So I know many democratic leaders are pushing for the “Big Three Bailout” (Barack Obama included). Since so many jobs are connected to the auto industry, many believe that we have to bailout Chrysler, Ford, and GM in order to keep Americans employed (I heard on MSNBC that 1/10 jobs have something to do with American cars). Of course, Michigan politicians are pushing for this bailout because a large portion of their constituent base are employees of the auto industry.
I have a problem with this bailout for several reasons. To start, if we the taxpayers give these car makers the money they are demanding, aren’t they just going to continue to under perform and not keep up with the foreign car market? And aren’t they just going to continue to make fuel inefficient cars that Americans no longer want (it took them forever to realize that no one liked the Hummer)?
Bankruptcy sounds like a scary thing. However, it also could be just what the Big Three need. If they are forced into filing for bankruptcy, they will then have to restructure themselves from the bottom up. This could include replacing the CEOs that fly to Washington D.C. to request billions and billions of taxpayer dollars in private jets. More importantly, the companies would have to think about what they need to do to compete in the changing automobile market–will they finally make a decent fuel efficient car?
Throughout Barack Obama’s historic campaign for the office of the President of the United States of America, we all chanted, “Yes We Can!” And we all called for a leader to depart from the failed policies of the current president. But are we following through with our demands by asking for more of the same from our automakers? I don’t think so. In order to move forward as a country, we have to change Detroit. This is not possible if we bail out the Big Three. Let them sink. Then we will get the “change we can believe in.”