Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm still not blogging, but I was so impressed with this post that I want everyone to read it and the accompanying comments.


Perry said...

I don't agree. People CHOOSE their lot in life, and if that means they tied themselves to a dying industry, they're responsible for that choice. It simply doesn't make sense to encourage a company to produce an inferior product. That, in effect, is what a 'bailout' represents.

TK said...

Did you read the comments? I think there are cases for the Big 3. They haven't produced an inferior product. This post was about people and that if the Big 3 "die" so will millions of people (in a way). You can't say that people who have been working for Ford or GM for forty or more years should lose their jobs because they are working in for companies that are failing many years after those workers are vested in their pensions. Where are these 50 somethings who have worked in manufacturing their whole lives going to find jobs now? And don't forget about the people on the periphery. They didn't start a restaurant or convenience store because of the industry--it's not that cut and dry--but they are going to be affected by it if all the plants close. This affects the entire country, even those who work in mining. In the comments, someone talked about Stillwater closing, in part because of the trouble in the auto industry.

A bailout needs to come with restrictions and with punishment to those who deserve it, but there has to be a way to save the jobs of millions of people.

Perry said...

Unfortunately, that's not how economics work. Everybody's going to take the hit, whether or not they "deserve" it. The fact is, those 50-somethings made a choice when they went to work for those companies. In retrospect, the choice was wrong because the company failed. Whether or not that's their "fault" is ultimately irrelevant. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and no power on earth is going to change that. Those people are simply going to have to suck it up and figure out how to go on. That is LIFE. Dollars or policy from the government can't make it better - but it CAN make it worse. That money will be wasted if it goes to the automakers. Spend it on schools, not on shitty cars.

If the Big 3 make a superior product - or even an average product! - how come they're not selling any of them? American cars are crap, and they have been for a while.

TK said...

What if that money is used to revitalize the industry? I think there are many factors, and many examples of the government (ours and others) actually helping some industries make a turnaround. Why are the American automakers so disparaged? Why do we have the perception that a Kia is better than a Chevy?

When I bought my Saturn, they promoted the fact that they were the "most American American car" and they recycled more than any other automaker, and they created preserves on their property to help restore wildlife in the areas around their plants. I drove that Saturn for almost 150,000 miles, starting at 50,000. The only reason I had to give it up was because I couldn't afford the routine repairs that were needed after that many miles and years. The only reason I drive a Toyota now is because I was given a good deal when I had no money. I watch a co-worker take her Subaru to the shop every month. Those repairs are expensive--especially when she has to drive it to SLC to the dealer. There's an unjust attitude against the Big 3 that needs to be understood if the right decision is going to be made. I don't know why they haven't sold, but I think some of the reasons stated in that post are true and real. A lot of it is perception. When did we stop supporting the businesses for which our families and friends work?

On top of all that, it doesn't seem right to bail out financial institutions that managed other people's money poorly but not to bail out an entire industry, especially one that manufactures something we need. I don't think bail outs are the way to go, but it's the only solution we have right now. Michigan's economy as well as the economies other places that rely on the auto industry will continue to fail. Perhaps it's better to have tried to fix the problem than to just give up on millions of people.

jdg said...

thanks for the link TK.

I only want to add that no one is buying Toyotas or Mercedes or Hondas right now either. those companies are being forced to rent vast parking lots in Long Beach to store the cars that the dealers don't want because no one is buying them right now (because no one is buying ANY cars right now when they can't get credit approval).

TK said...

It's a good topic, and I think it relates to knitting. We knitters and crafters need to think about these issues as they relate to our craft, too.

That's a good point about nobody buying things. It's hard to remember when living in a place like Elko, where the economy is doing well.

lilyliberty said...

so sorry to hear about your Nana and your friend- it was good to see you in Louisville- hang in there- the knitting is beautiful and great photos!
Sue e (aka Lily Liberty)