I typically shy away from "group" political (and other volatile) discussions. While I appreciate that everyone has their own opinion, I REALLY dislike it when people push their opinions on other people. So much so that I had to delete a girl I knew in college from my face book contact because her constant propaganda posts there made my blood boil! But I digress...
I live in Michigan. The Great Lakes State, the Mitten (hand geography lesson later), home of ... the Big 3. While I don't personally work for the auto industry and have no connection to them financially what so ever, I know A LOT of people in this state and others that are very closely related to it. And I have to admit, I am scared.
I'll just come out and say it - it is my personal belief that the Big 3 should get some form of support from the government. However, I have a lot feelings/thoughts/emotions behind that. I am not a black/white or right/wrong kind of girl. Never have been, probably never will be. There is a lot of grey area in my world.
So while I believe my the Big 3 should get some help, do I think they deserve it? Probably not. I'll admit that they had lagged behind some of the "foreign" auto makers in design and technology. I think they have made strides in this area lately, but is it too little, too late? Could be.
Did they poorly manage their companies for years to cause the state of domestic auto industry to be where it is now? Surely. For years I have watched on the news while jobs are eliminated and shipped elsewhere, local assembly plants are closed and boarded up, all the while the executives maintain their huge, massive salaries and bonuses. One of the problems we have overall in the US is that we don't want to pay a lot for the goods and services that we purchase, but we want to be paid a lot for the goods and services we produce. You can't have it both ways, I know. This is the dilemma of business.
Do I think another big problem of the industry is the power of the unions? Resounding YES. I don't blame people for wanting job security. But it's time to wake up and smell the 21st Century. There aren't many people I know that get free health care anymore or have guaranteed 90% of pay when laid off. It's just not realistic. I am not saying that all unions are bad. Not by a long shot. I think the UAW served it's purpose for a long time and likely did some good. However, when almost a third of a GM car's costs are in benefits for the employees, it's time to stand back and look at the full picture.
With all that I have said, (if you're still even reading and haven't tuned out!) you're probably wondering: "Amy? Sounds like you are AGAINST this bridge-loan to the Big 3". (HA got ya, I called it what it should be called, a bridge loan NOT a bail out, as they have said they'll pay it back) I guess it does rather sound like it. But the truth is, I am not. There are just too many people in this state and more importantly this country whose lively hood is somehow linked to the auto-industry. It's not just the factory worker and the dealerships. It's insurance companies, parts companies (man, there is a LOT of these people!), and other suppliers. The trickle down here is unbelievable.
I guess I'm also tired of our country giving out money in the form of aid to everyone BUT us. Let me clarify there. I am NOT saying that I don't feel that we shouldn't help in other areas of the world. That's what a global super-power does. However, when it comes at the expense of our own people, that's not right. Sometimes you need to clean up your own back-yard before you can inspect how clean others yards are.
Do I want to pay more taxes? NO! Do I think some major re-structuring is in order? YES! But I just think it's the right thing to do. How do you feel? Just curious -- and again, I'll totally respect your beliefs :)
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3 days ago