Random Thoughts Automakers Debate

This week our Congress will debate what to do with the automakers; and probably in the spirit of partisanship rhetoric. The following are random thoughts about the possible government loan/bailout of the U.S. automakers. No order, just random and sometimes conflicting thoughts.

  • As an organization, the Big 3 don’t deserve it; and the UAW is totally innocent.
  • I bet the UAW lobby is heavily involved in the proposal.
  • Loss of worker hurts the money flow for both workers and their communities.
  • For every 1 assembly worker, there are 7.5 workers on the supply chain who are also impacted.
  • The government shouldn’t get involved because the natural free market is cleansing the industry into a new equilibrium.
  • Within the past 4 months, GM retirees covered by Medicare and Medicaid received notice that their health insurance is no more; but GM will compensate them an extra allowance per month for the insurance they need to find on their own.
  • I wonder if legislators from non-auto industry regions and those from auto-industry regions would change their tune if their situations were reversed. Ah yes  – aren’t they quite the pathetic bunch.
  • Roll the dice and let them rot; but use the government funds to stimulate jobs in alternative energy sectors and rebuilding the national infrastructure.
  • Let them first go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, streamline, reorganize, and force the UAW’s hand – then consider the loan.
  • Available credit it tight, even for Chapter 11 organizations – and no credit would lead them into Chapter 7 liquidation.
  • Speaking of the credit crunch, with lending to consumers tight, car purchases are naturally down.
  • If market forces cause the U.S. automakers to a new equilibrium, won’t less competition and more demand on those remaining raise prices?
  • If you don’t believe the board of directors and executives of the Big 3 are clueless, read their news releases.
  • Any loan/bailout needs conditions limiting executive compensation and use of the funds.
  • It’s an investment of good money with a low chance of a positive return.
  • After the auto industry, who’s next in line?
  • Any government intervention must be bipartisan as both demanding Democrats and stonewalling Republicans are unacceptable.
  • Although the public is against bailout/loans, I believe this situation is more complicated than the public realizes.
  • If no bailout, how long will it take the public to complain that the government should have done something?
  • A Cincinnati Enquirer columnist’s title says a lot: GM -automakers bailout is another lemon – but frighteningly, it’s the only ride we’ve got.

Election Winners, Losers, and Pressure Points

With Election Day in our rearview mirror, let’s take a look at the current winners, losers, and pressure points of the aftermath. (No particular order)

Winners

  • New Voters: Voting can make a difference
  • Race relations: Historic proportions
  • Barack Obama: Calm, resolve, calculating, and new vision
  • Television viewers: The ads are over!
  • Hillary Clinton: She still has clout
  • Sarah Palin: A partisan rock star
  • Tina Fey: One of the best political impressions of all time
  • John McCain: Still a respected American
  • Internet: Fund raising, information, videos, and bloggers changed the landscape
  • Young Republican Governors: The future of a rebranded party
  • Libertarians: An opportunity to attract mainstream Republicans
  • Members of a lowly-approved Congress who somehow won re-election: Continued job stability during difficult economic times
  • Conservative Talk Show Hosts: A Democratic-controlled Washington provides ample fodder for beating the drums of descent on every move

Losers

  • Joe Lieberman: He’s paying the price for playing both sides of the fence
  • Republican Party: It’s time to rebrand
  • Personal-attack political campaigning: It didn’t work this time, but it will return
  • Sarah Palin: Garnered many negatives
  • Gays and Lesbians: Lost ballot initiatives in several states
  • Internet Users: Shifting through the vest frontier of misinformation
  • Partisans: For continuing to divide us
  • Social Conservatives: But they don’t know it yet
  • The Newly Elected to Capitol Hill: Facing the decision of doing the right thing and not be re-elected, or caving in to be re-elected
  • The Voters: For re-electing their incumbent while blaming congressional woes on others
  • Barack Obama: For inheriting a huge mess and a mountain of expectations on his shoulders

Pressure is On

  • Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to produce bipartisan results (By the way, I have some waterfront land in Florida for sale)
  • Barack Obama to lead from the center
  • Republican Party: Rebrand to what?
  • New Voters: To stay engaged
  • Republican Congressional leadership to provide not only checks and balances, but to work toward the center (Did I tell you about that land I have for sale?)