Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Want One Too!

by Joyce

By now, everyone knows the economy isn't the greatest at the moment. The stock market is way down, 401ks are in the toilet, and unemployment is up--but give me a break already!

The recent gazillion-bazillion dollar (or whatever the figure was) bailout of the finance industry was bad enough, but now politicians are talking about bailing out the auto industry. This is the same industry, who has for years, thumbed their noses at car buyers by manufacturing vehicles that, to be kind, weren't quite what they should be.

Since the 1970s or maybe even earlier, consumers cried out for better vehicles. Vehicles that didn't rust after a couple of years. Vehicles that ran for more than 50,000 miles. Vehicles that got more than 15 miles per gallon. Instead of listening to the car buying public, domestic automakers kept doing things they way they always had. Improvements in safety, mileage, etc., were usually only done because the government forced them into it. I'm sure they figured people would keep buying whatever they put on the market.

But they were wrong.

Consumers got fed up and started buying better quality cars made by companies like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. When the domestic automakers realized these customers weren't coming back, they started doing something about it. While domestic vehicles are much better than they used to be, they should have been good all along. It should not take losing sales to make a product better.

I don't think the government handing the big corporations big dollars will do anything to help them. In the long run, no matter how much money the government throws at these companies, there will always be competition. And they haven't learned to be competitive in today's marketplace. No amount of money can teach someone that.

It might actually be a good thing for these companies to file for bankruptcy and restructure. No one bailed out the airline industry, and the last time I looked, there are still planes in the air.

I've come up with a plan, however. So far, the government has bailed out the mortgage and banking industries, and would like to do the same for the automakers. I say it's time for writers to ask for a bailout. After all, who makes less money than writers? (Okay, maybe clerks at Walmart, but even they make more than I do.) And don't you think our product is much better than a hunk of steel and plastic? Not to mention the fact that mystery writers pretty much know every way there is to kill somebody. Can we put that in our proposal to Congress?

The publishing industry has been crying the blues for awhile now. They need a bailout too! And what about bookstore owners? Especially the independent ones? Bailout, I say!

I think we're on to something here. Okay, who's with me on this? Is there anyone else you can think of who needs a bailout?


Martha Reed said...

Yes, please, I'd like a slice of the$700 billion bailout pie.

Oh, what? I already get a slice, since I'm a taxpayer? Excuse me? Did you say I get to PAY for it?


Annette said...

I'd like a slice of the CEO and bank president salary pie. Especially since that's likely the pocket the bailout money ultimately goes into anyway.

I sound bitter???


Joyce said...

Martha, that's exactly what frightens me about this whole thing. We're the ones who will ultimately pay for it. We pay WAY too much in taxes already.

Joyce said...

I'm with you Annette.

And while we're at it, what about a bailout for the middle class parents putting their kids through college who don't want to saddle them with thousands and thousands of dollars in school loans? Maybe instead of giving the university presidents big raises in the present economy, the state should give the money to the students and their parents.

Tory said...

I think the problem is the "quick fix, bottom line" mentality endemic to U.S. business, be it Wall Street, the auto companies, or the publishing industry.

Not sure what's going to get us to look at things with a longer-term vision in mind, though.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, Joyce. I'm with you on the stupidity of the auto industry. Why reward them for shortsighted foolishness and wrongheadedness?

But we actually DID bail out the airline industry, after 9/11. Massive amounts of money went to them, and they are still struggling and reorganizing. Delta and Northwest just merged, creating the largest airline in the world. But Delta flights are still the most expensive in the entire US in my home airport of Cincinnati. Grrr.

Karen in Ohio

Dana King said...

Economics 101: You're only eligible for a bailout if you ad a lot of money and blew it through your imprudent attempts to get even more. People who never had any money are not eligible.

I have the best of both worlds with my Honda Civic. It never breaks down, it's fun to drive, gets great mileage (37.8 on a recent Western vacation), and its parts were made and manufactured 85% in the United States and Canada. Stockholders might be anywhere, regardless of the car company. Keeping the people here working is the key to a "domestic" auto industry.

Kristine said...

Amen, Joyce! I want to know when OUR bailouts and golden parachutes are coming. The government is so concerned about big business and industry, but what about ordinary citizens who can't pay for groceries or afford to put gas in their cars to get to work?

Yeah, I'm bitter, too.

No one is ever accountable for their actions anymore. The only reason I don't want to see these big companies go under is because of the employees who will ultimately lose their jobs. They are the real victims in this whole situation.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I was on board with the financial bailout until I found that some of that money may go to fund the Inbev takeover of Anheuser-Busch. So our tax dollars will help cut thousands of American jobs.

Sweet, huh?

Sorry gang, I'm in a bit of a sour mood.