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I help enlighten folks
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friends,

I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement. It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won't break down:

My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was that a sweet ride!

When it would start.

More than a dozen times in these years, the car has simply died. Batteries have been replaced, but that wasn't the problem. My dad drives the same model. His car has died many times, too. Just won't start, for no reason at all.

A few weeks ago, I took my Chrysler in to the Chrysler dealer here in northern Michigan -- and the latest fixes cost me $1,400. The next day, the vehicle wouldn't start. When I got it going, the brake warning light came on. And on and on.

You might assume from this that I couldn't give a rat's ass about these miserably inept crapmobile makers down the road in Detroit city. But I do care. I care about the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on these car companies. I care about the security and defense of this country because the world is running out of oil -- and when it runs out, the calamity and collapse that will take place will make the current recession/depression look like a Tommy Tune musical.

And I care about what happens with the Big 3 because they are more responsible than almost anyone for the destruction of our fragile atmosphere and the daily melting of our polar ice caps.

Congress must save the industrial infrastructure that these companies control and the jobs they create. And it must save the world from the internal combustion engine. This great, vast manufacturing network can redeem itself by building mass transit and electric/hybrid cars, and the kind of transportation we need for the 21st century.

And Congress must do all this by NOT giving GM, Ford and Chrysler the $34 billion they are asking for in "loans" (a few days ago they only wanted $25 billion; that's how stupid they are -- they don't even know how much they really need to make this month's payroll. If you or I tried to get a loan from the bank this way, not only would we be thrown out on our ear, the bank would place us on some sort of credit rating blacklist).

Two weeks ago, the CEOs of the Big 3 were tarred and feathered before a Congressional committee who sneered at them in a way far different than when the heads of the financial industry showed up two months earlier. At that time, the politicians tripped over each other in their swoon for Wall Street and its Ponzi schemers who had concocted Byzantine ways to bet other people's money on unregulated credit default swaps, known in the common vernacular as unicorns and fairies.

But the Detroit boys were from the Midwest, the Rust (yuk!) Belt, where they made real things that consumers needed and could touch and buy, and that continually recycled money into the economy (shocking!), produced unions that created the middle class, and fixed my teeth for free when I was ten.

For all of that, the auto heads had to sit there in November and be ridiculed about how they traveled to D.C. Yes, they flew on their corporate jets, just like the bankers and Wall Street thieves did in October. But, hey, THAT was OK! They're the Masters of the Universe! Nothing but the best chariots for Big Finance as they set about to loot our nation's treasury.

Of course, the auto magnates used be the Masters who ruled the world. They were the pulsating hub that all other industries -- steel, oil, cement contractors -- served. Fifty-five years ago, the president of GM sat on that same Capitol Hill and bluntly told Congress, what's good for General Motors is good for the country. Because, you see, in their minds, GM WAS the country.

What a long, sad fall from grace we witnessed on November 19th when the three blind mice had their knuckles slapped and then were sent back home to write an essay called, "Why You Should Give Me Billions of Dollars of Free Cash." They were also asked if they would work for a dollar a year. Take that! What a big, brave Congress they are! Requesting indentured servitude from (still) three of the most powerful men in the world. This from a spineless body that won't dare stand up to a disgraced president nor turn down a single funding request for a war that neither they nor the American public support. Amazing.

Let me just state the obvious: Every single dollar Congress gives these three companies will be flushed right down the toilet. There is nothing the management teams of the Big 3 are going to do to convince people to go out during a recession and buy their big, gas-guzzling, inferior products. Just forget it. And, as sure as I am that the Ford family-owned Detroit Lions are not going to the Super Bowl -- ever -- I can guarantee you, after they burn through this $34 billion, they'll be back for another $34 billion next summer.

So what to do? Members of Congress, here's what I propose:

1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important functions our government must address. And because we are facing a massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.

2. You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You're going to demand collateral anyway if you give them the "loan," and because we know they will default on that loan, you're going to own the company in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)

3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent vehicles and get us into the 21st century.

This proposal is not radical or rocket science. It just takes one of the smartest people ever to run for the presidency to pull it off. What I'm proposing has worked before. The national rail system was in shambles in the '70s. The government took it over. A decade later it was turning a profit, so the government returned it to private/public hands, and got a couple billion dollars put back in the treasury.

This proposal will save our industrial infrastructure -- and millions of jobs. More importantly, it will create millions more. It literally could pull us out of this recession.

In contrast, yesterday General Motors presented its restructuring proposal to Congress. They promised, if Congress gave them $18 billion now, they would, in turn, eliminate around 20,000 jobs. You read that right. We give them billions so they can throw more Americans out of work. That's been their Big Idea for the last 30 years -- layoff thousands in order to protect profits. But no one ever stopped to ask this question: If you throw everyone out of work, who's going to have the money to go out and buy a car?

These idiots don't deserve a dime. Fire all of them, and take over the industry for the good of the workers, the country and the planet.

What's good for General Motors IS good for the country. Once the country is calling the shots.

Yours,
Michael Moore
[email protected]
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. I will be on Keith Olbermann tonight (8pm/10pm/midnight ET) to discuss this further on MSNBC.
 

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So what to do? Members of Congress, here's what I propose:

1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important functions our government must address. And because we are facing a massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.

2. You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You're going to demand collateral anyway if you give them the "loan," and because we know they will default on that loan, you're going to own the company in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)

3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent vehicles and get us into the 21st century.
In other words, nationalize the automotive industry. Bad juju.
 

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I help enlighten folks
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16,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let them go into Ch 11 and redo the union contracts. The UAW is at the heart of the mess or the auto companies.
wrong. It's the fault of the executives who are paid enough to decide what cars to design and build.
 

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I help enlighten folks
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like another march to the Socialist States of America.

I say do not bail out the big three. Americans will still buy cars and someone smarter will make them (in this country)
good thinking. let's turn into a nation of burger flippers and butt wipers and get caught short the next time we need to ramp up like we did in WWII.
Short sighted and "joe the plumber" type of cretinism.
 

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Let them go into Ch 11 and redo the union contracts. The UAW is at the heart of the mess or the auto companies.
Grade A uncut bull. Are they partly to blame? Absolutely. But, when the executives of these big companies are making 7 figures, flying multimillion dollar corporate jets and still spending like crazy, acquitting them of wrongdoing in this is just not paying attention.
 

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wrong. It's the fault of the executives who are paid enough to decide what cars to design and build.
That's not entirely true. The government consistently forces American cars to implement technology that does not yet exist. We are constantly strong armed to produce a combustion engine that exceeds the unreasonable standards of some idiot law maker. They are not allowed to decided what cars to build they are told what cars they can build. And they have to do this while competing with foreign junk. Look into the CAFE standards of the automotive industry before you make such a bold statement.
 

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Getting Older
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Grade A uncut bull. Are they partly to blame? Absolutely. But, when the executives of these big companies are making 7 figures, flying multimillion dollar corporate jets and still spending like crazy, acquitting them of wrongdoing in this is just not paying attention.
Are they supposed to ride a bicycle to meetings across the country and do this job for $23,000 a year? Yes, they are overpaid but running a major automotive company is not like running McDonald's.
 

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I help enlighten folks
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are they supposed to ride a bicycle to meetings across the country and do this job for $23,000 a year? Yes, they are overpaid but running a major automotive company is not like running McDonald's.
Each of those executives will be running their own mickey D's in a couple months though. who cares about the three million out of work, the timing is perfect :upsidedown:
 

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Vote 3rd party!
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good thinking. let's turn into a nation of burger flippers and butt wipers and get caught short the next time we need to ramp up like we did in WWII.
Short sighted and "joe the plumber" type of cretinism.
I guess that does sound short-sighted as it reads. If you're worried about "ramping up", we have other factories that already build military equip. In addition, I wasn't specifically talking about Toyota/Honda/Kia building in the US. I think it would only be a short time (If/when economy recovers) that you would see new startup automobile manufacturer's building here in the states.

The big 3 management and the UAW are both short-sighted and that is why they are in this position. The best thing in the long term is that the US auto companies start from scratch.
 

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I help enlighten folks
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess that does sound short-sighted as it reads. If you're worried about "ramping up", we have other factories that already build military equip. In addition, I wasn't specifically talking about Toyota/Honda/Kia building in the US. I think it would only be a short time (If/when economy recovers) that you would see new startup automobile manufacturer's building here in the states.

The big 3 management and the UAW are both short-sighted and that is why they are in this position. The best thing in the long term is that the US auto companies start from scratch.
The Union had already agreed to concessions that were going to put them within a few bucks of Japanese by mid 2009. They just need to survive this wall street crash BS.

Why do we bailout people who shower before work, but people who shower AFTER work?
 

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high on truck stop coffee
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Execs are a major prob..

I'm sure you've guys seen on the news tonight that the Big 3 execs will take $1 per year salary to demonstrate their intent to turn their companies' turnaround,the UAW will likely have to grant additional concessions...& don't let anyone tell you these guys are overpaid loafers,new hires get $14.10/hour with no health insurance or retirement credits...only after three years of perfect attendance,no bad work reports do they ascend a 3 tiered pay scale to reach $24-$26/hour...& that ain't big money in anyones book.If you haven't worked a day in a Big 3 shop your opinion is invalid...kinda like the old saying...'first...walk a mile in my shoes'...
 

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Getting Older
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Each of those executives will be running their own mickey D's in a couple months though. who cares about the three million out of work, the timing is perfect :upsidedown:
If the American automotive industry fails they probably will.

I couldn't help but notice that you totally ignored this:

That's not entirely true. The government consistently forces American cars to implement technology that does not yet exist. We are constantly strong armed to produce a combustion engine that exceeds the unreasonable standards of some idiot law maker. They are not allowed to decided what cars to build they are told what cars they can build. And they have to do this while competing with foreign junk. Look into the CAFE standards of the automotive industry before you make such a bold statement.
If the American car is going to suceed we need to limit what the Unions can demand and stop the ridicious government controls on what can be built.
 

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The Punisher
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The thing I find amusing is them saying they will work for $1/year salary. Hmmmmmm, wonder what happens once bonus time rolls around? Bonus' are technically not part of salary, although they go towards gross income. Me thinks once this all dies down next year, they'll be given very nice pats on the back in the form of bonus'.

....and I agree with you Sam, the government has WAY too much input into what is built by the car manufacturers, and the mandates that they set forth.
 

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The thing I find amusing is them saying they will work for $1/year salary. Hmmmmmm, wonder what happens once bonus time rolls around? Bonus' are technically not part of salary, although they go towards gross income. Me thinks once this all dies down next year, they'll be given very nice pats on the back in the form of bonus'.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was at least eight digits. $$$

....and I agree with you Sam, the government has WAY too much input into what is built by the car manufacturers, and the mandates that they set forth.
I used to grumbled at why they would change something after they finally got it right. Our government killed the big 3.

I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist I have to wonder if all of this "global warming" isn't a design to put the Left in control of everything.
 

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Scarred for life...
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I used to work for a company that made parts for all three American automakers, as well as 3 Japanese manufacturers, and a Korean automaker as well.

I can tell you the foreign companies are FANATICAL about quality. The parts have to be PERFECT. They wont accept a blemish even on a part that the eventual owner will never see or even think about.

The American companies were completely different. They actually threatened to stop ordering from us because the parts we made didn't wear out. Seems they did a study and the parts we made were as good as new after 10 and 15 years of heavy use. I have to brag because we did make very high quality parts...

Anyway to keep the contract we ended up using lower quality steel that rusts. We sent them two samples the only difference being one rusted completely in two after 6 years of simulated use and the other made it for 8 years of simulated use. They chose the one that rusted the fastest and even paid us MORE PER PART for the inferior parts.

This is the thought process of the execs of the Big 3. They WANT their cars to fall apart after a certain period of time so you will buy another car.

Until this way of thinking changes we are just throwing money at a problem that is only getting worse.

In 10 years we will be right back where we are now, debating another big bailout of these bozos because they absolutely refuse to consider making a quality product.
 

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I used to work for a company that made parts for all three American automakers, as well as 3 Japanese manufacturers, and a Korean automaker as well.

I can tell you the foreign companies are FANATICAL about quality. The parts have to be PERFECT. They wont accept a blemish even on a part that the eventual owner will never see or even think about.

The American companies were completely different. They actually threatened to stop ordering from us because the parts we made didn't wear out. Seems they did a study and the parts we made were as good as new after 10 and 15 years of heavy use. I have to brag because we did make very high quality parts...

Anyway to keep the contract we ended up using lower quality steel that rusts. We sent them two samples the only difference being one rusted completely in two after 6 years of simulated use and the other made it for 8 years of simulated use. They chose the one that rusted the fastest and even paid us MORE PER PART for the inferior parts.

This is the thought process of the execs of the Big 3. They WANT their cars to fall apart after a certain period of time so you will buy another car.

Until this way of thinking changes we are just throwing money at a problem that is only getting worse.

In 10 years we will be right back where we are now, debating another big bailout of these bozos because they absolutely refuse to consider making a quality product.
Thus why you should only buy good quality Honda or Toyota. My family has 3 dodge vehicles and we all love them, but American cars are not even close to that of Japanese or Euro quality.
 
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