To Save or Not To Save the Auto Industry

What should we do with the auto industry? On the one hand, they employ millions of people directly and support businesses that employ millions more. Can ourcountry handle the collapse of this industry in these already disastrous economic times?

On the other hand, I can’t really deny that they cars they make aren’t as good as their foreign competitors. They are less attractive, less functional, and have lower gas mileage than their foreign counterparts. They clearly haven’t done a good job of innovating and staying abreast of changes and trends in the market. Other auto companies aren’t suffering the way they are. So why should we help them? What precedent are we setting? What will be the next industry that we’ll have to help? Where does it end?

I also go back to the union issue. I am strong proponent of workers’ rights. However, even I have to admit that the unions have gone too far. Requiring lifetime benefits for someone who has only worked for the company for five years? I’ve never heard of that…ever. It seems unreasonable to me. Yet at the same time, I don’t buy that the only way that American auto manufacturers can compete with their foreign competitors is to cut employee pay and benefits.

What to do, what to do…

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2 Responses

  1. One of the benefits of bankruptcy is that many contracts are null and void. So, the agreements and compromises that the unions and management fought over … well, those are put aside.

    It makes you wonder. How good are contracts, made in a fair negotiation? What about retirement benefits, for executives and for workers? Are they equally lost in bankruptcy?

  2. dead is dead. i don’t think a transfusion will work. pronounce it already and subdivide the body parts at bankruptcy auction. new companies will fill the void. why reward bad behavior?

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