Why are we bailing out General Motors?

The worlds #1 auto maker is bleeding cash (in their own words) and want the infamous $770 Billion bailout to be partially funneled in their direction.

Why?  Why are we going to bail out a company who sells products that the American market neither wants not has the credit to buy?

It makes no sense to me.  I consider myself to be an average American when it comes to consumer purchases.  However, while I am recently employed, I was unemployed for 18 months, causing unbelievable damage to my credit and changed my way of thinking when it comes to quantifying what is a “necessary” purchase.

When my car was repossesed, I relied on friends and family to get me through.  I borrowed cars from family and friends, most of which were old beaters not even remotely road worthy, and would never pass inspection, but I had to take a chance.  I needed a car to get to interviews, if I ever got one, or god willing, a job, if I ever got one of those either.

In the end, it was a very good friend who loaned me money, to be paid back “whenever” to buy a decent used vehicle.  I bought a used, 12 year old Toyota.

I have driven at one time or another, just about every car out there.  Wehter it be through test drives, rentals on business trips, or just driving cars owned by people I know.  There is no way in hell I would ever buy an American car.  They are still, to this day and after everything the American auto industry has been through, unreliable, lack creativity and ingenuity, are made of plastic, and still have the same look inside as they did in the 1970’s.  You just can NOT compare any American car to its foreign competition; not in quality, not in price, not in reliability.

General Motors, and Ford, and Chrysler for that matter, are all failing.  And rightly so.  It’s part of the cycle of consumerism.  It’s basic supply and demand and we as Americans don’t demand American cars.  We bailed out car makers before, in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  These companies had some sort of a rebound only to be overtaken each and every year by Toyota and Honda.  Other than the Ford Taurus, which I still can’t explain, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have been the top selling cars in the United States for decades.

So why, with the incredible financial crisis goiing on in this country, would the government bail out American car companies.  Nobody wants to buy a GM, Chrysler, or Ford.  It is no longer a matter of patriotism.  Most foreign based car companies who sell cars in the U.S. build them here, or buld part of them here.  In many cases there are more foreign parts in an “American” car than there are in an “import”.

So General Motors wants the U.S. government to bail them out to keep them solvent.  Why would we do that.  Even if these U.S. automakers were financially viable right now, there is no credit available to customers to help them buy these cars.  This is not a “one-issue” problem.  And if I could get a car loan, I wouldn’t buy an American car.  For those who can afford to buy a car in cash, they are not going to buy a Chevy Impala, they are going to buy a Lexus.  Just as in the housing crisis where the government should be bailing out the consumer rather than Wall Street, the government should be giving grants or loans to buy vehicles rather than just writing blank checks to U.S. auto makers.

We have given American car companies 30 years, an entire generation and then some, to catch up with what Americans want in a car.  They couldn’t do it.  They won’t do it.  Even with government subsidies, they lack the vision.  And any company that is no longer relavent in the world tends to go out of business.  So be it.  With the advent of digital cable and on-demand television, we don’t need Blockbuster anymore.  Would we bail them out.  No. We’d let them go by the wayside because they are no longer relevant.

So what do we do about the 3 million employees of American car companies?  I don’t know.  Maybe we should convert American car factories to Toyota, Honda, and Nissan factories, and throw in Hyundai for good measure, and let these car factory workers go back to work.  We can export the ones we don’t buy here to places all around the globe instead.  Export, baby, Export.

Any time you see a documentary or news report from some unknown corner of the world about violence, political unrest, war, etc., what do you see in the background?  Not a Chevy pickup; you see a Toyota.  Even in the poorest more dangerous places on earth, where the poorest of the poor are fighting for their basic human rights, they drive Toyotas.



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