As an American that has ALWAYS owned American made vehicles, I don't see any choice about whether or not to bailout General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler. We simply have to do it. But like many Americans, I feel it shouldn't be a free lunch, nor should we just write them a blank check. So here's my very unqualified, but taxpaying opinion about how we should go about fixing these things.
1. For all those companies on Wall Street that went belly up, the government needs to hunt down their CEO's and other company officers that siphoned off all the profit, and seize all their assets. Oh, what's that, they put it in an offshore account the US Government can't touch. Fine, throw 'em in that Cuban jail for a few years. Let's see how they like living more like the rest of us for awhile.
By the way, I found this short article from the Miami Herald that explains how the stock market works. Did you know the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the "price-weighted average" of only 30 large US companies? Did you know that GM is one of them, but Ford and Chrysler are not?
2. For those publicly traded companies whose demise would adversely affect the market, and feel need to go under, the government takes 51% ownership of the company. The other 49% goes to the employees. The greedy CEO's and shareholders forfeit their interests in the company, period. If you are a publicly traded company, and your books are in the RED, no one walks away with a settlement, no bonuses, nothing. Those that took the company down can get a real job like the rest of us and make someone else RICH for a change.
This goes for GM, Ford, and Chrysler, too. A share of the profit would be put back into the company to its HARD WORKING EMPLOYEES, to maintain their salaries and benefits including retirement accounts. Yeah, I'm talking about the poor souls that do the actual work for the company. Everything else goes into research and development of alternative energy transportation.
3. These "Wall Street" expectations we hear about every quarter is a complete load of crap. For example, Corp X reported a profit of $1.6 billion last quarter. This quarter they only make $1.2 billion, below expectations. Immediately their stock drops and the hyperactive legions of financial analysts go into panic mode. Fox, CNN, and every other news networks have something new to talk about. It's all crap, and it breeds some of the problems we are now experiencing.
The only two things I remember my college Economics class is "the stock market is all about hype", and "OPM" aka Other Peoples Money. Hype it is, that's for sure. People think things are bad, they're bad. People think things are good, they're good. I think everyone that works on Wall Street, and all financial analysts should be required to take Prozac. Maybe, the market would calm down. As for OPM, that's that thing called credit, and most of us have too much of it.
OK, it's a socialist solution to a capitalist problem. But as a hard working taxpayer family, something drastic has to be done. The old business school approach to getting rich by standing on the back on a weaker person has to stop. Our greed and hunger for power has come around to bite us in the per verbal ass.
Our next president is all about change. Change is not gonna do it. The U.S. Needs something close to "Earth Shattering", something so drastic it causes psychological and sociological changes to the masses for the better.
So why do we need to bailout GM, Ford, and Chrysler? Do you remember in high school when you played that game about the car. And you had to name all the things, all the industries, all the inventions we have because of the car. Well, then it's 'elementary dear Data'. You're saying that you don't care because you got you spiffy Japanese, Korean, or German car or SUV. Who cares right, let 'em go under.
When the U.S. steel workers are out of a job because they aren't making cars in Detroit...
When Goodyear, Firestone, Michelin, and other tire makers go under because there are no cars being made in the US...
When all the domestic dealerships go out of business...
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's advertising, there's rental cars, there's the US Military fleet.
All of these things affect dozens or hundreds of other industries. If you think it's bad now, you're in for a rude awakening. It's things we can't even anticipate.
Whatever side you're on, it doesn't matter. This has to be done.
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