Thursday, April 30, 2009

What are we saving?

Under the president's direction, GM and Chrysler are severely cutting employee benefits, greatly reducing the number of employees, reducing by one third to one half the number of dealerships (which in turn destroys jobs), cutting the number of brands, defaulting on and renegotiating loans and investments, and being sold to foreign investors.

If the goal was to save the American auto industry in order to protect good high paying manufacturing, retail and service sector jobs, we will never attain that goal. In fact, we already abandoned that goal. And, the industry that survives will no longer be American owned. Are we really spending billions so that an Italian company can own a rump Chrysler, with a life expectancy of no more than another 10 years?

We should give lump sum direct aid to the workers to retrain, relocate or retire, rather than put a 19th century industrial operation on life support. It would be cheaper, and the aid would go directly to the workers.

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