A thing that sucks about our nation’s current financial unpleasantness is that Congress wants to find solutions to it and Congress happens to suck. Other people who suck in this situation include Hank Paulson and “President” George Bush Jr. Barack Obama, too, for throwing himself into this situation that can only end in a sucky outcome. And lest we forget, the American auto industry — known by its appropriately sucky metonym, “Detroit” — sucks. So. Do we give car companies money for sucking or do we let a ton of workers in depressed areas lose their jobs and family health care plans? Oh, the wacky situations America finds itself in after ignoring massive problems for decades.

The Big Three automakers and GM specifically are on the brink of bankruptcy — might not be able to meet payroll! — after the credit crunch and energy crisis made the last few American-buying consumers say to themselves, “Anyone who buys a Buick LINCOLN is a fucking idiot.” House Democrats, led by her majesty Nancy “Don’t Take No Guff” Pelosi, see this situation, realize that they can’t let union interests down and start shouting, “GAHH UHHH, HERE TAKE SOME $$$$ CAR PEOPLE,” like banshees — special banshees that are concerned about Michigan and Ohio in 2012.

Barack Obama asks George Bush in a historical transition meeting to give $25 billion from the $700 billion financial bailout package to the auto industry. It would be invested in the companies under the condition that they agree to develop new green technologies. (Which they will never do, because who cares what some slappy Democrats ask in return? Those pussies would never enforce. So it would be back to the Golden Days of Capitalism for GM: burning through government cash to build cars that no will ever buy.) If GM went under, many Americans who are already struggling would, you know, really struggle, and the American auto industry would be gone forever.

George Bush tells him, HMM… maybe if you people pass that Colombian slave labor treaty first, then he’ll give it a thinky. “Not that I really care at this point,” Bush adds.

Hank Paulson hears about the Democrats’ plan to snag some of his $700 billion and says this morning, “no fuck you, get your own play money,” while handing out $100 bills to Goldman Sachs orphans.

Rep. Barney Frank, who puts together every single piece of legislation in our government, ignores Paulson and just starts cold writin’ it up:

WASHINGTON – A key House Democrat is writing legislation that would send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are pressing for quick passage of an auto bailout during a postelection session of Congress that begins Tuesday.

The legislation being drafted by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, would dip into the $700 billion Wall Street rescue money approved by Congress last month for the auto aid.

Sen. Carl Levin is writing a separate $25 billion bill, because the Michigan legislator just happens to care about this issue.

So, Dear Readers, do you think Congress should give Car Companies money because they’re large employers and deserve one last shot at developing innovative products? Or should they undergo bankruptcy, which might be the most visceral wake-up call for the backwards American auto industry? These companies are not hugely interconnected Wall Street financial firms, so their collapses would not find a way to ruin your 401(k) if you have nothing to do with them. (Ha ha, just kidding, of course they will find a way to ruin your life.)


This is your Ethical Quandary for the evening. #2 pencils required.

UPDATE: Now who are the stupids behind this comical development: “Falling Gas Prices Jump-Start GM SUV Sales.” The Communists of course!

GM is also placing a high-stakes bet on its SUV line overseas, opening a new $300 million plant Friday near St. Petersburg, Russia.

The plant will produce GM SUVS, the Chevrolet Captiva and Opel Antara, which have become status symbols in Russia, reported

This works out well for everyone! Ship the factories and their workers to Russia where they won’t be making “cars” — they’ll be making status symbols. Sexy!

Frank’s Plan Gives GM, Ford, Chrysler $25 Billion [Bloomberg]
Democrat proposes federal stake in Big Three [AP]
Obama May Have Already Stepped in It With the Auto Industry Bailout [Daily Intel]

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  1. Well, if we stop handing out overhead projectors like they’re candy, we would only need to come up with 7 billion (American) dollars. I expect that a few emails from David Plouffe would raise that, no problem.

    So, sure. What the hell?

  2. If we gave the “auto industry” some of the government’s money, and they did what O’bama asks (develop green technology), isn’t it sort of a win win for everyone when they do develop magical electrical flying cars or whatever, save our environment, make people innerested in buying “cars” again, and then paid back the “loan” – cause that is what this billionty-dollar thingy is, right, a loan? Or am I stupid/naive to the the gov’t will get anything back?

  3. give them the money–only because in this case the end really does justify the means– but make top management pay back 2 years salaries and bonuses for being douchebags.
    And we get to vote new CEOs in! Like on America’s Next Top Model or Idol or whatthefuckever.

  4. it’s a bit too late to call anything like this remotely close to capitalism.

    I wouldn’t be so adverse to the idea if I wasn’t certain DETROIT would screw over the American people after they have been saved and start printing their own money.

    i say put in provision where every American car must have at least THREE PAIRS OF TRUCKNUTZ attached to their Ford Foci

  5. “the American auto industry would be gone forever.”

    I do not see this as a problem. Why not invest many monies in retraining all of these people to do something other than make cars nobody buys? Why not hire them to build some fucking bridges? Or some damn dams?

    Why is the New Deal option completely off the table? How is it that the purported smartest people in the world get together in a room and can think of nothing more than screaming “FUCK GIVE THEM MONEY FUCK QUICK OHH FUCK JUST GIVE THESE STUPID RICH ASSHOLES SOME MORE MONEY!”?

  6. Let ’em crash, then instead of showering the dickheads currently running them with taxpayer cash, use the same money for unemployment benefits and health insurance. Voila, we’ve got a national health care plan.

    One reason for not bailing them out: Cerberus LLC, which owns all of Chrysler and half of GMAC, is an entity of Dan Quayle and other Bushmen. Could there be a more convincing argument for allowing a natural failure?

  7. I feel cash poor on a November day
    Nine o clock, cryin’ poor the only way
    I call my rep and he puts me through
    Comes on strong, tells me what I got to do
    I got to

    Get up
    Everybodys gonna give their cash
    Get down
    Everybodys gonna fill our stash
    You gotta lose your mind in detroit broke city

  8. Great, Sweet Jeebus.

    I gotta get me some of this money. Screw the rest of you. I just want in the line to get all these bailouts.

    Just kidding. I actually want to bring back the guillotine. That’s the only way the guv would ever get paid back.


  9. Here’s an opportunity for Sarah to shine! She can use her executive skills to break through the good-old-boy network and bring fresh ideas to the auto industry. If God can shove her through an open door.

  10. But have you guys seen the gas prices? They’re back down to $2! There is absolutely no reason why we can’t start making/buying endless SUVs and gigantic trucks again. Hooray and welcome back GM!

  11. [re=175170]bluetom00[/re]:

    because we all know the reason FDR was a lame duck because the communism disease was taking him over, and he died fighting it and we don’t want barry to have to do the same thing!

  12. This is the same problem with all the bailout plans. Free Market says survival of the fittest, however, when companies everyone suffers.

    Everyone hates the American Auto Industry because they make shitty cars and refused to make fuel efficient cars for DECADES. While they whined, the Japanese made quality, fuel efficient cars. Now the American Auto Industry wants a handout for being shitty and we have to give it to them, because if we don’t the American worker and the rust belt will go from shitty stinky hell to BURNING FIRES OF HELL.

    The one solution is to give them the money with STRICT regulations. Fuel efficient cars only, top design, no more gas-guzzling breeder SUV tiny dick monster trucks. However, it might be too late and we may just be prolonging the inevitable. I really don’t see how GM could ever beat Toyota when it comes to economic, fuel efficient vehicles. And in the future everyone will have to drive the latter.

  13. They should give the $25 billion to Preston Tucker’s son (the one who remembered that oilpans need pumps in the movie, remember? No? Touching scene, you cold-hearted jackwads), and tell him to save American auto manufacturing. The end.

  14. Can’t they just wear masks and carry sacks with dollar signs on them like the rest of us? I say we choke them to death with money, before they get a chance to choke us to death with their impending colossal failure. Kick this can down the road, let the people of 2012 worry about the GM mega-collapse.

  15. [re=175161]PengIn[/re]:

    David Plouffe could head America’s very first “voluntary IRS,” where paying taxes gets your bumper stickers and trucknutz

  16. In order to avoid the internet, I’ve been looking at porn on my iPhone while waiting for my boss to come in and fire me. I knew I should have stayed away.

  17. 1- the wars in iraq and afghanistan are stretching our troop levels thin
    2- the government has a bunch of money to use on SOMETHING
    3- people in detroit will need jobs soon
    4- invade pakistan, send “new troops” there
    5- ?????????
    6- profit

  18. I say go for it because

    1) It’s part of the bailout money taxpayers are already gonna be paying out, it’s not a new expenditure. And it’s less than 4% of the bailout money, too. A drop out of the bailout bucket.
    2) Hank Paulson already seems to have no idea what to do with the money anyway so why not give this a shot.
    3) It might accomplish something, like ending our oil dependence.

    So why not? Hank Paulson’s just gonna dump the money into Wall Street gutters where Jersey City pols will urinate on it otherwise.

  19. Okay, here’s what we do — we nationalize the auto industry’s healthcare and pension obligations (existing and future) which will be paid off by their profits in the long long term future (if ever, but that’s the gamble part). This will make their cars more competitive, since European and Japanese auto manufacturers don’t have to shoulder the burden of healthcare and pensions.

    Then we force a model on them that’s leaner and meaner — no GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, Lincoln and Cadillac. Everything’s a Chevy, Ford or Chrysler. No more of this ridiculous duplication of effort for no reason. This will force some people out of work, but since their healthcare and pensions are already paid for, many can be early-retired without much additional burden.

    Also, we eliminate the Bush tax cut for $100,000 of business utility vehicles. This helped keep Detroit focused on big expensive machines (not that they needed the help) over smaller, fuel-efficient ones that don’t waste as much gas. And we increase efficiency standards and get into the cap-and-trade market, which is an entirely new economy that we’re going to be left out of if we don’t catch up.

    I haven’t run the numbers, but I figure it’s either that or dog carts, and if you’ve seen accounts of the Mormon migration, you know those things are pretty miserable in cross-country trips during the winter.

  20. I seriously don’t know who I had more in Detroit. Incompetent American managers and engineers who can’t produce a decent car or Union working bitterz making $40 an hour to be stupid and lazy. Can’t we just sell this problem away or finally ship their jobs overseas

  21. As soon as they provide a solid timeline for production of the HempMobile, I say bail them out. And no, they aren’t allowed to hire Thomas Chong as lead engineer.

  22. If we gave the “auto industry” some of the government’s money, and they did what O’bama asks (develop green technology)[…]

    The American auto industry has had the technology for awhile to build “Green cars.” The problem has always been the Oil and Gas Industry, which refuses to build enough stations to meet the would-be demand. Shouldn’t Obama know that already, though? It’s obvs he owes those automotive and automotive parts unions lots of buttsexx. I guess I wish we knew exactly how much, if any, he owes the Big Oil Boys.

    ZOMG! Where did that come from?? Excuse me while I re-view the Time’s photo essay of the Obama’s on election night….

  23. After watching this:
    I say fuck them. They had a viable electric car and they shredded it to cater to to the oil industry and other powerful greedheads.
    Let them go under, and my condolences to the families.
    However, I would not be too upset if we do end up bailing them out and they get one more chance to redeem themselves. But yes, the regulations must be strict. No more development of inefficient behemoth status symbol vehicles!
    If people want trucks and suvs, they can buy them from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda…you know, the companies that didn’t sink themselves by placing all their bets on a lineup of heavy gasguzzlers.

  24. The Ford family couldn’t figure out for years that it needed to fire Matt Millen as General Manager of the (0-9) Lions; why am I supposed to trust them to handle $25B of government money to build better cars?

  25. Fuck them. I absolutely do not care.

    I do not own a car and I’m a dirty hippie who lives in LA. How is this possible?

    It’s not, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

  26. Take the pressure off GM by bailing out the workers – insure they get their pensions and their healthcare and pay. Then let GM be a normal fucking corporation and sink or swim. If they want to be part of some long-term plan to retool their business to become more energy efficient, fine, but just throwing them money doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been driving themselves off a cliff for 35 years.

  27. None of this would have happened if they had just made cars with bigger cup holders, in-dash DVD players and seat warmers instead of those fuel efficient, lightweight things. oh wait.

  28. I say use the $25 million to subsidize Japanese and Korean automakers to take over GM and Ford and whoever else is failing- let the foreign firms who are ALREADY producing great cars run these corporations. Hopefully, this will help to stabilize both our economy and their economy- helping to maintain existing jobs both here and abroad. Really, rather than trying our luck on any new American car company or, even worse, gambling that the old ones will make ANY effort at all to retool, why not import experts from abroad?

    I mean, as long as nobody tells Toby Keith, I think we’ll be alright.

  29. Also, the assholish 35% of my personality that is sympathetic to Republican propaganda says that one reason Detroit only makes huge gas guzzlers is because they make $$$ on those, but far less on their fuel efficient cars because those cost less and they have insane labor costs due to their union contracts. The 65% of me that loves Hopey and is a liberal Dem thinks that unions are great, and that health care is a right, but doesn’t see how both Detroit and UAW (to say nothing of unions in general) will survive. And, really, Detroit can survive without UAW, but not vice-versa. I think the only way this thing will get solved is by Detroit going bankrupt and blowing up its union contracts. Also, once the gov. takes over health care, that alone wipes a huge expense off of their books. I don’t know why more people don’t make this “single payer health care is great for large business” argument.

  30. How about we keep the companies afloat to help the workers on the condition that the executives who run them have to be tarred and feathered and forced to run through Detroit naked while being chased by an army of red ants. Then, they can go back to being executives but only on the condition that they’re salaries/pension plans/parachute money goes to paying off all the workers’ pension and health care. Since they might not have money to pay off their mortgages, there’s always jobs at Walmart.

    There, problem solved.

  31. [re=175208]Dave J.[/re]: As a Bears fan, I support a loan to Bill Ford contingent on a guaranteed 0-27 record for the next 3 seasons. Oh wait, they won’t need a loan to do that.

  32. [re=175191]Lazy Media[/re]: I hear the AMC Pacer is also very popular with a certain dictator on the Korean Peninsula. Too bad AMC doesn’t exist anymore. Kind of like Buick.

    American car companies deserve to die; not only for building shitty cars but also for buying companies like Volvo and Saab and ruining them (Norwegian and Swedish Buicks, respectively).

  33. Put a Ford and a Chevy in a lake. If they sink, then its gods will the auto industry sinks. Or,
    put a Ford and a Chevy to the torch on a pile of logs. If they explode, then its gods will the auto industry burns itself out.

    So the country goes into a recession/depression for the next 50 years. So what?

  34. millions of employees, millions more retirees (pensions, health benefits). Entire industries, including IT, metallurgy, machine tools, hand tools, transportation, and more that developed to serve the auto industry (gets all the way to what is left of the steel industry and even the coal miners). At one site, someone said that after this industrial collapse, all the US will be producing will be chicken nuggets. JFC. we are so screwed no matter what.

  35. [re=175230]Advocatus_Diaboli[/re]: Please tell this to my dad, who continues to buy Volvos like they are going out of style. Which, ironically, they are. Gah. I owned a Saab for my first car when I was 16. A 1985 900 turbo (this was in 1993, I’m not that elitist), and it rocked. The current models? Meh. They suck. So sad.

  36. [re=175183]Senator Bateman[/re]: “…The Bourgeoisie will always find a way to fuck us proles anyways.”


    Look a here people, Listen to me,
    Don’t try to find no home down in Washington D.C.

    Lord it’s a bourgeois town
    Ooh, it’s a bourgeois town
    I got the Bourgeoise Blues
    I’ gonna spread the news all around.

    Me and Martha was standin’ upstairs,
    I heard a white man say, ‘Don’t want no coloured up there’.

    Lord it’s a bourgeois town
    Ooh, it’s a bourgeois town
    I got the Bourgeois Blues
    I’m gonna spread the news all around.

    Home of the brave, land of the free —
    I don’t want to be mistreated by no bourgeoise.

    Lord it’s a bourgeoise town
    Ooh, it’s a bourgeoise town
    I got the Bourgeoise Blues
    I’m gonna spread the news all around.

    White folks in Washington, they know how,
    Throw a coloured man a nickel to see him bow.

    Lord, it’s a bourgeoise town
    Ooh, it’s a bourgeoise town
    I got the Bourgeoise Blues
    I’m gonna spread the news all around.

    Tell all the colored folks to listen to me,
    Don’t try to find a home in Washington D.C.

    Lord it’s a bourgeoise town
    Ooh, it’s a bourgeoise town
    I got the Bourgeoise Blues
    I’m gonna spread the news all around.

    —Huddie Ledbetter

  37. [re=175237]Dave J.[/re]: As a previous owner of a 1990 Saab 900S (which fucking rocked until it blew up in my driveway) I concur that the new ones suck.

  38. In the two months since I paid off my piece of crap Pontiac it has needed: a fuel pump, battery, three tires (don’t ask), brake pads, brake fluid, and a light bulb. Plus it got hit twice, but I guess that really isn’t Detroit’s fault. Meanwhile my Mother’s 12-year-old Toyota rolled over to 200,000 miles today and all that fucker ever needed was tires and an occasional oil change. I say fuck Detroit.

  39. [re=175242]OffTheRecord[/re]: Yea? Well, I love my Ford and I still say they shouldn’t be bailed out. I don’t know where that leaves us.

  40. [re=175194]NoWireHangers[/re]: That may the best idea I have ever heard. I have a coworker who grew up in a town that now has a Toyota plant. They literally divide time into Before Toyota and After Toyota. Before Toyota it was a desolate wasteland of death and destruction. After Toyota it was a land of joy and opportunity where everyone shits rainbows and rides a unicorn…or they now have a mall and movie theater, same difference really.

  41. I’m old fashioned in the sense that I’m actually more comfortable with the government giving money to help out companies that make “things”, especially if it could be given in such a way to force them to make those “things” more envirnomentally friendly, than I am with the government giving money to companies whose job it is to make themselves money.

    With the first, that money could, presumably, help keep people employed and in the end produce some shiny new jet space pack cars for everyone. With the other it appears we are giving them money so they can pile it all up in a corner and sit on it.

  42. 07 Prius. 44+mpg avg on the secret NAFTA Highway – er, sorry, the Interstates. But bring back the ’48 Hudson with the fold-down rear seat – now you’re talking. Truck Nutz.

  43. 1 in 10 Americans owe their job to the automotive industry, so it seems crude to say “fuck Detroit,” but at the same time, fuck Detroit. The government could spend all the time they wanted trying to get the industry to retool, but both parties would find a way to screw it up, no doubt.

    A collapse and a subsequent, up from the ashes, rebuild of American automotive is the only solution. Just go to Michigan, where assholes are still sitting around waiting for the assembly lines to start up again and carping about scabs and pensions and shit that many other Americans only remember from boring stories their Grandpa told them. Time for Detroit (the place and the industry) to grow up, learn a new skill, and join the 21st century.

  44. “What we have here is a giant SHIT SANDWICH and we all have to take a bite!”

    Thanks Mr. W!

    All my right-wing buddies are saying, “Let GM and Chrysler die!” And I say, “What the hell are we going to do with 3,000,000 more unemployed, pissed-off ex-union workers?”

    That’s the kind of bad chemistry that can lead to violent revolution.

    BTW, the “GM is out-of-cash” date may be as soon as New Year’s Day, 2009.

    Get ready Hopey, you are in for a wild ride!

    God, Allah, Great Spirit speed to you Mr. President-Elect!

  45. I want to say get rid of them and let them keel the fuck over, but I just moved from Michigan in March and I know that the state will be completely and utterly dead dead dead. It won’t just be the auto industry either, the whole state will be completely hosed (except for Amway).

    Sadly, BMW wanted to put the X5 plant in Lansing (before they decided on Spartanburg, S.C.) which would have revitalized the crappy area but somehow it got totally fucked up.

    One of the biggest problems, other than the Big 3s shitty business plans, is the goddamn Unions – especially the extra corrupt UAW. They are terrible and don’t seem to care about the workers anymore — they only care about lining the coffers of the “international union”. Hopey’s plan to help the fucking unions tighten their vice grip on the balls of manufacturers is fucking stupid.

    So, yes, save them with extra tight restrictions – make them join the fucking fucking future but this has to be it.

  46. When I lived over behind the Iron Curtain in Commieland (aka Russia and the Baltic States) the H2 Hummer was pretty much the #1 status symbol, followed by the Escalade and those Mercedes M-class SUVs (always in black)…

  47. I say let’s shake it up a bit.

    Let Hank Paulson git s’more monies to fix his wonky defibucalculator or whatever. THROW THE DICE, LET IT RIDE!!!

  48. I bought my Honda CRX-HF new in nineteen hundred and eighty eight, drove it for 16 years, and got 45 mpg.
    The rust was my anti theft device. I cried when I left that car for my Disabled Vets donation.
    Then I got myself a 2001 Honda Civic-HX. It gets 50 mpg. It was made by the UAW, btw.
    My Hondas are the most dependable relationships I’ve ever had!
    Plus, they have rainbows for exhaust.

  49. I’m all for the bailout provided they implement a back tax on anyone who ever worked there in the past 20 years and made more than $300k in one year. The back tax will be equal to 50% of anything they made in excess of $300k, with interest.

  50. [re=175246]populucious[/re]: I think you’re onto something. Isn’t the banking mess caused by some rich people playing investment games in an attempt to get richer? If you’re going to bail somebody out, have it be a business that actually creates tangible things. That said, if the arlines start wanting a bail out, fuck ’em

  51. I don’t see why Detroit doesn’t stick to its sole money making venture: Kid Rock and Eminem. I mean, sure, they’re a scourge on the face of the music industry, but she’s ugly anyway.

  52. I say, yeah, bail them out. What’s another $25 billion these days, after the banks get a trillion or two? And doing nothing would probably make our New Great Depression even worse. It’s not just the tens of thousands of GM employees who would go unemployed, but also all their suppliers and so on. Michigan would, quite literally, fall off the precipice and become a third world hellhole.

  53. I’ve noticed that since the election has ended the comments have increased in length dramatically. It’s like we went from small Japanese comments to large American comments. I say we bailout Wonkette users before it’s too late.

  54. We’re screwed. These CEO’s should be up against the wall for their greed and gall. Now that everything is in the toilet they’re all making one last money grab while Shrub is minding the till.

  55. I am a big fan if this long, informative post style thing that appears to be emerging. I give it my top score- one star:


    Hey, that looks like a tit.

  56. Fuck American car companies. Fuck soccer moms with SUV’s and decals of their hideous fucking families. Fuck fat white guys that only drive a truck even though they never haul shit. Fuck everyone that thinks an SUV is a status symbol. Fuck everyone that buys a small to mid sized SUV over a perfectly capable station wagon because they have two kids and dog. Fuck anyone that doesn’t think they shouldn’t have to sacrifice even a tinsy-tiny bit for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Fuck those that don’t give a shit about anything but their fat ass. Fuck apathy.

    Has anyone seen the Toyota iQ?: We need MORE of this shit!

  57. I just heard on the local radio here in Aus (apropos of something else) that West Germany now employs more people in producing alternative energy than in it car industry.

  58. [re=175277]The Station Manager[/re]: KISS should hold a benefit concert and Gene Simmons should give tonguebaths for charity. He should also stop making music, but that’s obvious.

  59. In the 1970s, the cars that British car companies made got worse and worse. The British government gave its car industry money. The cars still got worse. British people were supposed to buy them because they ‘were made in Britain’. But British people preferred cars that didn’t break down and weren’t pig ugly. (E.g: The British car industry collapsed. And that was the very end of the British empire. Now Britain’s former colonies beat it at soccer, cricket and rugby. The lesson here is clear: let’s not teach Iraqis to play football.

  60. Okay, people, the UAW earned this one. How much money and time did the rank and file put into the campaign?

    Crackers in the south working for Toyota enjoy benefits and salary almost as good as up north, and don’t pay a fucking nickel in union dues. Here in Real America, freeloading is a time-honored tradition. But I digress, because I couldn’t pass on the chance to diss Real American deadbeat crackers.

    If the assembly line workers had been asked, I’ll bet the majority of them knew how fucking stupid it was to make big cars but the people at the top were raking in too much money to do the smart thing. But who suffers? Not the assholes who made the decisions.

    Put the money into American car companies for retooling and producing smart cars for a change. Put some fucking limits on how it can be used–no whore diamond orgies in luxury spas–and no bonuses for the boneheads who created this mess.

    Save Ohio and Michigan, save the Democratic party from the Republican retards. I mean, leaders.

  61. [re=175237]Dave J.[/re] & [re=175240]shortsshortsshorts[/re]:

    I also owned an ’85 900 Turbo – best car ever made IMO. I also had a ’91 900 Turbo and it rocked too, but not as much as the ’85. I had this crusty old mechanic in Maine (long drive from Boston but he was worth it) who worked exclusively on the 900 pre-GM – he wouldn’t touch anything made after ’94, when they turned into Swedish Buicks.

    [re=175240]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: the ’90 shouldn’t have sucked, as that was pre-GM. My ’91 wasn’t as good as my ’85, but was still a solid car.

    I’ve thought for a long time that Detroit’s strategy was to buy all the European competition and drive it into the ground – GM & Saab, Ford & Volvo, Jaguar and some others, etc. etc. – I guess that strategy didn’t work out so well, although Detroit did manage to ruin most of the European companies that still import to the US, with Audi, VW and BMW being the only holdouts I can think of.

  62. Strongy O’ (fix your reply button dammit) let me indulge you with an uncharacteristically long comment. I misspent my deformative years in Detroit and spent the better part of a day last week, driving from NYC to Detroit to be with my ancient mother (West Side, yo!) That required driving I-80, through the heart of Hillary cuntry (spotted 3 lawn signs ON the highway for Walnuts/Palin, no surprise; zero for Hopey/Biden).

    Short story long, I drove past tens of thousands unshipped/unsold vehicles sitting in the factory lots, from Lordstown, Ohio, past Toledo (auto glassmaker to the world), past Ford HQ in Dearborn, and finally to my beloved mother in Black and Arab Motown.

    The stagnant vehicle lots are nearly outnumbered by the foreclosed or burned-out single family homes, all over Detroit. I lived there during the first oil-embargoed/big useless lead-slead depression of 1973. It was no fun waiting on line to pump our daily ration of precious hy-test, knowing that the guy in front of me was prepared to pump lead if I so much as moved a muscle his way.

    I despise the Big Three (remember, there was a fourth back then called American Motors?). They are entirely responsible for the fucked up situation we find them in today. They deserve to eat shit and die. They’ve not learned a goddamned thing in over 30 years and can hug my TRUCK NUTZ 4-EVER!

    But I also remember the Detroit riots of ’67 and my fear is that if we don’t bailout the Car Co.’s, (with stainless steel strings attached, of course) we’d better be prepared to bail out Detroit and all the other company towns in that part of our little world because “long, hot summer” is a phenomenon long remembered by a whole lot of folks who’d rather work than loot and burn.

    Just sayin.

  63. [re=175295]jagorev[/re]: “Michigan would, quite literally, fall off the precipice and become a third world hellhole.”

    It’s nearly there already. Detroit suffers 18 suspicious house fires per day, every day! Except on “Devil’s Night” or, the night before Halloween, when the numbers are in the low single digits. Therefore, every night should be Devil’s Night.

  64. [re=175356]Yellow Cake[/re]: You’re not alone. They’ve got the ballz to tout the H3 as “green” because it supposedly gets 20 mpg on the hiway. Assholes.

  65. If we give the people who created this ugliness more money, you are subsidizing assholic management, sure to beget more assholic decision making. All in all, an excellent idea!

  66. In 79, Chrysler got $1.5B…..with an assload of strings. Paid back early and the taxpayers got a profit from the stock futures that Iacocca (sp?) had to put up as collateral.

    We can’t let all of the people who are part of the American auto industry go live under a bridge, but I can’t help but feel we would still see asshats drive their companies into the ground even with the handout.

    2001 Nissan Pathfinder, by the way. Best mileage I could get in a vehicle that I could load up with 10 pet carriers.

  67. Although, on second thought….

    The govt return on the Chrysler stock was $500M….from a $1.5B investment.

    Scale that up to the current proposals; 1.5 divided into 25…converted into euros….carry the one…and we should wind up with about a BRAZILLION DOLLARS!!!!!

    ALL IN!

  68. [re=175163]ignatius_riley[/re]: Electric cars have been around 100 years. GM, Ford, et al., could have been up-grading batteries, capacitors, etc. for 100 years. Nothing. Giving them a sh*t-load of money won’t get us a bunch of gas-guzzler replacement vehicles now, either.

    GM, Ford, et al., are institutions, but slavery and buffalo hunting were institutions once upon a time. Somehow we manage without them now.

    Zhu Bajie

  69. Norbert’s 6-point plan:

    1) retroactively tax anyone who received a corporate bonus in U.S. car industry in the last 50 years
    2) encourage japanese companies to buy up anything still worth anything and take them over and try to run them well
    3) let the market take is course and let GM etc. fail
    4) to cushion the blow, have the government award giant contracts for mass transit vehicles and forward-looking green infrastructure stuff that the existing US auto companies can produce for a decade or two
    5) provide their workers with some pension and health coverage on the public purse
    6) truck nutz?

  70. [re=175342]Advocatus_Diaboli[/re]: I saw a FORD made for the EU market that gets 65 mpg, a diesel/electric hybrid.

    So, why only Europe?

    ’97 Toyota here. Have only owned Toyotas and all have been great cars. Current car has never been in the shop and had the original brakes at over 100 thousand miles. No problems at all- except for a mouse living in my engine who chewed all the wires one year. Love the looks of that new Toyota iQ……might be my next car!

    The TAX code pushed these SUVs into the main stream, it can push hybrids the same way.

  71. [re=175262]Neon Trotsky[/re]: Here in China, it was the Buick Ciera a few years ago. Now it’s SUVs fo various sorts. I’m on a bike with 90% of the population.

    Zhu Bajie

  72. What’s that saying? “Throwing good money after bad”?

    The sick thing is that bankruptancy is probably the best thing that could happen to Detroit at this point. Prolonging the existance of an unprofittable entity at tax-payer expense won’t solve anything.

  73. Fortunately, starting January 20th, we won’t need cars, because we will all ride around on mulatto unicorns, which will feed on Hope. And shit money.

  74. Detroit, like a bunch of other things and people we’d rather forget, is making a comeback in 2009. Better go buy those cragar mags for that new hybrid Pinto GT that Ford is going to roll out (in conjunction with the new administration, and funded by YOU, of course).

  75. Well, I believe if we look at the issue very carefully, we’ll see that the money multiplier for the auto industry is to large to let American comp— oh wait, this is Wonkette. LOL BUTTS, PAY ‘EM IN TRUCK NUTZ.

  76. [re=175221]mooseburger[/re]: Use the money to build trains and street cars. F*ck the private cars blocking the roads and poisoning the air. Don’t want to ride along side other people? Buy a bike or an electric scooter. (China is full of them). France and Japan have bullet trains; why not the USA? Other than laziness and conservative unwillingness to do something different?

    Zhu Bajie

  77. [re=175393]sati demise[/re]: “I saw a FORD made for the EU market that gets 65 mpg, a diesel/electric hybrid.
    So, why only Europe?”
    No comparable US mileage requirement. Always opposed by Detroit, which adheres to, “‘Big cars, big profits’, Henry Ford.” Because of their profit margin: pimped-up vehicles, mid-to-big sized cars, pickup trucks, suburban vans and SUVs are loved by dealers.

    In the US, soccer mom vans and any SUV are classified as “trucks” [because of their frame]. Therefore, they are exempt from CAFE mileage standards for passenger vehicles.

    As we sow, so shall we reap.

  78. Proposal for funding contingencies:

    GM retains ownership but no control in company interests other than a voice in advisory/managerial capacity during reorganization period. GM owners/upper management’s profits in reorganization period to be decided by GM workforce and Congress. GM Workers, Congress and, (in a diminished capacity)GM owners/upper management to vote on which models to produce after research and presentation by GM owners/upper management.

  79. [re=175318]rag[/re]: I bought myself a new bicycle! =)

    I very nearly did that too, since I ride a lot. But I realized I really liked my old bicycle. So instead, I bought a new rear wheel to replace the rusty old one that got bent going up a curb too fast, and a new freewheel with a wider gear ratio (better for the hills I climb every day) and put on the hawt Brooks leather seat a buddy gave me (new in box back in 1980) and somehow never got around to using.

    Now I’ve got biker dudes on new Treks and Cannondales giving my ride long looks and saying, “Sweet bike, dude.” Some of them even know it’s an early 70’s Lambert.

    Anyway, fuck Detroit. Fuck the unions. Let ’em all burn down and maybe someday some canny US or foreign investors will take advantage of cheap (free) real estate and plants, and starving, skilled workers to build some small, light, efficient cars and trucks that run on electricity. Sorry, former millionaire execs; sorry union guys, we got a 100 jobs to start, and they start at $10/hour; but hey, no where to go but up, am I right? Take it or leave it, we are new industry.

    Don’t like it? HaHa, go build fucking solar cells and windmills in fucking Germany; I hear they’re doing real good over there.

  80. Here’s what we do, Wonkers:

    1) Give ’em $50 billion bucks.

    2) Make ’em invest the whole lot in Toyota.

    3) Now that they have a 51% stake in Toyota, let ’em decide whether to stay on easy street or compete against themselves.

    Free markets iz powerful!

  81. I am so conflicted about this, I can’t even stand myself. Let me explain:

    My Pop was a carpenter for GM. He retired in 1985. He is in terrible health, elderly and so is my mother. I’m frightened for them.

    And on the other hand, I’ve owned my share of craptastic GM products. That’s because I always received a %17 discount on their cars, because of Pop. Until my last car. I bought a more affordable, efficient Nissan that was much safer than anything GM was manufacturing at the time. Discount or not, I negotiated $4,000 off the sticker price for that car. It’s bought and paid for and has never given me a spit of trouble in five years.

    I don’t want for my folks to end up in dire straights because of GM’s mistakes and this economy, but I hate the thought of rewarding the company. I would probably agree with bailing them out IF (and only if) their were clearly defined stipulations. For instance, I think we should all be able to whack the CEO’s pee-pee until it turns black and that the company has to kiss our foul behinds for the next 40 years. They should have to pay us back in gold bars, too.

    Most of all – what can I do about my parents? Making old people worry about their health care and pension is wrong.

  82. [re=175439]villageatrois[/re]: Well, you’re wrong about unions. Without them corporations would wait exactly four seconds before screwing everybody. We need them, because Tom Joad was right.

  83. [re=175454]S.Luggo[/re]: The worst of it is, I’m sitting here with perfectly straight teeth because GM afforded my Pop the best dental care in the world, at the time. I love to make people laugh, and I can’t smile without remembering that GM paid for my freakin’ mouth. For better or worse. Yes, it is retarded and corny and one more reason for me to agree with President Elect Obama. Like I said, I’m very conflicted about this issue.

  84. [re=175451]Mojopo[/re]: I didn’t say anything about unions, but I have my stop watch out. Go! Who will fuck us over first? Unions, or management, or politicians pandering to them, or all three in collusion? Oh wait; they have fucked themselves over in a photo finish! Details at nine.

  85. No bailout w/o very strict green conditions.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Like that will EVER fucking happen. This money is going straight into shitty cars no one wants and obscene executive salaries & we’ll be right back where we were in couple years.

    I’m all for unions in principle but the UAW is just another layer of management screwing over their workers. They stopped being the loyal opposition in about 1945.

    Someone mentioned the airlines — the reason they suck & will continue to suck is because law prevents foreign airlines from competing with them in the US. Give ’em some competition instead of bailouts & they can sink or swim.

  86. [re=175171]V572625694[/re]: More fuel for the fire:

    On October 19, 2006, John W. Snow, President George W. Bush’s second United States Secretary of the Treasury, was named chairman of Cerberus.

    Besides, DaimlerChrysler AG was already shipping moribund lines (Stratus, Sebring) over to Russia in 2006, to replace the shittier, more outdated GAZ products (GAZ-31105, über-nomenklatura POS; imagine if a Hyundai XG300/350 and a Kia Amanti mated ménage à trois with a Zil).

    Besides, the ruble in in devaluation free fall. Would you want to be the tech from GM Moraine Assembly on temp assignment in St. Pete when it all goes south and the neo-Stalinists kick up again:

    Many American engineers and skilled auto workers moved to the Soviet Union to work at GAZ. A few American workers stayed on after the plant’s completion in 1932, and became victims of Stalin’s Great Terror, either shot or exiled to Soviet gulags.

  87. [re=175195]SayItWithWookies[/re]:

    Then we force a model on them that’s leaner and meaner…

    KdHuA-Wagen (Kampf durch Hoffnung und Änderung-Wagen) = Strength through Hope and Change Car.

    And it is available in any color you want, as long as it is black…

  88. The remains of the American automobile industry will be retooling to become more like the rest of heavy industry around the world, according to petro-curmudgeon Jimmy H. Kunstler:

    For my money (literally) there are only two main reasons that any portion of the car industry should be rescued at the present time: one, because we need somebody to manufacture engines for military vehicles, and two, because we need somebody to manufacture rolling stock for the revival in passenger railroad service that will have to be a centerpiece of the future economy if we want to remain a civilized nation.

    APCs for the petro-grab in America’s Near Abroad (Venezuela) and transport trains to the gulags for the rest of us…hooray!

  89. [re=175449]Mojopo[/re]:
    People may bitch as much as they want about the US automakers [and certainly our automakers deserve much blame for their short-sighted unwillingness to shift from profitable gas guzzlers to more fuel efficient, but less profitable, smaller cars in the face decreasing global petroleum reserves and increased global demand for petroleum] BUT, unlike Asian and European automakers they suffer from a hangdog from WW2, namely, pensions and benefits costs.

    In WW2, there was a severe labor shortage. To keep workers, the automakers (and other US industries, like steel) offered generous pensions and benefits. After the war these company pensions and benefits got locked into labor contracts. (Oversimplifying, not so for the rest of the post-WW2 world.) This was okay (in 1950s through the mid-1970s) so long as profits remained high and there was no international competition. Starting in or about 1980, Asian companies (with no company pension or benefits costs) undercut US producers because, aside from the US higher wages, US producers still retained these pension and benefits long-term expenses. And those expenses have caught up. 30 percent of the cost of a US car is now due to pension and benefit expenses [not that they were wrong at the time].

    Long/short: The US auto industry, through pensions and benefits, has been taking the place of Social Security and Medicare. If the industry fails, these costs will fall back onto both systems.

  90. I read the word “metonym” as “metronym,” and I think that’s a better word.

    I think Obama should focus on high-speed rail. Fuck cars.

  91. If you don’t think Japan is against this, you better start with that video language course. P.S. No one lives in Detroit now, ‘cept a few black squatters….

  92. I’m still mad at Ford for something that happened years ago. It was just the 2nd new car I’d ever owned and it developed an oil leak after just a couple thousand miles. The dealership soon discovered that the bolt holes between the transmission and the clutch housing had no threads drilled into them and the only thing preventing the engine and the transmission from separating were the mounting brackets!!

    This meant that the monkeys who assembled my car, the “greatest workers in the world” according to their propaganda, didn’t even give a flying eff that the two most important pieces of the car’s drivetrain were not bolted together. Is it any wonder that Toyota is kicking the Big Three’s asses?

    I say let ’em fail and let the ‘foreign’ companies buy ’em up for like a nickel. Some of the more popular models and faceplates [e.g. F-150] will likely continue on under new ownership but most will land on the scrapheap where they belong.

  93. [re=175474]gurukalehuru[/re]:
    Rebuilding and modernizing our nation’s rail system is the greatest economical and environmental solution for our future of transportation. However, we must ensure that the structure is not modeled after the current utility companies. No unrealistic salaries and bonuses for management and no extortive pay and benefits ( unions ) for laborers. I honestly think the best approach is a military-type pay scale.

  94. The problem with the Big 3 is no one wants to buy what they have to sell. No amount of government money is going to change that.

    The current market capitalization of GM is $1.88 billion. For that amount of money you can have the company and all of its pension and healthcare obligations. I say buy it outright, shift the long-term union obligations into a separate entity, appoint some visionary but experienced business people to the board, and give them a free hand to find a workable solution of production capability and market needs. Police cars, ambulances, cabs, military trucks, and goverment service vehicles for the short term, light rail and buses for the long term. Maybe throw in some innovative concept cars in the meantime. An unprofitable car industry temporarily in government hands is better than having to clean up the mess bankruptcy would create.

  95. Given:

    -we need to preserve our industrial base
    -we actually have skilled workers and engineers, and we need them
    -we are going to need to build a lot of cool stuff for the future
    -Obama’s big initiative will be an Apollo-like program to gain energy independence
    -sometimes, when our collective asses are on the line, America can not suck and be lazy

    Agree with these premises? Then let’s do something that doesn’t suck

    -Fire all the asshats in management, fire them!

    -Build new public/private partnerships that include foreign companies

    -Establish technology/manufacturing labs in depressed areas (Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland), hire all the engineers and designers
    -partner with universities and national labs

    -build clean cars, turbines, light rail, power infrastructure

    -rebuild the factories to be clean and green, including the provision that all power for the new facilities must come from renewable sources, or nuclear.

    -hire a bunch of nasty lawyers in Justice to fucking ream out any mooks who try to go all Blackwater/Halliburton on our asses.

    C’mon people…we can do this shit! Also, it took a good while for TruckNutz to enter into the mix, we can do better than this!

  96. [re=175477]Toomush Infermashun[/re]: “P.S. No one lives in Detroit now, ‘cept a few black squatters….”

    My mom had a squatter removed from the abandoned house next door in her part of Detroit last year. The scofflaw owner was white; the squatter was white; the new owners are black. And they paid cash.

  97. Let ’em crash. Then the government can buy up all their maunufacturing facilities for a pittance and retool them to make passenger trains. Hire the unemployed auto workers to man the new train factories. Hire about ten million more people to start building a commuter rail system so that we don’t need as many damn cars. Fund the project by not committing to the next three or four bailouts of failing capitalist dinosaurs that get proposed. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

  98. [re=175485]bitchincamaro[/re]: Ha ha, cash. Who buys anything with cash? I thought the currency of choice these days was IOUs backed by bankrupt financial instututions that are backed by bankrupt insurers and guaranteed by the promises of drunk, bankrupt, and stupid consumers. You kids and your fancy dollar bills.

  99. That gives me an idea. Maybe we should bail them out with hastily scribbled IOUs written on the back of unpaid credit card bills. That’s the future, my boys! Onward!

  100. My solution:

    1. Give them the money
    2. Fire ALL THE EXECUTIVES of every company taking the money
    3. Tear up union contracts and tell the unions if they want to say in business, shit is going to have to change. (no copay for health insurance, for example, is insane in 2008)
    4. Retool for new American realities.
    5. Force the automakers to have a solid, workable, and detailed business plan for the next 4 years including retooling, etc.
    6. Bring some of the European models to the US. Smaller, fuel efficient cars already exist in some of these companies, they are just not here.
    7. Kill Luxe brands that don’t make sense – Lincoln, Mercury are the same cars as Fords, with more chrome and BS attached. Kill them and become leaner, more focused brands.

  101. If GM declares bankruptcy its not going to be the end. It’ll be like when Bloomingdales declared bankruptcy – business as usual. They need to stop trying to spook people. One more thing this bailout is total bullshit. Giving the automakers 25 or 50 billion isn’t going to fix the crucial problem that noone wants to buy their vehicles. If they had focused on not making craptastic cars they wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. Bailout Baby Bailout!

  102. Anyone happen to know how much money you could give every person who works for those companies with 25 billion? Just curious.

    I am very fond of my nice, fuel-efficient, never-breaks-down Toyota.

  103. I was ambivalent about the auto bailout until I heard that GM thinks $2/gal gas is a great reason to start investing heavily in SUVs again. Now I’m saying, fuck those r-tards. They’ll just be crying for another $25 billion in the summer when gas is over $4 again and Detroit’s Gay French Sister City New Orleans is underwater again.

    But then again, we have to save America’s tenuous, financially impractical jobs!

  104. I do love me some wonkette commenters usually, but the thread on this post is the worst in a long time. Hipsters calling for assembly line workers to have their healthcare plans taken away from their families, snarky liberals talking shit on skilled mechanics they’d -never- say to their faces, or anywhere in public in michigan. I’d -love- to see an internet commenter try to pull a double shift doing welding on assembly line where speedups keep you working 54 seconds out of every minute; or try to support a family in a town where the options are either minimum wage at walmart or a decent wage busting your ass in a foundry, where the boss tries to take the spoon out of your mouth every contract cycle and liberals cheer them on from the blogs. This is why the bitterz hate you, assholes. We’re talking about millions of people whose incomes depend heavily on the living wages unions won in the auto industry, and jackasses here calling for -more- people in wayne county to become impoverished. Stay classy, hipster trash.

  105. [re=175800]osama bin drinkin[/re]:
    I’ve passed my crucible with years of hard work and education through the Navy and Marines so I would never have to do the self-glorified shit work like that of the UAW. You may remove thoust halo. A couple of months of in-house training is not “skilled”, and therefore does not necessitate the extortive wages and benefits. Anybody with a hint of common sense ( apparently excluding union lemmings ) could foresee that the salaries and bonuses of executives plus the wages and benefits of laborers could never be sustained. Especially when your products suck and can’t be given away.
    Perhaps your anger should be focused on yer diddy for not stressing the importance of an education.
    As for your “…to their faces” comment, I would be more than happy to oblige. It won’t be the first and definitely not the last.

  106. The misplaced hostility to unions doesn’t further this dialogue; auto work is demanding, requires skill, and should be paid well. Unions help the economy far more than they hurt it, which has been demonstrated time and again; in fact, the feds should override so-called “right to work” laws. Tougher CAFE standards and more Green cars should be the price for a bailout, with strict limits on executive salaries and a prohibition against stockholder dividends during the bailout process.

    As usual, stockholder greed and an inbred management team (General Motors Institute mentality) has choked the business almost to death. Any past attempts at a modern car company, e.g. Saturn, were quickly smothered by the Old Boy Management Amoeba. Given enough rope, the Old Boys would bring back the Edsel.

    However, the Japanese makers are no better — Toyota has led the fight against tougher CAFE standards.

  107. [re=175872]Servo[/re]: Hey guess what, IG Metall just told bright, shiny, new Porsche-VW to back up their epic Las Vegas-style cleaning out of short-sellers with wage concessions or we’ll bone’ya and good, all 3.6M of them, fuck you very much.

  108. [re=176587]schvitzatura[/re]:
    Putting yourself and your community out of work to demonstrate your inability to compromise; sheer fuckin’ brilliance! I believe in FAIR wages and benefits from top to bottom. What good is it to bankrupt a company because everybody feels entitled to a super-sized chunk of profits?
    I lived through the demise of Pittsburgh’s steel industry. Tens of thousands of jobs lost because it was cheaper to send the raw materials to the other side of the globe than to pay the workers that lived upon said materials. That’s insane!
    Unions have become the very thing they used to fight. Like the corporate executives, unions must toss out the dinosaur thinking and make the necessary changes to benefit EVERYONE in the 21st century.

  109. That would only be the first $25 billion, enough is never enough with these people they would need another $25B in time maybe lets say another $15B a time later, and on . . . never enough. Gezzz maybe they need the moneys so they can pickup and move the whole sha-bang down to South America. I do feel for the people with families trying to make a living in that industry.

  110. There are a lot of things people are neglecting to mention in this article.

    One of the main reasons why Detroit appears static is because, unlike Hyundai and Toyota, who operate in the SE U.S., they are bound by stringent labor union contracts with the UAW. The costs incurred by GM, Ford, and Chrysler are astronomical compared to what the ricers are paying out in the SE. I support the UAW, as I do all unions, but this is definitely a factor that must be taken into account when examining “Detroit.”

    Secondly, I am tired of hearing about foreign cars being “better” than American cars (GOOGLE the most reliable car of 2008 – it’s not a ricer!). The only reason why certain makes (e.g. Nissan, Toyota, etc.) are deemed as being more “innovative” is because they have received assistance and support from the governments of the countries in which they are incorporated (GOOGLE: Japanese government subsidizes Prius). Japanese people are only smarter in the sense that they thought up this subsidizing argument long before it was ever debated in the U.S.

    Finally – to the author…would you rather have our President Barack Obama not take a stand on the issue so all you latte-drinking elites can continue to drive your foreign makes? Remember, Barack Obama supported protectionism (one of the main reasons I supported him so rabidly)…your Nissan Sentras, Toyota Camrys and others of the ilk will only become more difficult to afford as time wares on. With a bailout directed at the auto industry, American cars will once again become innovative, profitable, and held to a higher standard by the U.S. government.

  111. I drive a Saturn that gets 40MPG on the highway.

    The problem is as usual the American consumer. That’s why we have all these ghastly SUVs.

    TO the point though, we need to get industry back in this country and generate real wealth. We need to resurrect the same level of protectionist trade barriers that Japan, Europe and others have against us and use tariffs to offset the competitive disadvantages our manufacturers face from imported slave labor and pollution.

    There is no reason this country can’t be self-sustaining again. Trade is fine when you are actually trading goods, but when you send materials overseas to be worked on by children and other people with no rights or protections and no safety or environmental standards then sent back here as a finished product, it isn’t the product you are “importing”, it’s the cheap labor and low standards.

  112. I’m so hating the bailout plan — it’s just a big taxpayer-sponsored guarantee that nobody will ever have to face the music for being greedy, irresponsible shits, and now we’re expanding it to help as many industries as possible avoid the steady onslaught of chickens coming home to roost.

    It’s painful, but I think that Darwinism has to be applied to the business world as well, and the American car as currently produced by Detroit is neither fuel-efficient nor cost-effective, and should, by rights, be headed the way of the zeppelin. Thanks to the auto lobby and receptive politicians, that ain’t happening, so if we do bail it out, provisions for drastic and immediate overhauls have to be written into the agreement and ENFORCED. Tired of seeing designs for green cars as “the wave of the future” when they should have been in production twenty years ago.

  113. Oh, and also? I do feel for the auto workers, and I am strongly pro-union, please don’t get me wrong, but I think that the UAW is contributing just as much to the clusterfuck in Detroit as the management of the Big Three. A long, hard look at every aspect of the American auto business is way overdue, and the labor situation has to be included in that review.

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