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06:43 PM on 11/14/2008
Wow, he's absolutely right. They will never make good on any of their promises. I'm tired of bailing these idiots out; and I'm glad that there is some good social commentary on the subject.

Obama needs to back off of this; we can't bail these people out. Anyone see Roger and Me? Do you really think that we should be bailing out companies that send U.S. jobs overseas and are made up almost exclusively of management at this point? The same managers that are handing out the pink slips?

Oh, and there is the added issue of whether or not we should be bailing out ANYONE, EVER. That is not the JOB of government. It isn't SETUP in the CONSTITUTION. It's NOT our job, but it IS our money. http://mediacondom.com
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06:31 PM on 11/14/2008
Keep in mind that Toyota and the other car companies with manufacturing in the US are all doing OK. So the PROBLEM is clearly NOT the workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler, but the incompetent management.

An example of just how much better run Toyota is than GM - a few years ago, Toyota took over an ex-GM plant in California. The plant now produces three times as many vehicles as GM ever did with less than half the workers. These are cars that Americans want - Tacoma trucks and Corollas. NOTE: the workers are UAW Union workers, some of whom GM laid off when the plant was closed. Note also that for several years, cars made in California were EXPORTED to Japan! That is, American workers could produce cars with quality good enough for Japanese buyers!

Toyota has clearly demonstrated that American Union workers can make well designed cars as well as foreign workers, all it tkaes is quality management.

It is long past time to kill GM, Ford and Chrysler. I feel sorry for the workers, but they can be retrained for new industries that will be drawn to the high quality workers and empty buildings.
07:34 PM on 11/14/2008
EgggzzzACTLY! Spot on.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
slaxx
09:11 PM on 11/14/2008
in all fairness though, japan was pressured into coming here and setting up factories because there was a huge backlash against their cars and them taking over the industry.

hopefully when the big three fall, japan won't go back to making them somewhere else and then exporting them to here.
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:28 PM on 11/14/2008
I like this guy. But as part of Wallstreet for 40 years , he also does not believe you need to make things.. just be service providers. On that he is dead wrong and its that absurd belief that got us here.

The way many want the remaining half of our mFG base to fold, they must believe the same.


Regards
06:07 PM on 11/14/2008
It wasn't that many years ago that the automakers/autoworkers railed against democrats for wanting to raise fuel efficiency standards, claiming it would "cost American jobs."

Now what has cost American jobs is that the efficiency standards were not raised and foreign automakers brought us fuel efficient cars.

I blame the automakers 100% for their problems, and I don't care if they shut down. Don't bail the suckers out.
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:25 PM on 11/14/2008
Then with 23 million more unemployed and the forclosures and the certain depression that would bring.. you have just killed the Obama presidency off. And the cost of losing them would be in the trillions..


Pls note we apparantly have failed in the following industries:


1) 1/2 the auot industry and heavy equipment industry.

2) The electronics industry completely.

3) The home appliance industry completely.

4) The computer industry.

5) A/Cs, heaters and etc., climate control

6) The clothing industry


7) Now the software industry.

and etc... Its not just us, its the way the competition plays the game and its not free trade.

Lets just kiss off the rest of our MFG and we can all work at Pizza parlors.

Regards

//
06:30 PM on 11/14/2008
I am European and believe me, we have multiple models of automobiles that get excellent mileage, are safe and enjoyable to drive.

N-F-B-O !
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sunzen
05:57 PM on 11/14/2008
These auto-industry big-wigs are all charlatans...

Altho' I retired almost 15 years ago (god, that makes me old!), when I started working for XEROX in the late '60s and thru the first half of the '70s, it was a company that cared about its employees... THEN they started hiring for CEOs, etc. ex FORD executives, who began the destruction of the company, both from an internal employee perspective as well as in the industry...

The auto industry has many things that are out of control, and while upper senior management has screwed up the direction of the companies, the union contracts have also had a deliterious effect...

I'm sorry, but a person working on an assembly line should not be compensated the same as a competent teacher or professional... (My mid-life career change is being an optician... you would be appalled to hear how little a PROFESSIONAL optician (we fill eyewear Rxs...we don't do exams) earns, despite the complexities of recommending lenses, etc... AND MOST OPTICAL CHAINS/FRANCHISES pay even less to the person selling the eyewear there.

IT'S TIME FOR MAJOR CHANGES, but how to make them without hurting the ancillary industries (auto parts, car dealers) is the problem... WOTTA MESS!
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:30 PM on 11/14/2008
The average auto worker makes about 14-17 dollars per hour... stop listen to Talk radio.


Regards////
08:56 PM on 11/14/2008
Viper, I actually checked the UAW website and found data for 2003: As of the second quarter of 2003, a UAW-represented assembler earns $25.63 per hour of straight time. A typical UAW-represented skilled-trades worker earns $29.75 per hour of straight time.

http://www.uaw.org/barg/03/barg02.cfm

My question is, to whom are you listening?
06:32 PM on 11/14/2008
The auto management philosophy was popular in about 1940. They are HORRIBLE.

N-F-B-O !
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
RIPRNC
On the first day, man created god.
05:50 PM on 11/14/2008
It's an unfortunate situation, but GM is more than a car company. It's an American icon. Besides the multitude of both direct and collateral damages a GM faliure would mean, we'd be losing a piece of American culture to the likes of apple pie and baseball. There is a line to be drawn, but US automakers should be on the safe side of that line. I'd rather see 10 AIGs collapse than 1 GM.
06:33 PM on 11/14/2008
The only American Icon in today's world is FAILURE. Get used to it. You have a corrupt political system. You will never succeed again if you do not rid yourself of THEM.
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Rogo99
Put a bird on it!
09:38 AM on 11/15/2008
In my humble opinion, one of the main reasons that makes it difficult for the big 3 to sell their American cars is that the build cars that nobody wants. Other than sometimes a price advantage and the idea of buying American, has anybody really done some thorough marketing studies, such as asking why a cusotmer has just bought a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW or Audi, rather than a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge car? Perceptions have to change, even though I've heard that US quality is as good as or close to foreign manufacturers. ( I currently own an '07 Ford Focus, and [knock wood] no problems to speak of). Retool, rethink, revamp, reposition, rebuild confidence, repurpose. This affects way too many people down the line, but throwing money at the problem won't work for the long run.
05:39 PM on 11/14/2008
Look, if American Express, the Big 3 and now cities (yes, cities?!?) can ask for a piece of the pie, i think we need to all draft our request letter to Mr. Paulson immediately!

Heck, I only have about $20K in debt - that's pennies (less than pennies) compared to what these wasteful & greedy companies are getting! I mean, hey, I do my part to keep the economy strong! Just follow me to Target one weekend and watch me shop.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/14/phoenix-philadelphia-atla_n_143885.html
06:34 PM on 11/14/2008
You have a very funny and interesting handle (log on name).
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
0emissions
raging granny
05:36 PM on 11/14/2008
Who killed the Electric Car???
05:32 PM on 11/14/2008
Haines is right. Let's put him in charge of the auto industry.

They're going down and it's gonna burn our economy. Pride goes before the fall. See ya later "Big 3".
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:36 PM on 11/14/2008
Great another person who thinks only trading paper is worth a paycheck.. thats how we got here!


Regards
05:21 PM on 11/14/2008
He's right. A bail out of the Auto companies is a total waste of money, time and energy. Better to use 25 billion to invest directly into retraining Auto Workers and create a fund for developing start up auto companies who have a viable chance of survival. These bastards (the auto execs) will just pocket the money through some devious method and produce lousy cars and get into reckless deals. Just burn them down and start all over again. That is the strength of the free market system. To do anything else institutionalizes stupidity, arrogance and incompetence.
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:38 PM on 11/14/2008
Retraining them for what jobs? We cant even place 75% of college graduates in Engineering and the sciences over the last 5 years.


And you will be making their house payments and college payments for their kids while they wait for your jobs?


Regards
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Jenababy
Party affiliations don't define me. I'm American!
05:12 PM on 11/14/2008
I'm all for promoting those manufacturing companies that are working on the new breed of cars. The Tesla Motor company is building a factory in CA., that are putting a car in production that will get up to 60 mph in 60 seconds and will go over 250 miles on one charge. It's a sporty two seater, thats very pricey right now, but with proper incentive, that price would probably come down. There are other alternatives that are becoming viable, lets give them a boost. We've got to quit twiddling our thumbs.

If the big three need help, let them take bankruptcy, and retool. Or we could fire the heads of the companies, take over the ownership of them, and hire transportation Czars, to oversee the retooling of these companies. At least we would be investing in our own American owned product, then that profit could be paid back in tax cuts, dividends, infrastructure projects, medical health care, schools, etc.

The head of GM was fired from his last position with a 240 million or so golden parachute, let him get out of the way of progress, for good.
05:21 PM on 11/14/2008
The good thing about letting these dinosaur car companies die is that it'll give Tesla more room to expand and grow.
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Viper
Former repub, still repenting
06:34 PM on 11/14/2008
Yes and who knows in 20 years it might employee 200 people!

By the time you place an order and get the option its about 150K and a 2 year wait.. LOL.

And much of the parts such as the body are not made here.. just imported.

It will not be tesla filling the slack it will be Foreign car makers with huge economy of scales and greater trade deficts. of course we cant make TVs or appliances anymore either.. most GMs fault or maybe the competition does not play by free trade rules...

Regards
06:36 PM on 11/14/2008
I say take away ALL benefits from oil and give it to alternative sources of energy; electric, wind, solar, hydrothermal and even nuclear.
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05:11 PM on 11/14/2008
LOL of course its a scam.

The auto industry will take the money and run.

5 years form now, Americans will start the process over again..

WE'VE SEEN THIS 3 TIMES IN 25 years.
05:10 PM on 11/14/2008
Mark Haines is right. How many times has the U.S. government helped Detroit, only to see them backpedal from all the commitments over the years, such as higher gas mileage cars. This whole green-car push won't be followed up on unless there's a carrot-and-stick approach: (a) carrot -- iniital tax breaks for companies who do create more green cars; then more tax relief they actually do deliver; and (b) stick -- rescind the initial tax breaks if they don't achieve the green-car goal when they say they will. Simple!
05:08 PM on 11/14/2008
Unlike the US where the auto manufacturer lobbyists tell Congress what is possible, the European Union simply said to their car companies "If you want to sell your vehicles in the EU, you will meet the following standards by whatever means you determine." Now the EU manufacturers are years ahead of the their US counterparts.
05:39 PM on 11/14/2008
I second the motion. Let's hope Obama reads this comment.
06:37 PM on 11/14/2008
Spot on, Kudos.