Bailout Watch 22: Washington Post Columnist Votes Aye

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

If you want a preview of how your elected representatives are going to approach the $50b Detroit bailout (a.k.a. “Retooling for Tools”), you could do worse than read this Washington Post diatribe by economist Steven Pearlstein. “The Road to a Bailout They Don’t Deserve” begins by giving The Big 2.8 a right royal pasting. “Even before top industry executives arrive in Washington later this month to lobby for their program, General Motors’ vice chairman, Robert Lutz, who never misses an opportunity to put his foot in his mouth, was telling reporters in Chicago last week that the industry ‘deserves’ government loans because of all the challenges that have been inflicted upon it. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an industry less deserving of government help.” Other barrel: “Here are three companies that for decades failed to produce cars that were well designed, well produced and exciting to look at, that fought tooth and nail against efforts to require greater fuel efficiency and, until recently, did too little to bring wages, benefits and retiree costs in line with competitive realities. And while they whined for years that it was unfair trade that put them at a disadvantage, Toyota, Honda, BMW and other foreign transplants came along to prove that it is possible to produce quality cars at affordable prices in U.S. factories while offering decent wages and benefits.” And just when you think Pearlstein’s going to lower the boom, he says giving Detroit the money is “probably the wise thing to do.” Probably? How great is that?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Sep 03, 2008

    No bailouts until after the the 2.8 file C11, hire new management and void all employment contracts with current management.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Sep 03, 2008

    If you like that photo, then you will love "The Gallery of Transport Loss" run by a little cargo insurance company out of Los Angeles. Very old fashioned web site, but they get all the best photos from ship, train, and airplane mishaps, often from the very people involved.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Sep 03, 2008

    I suspect some in the print media are pro-Detroit bailout because they themselves (the cratering newspaper business) will eventually want a bailout. I can see some sort of BBC like tax going to failing news organizations under an Obama administration.

  • Obbop Obbop on Sep 03, 2008

    Suzuki and Mitsubishi HAS to become..... Sushi.