Open discussion. What do you think? Welfare for Ford and GM?

  1. gadgetenvy says:

    I live in metro Detroit and I am torn by this question.
    Part of me says no bailout for the US automakers. The writing has been on the wall for them for decades and they didn’t change. A bailout will allow them to go on without changing and ultimately that is bad down the road when the fail.
    On the other hand it will really hurt a lot of people here. People who had no control over the big three.
    Either way the Michigan economy is going to be depressed longer and deeper than the rest of the country.
    The mortgage problems started here early and the auto industry problems will make that worse as the laid off or fired workers leave the state for other work.

  2. James Hill says:

    Using 1/10 of that bailout money to give all Americans a payout (spread out over time) would have solved this problem as well…

    …except for the fact we would have had a choice to give our money to any auto maker, not just American ones.

    #2 – Not that I disagree, but that would be the rescue plan bought in to by both sides. Not even most hacks are trying to pin it on one side… why are you?

  3. Paddy-O says:

    Here’s the problem. To the degree one takes control of an activity is the degree one must take responsibility for it.

  4. As to the American car makers, eff ’em.

    In 1973, everyone said we were going to have 300mpg cars in 10 years (while we were sitting in line to get rationed gas).

    Gas prices stabilized, and the car makers kept building automobiles that got gas mileage that was rivaled by RVs.

    It’s a shame for the workers, but hey. Whaddya gonna do? If a company (or an industry) botches planning for the future to the extent that they go out of business, well, they go out of business.

  5. Miss_X2b says:

    [Duplicate comment deleted. Please don’t double post! – ed.]

  6. Miss_X2b says:

    Yes, give it to them, why not, we give it to everyone else…LOL!!

  7. Mac Guy says:

    Only on the following conditions:

    1 – Fire all current leadership of the Big 3.

    2 – Don’t allow them to retain their golden parachutes. Cut the chords.

    3 – BAN unions. They’ve done nothing but cause problems for the American automotive industry. They’re dirty, they’re corrupt, and they bring very little value to the man or woman working on the line. However, they do drive the cost of one automobile up. Way up.

    Time to tell those unions to go f*** themselves back to the 1900s where they belonged.

  8. Deep-Thought says:

    Subsidize US cars. Or tax foreign imports.

    That would keep competition somewhat alive and they would still need to make good cars to be successful.

    I mean pumping money into companies seems not right. But strengthening the domestic marked is well in the right and the interest of individual countries.

  9. LuckyPierre says:

    Absolutely not. The US auto industries’ stupid complacency for the past several decades deserves no help from the taxpayers that they’ve screwed for so long. They turned a blind eye to the rising quality, reliability and fuel efficiency of the foreign competition while hustling for the next quarters profits. The unions should have demanded incentives based upon sales/profits rather than benefits regardless of the impending doom. Any rescue $ from the gov should go only to needy workers, not those execs responsible for the downfall. Let the execs go out and get a real job; perhaps Toyota will hire them if they have any talent at all.

  10. Mark says:

    No bailout for car companies.

  11. Brian says:

    1. Bust the unions
    2. Make cars people want.
    3. Trim down to one or 2 lines. Do we really need GMAC and Chevy trucks?

    That or go the route of the graphic above.

  12. jim h says:

    Like #2, I see two sides. But I think they have to be left to fail. The only alternative would be for the US Government to relieve them of there massive pension and health care obligations. It’s just not doable.

    If they’d gotten behind green designs instead of showing fake “concept cars” while lobbying against higher gas mileage requirements, I might feel differently. But by laying down in the path of any attempt to deal with global warming, they’ve damaged us all and don’t deserve our help.

  13. iamanasshole says:

    US automakers should sink or swim with no outside help. If they can’t make cars people want, then they should give up and quit.

    They certainly don’t deserve to be rewarded for their ineptitude, and the people don’t deserve to foot the bill.

    I do feel for the workers.

  14. Floyd says:

    Give the automakers money only if they revamp their assembly lines to build cars that match the long term reliability and mileage that the Japanese (or Japanese cars made in America) can produce.

  15. Duke says:

    I think we should let all the US auto industry fail. Another 200,000 people out of work shouldn’t hurt the economy too bad, Lot’s of $45K+ jobs for these people to move right on over to.

  16. Floyd says:

    By the way, unions at Japanese manufacturers in the US actually work with the automakers to build better cars. UAW needs to get a clue at the rest of their plants.

  17. Named says:


    I doubt it’s UAW that’s the problem. I’ll bet its the management structure itself.

    But, on the other hand, Soviet Ameristan has a nice ring to it… Nationalize everything. Except health care. You guys don’t like waiting for that… you’d rather go bust or dead.

  18. MikeN says:

    Let them fail. These car companies are all building these crappy green cars anyways that no one wants.

  19. chuck says:

    Will Honda and Toyota get a bail-out too?
    Both build a significant number of cars in the U.S.

    Has bankruptcy now become a standard part of every business plan? Airlines seem to go into Chapter 11 every few years. The big banks have just realized that they can take unlimited risk because the government will guarantee their loans. Is subsidizing the production of gas-guzzling, polluting SUVs part of the Obama carbon reduction plan?

  20. Paddy-O says:

    #18 Names said, “I doubt it’s UAW that’s the problem.”

    True. It is laws that dictate how the business can or cannot be run. It isn’t a free market economy. Get rid of laws telling businesses how to run things and it will sort itself out.

  21. MPL says:

    1# Bailout blame:
    D(172 yeas to 63 nays)
    R(91 yeas to 108 nays)
    Bush – Signed

    8# can’t agree more

  22. AC_in_mich says:

    Being from Mich, I DO kind of side with Bailing them out – I read somewhere that 2 to 3 million people would be impacted by one of them failing. I sure as hell would rather bail them out than Wall Street!

  23. stopher says:

    Great comic. A bail out is a short term fix but they will still have problems until people want to buy their cars. I think the long term soloution is to go back to the fundamentals and create more compelling products.

  24. amodedoma says:

    That’s the problem with going way deep into debt. It gets to the point that it doesn’t seem to matter. I wonder what’s gonna happen when the nation get’s so deep into debt that the taxpayer’s future’s no longer worth anything. Where will they get the money from them. I don’t think it’s a good idea to mortgage away the future unless your really sure it’s necessary and desireable. These guys are toast and if you give them money they’ll just use it to cut their losses like the banks did. How would this help?

  25. SparkyOne says:

    When I was 5 or 6 my great grandfather slipped into the night. Let these guys go also.

  26. Paddy-O says:

    #25 True. Companies are going to relocate to countries with a cheaper workforce & a 0% capital gains tax anyway.

    USA = screwed.

  27. LibertyLover says:

    No bailout. Unfortunately, most senators, representatives, and McBama all voted for it. Shame on them.

    And I have mixed feelings on this as well. Both of my parents are retired GM employees so some of their benefits would be affected.

    I also have mixed feelings about unions as mentioned above. On one hand, I see them as a major part of the problem. On the other hand, they allowed my family to crawl out of poverty.

    Interestingly enough, both of my parents feel the same way so perhaps there is some logic to it.

  28. Named says:


    Ford has a very profitable overseas enterprise. GM as well. Only Chrysler has no overseas influence, but they managed to swing a deal to manufacture VW’s minivan. Basically, they’ll milk the US for what they can, lay the blame at the feet of whomever is politically useful while cynically putting out the same crap as they have for the last 30 years until the bottom falls out. The corp will continue on, since they will not be liable in anyway, the gov’t will pick up the pieces and you’ll find the executives in similar positions elsewhere or in the same place at a renamed corp… It’s a zero sum game… almost like energy. You just transfer it from one state to another.

  29. Colorado says:

    The bailout is to bailout the retirement plan. For every 1.5 workers the companies have to pay for 6 retirees. If they go broke, the government has to pick up the retirement plan ala United Airlines. Since the Senators don’t want that expense they are willing to go for the bailout bill. That and the fact they get the votes. It’s hard to make a rational economic decision when its about the votes.

  30. Marc Perkel says:

    I bought a Honda. Why should I have to pay for someone else’s ford?


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