Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bush and the GOP to Detroit: Drop Dead

Bush and his minions in Congress are opposed to bailing out the automotive industry "on principle."

GM, Ford and Chrysler directly employ something above 400,000 people. I'm having a little bit of trouble getting a decent number of domestic car dealerships, but it may be on the order of 15,000. From mechanics to salesmen and office staff, figure 50 or so employees per dealership. That's another 750,000 people. Parts suppliers may add an additional 700,000 or so.

Some of the numbers I've seen may factor in Canadian workers, but that doesn't appreciably change things.

We may be talking about two million jobs that will directly be lost. Some of the parts companies may survive, depending on what they do, but the larger the part, the more directly they are tied to new car and truck production.

Then factor in the indirect losses. Think of all of the businesses patronized by those two million people which may cut back or close, putting more workers on the street. Imagine being the owner of a local company that supplies work clothes to an auto plant, for example. Imagine being the mayor of a town where a significant percentage of the housing stock goes into foreclosure. Imagine being the school superintendent who sees the school tax revenues fall dramatically or being the teacher whose job is cut.

This is "trickle down economics," George W. Hoover style. That's what "principled conservatives" do: screw over the people and let millions lose their jobs.

Forcing the automobile companies into Chapter 11, in this economy, is akin to firing up the cutting torch. If GM declared Chapter 11, the customers would go away. Nobody is going to plunk down $35,000 or so for a Chevy Silverado truck if there is no assurance that the warranty would be honored, not when you can buy a large truck with a good warranty from Toyota or Nissan.

If the Republicans succeed in forcing the American domestic automobile companies into their graves, they will be lucky if they manage to get the White House back by the middle of this century.

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