Bailout Watch 132: "That's Not Welfare"

bailout watch 132 thats not welfare

Detroit News auto jeffe Manny Lopez seems to think there’s orchestrated opposition to a Motown bailout. In this he could not be more wrong. Not a single elected representative has come out against federal mammary provision to Motowns’ mavens. Lest we forget, Senator John McCain reversed his anti-Detroit-bailout rhetoric in time for the election. Besides, the $25b Department of Energy is a done deal, and TARP provisions for Detroit’s captive lenders are on their way. Still, paranoia rules! “I’m not buying the ‘Let Detroit die’ line that’s being promoted by people across the country. It’s tired. It’s simplistic. And it’s misguided… Most notably the jobs that would be lost, though the ‘thought leaders’ on the coasts and politicos in Washington, D.C., don’t seem to be giving that much consideration. Carly Fiorina is among them. The former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Corp. said in Detroit this week that the government can’t rescue the auto industry. ‘The auto industry cannot be saved from its own bad bets,’ she told the Detroit Economic Club.” Now THAT took some balls. Not that Manny’s ready to cede the point (as if). But it does inspire some classic “this is not my beautiful welfare” rhetoric.

“Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who argue that helping the auto industry weather one of the worst markets in 15 years, or provide a boost in the way of tax breaks or research and development credits to meet the fuel economy mandates Congress has imposed is tantamount to ‘welfare.’ That’s not welfare. Welfare is what hundreds of thousands of workers and their families across the nation will seek if the domestic car companies fail. Unemployment levels will skyrocket. Small businesses will fold. Even more houses will go into foreclosure. Birds will drop from the sky. The seas shall roil in protest. The bowels of the earth shall open forth and disgorge a beast of incalculable evil.” Just kidding.

Anyway, Manny’s conclusion is surprisingly… conflicted. Unintentionally honest? You be the judge. “Detroit doesn’t deserve any handouts. But it doesn’t deserve to be buried alive, either.” Huh.

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  • Becurb Becurb on Oct 30, 2008
    Carly Fiorina is among them. The former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Corp. said in Detroit this week that the government can’t rescue the auto industry. ‘The auto industry cannot be saved from its own bad bets,’ she told the Detroit Economic Club.” Now THAT took some balls. Having been an H-P serf during the Carly years, I can safely say that that bitch is one hell of a celebrity CEO - and damn little else. As ferrarimanf355 says, she did little for H-P, and her tenure at Lucent was just as bad. Carly is good for jetting around in corporate Gulfstreams and writting books braying "it wasn't my fault!", and damn little else about actually running a company. Sure, she claims credit for the success since she left, but her time as CEO shows otherwise. And, as for telling the Detroit Economic Club to piss up a rope - well it either took balls, or a complete lack of tact. Hmmmm, I'll go for the latter, given her "I'm so much smarter than you" baggage. Bruce

  • AG AG on Oct 30, 2008

    I once asked my family when I visited Iran why their car industry was stuck in the dark ages. They told me that they had to make the cars in the most inefficient way possible to make sure people had jobs. Then they erected import barriers to force people to buy them. It always looks so strange when it happens someplace else...

  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Corey. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.