GM's Salvation or Carmageddon?
Our Readers Who Comment are having a spirited debate today about the Obama administration's plans to "play a key role in reshaping General Motors" board of directors, as Peter Whoriskey and Kendra Marr report.
Is this Socialism? Communism? Neither? Is this the only thing to do, even if we don't like it? Is this an abandonment of the unions, a key Democratic constituency? Or is it some kind of secret conspiracy to support the unions?
Some readers say it might even be a disguised government attempt to force Americans into tiny, uncomfortable fuel-efficient vehicles. Other readers go so far to suggest that this is the inevitable result of what happens when government has to ride to the rescue: it imposes conditions.
We'll start with vigor, who brought us back to an earlier controversial government bailout in writing, "I hear the faint and distant echo of Lee Iacocca [then CEO of Chrysler]: 'If you can find a better car, buy it.' "
gsms69 wrote, "...My opinion...is [Obama] hopes to be able to structure this company to produce cars that fit the ideology he believes in, like green, emission free, and battery operated. These cars will go 50-55 mph, will be uncomfortable, and similar to the Fiat or Hugo that I have seen... But will we buy that car? I would have to... buy a car with its origin from another country, a comfortable car."
But ok4u said, "Wake up America!! Good buy Gas guzzlers ---- hello Cheap small hybrid and straight electric's . good bye monster Pick-ups and SUV snd stupid Hummers and big jeeps. Its about TIME!!! "
juggernautenterprises wrote, "I'm seeing a company that has swallowed its immeasurable pride to woo these funds... I also see silence on the part of the UAW leaders. I don't see any 'stepping up to the plate.' I don't see any sort of admission that they are part of the problem... I only see complacency that their cash cow is likely to be fed by the government... Can you spell 'broken system?' "
Bob22003 said, "Look, GM, Chrysler, and Ford had their first wake up call over 35 years ago, when OPEC limited oil production, drove up gasoline prices, and Americans discovered fuel-efficient Japanese cars. The response? The Chevy Vega, the Ford Pinto, the Chevette, the Citation, and a whole host of unreliable, gas-guzzling rustbuckets..."
owldog wrote, "GM is like an old cold damp castle that has fallen to severe disrepair. A monumental structure that the people, represented by government, should buy and rebuild into a fortress. We really do need a national car company, especially for military equipment."
Off-point comment of the day: kinsleybingham said, "...the Democrats are ready to cast aside the domestic auto industry and it's voting bloc, most notably, to the wolves and instead focus on how to get as many illegal immigrants and welfare recipients on the books by November 2010."
Anadromous2 wrote, "...So the GM bondholders will either take a haircut or else they will lose their claim on GM, which will go through a gov't controlled bankruptcy. The board, who rubber-stamped Wagoner's plans, will be replaced with - I hope - a more accountable BoD. GM should never have taken gov't money if it didn't want gov't control."
slomiamg said, "Please, I'd love to hear an Obamamaniac explain how this is different from how communist block nations controlled the commanding heights of industry. Those ignorant of history are bound to repeat it."
But imaginaryfriend2 wrote, "I love all these so called "Free Market" fanatics talk about how the government wants to take over everything. The simple fact is that these companies were already operating in the "Free Market" with all these so called experts leading the way when they ran their company into the ground and then went to the government for a bail out."
And wege1 said, "I guess the wingnuts cannt comprehend that when you ask for money from the United States, you take money from the United States, then you will do as the United States directs. If you don't like that then don't ask for and take money from taxpayers."
jcyr4 wrote, "When a government controls and industry, it is called SOCIALISM. GM is now a government entity, there are no two ways about it. Obama spoke the other day, not as the President of the United States, but as the new head of GM... Again, this is SOCIALISM...."
SavedGirl said, "This is communism...when the goverment trys to run a company and even have people fired that they dont like. If anyone should be fired in this mess its the president og the big labor union because all they have done is bleed GM to death with all there demands for there basicly uneducated low class work force."
dyend wrote, "We are not moving toward European Socialism just because republicans say it's so... President Obama is doing the right thing by supporting the auto industry. And since we are calling the shots, then the President also has the right to make decisions, however temporary, on its operations which will hopefully restore and revitalize the Big Three back to its premiere position in the world."
jcvdwindt wrote, "...I see, the involvement of Obama's administration only as an attempt to partly save jobs and a bleeding industry, to the benefit of the American people and their economy. If people like to call this European socialism or belief that current governmental interventions are unwanted, they suffer from a very dangerous, self-destructive, religious GOP-belief, that earlier ruined the banking industry."
All comments on this article are here.
April 1, 2009; 8:58 AM ET
Categories: Auto Industry , Bailout , Economy Watch | Tags: Auto Industry, Bailout, Economy Watch, GM
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