM PST

    •  Tensions are running high (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrcjr, slatsg, djtyg, Clem Yeobright, Poycer

      Consider that this country is entering what looks to be a serious economic crisis, and that a major industry just may go bankrupt.

      People are worried about themselves, their families, and their communities.  It's hard to have a dispassionate discussion in that context, and your diary headline doesn't help.  Yes, I know you mean "Detroit" as a metonym, but talking about "falling" (in caps, no less) rubs some folks the wrong way.  Especially when we're giving companies like Citigroup billions of dollars with nary a peep, despite their own missteps.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:41:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In order for me to "respond to one of the points" (0+ / 0-)

      there would have to be, you know, an actual point in your diary. This is a bunch of recycled right-wingnut "screw the workers" bullshit.

  •  We have been hearing of bankruptcies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    for years now and every time a new company files it is forgotten a short time later.  The Bush administration have done an excellent job of getting us all used to hearing about another bankruptcy and never going back to look at what happened to the lives of the people who were effected by the loss of their jobs, benefits, and pensions.  Now they have the big enchilada and there is a mass movement saying let the big 3 go bankrupt.  This is the ultimate gift to the Bush administration.

  •  No. Stop payment on the checks to Wall Street. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing85, slatsg

    Let them fall.

    Then buy Detroit. Cut middle and top management by half. Drop executive salaries by 95%. Force them to produce & sell their European models here as a short term solution.

    And supplant Company Health Care with National Health care.

    For starters.

    Time to begin replacing Democrats...with Progressive Democrats.

    by dj angst on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:38:26 PM PST

  •  Enough! "Mojo 79" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unionboy, shayes

    You're diary and some of the comments that followed just stepped on my last nerve. I live just north of Detroit.  The unkindness of the title of your diary hurts - it hurts a lot. This is not a thoughtful diary. Many before me have intelligently challenged your ideas. This issue is much too serious for anyone to write so callously about something so important.  

    There has been a lot of ignorance peddled on this blog site about the auto industry; and there has often been an attitude of "let New Orleans drown" applied to Detroit. There has also been very well written discussions about the real issues at hand and yet this kind of poorly written stuff keeps coming out.  Why?  What need is this meeting? We've seen a lot of this kind of scapegoating the last 8 years.  Why are we seeing it here?

    This is scapegoating.  If it were an intelligent and compassionate discussion of the issues, it wouldn't be titled:  Let Detroit Fall.  

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

    by sydneyluv on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:44:48 PM PST

  •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

    If you don't mind subsequently watching the U.S. economy implode, followed by the rest of the developed world.

    This is a fundamentally stupid idea. Even more fundamentally stupid than handing umpty bajillion dollars, no strings attached, to companies that don't produce anything. If the automakers go belly-up, so will everybody that supplies them with materials--and all the people that supply them.

    I hope you enjoy your future career working for minimum wage and no benefits as a Mall*Wart greeter.

  •  This comment... (0+ / 0-)

    Their cars are worse in every way: reliability, fuel economy, style, safety, and engineering.

    ...shows your profound ignorance regarding the progress of the US auto industry. Quality, reliability,safety etc of most US product (at least that of Ford and GM) is now comparable to Asian manufacturers based on data that can be found in JD Power research and Consumer Reports.

    To make a totally false, generic statement such as the one above shows you are just reciting memes and not interested in facts.

    ...from the bright blue sea of Atlanta in the red swamp of Georgia.

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 05:45:20 AM PST

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