Monday, March 09, 2009

Should We Rescue the Automakers?

Letting the automakers fail seems like the right thing to do. Why prop them up, artificially, if they can’t stand on their own. I keep thinking that they made the wrong cars, knowingly, and now they can only make big gas hogs when the world can only afford high mileage hybrids or electric. On the other hand, the American consumer wanted the crap that Detroit was making and these companies were financially successful until Wall Street crashed the market and the consumer quit buying.

So, Detroit is in trouble only because the consumer stopped buying cars. Is that Detroit’s fault? The consumer has stopped buying a lot of things and the companies that were making or selling those things are failing but not because those companies were poorly run. Any company with zero sales is bound to fail.

Now that Detroit is failing for lack of sales we are blaming the failure on overpaid CEOs, union labor and low MPG autos. While all of these may be issues none of them caused the companies to fail.

Obama is going to spend money to recover our economy. It will be costly to most of us but he is using this disaster as an opportunity to restore America to something better than it was before the crash. Since we are going to spend a lot of money, let’s spend it to do all the things that we couldn’t afford before the crash. We have long needed to change our energy resources – now is the time. Our bridges and roads are a disaster; our healthcare system is inefficient; our schools are decaying and inadequate. So, while we have to spend at least a trillion dollars to jump start the economy we will spend it so that we are better than before.

In that spirit, we should do something about the American auto industry. However, “I” am not qualified to decide what to do and how to do it. But, I’m convinced that if we spend money on the automakers they should be rebuilt into a 21st century automaker that builds and sells the cars we “should” be driving instead of the cars we “love” to drive. We just may be good enough to build a car that meets both of our needs.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

Good thoughts Joe! I'm not qualified either but share your hope about Detroit.