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Jae Onasi
12-04-2008, 10:21 AM
Well, the "Big Three" executives are speaking with Congress today to ask for a bailout. Should the gov't get involved in this? If the gov't does, what should the auto industry be required to do to become profitable, and theoretically pay the taxpayers back for this 'loan'?

Apparently they drove to the meeting this time instead of all flying in on their private corporate jets.

Yar-El
12-04-2008, 11:07 AM
We use to have a tradition in the United States. Corporations and companies go out of buisness, and then another stronger one takes it's place. They are going to bail them out regardless, and there is not enough vocal citizens to prevent them from doing it.

We have to end this somehow. Here is the irony - They get taxpayer money for the bailout; however, they will not lower the price of a car to say "thank you we get it". Where is our discount on cars? What do we get in return? Do we also get a cheaper-greener car?

SW01
12-04-2008, 12:40 PM
From what I have read in our reports on the matter, letting the big three go under might be the straw. I can see the problems for a staunch capitalist nation in aiding a failing private company, but surely if the repercussions of collapse will detrimentally affect the entire US economy, it would be worth breaking from ideology? Clearly, some strict requirements and limitations should be placed upon the companies in question in the event of a loan, though.

I think the chair of the Senate Banking Committee (Sen. Christopher Dodd) put the point well: "This is not about acting to save individual companies. If it were, I would let them fail."

I found this somewhat amusing: 'The chief executives of Ford and GM have even offered to work for $1 a year if Congress approves the emergency aid.'

Source (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7765586.stm)

Darth_Yuthura
12-04-2008, 12:47 PM
It would cause much more damage to the US economy to let those three declare bankruptcy, yet we cannot just bail out every company and corporation that made a bad set of choices. What's worse?

A compromise: the US government should place sanctions on the CEO's for what they did to the stockholders who trusted them first. To keep everyone else in business, the property and assets of the Big Three should be bought by the Government and be managed by arbitrators or directors who have no stake in the companies. That would ensure no one would have reason to run the corporations into the ground again.

mattig89ch
12-04-2008, 02:38 PM
I think if they can come up with a comprehensive business plan to turn their companies around, then they should be bailed out. If not, then they should not be.

Chevron 7 locke
12-04-2008, 02:40 PM
No they should not be bailed out. they have had it way to good for way to long in my opinion

mattig89ch
12-04-2008, 02:53 PM
And what would you have them do? Go out of buisness, push more people into unemployment, and make the economy that much worse?

Don't get me wrong, if they don't have a clue how to run their companies better then the government should, temporarily, take over the companies.

Chevron 7 locke
12-04-2008, 02:55 PM
All i did was offer my opinion, i realize that would probally screw up the economy even worse, but the guys in charge of these companies seem to have no clue on how to run things

mattig89ch
12-04-2008, 03:06 PM
Well....at least you realize the downside of your point of view.

I want to hear what they offered the government as a business plan. My point of view might shift to your side if they don't offer a legitimate plan.

GarfieldJL
12-04-2008, 03:13 PM
To be honest, the State Government of Michigan is partially to blame, labor unions are as well, and the Feds might have partial blame in this mess.

I'm going to say that most of the blame is on the shoulders of labor unions, which are semi protected by the Federal Government.

jrrtoken
12-04-2008, 03:38 PM
If the government decides to bailout the automakers, then they should fire all of the executives as well. They're the ones who got themselves into the mess, and they're bringing America down with them.

mattig89ch
12-04-2008, 03:42 PM
If the government decides to bailout the automakers, then they should fire all of the executives as well. They're the ones who got themselves into the mess, and they're bringing America down with them.

That I agree with.

mimartin
12-04-2008, 03:58 PM
Should the gov't get involved in this?
I’m conflicted as to if the bailout will actually do any good or will it only allow a dying dinosaur a few more years of life.


If the gov't does, what should the auto industry be required to do to become profitable, and theoretically pay the taxpayers back for this 'loan'? As to what the auto industry should do, design cars that people want to buy.

Although even then with GM’s pension obligation, I still don’t know if they would be profitable. They are going to moan about their pension burden until the government steps in and helps them get rid of the burden.


As to blame you can assign blame to whoever you like, but if the big three designed vehicles the average American wanted to drive, then the blame game would be moot. They are having problems because people do not want the vehicles Detroit is producing.

GarfieldJL
12-04-2008, 04:04 PM
Explain why the big 3 pay over $70 an hour for each worker...

Seriously, the Union rules, and the insane pay is enough to drive them into the ground.

Jae Onasi
12-04-2008, 04:50 PM
The UAW is working on getting concessions from their workers--they have to abide by their constitution in how they work with their union workers. It's not all the UAW--the companies need to make a profit on their cars and they haven't for quite some time.

I was watching some of the proceedings today, and one expert gave the dire prediction that GM would be bankrupt by the end of December if nothing was done. There's also talk about GM and Chrysler merging. I'm not entirely sure how putting 2 failing companies together will create a profitable one, but I don't have their business plans either.

Litofsky
12-04-2008, 05:42 PM
In my opinion, Federal Government should bail the Big Three out- but at a (heavy?) price: in return for billions our our dollars, it is my belief that the companies should be forced to meet certain benchmarks, such as in fuel economy (over 35 MPG by 2010-12 would be reasonable, no?).

At any rate, I disagree with letting them fall flat on their faces (the executives/companies): doing so might be highly detrimental to the poor-dealings of our current economy.

If my calculations are correct (information on employees comes from Wikipedia), the Big Three employee a little under 500,000 people. Imagine all of them becoming jobless in the next few months, and the impact on the economy.

Rev7
12-04-2008, 06:18 PM
Yes, they have made had done some really stupid stuff- i.e paying some of their employees to just sit around, but I think that they do need some help. There has to be a balance though, because what they are asking for is really quite a lot of money. I think that the Big 3 should make some major changes in how they run their company and their employees. But yes, if it will work, I think that, in the long run, it will be beneficial.

The economy is really taking some hard hits as of late...

GarfieldJL
12-04-2008, 07:01 PM
The UAW is working on getting concessions from their workers--they have to abide by their constitution in how they work with their union workers. It's not all the UAW--the companies need to make a profit on their cars and they haven't for quite some time.

Didn't they originally refuse to negotiate, seriously Subereu (sp?) is doing just fine (probably cause they aren't shelling out $70 an hour).


I was watching some of the proceedings today, and one expert gave the dire prediction that GM would be bankrupt by the end of December if nothing was done. There's also talk about GM and Chrysler merging. I'm not entirely sure how putting 2 failing companies together will create a profitable one, but I don't have their business plans either.

Well yeah, but how much is due to the ridiculously high cost of labor though? Subereu is actually still making a profit. So is Toyota for that matter.

Rev7
12-04-2008, 07:41 PM
Well yeah, but how much is due to the ridiculously high cost of labor though? Subereu is actually still making a profit. So is Toyota for that matter.
Subaru ;)

Perhaps because maybe they are making more fuel efficient cars? Labor doesn't have to be up to $70.

70*500,000= $35,000,000

That is crazy.

Tommycat
12-06-2008, 04:23 AM
When a broom pusher unskilled labor worker is making $35/hr, something has to be done. The labor unions did quite a bit of good in their time, but they have also stifled the ability for the US automakers to be as competitive. Perhaps there is a need for the big three to file for bankruptcy to save the companies. They have to stop paying for people that aren't working for them anymore. Bankruptcy would allow them to lower prices, sell more cars, employ more people, and still earn a profit. Chances are though even if they do file bankruptcy, they won't lower car prices.

I think bailing them out is a bad idea without an established plan on how to become profitable again.

Web Rider
12-06-2008, 04:44 AM
And that's a problem, because lowering people's income will prohibit them from being able to afford products, from anyone. And the worst part is the whole "it's expensive to be poor", which if you aren't familiar with the saying, when you have 5 dollars, all you can afford is the small thing of food, but if you have 8 dollars, you can get triple that at a wholesale place.

If companies like GM and Ford paid minimum wage, their employees would be living in abject poverty.

Lynk Former
12-06-2008, 07:29 AM
Unfortunately, the top two car companies in Australia happen to be Holden (an Australian company that GM bought) and Ford. In this case, the problems in your country happen to effect my own and it's not looking good for anyone down here either.

We've already had the Mitsubishi plant close down here which killed a lot of jobs and I think a Holden plant is about to close too. The only source of encouragement is the government pitching in some money to get Toyota to start a plant here.

Darth_Yuthura
12-06-2008, 09:47 AM
I am absolutely against any bailout that does not place sanctions on the CEO's of the corporations. The only thing I despise about all this is that many of the people who made the decisions that doomed the big three have long since sold most of their stocks and left the next generation to die in the aftermath of what they did.

When SUV's were becoming ever so popular, they were a very big success in the short term, but devastating for the long-term prosperity of the corporations. The CEO's knew that, but acted to make huge profits, and then sell their stocks before the long term consequences affected them.

We should be going after those people more than the ones who inherited the doomed corporations. However, they must not just be given a slap on the wrist if they are bailed out. They must forfeit their control if they are to be rescued.

vanir
12-07-2008, 02:42 PM
At some point in the future you may find luxury industries necessarily downgraded in order to prevent economic collapse. Ultimately the auto industry is far beyond adequate, whilst the argument of job creation is muted by the entirely disproportionate cost of new cars and upgrading current models.
In terms of what is required for public facilitation you could get away with the amount of new cars built for one year, every ten years.

But then it's a little like chasing gold in the entertainment industry I think. Everybody wants to be a pop star, and has no idea fifty talented musicians and songwriters were ripped off to make that one pop star, whose profits go to the record company that made them.

In any case the victims of Hurricane Katrina deserved far more government subsidisation than the luxury of a well more than adequate auto industry, didn't they? What about subsidised healthcare and education? There's some truly needed job creation. I'm not one of the believers that such a thing would make Americans start chanting, "Stalin, Stalin."

Now the electronics industry for example, you wouldn't want that to crash. Everybody needs electronics these days.

I don't know, I worked in the auto industry for some ten years and just see it as a dinosaur. I haven't even owned a car for years.

Bimmerman
12-08-2008, 03:56 AM
I have a rather vested interest in this question; I'm a car nut and an active racer, have both a daily driver car and a racecar, and am looking for a job in the international Motorsport world as a racing engineer.

That said- I am absolutely against any form of automotive bailout, no matter what the conditions.

I will go so far as to say that if the Big 3 get bailed out, I will never buy their products again. Ever.

I believe that the current issues with the Big Three can be directly laid at the feet of the antiquated bureaucracy of idiocy, the UAW, the upper management of the three companies (not just everyone's favorite whipping post, the CEOs, but the whole executive board and high level managers), and the fact that combining 1) with 2) yielded such horrendous cars for so long.

I have said numerous times to friends, family, etc that I would buy a new American car if they made a car that fit my needs and worked as a cohesive package. However, despite a car's straight line speed, which the Big 3 excel at, their cars always leave something to be desired. Interior fit and finish, the ability to turn left and right at speeds above 20mph, brakes that aren't undersized for a mountain bike or Geo Metro, an engine that isn't based off of the same 1940s design (i.e. overhead valve single cam in block V8s), I can go on and on. Since the Big 3 don't, I take my money and business elsewhere.

Now that gas is getting more expensive, and despite the recent downturn, I would like a small city car that gets good gas mileage and isn't a surprisingly non-capsized land yacht. Unfortunately, the Big 3 don't make such a car, despite the "30 mpg HWY!!!11!!!one!" signs and advertisements. It's not an accomplishment to get 30mpg, it's not even adequate. My 20 year old racecar gets 30mpg on the highway, and I have a rather leaden foot.

Since I've veered rather off topic, I'll try to steer my way back. A bailout would be disastrous for everyone involved. I am absolutely against the government spending my tax dollars to pay some lazy fat ass in GM's idled plants to not work. Building a car takes almost no skill; being paid ~$35 per hour in pure wages to do so is absolutely ludicrous.

The best thing to happen is for the Big 3 to go into Chapter 11(GM) or Chapter 7(Chrysler...seriously, no more minivans please!). Ford is not in the same financial straights as the other two, so hence why I've not included them in the bankruptcy fun.

By going into bankruptcy, the failed companies can finally shed themselves of the useless brands like Hummer, Buick (ugh), Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, Everything by Chrysler, etc; they can finally rid themselves of the ******* UAW; they can cut back on their contracts with parts suppliers; and other benefits. Yes, it will hurt the economy a good deal, but if they do not go into bankruptcy GM and Chrysler will never become competitive again.

What is possibly the best argument against the bailout is to look at what happened to British Leyland Motors back in the 70s. They were bailed out by the British Government and survived for about five years, and then went bankrupt and disappeared, due to Unions, Management, etc.

Cliffs to the novel of a post: Bailout Bad, says Car Guy.

Darth_Yuthura
12-08-2008, 08:50 AM
Some people have described the effects on the US economy if the big three go under, but what about the damage done to the economy by bailing them out? It would also send a bad signal to every other corporation that have taken their steps very carefully. Ford and GM made bad business choices and these are the consequences. They CAN NOT just be bailed out because they were bad investments in the first place.

And don't forget that taxpayer dollars would be used, making people pay even more out of their pockets to provide for everything else in the budget for maintenance, services, and military.

Jae Onasi
12-12-2008, 01:12 AM
A bailout bill passed the house but there was opposition in the Senate--the Republicans want up-front concessions from the UAW in order to fund any bail-outs.

machievelli
12-12-2008, 01:58 AM
Yes, they have made had done some really stupid stuff- i.e paying some of their employees to just sit around, but I think that they do need some help. There has to be a balance though, because what they are asking for is really quite a lot of money. I think that the Big 3 should make some major changes in how they run their company and their employees. But yes, if it will work, I think that, in the long run, it will be beneficial.

The economy is really taking some hard hits as of late...


The most recent amt mentioned (17 billion dollars) is less than one half of one percent of what the bloated leech called the Federal government extorts out of us every year. If we bail them out the Union has to be reined in too. So far they have driven seven or eight airlines and the American merchant marine into the ground, and forced most companies to outsource overseas rather than pay what they demand.

Oh BTW, the bailout bill collapsed in the senate exactly because the unions still want to be able to jack up their wages.

Tommycat
12-12-2008, 05:42 AM
So bloody sick of the UAW.

I think most of all I feel that the bailout will only delay the inevitable. So long as the bloated wages of the Union and Execs continue, the big 3 will eventually die. So we'll get to foot the bill for an ultimately futile effort.

Edited to add:
Best description I can think of. It's like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Until you fix the real problem ultimately you lose the patient.

Web Rider
12-12-2008, 03:00 PM
So bloody sick of the UAW.

Yeah, at $70 an hour, on a 40 hour workweek, for say, 45 weeks out of the year, that's almost 150,000 a year. That's crazy for factory labor. 50,000 a year would be a LOT in my opinion for factor labor.

Yar-El
12-12-2008, 04:43 PM
Yeah, at $70 an hour, on a 40 hour workweek, for say, 45 weeks out of the year, that's almost 150,000 a year. That's crazy for factory labor. 50,000 a year would be a LOT in my opinion for factor labor.
I get around $89 an hour, and I work 50 hours a week. I agree. $50,000 a year is not very much. I make a pretty oky paycheck. I have a cousin that works for Ford, and he gets around $60,000 a year. He has two kids to take care of, and he is barely getting by.

Web Rider
12-12-2008, 04:58 PM
I get around $89 an hour, and I work 50 hours a week. I agree. $50,000 a year is not very much. I make a pretty oky paycheck. I have a cousin that works for Ford, and he gets around $60,000 a year. He has two kids to take care of, and he is barely getting by.

For an average middle-class family(2 parents, 2 kids, few cars), it should be about double that needed. I was talking for just a single-person supporting only themselves.

Most people actually, with the exception of the very rich, are only 1 paycheck away from poverty.

Yar-El
12-12-2008, 05:33 PM
For an average middle-class family(2 parents, 2 kids, few cars), it should be about double that needed. I was talking for just a single-person supporting only themselves.

Most people actually, with the exception of the very rich, are only 1 paycheck away from poverty.
Affordable education alone will not solve this problem.

I can't put myself in the Big Three's shoes. How can you keep a straight face and ask for bail out money when others are not getting paycheck adjustments for survival? It stinks.

Jae Onasi
12-12-2008, 07:20 PM
I get around $89 an hour, and I work 50 hours a week. I agree. $50,000 a year is not very much. I make a pretty oky paycheck. I have a cousin that works for Ford, and he gets around $60,000 a year. He has two kids to take care of, and he is barely getting by.
If he''s barely getting by on that salary, he needs to re-evaluate his spending.

Yar-El
12-12-2008, 07:31 PM
If he''s barely getting by on that salary, he needs to re-evaluate his spending.
He has two kids, two dogs, house, two cars, and he does some slightly foolish spending. His wife works 30 hours a week. He gets it from his dad; however, my uncle gets $132 per hour. He can afford the extras.

ForeverNight
12-12-2008, 08:05 PM
$132.00/hour????


Holy!

At a 40-hour work week and 47 weeks a year...

That's: $248160.00 a year... that's almost a quarter-mil a year.

What does he do???

---
On Topic:

Yeah, the Big Three should just declare bankruptcy so they can shed some of their Union responsibilities for now and produce a decent car at a decent price.

If they have to pay people $70/hr and meet pension and other requirements for all the eligible workers than the car prices go up! There's a reason their losing money.

But then the media makes those three CEO's appear to be the big-bad companies because their not taking care of the [Outrageously Powerful] Union members.

Yeah, "Big-Bad-Evil-Companies".

Tommycat
12-12-2008, 09:12 PM
Hang on a minute. I get around $20 an hour in my IT job. I have a degree. I have bills to pay. Before, I was able to pay for me, my wife, two kids, a dog and a house... and my wife was drinking like crazy. Some people need to reign in their spending. I actually feel bloody rich not having to pay for all of that. *sigh* I'm not being paid enough....

Note: I live in a low cost of living area, so perceptions about the insane pay of factory workers may be slightly skewed.

Q
12-12-2008, 09:24 PM
I'm opposed to any bailout for the same reasons Bimmerman gave. GM and Chrysler should file for bankruptcy and tell the UAW what to go do with itself. The UAW leadership would only have istself to blame for such an outcome.

I was also opposed to the previous bailout. Companies that can not manage themselves should go into receivership.

GarfieldJL
12-19-2008, 04:45 PM
Okay, from what I've heard, at least one of the CEOs of the big three just got there, and that's the President of Ford, so I wouldn't blame him for the mess he got left by the guy before him.

Also Ford is in much better shape than General Motors and Chrysler.

JediAthos
12-21-2008, 12:34 AM
I think that perhaps Jay Leno made a good point in his monologue one night. (I'm paraphrasing by the way) He made a comment to the effect of if we bailed out those snakes on Wallstreet why not the auto industry?

Imo..Wallstreet are the ones that shouldn't have gotten the bailout. Whatever the auto industries mistakes are they cannot be as severe as the passel of idiots on Wallstreet which some would argue are either directly or indirectly the cause of a great many of the economic problems we currently face.

mur'phon
12-21-2008, 03:53 AM
The difference is that not bailing out the big three is bad in the short term, good in the long term. Not bailing out Wall street would have been catastrophic in the short term, and make any recowery take a lot longer.

GarfieldJL
12-21-2008, 10:21 PM
The difference is that not bailing out the big three is bad in the short term, good in the long term. Not bailing out Wall street would have been catastrophic in the short term, and make any recowery take a lot longer.

No, the money is only going to end up going to the UAW, which is one of the Democrats' chief providers of campaign money.

Darth Avlectus
12-22-2008, 06:11 AM
Ironic how wall street and the banks have already been bailed out and there hasn't been much talk about THEIR plans. Nor will there ever be any investigations into who caused that whole mess. (Cough-cough) Rahm Emanuel and Franklin Rains AKA Fannie Mae & Freddie Mack. Coincidence right?

Blagoijovech? A sacrificial lamb. Who knew what and When did they know?
They didn't know and it was all poor judgement? Oh, great. I feel really secure with such IDIOTS in charge.
I'm not making hasty generalizations: In Chicago, the "straight'n'sober" genuine types don't live there for long.

BTW:
What the flock have these thieving pirates on wall street done for the workin' folks lately? When was the last time any of them braved a 30-40 ft. climb up the side of a house to put in heat tape conduit in the middle of a blizzard? I can tell you this much; they take a spill in their profession, they can start over; I have no life insurance so if I take a spill and die my family is *screwed*. Hell, they're still screwed if I live 'cuz of the hospital bill.
--------
What's up with 14 AIG execs EACH taking $25K private jets to hawaii for a one week "seminar" with all the luxury of a king? On bailout money no less?
I think we need to impale someone.

------
Any case I totally agree with giving these companies more than a slap on the wrists, bailout or not. Also, we should not punish the ones who inherit the mess. Fat chance we'll ever scathe the bandits though. It's a good goal to aim for, still.

We are faced with an ugly situation with ugly solutions and even uglier outcomes either way.

On the one hand:
Bail 'em out. If we had arbitrary individuals to run these corporations we would need them to
1) not be government agents,
2) not be tied into government in any major way,
AND
3) not have any current or past connections to any corporations whatsoever.

I think the American people would go for it in this case.
Fat chance that'll be the case: In a practical sense, to do so requires a past leadership in either one, or the other, or both. If their past was good...yeah, fine...but there is no guarantee the person will do the right thing, is there?

Coming up with a plan. Frankly I don't see how any plan would work while the uneven play field of NAFTA is still going. Unless the US auto makers became part of it and took advantage of it. Which would defeat part of the whole idea of having a US manufacturing, US based auto maker. Oh sure they'd survive but it would still be adverse to the economy for many of the same reasons as letting it fail. Namely taking jobs away from US citizens.

We'd be left with business, albeit government run. Some of you think that might be a good thing but I'd say turn your direction to utilities and "natural" sd monopolies and their failures...a popular example of bad might be what Erin Brockovich fought against. Gov't. solutions are okay for a time, but eventually would have to switch over. Making a lasting impression and discouraging future diverging sounds like a nice idea. Keeping it gov't run would still run into most of the same problems.

Arbitraters to watch all sides is nice on paper, but in reality it is like saying government will watch government or corporate will watch itself and the market solves all. Money/power talks, and BS walks.


On the other hand:
If the one on top is incompetent, let 'em burn. Let the businesses fail. Suffer damage to our economy.
Not only lose jobs, but now there is no manufacturer based in the USA. We already have near zilch manufacturing in this country. If a natural disaster hit and isolated us from our imports from the rest of the world (and given the earth's activity patterns could happen any day now)...I'm sure you could figure that one out.

Another may rise up to seize the mantle. We could take bailout money, watch these newcomers like hawks and help 'em up.
Does anyone know of any enterprising companies? I sure don't--but just because I can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there, right???????

Frankly I don't see the US auto manufacturers surviving.
-----------
Part of our solution is transparent public audits: going through every job with a fine tooth comb and figuring out what jobs actually deserves to earn what wages/salary.
We obviously cannot have leaf blowers earning as much as doctors and we cannot have doctors take a cut in pay to match leaf blowers. (credit Michael Savage for analogy)
Tedious and messy but it has to be done sooner or later. We cannot afford not to do it.
------------

Unions. Yeah, tell me about it.
I'm not entirely convinced the mafia is gone.

I've had to work with these @$$holes. Such idiots and such waste.

Rewarding ineptitude and incompetence. Even paying workers to not work. That is a bunch of BS. Stiflers of competition and innovation MUST GO. Or at least need major overhaul. Again, Fat chance.

Vanir, you talk like "dinosaur" of technology is necessarily such a bad thing.
I have one counter example for electronics.

Microwaves. Most of what goes wrong in these is usually a small thing easily fixed/replaced. Yet so many are sent to the dump, sadly.
Vast majority are like this. If the problem is something not easily fixed, scavenge the spare parts--you would be surprised how simple microwaves themselves are. Harmless electrically when unpowered after roughly 12-24 hours.

Parts are often interchangeable. I am not kidding, these are so easily user serviceable with common sense, good caution, a little self education (for free), and a bit of mechanical skill and novice electronics skill, most people could do it.
Rather than spend $50 every 2 years for a new one each time, why not just spend some extra cash now for parts to replace what goes wrong? If it will give you another 15 years of service, think how much you could save over that period... PM me if you want to know more

As far as electronics, Vanir, no we cannot lose that.
We'll need to select carefully what to evolve and what not to evolve, though.

Micro sizing. Good for energy efficiency. And bad by making it impossible to repair things... so long as the stuff can be processed and broken down into raw materials for reuse... The waste must be cut out. Something which means engineers and developers must start taking into consideration BEFORE coming up with a product.