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Old 11-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #211
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"Ford and Chevies are good products."

If enough car buyers agreed with you, then Ford and Chevy would not need government money. And if banks believed more people felt like you, then Ford and GM would be able to secure loans from private sources rather than from the U.S. taxpayer. If I liked GM's chances as a company, I would buy their stock. I really don't like the idea that rather than engage in legitimate public services, the federal government is going to use my tax money (and yours) to make a speculative investment in a private firm that I consider fundamentally unsound.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:09 AM   #212
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Maybe you're right. But of the three crises of housing, credit and finances, I don't think we have seen the worst of it. And that fear, like mine, means that many are not parting with their money.

I don't know how the government handles its money and its debt. And I don't know why the three motor companies are failing but suspect many businesses will fail and not because of anything they have done themselves.

Maybe the government thinks it will run out of money for legitimate public services if the situation gets much worse and the unemployment keeps rising. I suspect they want to intervene on behalf of the citizens to evade still more dire straits.

To impress others that if they do not risk the chance of making things better, things will get much worse is probably where it stands now. And there are no guarantees. The best argument is that it will affect so many others all over the nation and world. Of course being affected by it currently in Michigan, Michiganers probably feel they are worth saving on their own rite. When an area loses its industry and workers are looking for jobs that don't exist well you know the rest. The state runs out of funds because no one is paying into the state, more business and jobs collapse. People lose their homes, their pay check, their savings, their retirement, their health care, schools close, then multiply that and then multiply it again.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:54 AM   #213
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Safety now, is it?

I'm sure we all hold thoughts about vehicle safety that are as personal and individual as undergarments as well.

Personally, I'm convinced that it's around 95% operator, here are some links to some data that haven't had a whole lot of interpretation applied to them.
I suspect when the 2008 data comes out sometime next year, we'll see a tremendous drop off in fatalities per registered vehicle due to the lower number of miles driven in 08 vs 07, and maybe by passenger mile too, since speeds were down slightly in the peak travel months.

From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
Fatality Facts 2007
and
HDLI Insurance Losses by make & Model.

Buried in both of these, if you dig, are some interesting relationships between crash tests (also available on line) and real world data.


For a decent rule of thumb: when in doubt, go Swedish.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:06 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by thatscool View Post
I am not shocked that some dont want to LOAN the auto companies money. Those mean spirited posts like the one from "Ganaraska" are hurtful. I am a union member, thats how I support my children, thats how I hope to send them to college so they can get a better education than I had. So someday my son could take advantage of his many talents. So what your saying is you just dont care that my ex wife will lose her home because I cant pay child support? and next year it will be forgotton?
What do you do for a living? if your going to attack others, put your rate of pay for us to see and evaluate. Ill tell you if your worth it. Where do you work? I would like to post sensless negative posts over the internet in high hopes I may ruin you financially!
Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of America, AFL-CIO Affiliate, Local 1240 and proud of it.

At the present time I have a 1996 Chev Suburban, a 1980 Chev motorhome, a 1998 Lincoln Town Car, a 1951 DeSoto, and a 1972 Travelux in my driveway. All made in North America. So don't blame me for not buying American. I have supported the US auto industry with MY OWN MONEY all my life.

It's funny you should mention rate of pay. 20 years ago I bought a Renault LeCar to get some cheap mileage. It sat in my driveway with a Chev van and a Chev pickup truck. A friend who worked at GM gave me hell for buying a foreign car.

I said "Excuse me? Are you trying to tell me the $5 an hour man should lower his standard of living to subsidize the $25 an hour man?".

I might mention that in my whole life, I have never made even half what a GM line employee makes. Yet I manage to live quite comfortably and have money in the bank.

This is all neither here nor there. GM's problems did not start overnight and will not end overnight. We put the skids under the auto industry 40 years ago. No one wanted the auto industry around, no one wanted to support it, everyone wanted to milk it for all it's worth. Now it's too late to cry about it.

If your talents are really so valuable you should have no trouble getting a job that pays as much as you make now.

And if they aren't, you should count your blessings for being so overpaid all these years, and try to be philosophical about joining the rest of us who haven't been so lucky.

I might also add, that I have been hard up too and no GM employee ever offered the slightest sympathy for me. Even now, it would be possible to save GM if the executives and the union agreed to reduce their compensation to only double or triple what the average worker makes. But I'm not expecting to see that happen.

There have been too many handouts and bailouts for fat cats already.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:34 AM   #215
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UAW Losing Pay Edge

UAW Losing Pay Edge: Foreign Automakers' Bonuses Boost Wages in U.S. Plants as Detroit Car Companies Struggle

UAW Losing Pay Edge: Foreign Automakers' Bonuses Boost Wages in U.S. Plants as Detroit Car Companies Struggle: aftermarket News
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:54 AM   #216
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It would work, Hawk, until the people that don't have any money would wonder why they could not get a new car like the rest of the folks that have jobs. It would escalate to "elitism" and class warfare, etc.
True, however if the bail out goes through the same is true. The auto makers get money and no one else does. Not fair either.

Now, in reality three hundred milllion people would not buy new vehicles. A lot of them are too young or to old to drive anyway.

But let's say that three million do. Then the twenty five billion would be more than eight thousand dollars a buyer. That much would probably motivate me to trade up.

The trick is to get the money moving in the economy. This way the auto makers benefit as well as taxpayers. The fall out to all the supporting industries would be huge as well.

Next, take most if not all of the restrictions off US Industry! We have been programed to hate big business and in most cases its just wrong. Have you thought about who owns the Oil companies, auto makers, airlines, ect. Check your mutual funds. WE ALL DO!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:15 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by cooperhawk View Post
Have you thought about who owns the Oil companies, auto makers, airlines, ect. Check your mutual funds. WE ALL DO!
I know it, you know it, but most folks believe, for some reason, that "big business" is bad. Too much bumper sticker politics, I guess.

Let's say, for example, if suddenly there were no more ExxonMobil or Conoco Phillips. Anyone up for trying to go find your own gasoline? The oil is not $50/barrel but free-all you have to do it find it, drill for it, store it, transport it, build a refinery for it, refine it, transport it some more, and then use it. That ought to be cheap enough! And, as a plus, no more complaining about "Big Oil"!!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #218
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"Carmakers have to be steered by market forces" (Irwin Stelzer piece from The Sunday Times [London] this morning):

Set out a giant honeypot and the bears will come. And the more bearish they are about their prospects, the faster they will come, and the louder they will grunt. The Bush administration presides over a giant honeypot, containing some $350 billion. And a smaller one, with a mere $25 billion already promised to the begging bowls of the three US carmakers. This smaller pot comes with too many restrictions — money must be used only to produce greener vehicles — to suit the “Detroit Three”.

So the carmakers want Congress and the White House to dip into the money originally intended to help financial institutions weather the current credit crisis, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp).

President Bush and Treasury secretary Hank Paulson don’t want to bail out the carmakers, and so are arguing that they do not have the legal authority to transfer Tarp money to a purpose not authorised in the legislation.

If GM is on the verge of bankruptcy, says the administration, all the Democrats in Congress have to do is remove the green conditions, and the initial $25 billion will flow to GM and others to meet their immediate cash needs. By the time they burn through that cash pile — at current rates that will take a few months — Barack Obama will be sitting in the Oval Office, from which perch he can decide how much taxpayer money he wants to commit to satisfying the seemingly insatiable appetite of the cash-guzzling trio.

The politics are clear. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which claims more than a million active and retired members, helped deliver the key state of Michigan to Obama. They are calling in their IOU.

Two things surprised the car-company bosses when they appeared before Congress last week. The first is the weight of the baggage carried by their principal spokesman, GM chief executive Rick Wagoner, whose company is in worse shape than Chrysler, and in far worse shape than Ford, which says it can survive without aid through 2009.

Wagoner contends that GM’s problems stem from a short-term liquidity crisis caused by high oil prices, tight credit and consumer reluctance to spend — all forces beyond the control of management. But Wagoner has been boss since 2000 and at GM for 31 years. During this period its market share has sunk from over 50% to 20%, its losses have mounted so that it is haemorrhaging over $2 billion in cash every month, and repeated efforts to restructure the company have failed.

The sad truth is that GM has too many workers making too few cars that people want, being sold through too many dealers at prices too low to turn a profit.

A second surprise for GM, Ford and Chrysler has been the extent and intensity of the opposition to a bailout from a variety of politicians.

Proponents of the bailout have always expected to have a fight on their hands from conservatives who believe that capitalism without failure is like religion without sin, from long-time critics of the industry’s management, and from those who feel that the UAW has for years extracted excessively lush compensation packages from the carmakers. (If you doubt that GM’s union contracts are a big source of its inability to compete, consider this: outside North America, where it is not burdened with such legacy costs, it is a highly successful company.)

But nobody guessed that politicians in the many states in which non-union foreign carmakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda and BMW are providing good jobs for more than 113,000 workers would be quite so vigorous in protecting those companies from unfair, taxpayer-subsidised competition.

That opposition and the weak performance of the carmakers’ chiefs in their appearance before Congress forced the Democratic leadership to abandon efforts to push through its bill to allocate $25 billion of Tarp money to the Detroit Three. Score a win, although only a temporary one, for the Bush administration.

The car companies will now have to await the coming of Barack Obama before receiving the taxpayer-funded loans they seek — which he will make available, he says, only if he can be shown that “we are creating a bridge loan to somewhere as opposed to a bridge loan to nowhere”.

The opposition to the bailout makes a powerful case for denying aid and letting GM file for bankruptcy. A bailout will do nothing to lighten the burden of the legacy costs under which GM and others labour. GM’s over-numerous dealers are protected from termination by state laws, and its workers’ extravagant benefit packages by contracts that require almost full compensation for laid-off workers, indefinitely. Only a bankruptcy court judge can undo those legacies.

Bankruptcy is not an option, says Wagoner firmly. Consumers will buy tickets on bankrupt airlines because their relationship with the carrier lasts only for the short duration of the flight. But car purchasers are entering a long-term relationship with the manufacturer on whose warranty they must rely.

Unfortunately for Wagoner, there is an easy fix to that problem: a government guarantee of all warranties backing vehicles sold while GM (or Chrysler) is in bankruptcy. Throw in government guarantees of pension obligations, some retraining and other protection for older workers who might be adversely affected by rulings of the bankruptcy courts, and you have a compassionately conservative and economically efficient solution to the industry’s problems.

But that is not to be. Politics trumps economics, and Obama now has promises to keep. Nobody wants to take note of the fact that our British friends poured billions into a failed attempt to rescue British Leyland.

The stark choice is bankruptcy now or bankruptcy later, and now beats later by at least $50 billion.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:02 AM   #219
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One of G.M.'s Contributions to National Security

One of G.M.'s Contributions to National Security

General Motors converted all of its production to the Allied war effort and delivered more than $12 billion worth of goods, ranging from airplanes to tanks, marine diesel engines, trucks, machine guns, and shells. No other manufacturer delivered as much material to the Allied forces.

Here is a list of the WWII General Motors War Material Production 1940-45:

198,000 Diesel engines for tanks & landing craft
206,000 Airplane engines
3,000 Complete bombers and fighter planes
97,000 Aircraft propellors
301,000 Aircraft gyroscopes
38,000 Tanks, tank destroyers and armored vehicles
54,000 Trucks, including amhibious DUKWs
190,000 Cannons
1,900,000 Machine guns and submachine guns
3,142,000 Carbines
3,826,000 Electric motors
11,111,000 Fuses
360,000,000 Ball and roller bearings
119,562,000 Shells
39,181,000 Cartridge cases

540,619,000 Grand Total

To this day, the government has not forgotten GM's
contribution.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:05 AM   #220
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Wow, AIR2GO really says it all. One further point however.

It's not the car makers we should be concerned about. It's our economy nationwide. The stimulous packages were hardly enough to make a difference. They were spread out over too large a population to do any good. Most people just paid bills with them

What we need is to get the consumer buying again.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:26 AM   #221
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What’s Good for G.M. Is Good for the Army

What’s Good for G.M. Is Good for the Army

More challenges lie ahead for our military, and to meet them we need a strong industrial base. For years the military has sought better sources of electric power in its vehicles — necessary to allow troops to monitor their radios with diesel engines off, to support increasingly high-powered communications technology, and eventually to support electric propulsion and innovative armaments like directed-energy weapons. In sum, this greater use of electricity will increase combat power while reducing our footprint. Much research and development spending has gone into these programs over the years, but nothing on the manufacturing scale we really need.
Now, though, as GM moves to plug-in hybrids and electric-drive technology, the scale problem can be remedied. Automakers are developing innovative electric motors, many with permanent magnet technology, that will have immediate military use. And only the auto industry, with its vast purchasing power, is able to establish a domestic advanced battery industry. Likewise, domestic fuel cell production — which will undoubtedly have many critical military applications — depends on a vibrant car industry.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/opinion/16clark.html
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:43 AM   #222
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For all the naysayers about keeping the big 2.5 alive and US run, here is your big break, Gov owned and run China automakers are already drawing up plans to pick up the assets of the big 1.5 of the big 2.5, with Ford only slightly behind.

If we don't do it, the Chinese are more than willing to, so that every car who's profits and control were domestic could now be in foreign control.

Wal-Mart type followers rejoice!

Are Chinese Automakers Considering Buying GM and Chrysler? | GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site

Anyone still think we shouldn't spend even 100 billion or more keeping Detroit in Detroit and forcing their hands via these loans had better think again......
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:05 PM   #223
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I don't feel that I need to think again. I'm pretty happy with my thinking in the first place.

The arguments for bailing out American auto makers are emotional, not economic. Apparently, we "owe" GM something for building war supplies a half century ago. If we let the U.S. auto makers fail, the Chinese will sweep in. The loans are OK because we "all own" GM via our mutual funds so we're really just loaning money to ourselves. The sky is falling and we have to do something!

All of these emotional arguments do not sway me from the simple principle that in a capitalist economy, the government should not be loaning money to private firms. There are simply far too many historical examples where government intervention has done far more harm than good. I'm not afraid of a recession, or even a depression. I'm not worried about the Chinese. I'm worried about raw emotion, nostalgia and politics further compromising the free market system. In the long run, it is best to let GM rise or fall under its own weight without any intervention funded by the American taxpayer. Unless, of course, you think the government is smarter than the marketplace. In that case, I suggest you should cut out the middleman and simply advocate for the nationalization of the auto industry. And in that event, it makes to sense to talk with the Chinese. They have a fair amount of experience with state-run industry.
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:19 PM   #224
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It may cost more to keep workers working but that is the right thing to do. Private corporation is not interested in that and that makes a HUGE mess in it's wake. It's more important for people to have gainful employment and occupation and a means to sustain themselves than to have corporation see profits. Now how that can be fixed is hopefully what is a priority. The value of an individual must outweigh the value of commerce in the kind of society of which I would like to live. Would it help to clarify if I mentioned that Steinbeck is my favorite author and the country has been through this question of balance before?
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