Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Results Are In

GM and Chrysler showed up today, tin cup extended, begging for more federal money to stay afloat. All this after they received a Christmas gift in December. Companies that have been the bedrock of American capitalism are now feeding at the trough of the American taxpayer.


In December, GM received $13.4 BILLION. Now they want an extra $16 BILLION by 2011. I hope they are still in business by then. From CNN.com:


“The two firms also detailed plans to cut 50,000 jobs worldwide by the end of the year. In addition, GM plans to close five more plants in the next few years and confirmed it will drop some of its weaker brands.”
I hate that GM is being forced to lay off workers, but slimming down is product is something that has been a long time coming. Does GM really need to produce more than 15 Pontiac lines every year?

Plans are in the works for the Saturn and Hummer lines to go by the wayside. Chrysler will be eliminating the PT Cruiser and the Aspen. Frankly, I’m glad the Cruiser is going away. It’s an ugly car. It’s supposed to look like the street muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s. This new version has a 4 cylinder engine. Some muscle car. I’m a little sad about Saturn. I’ve never driven one, but that line has been very dependable, and Saturn totally revolutionized the car buying experience. As for Hummer, I’m not sure what to think. I do think it’s a little odd for Citizen Joe to be driving around in something designed for military transport.

I know we don’t want people to be laid off, but it is bound to happen in a sour economy. I would love to see the UAW make some concessions to make sure these companies are able to stay afloat. I doubt that will happen.

A lot of people are complaining that the Obama administration is going to result in socialism and nationalization of industries. But when these industries go hat in hand to the government asking for money to stay in business, we shouldn’t complain that the government is going to take over these businesses. After all, they’re basically being asked to do it.

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