This week, Congress will consider whether to cough up billions of dollars to bail out the troubled companies.
There are loud advocates with strong arguments on both sides.
Proponents of a bailout say that the industry is a victim of the global financial crisis. Wall Street has been bailed out, so why not Detroit?
They say millions of jobs could be lost and more than $100 billion in wages sliced out of an already-fragile U.S. economy.
“It would be a travesty for the irresponsible, reckless behavior of Wall Street to result in the sweeping away of the American automobile industry,” said Mike Jackson, CEO of Autonation, the nation’s largest auto dealership group. “If indeed it came to bankruptcy, it’s going to make what happened with Lehman Brothers and all the consequences of that a nice day.”
On the other side are those who feel just as strongly that the automakers’ problems are their own doing, born of bad business decisions, uncompetitive labor agreements and vehicles that Americans have decided are second-rate.
In my very small sampling of friends, radio DJs, and Internet blogs, the verdict appears to be running against a bailout. Youngstown, Ohio’s Hot 101 radio station is running their own auto bailout promo, giving away a car, since the Washington DC version doesn’t help anyone except execs (at least that’s what the promo suggests).
What say you?