Thursday, November 13, 2008
I Want One Too!
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?