Friday, November 21, 2008

Free-Thinking Friday: White Collar Bailout vs Blue-Collar Loan...

Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
Photo Courtesy Detroit Free Press
OK, so the auto execs should've thought twice about going to Washington in separate $20K/trip corporate jets. Of course the auto companies need to change a lot of things about their business model. But is anyone thinking about not just the "rich guys at the top" but the millions upon millions of blue-collar workers and retirees who depend on the auto companies for their livelihood? What about the millions of auto-related jobs with small businesses around the country who depend on the auto companies? What about all of the other small businesses that will fail because they won't have any customers? Why punish all of them because of what the bigwigs did or didn't do?

Raise your hand if you have a family member who works now, or who is retired from one of the Big Three or a related company. Raise your other hand if that family member bought a house, raised a family, donated to charity, sent their kids to college, and just basically lived the American life by keeping the American economy going. Now, put down one or both hands if that family never ever made a mistake thoughout life. See all of those hands raised?

The auto companies are asking for a "bridge loan"; the re-tooling for the future starts next fall--the plans are already in place. The unions have cut their wages and benefits to the bone. Huge world-wide companies can't change overnight, but changes are coming.

But because of vengefulness, short-sidedness, and frankly, elitism on the part of Republicans in Congress--yes the same ones who spend $10 BILLION a MONTH in Iraq--the white-collar financial companies got their bailout, but the blue-collar auto companies can't get a loan without rankor and vitriol.


  1. It's just delaying the inevitable.

    U.S. auto makers have been being stupid for years. That's not going to change. Lending them money that they probably won't be able to pay back is just foolish.

    I'd rather see the money put toward extended unemployment benefits and health care.

  2. This is a perfect example of how two groups of "Good Ol' Boys" (republicans and automobile industry leaders) like each other when things are good and turn on each other when things are bad. The worker, the consumer, the families are always the one catching the shrapnel from this kind of battle, not the rich dudes.

    And it totally infuriates me to no end that they just roll up in D.C. with no plan, just a proverbial cardboard sign that reads: "Made bad decisions, please help." Come on, industry leaders, how many times have YOU given THAT guy any money? Why would you expect to be treated any differently?

  3. Thank you for your article!

    What makes me sad about this whole issue is that The U.S. has seem to forgot that it was our Big Three that helped win WW2-

    Now that we need help, there are so many reasons why our government should NOT help to support blue collar workers and unions.

    So what if they did not have a "business plan". I don't recall Freddie and Fanny introducing a business plan? But hey, they are NOT blue collar- they are not Union- they for sure are NOT Detroit!

    sad, sad, sad...come on people, we so need to support our peeps and our industry!
    -tanya- a regular blue collar, GED grad.
    Born and raised in Detroit- and I vote.

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