Texas Liberal

All People Matter

In Support Of Loans For The American Auto Industry

I support the extension of loans by the United States government to help save the American auto industry. What the auto companies are looking for are loans and not handouts.

The United Auto Workers union has agreed to major concessions to help the big three car makers and to help gain approval in Congress to pass the loan package.

Republicans in Congress would love to see the UAW go away as payback for its support of Democratic candidates. Revenge is not a suitable justification for endangering the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people.

One poll suggests the American people are currently opposed to what is being termed–incorrectly–as a “bailout.”

One can understand the fatigue with government money for private concerns. But where are we going to work in this country? How are we going to live? Where are decent jobs going to be found?

I think most people understand–on some level they understand–that what is at issue in this current economic downturn is not simply “when will it end” or “how will I get by for the next few months.”

Rather, the issue is that when the recession has passed as determined by the so-called economic experts, will we as individuals, as families, as members of a community, have viable economic futures? What jobs will be left with salaries and benefits able to sustain us?

I’m not going to oppose this loan package because of private jets, or political calculations, or pointless resentment over what UAW workers are earning. Instead, I’m going to support the future well-being of American workers.

By advocating for other working people, we are advocating for ourselves. By supporting this temporary assistance to the American Auto industry, we are backing the long term economic prospects of all Americans.

December 4, 2008 - Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. The short-term consequences of the failure of any of these three companies is too horrible to contemplate. Nonetheless, I cannot escape the impression that the perpetual avalanche of unprofitable mediocrity needs to go the way of the mass-produced buggy whip. Have you driven a Cobalt?

    Even if GM or Chrysler were to fail, (I have irrational faith in Ford’s ability to sustain considering their European profitability.) the American desire for motorized conveyance will compel more capable companies to fill the void. Of course, it will be a particularly long five-to-ten years while this is sorted.

    I can’t believe a pinko like me is saying this, but if the primary objective of the American auto industry is to create mass employment, we may as well hang it up. This comes from a guy who loves his Louisville-built Ford Ranger.

    Would the American worker fare worse if they were working at a Fiat, VW, Renault, Toyota or Hyundai plant? Which, I may add, would almost certainly result in more stable, consistent employment even if the wages are moderately lower.

    I’m asking, actually. The recent example of Americans working at Daimler plants does not inspire faith.

    Comment by Stan Baker | December 4, 2008

  2. I certainly get what you’re saying about the job issue, but honestly I’d rather have this money given directly to the auto workers than “loaned” to the companies. (Not sure how companies like this that have spent the last 30 years making pieces of crap that fewer and fewer people want to buy are suddenly going to find a way to make enough money to repay these loans.)

    The management of the big 3 auto makers have proven themselves hopelessly inept. The US bailed out Chrysler in 1980, and 28 years later they’re back with their hands out again. I love union labor as much as the next lefty, but I don’t think propping up these companies is a good use of our money.

    Comment by Brendan | December 4, 2008

  3. unfortunately if we gave it right to the auto workers the companies would close and the workers would splurge like lottery winners and be broke in no time flat. i like michael moores idea of firing the assholes that have ran these companies and get the workers to retool for light rail and electric/hybrid cars and use the money likes its 2008 and not 1962.

    Comment by bill brady | December 4, 2008

  4. Stan—Many of the things you say in your comment did occur to me. At core, I feel these firms can right themselves and reamain a source of employment in the Great Lakes states. Isn’t there room for both the American firms and the so-called foreign firms that do, as you suggest, build in America a lot of what they sell in America? But willthe “foreign” firms build in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and,also,Ontario?

    If we are to let these operations go bankrupt, then we also need plans for the regions and workers, especially those over 50, who will lose out.

    Brendan/Bill—I have to agree more with Bill here on the issue of giving money to either the companies or the workers. Frankly, the workers could have spent more time pushing the Big Three to do better instead of buying big screen tvs and going on hunting trips. I think strong government oversight towards better operations are the best way to go.

    I’d also say here that people bought the big giant awful cars for a long time. These firms offered what sold. I wonder how many people are still buying more expensive hybrids with the price of gas so much lower and money so tight? People will buy what they want to the extent they have the resources. Fuel economy did not matter to most folks until it hit the pocketbook.

    Thanks for all three of these great comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 5, 2008

  5. people cant fit there giant ass over weight families into a eco car, they need a windstar with extrawide seats so they feel smaller than they are, the car companies make what they think the people want and for so many years the people have wanted big cars so they dont have to sit too close to each other, we are like the land of giant fat animals and you are not going to get the avg. miwdwestern family in a jetta or civic. we need to get people to rethink nutrition and energy and how we do things. hunting and tvs are not the problem its expectation that americans think they deserve something and they dont understand that this country was built off the backs of our relatives and it takes hard work to keep it going. who wants to work hard?

    Comment by bill brady | December 5, 2008

  6. On another note the uaw needs to go away and the federal gov, needs to pass laws that protect workers so uaw officials like all organized groups that are plaugued with corruption and bullshit dues and policies that are not right for any group are not needed. the reason the workers need more money to pay their dues that feed pot belly pigs and keep the real profits down and keep the worker affraid that they will be screwed without the union when the union itself has screwed them all along. we should not need unions to protect our workers this should be law! federal law that no state or city can touch. that if you work in any feild, hotel,trades,farms.

    Comment by bill brady | December 5, 2008

  7. The UAW needs to be updated for the modern day. I think they can do that.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 6, 2008


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