Archive for auto industry executives

Dear auto industry execs, start acting like you deserve a bailout

Posted in 1, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by bloggingmom67

 I know eventually we’ll need to bail out the auto industry. Mass layoffs at auto plants won’t serve the nation, and bailing out the ailing big three automakers, I think, will be necessary to help jump-start the economy.

But I’m glad Congress said “No” to the bailout, at least initially.

Here’s why: This corporate greed and self-centeredness has to stop.  I don’t blame the auto industry CEOs for being rich. I don’t blame anyone for being rich if they got their legally.

But if your industry is sinking, you need to cut back — not just come begging. I’m not willing to bail out the auto industry until they take some responsibility of their own. Auto execs: Why not sell your corporate jets, cut your own salaries — do whatever needs to be done — and come up with a new business plan to prove you won’t end up in the toilet again. Then, I’m all for giving you a bailout. What ever happened to the captain going down with the ship? (And, auto execs, you’re the captain in this analogy in case you didn’t get that.)

As billionaire investor Warren Buffet explains: The government should insist that top executives at Ford, General Motors and Chrysler invest a significant percentage of their own net worths in the Detroit-based companies, ensuring both executives and taxpayers would share in any profits or losses.

I think the big 3 CEOs need a reality check. It’s not just their industry that has hit the skids. Everyone is hurting. I, for example, am getting a raise of roughly $7 a week this year because of the economic downturn. I’m not complaining. Thousands of people aren’t getting a raise at all or they’ve been laid off. We’re all facing having to do without or make things last, as Kit Kittredge says in the movie that bears her name and tells of life during the Great Depression. Please remember that. The whole world is not flying high while you three — and you three alone — have fallen on hard times.

We’re all feeling the pinch. Look at the newspaper industry. If ever there was an industry in need of a bailout, the newspaper industry is one. At my last count from news reports, nearly 6,000 journalists have been laid off so far this year. The Star-Ledger in New Jersey nearly closed and was saved only because nearly half its newsroom staff opted to take a buyout.

The Christian Science Monitor announced it will only have a Web edition, not an actual paper, paper. That saves money because newsprint is one a newspaper’s biggest expenses. PC Magazine is also going that route.

Newspapers are getting a double hit — both the recession and a decline in readership that has been going on for 50 years but has gone into warp speed because of the Internet. What would a democracy be without newspapers or a free press?

It seems of any industry, this is one that it’s in all of America’s interest to save.

There’s just one problem. Newspapers can’t be a government watchdog and beholden to government at the same time. So a bailout, while it might help, can’t even be considered for newspapers. Too much conflict of interest.

So, auto execs, be lucky you could take a bailout. Start acting like you deserve one.

Much love,

bitchy mommy

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