Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gentlemen, start your engines

They're baaacck!

The heads of the Big 3 automakers are back in Washington - this time, sans private jets, fortunately.

They have revised their wishlist and one head honcho is even going to take a $1 annual salary until the debt is repaid. Am I thoroughly convinced that the taxpayer should bear the brunt of this debt at a moderate interest rate? Not in the least. Should we really have to pay for the mistakes of managers gone awry? The price and quality of the US automobile has not kept up with those of Japan and other countries. The automakers have not been as aggressive in bringing to the consumer models that are not as reliant on so much darn gasoline.

Why is it again that we should help them? I don't have any relatives or even friends in the auto industry, and I do not mean to sound cold, but why is this our problem? Other companies and consumers have to file for bankruptcy protection at such times as this - this gives them a chance to reorganize their debts (under chapter 11), come up with a credible plan of attack and restructure the company to make it profitable again.

Lee Iacocca asked where have all the leaders gone as it related to political figures in his recent book, "Where Have all the Leaders Gone?" When he was the head of Chrysler, they received a similar bailout, but the monies were repaid within an inordinately short period of time under his fine leadership.

If I were able to have my say on this, aside from in this blog, I would ask the Bush and Obama administrations to insist that the automakers bring Lee Iacocca and Mitt Romney to the table - and force the automaker heads to work with these two remarkable intuitive men when it comes to business acumen. Romney has amassed a fortune turning companies around - it is just too easy for some to get in that line and ask for a handout, not a handup. I say we make it a tad harder.

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