Blogging from Phoenix: With Chrysler vice-Chairman Jim Press on record warning a depression is the probable consequence of failure to save the US auto industry. Leaders of the big three ventured back to Capitol Hill seeking cash, they came offering a new set of UAW concessions and detailed plans on how they would use 34 billion in loans, to turn around an industry that many feel has been mismanaged for decades.
Polls indicate 61% of the public is against using taxpayer money to bail out the big three, the question to my thinking is, are we attempting to save millions of jobs and a critical element of the Nations industrial infrastructure or simply prolonging the inevitable collapse. Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi told congress, the car makers would be back asking for more in 2009, and the actual price tag will run as high as 175 billion.

Film maker and Michigan native son Michael Moore who made his bones detailing auto industry corruption, thinks we can solve the problem by having Uncle Sam take half the money they are asking for and simply buying out the car makers lock stock and lug nut. While the polar opposite view lies with our current President and his Treasury Secretary, after flimflamming Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid into saddling the American People with 700 billion in debt for pals on Wall Street, with no strings attached. They express reluctance to help out an industry that puts food on the table of the working class.

I think a centrist approach to the problem is the appropriate course, Loan them what they need with conditions and special legislation attached. If they are unable to turn it around, the Government is in first position amongst creditors to take over. Give them a couple years under strict oversight and verify compliance based on monthly benchmark progress goals.

The other guilty party in this mess, the United Auto Workers. For forty years union members sided with the automakers, they were partners with the car-makers, when it came to frustrating all attempts to transition toward fuel economy and reliable products. UAW leadership while agreeing to further concessions, is still misleading its members, they have glossed over the true depth of financial sacrifice that will be required by workers to keep their jobs.

In the last forty years, Made in America has all too often come to define consumer products that are substandard, the only things we seem to make that work well and other countries want are weapon systems.


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