written by bendygirl at Tuesday, December 16, 2008
To recap: We're in the midst of a global financial crisis. The housing bubble has burst and prices have collapsed. The economy has been in recession for a year. Unemployment has risen to 6.7 percent, and if "marginally attached" workers are included -- those who have given up even looking for jobs -- along with those who want to work full time but are forced to accept fewer hours, the rate is 12.5 percent.
Even if the Big Three deserve to die, they shouldn't die now. Economic theory notwithstanding, it would be insanity to throw hundreds of thousands of auto company employees, and maybe a few million others in the supply and sales chains, out of work -- leaving them and their families at the mercy of an economy that has no replacement jobs for them. Public funds would end up supporting these people anyway, except that we would have lost our domestic auto industry -- which, despite its many failings, is the only domestic auto industry we've got.
What the auto companies need is something on the order of $14 billion to survive until the Obama administration takes office and is able to address the crisis in a more systematic way. That sounds like a lot of money, but it's a rounding error in the context of the ongoing financial meltdown. We've already agreed to spend up to $700 billion to bail out Wall Street.
And dude, I've been saying this for the last several weeks...where was the Senate Outrage on the Republican side of Wall Street Salaries, CEO salaries or Dealership sweetheart deals? There was none. Corker even took off the table one of the biggest pieces of the pie, dealerships. Not that I'd want to see service department staff and mechanics to go unemployed, but if the line worker's on the table for a compromis, so the fuck is the dealership, CEO pay and all those salaries on Wall Street and in the Banking industry, and more from Eugene Robinson's piece in the post:
Funny, I don't recall a cry from Senate Republicans for salary caps on the stockbrokers whose jobs were saved in the Wall Street bailout. Nor, to my knowledge, have they demanded that white-collar workers in the auto companies take pay cuts. I do recall lectures from some Republicans in the Senate about how inadvisable it is for government to meddle in the workings of the free market. In my book, renegotiating labor contracts qualifies as meddling.
Yeah, what he said.