Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The bailout of the automakers

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are now standing in line for their share of the bailout money. For the first time, Congress is actually discussing imposing conditions. Some would like to require that the money be used to design and build vehicles providing higher mileage and less pollution. Most of the recipients have been receiving the bailout without any real conditions.

I have a simple proposal. No cash bailout. Instead, I suggest we address the number one reason why American automakers are not competitive in the world market: health insurance. Medical costs add an estimated $1500 to the cost of every American automobile. I suggest that the employees of the three automakers be included in the same federal health insurance plans as federal government employees. I would also include the members of congress in these same plans. My proposal would be the first step in implementing national health insurance for all Americans. This proposal would make the three automakers competitive in the world marketplace. The foreign automakers do not have to pay this cost because their employees have national health insurance.

I prefer to provide help in a way that changes the economics of the manufacture of automobiles. This would create real change that makes it more likely that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler survive as automakers.

My two cents.

Copyrighted 2008


Blogger FTSuperintendent said...

I agree....but, assuming we MUST prop them up, why not do ALL the things necessary to make it a worthwhile investment instead of a dead loss. It's OUR money after all.
First, the cash bailout sum buys up the stock for us, the people. It's dirt cheap now anyway. Second, having done that, sack the failed directors without pay or bonus. (What do you think they have planned for their workforce?) Third, install some young energetic smart guys with a mandate to convert the car company to the production of sensible vehicles to be, at least, capable of being in direct competition with the Japanese and Europeans. Fourth, force reduced wages on the workforce instead of forcing redundancies and only allow natural workforce depletions. Fifth, diversify the industries into alternative energy technologies, not only vehicular, but also mainstream. Q.E.D. .....
Then we have a true investment rather than a 'bailout' .... a 'bailout', particularly in industry, is the establishment stealing the peoples money to bail themselves out so that they can recover enough to screw the people again next time.

6:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One major problem with this idea and a bunch of less "major" one. First of all does it strike anyone that the foreign owned companies that are manufacturing in American at a substantial profit are playing by the same rules as the American car companies? Will they get the same benefit for cars made here? If so, that will end the party for the American car companies because your "advantage" will go for both sides and the American taxpayer will pay for workers that don't us to pay for their insurance.

American companies that of course buy all their parts abroad and assemble much of the car abroad as opposed to the foreign owned car companies in this country, need to work on the model of success of Honda, Toyota and Nissan. Otherwise these companies will beat the american companies at their own game of getting bailouts for the industry when all they really want is a bailout for the COMPANY not a bailout for the industry. The industry is doing just fine. Why should more of our tax dollars pay for mismanaged companies? Why should congressmen be the arbiters as they have proved to be THE worst stewards of taxpayer money for half a century at this point.

11:52 AM


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