NYT: Not Everyone In Michigan Is Pro-Bailout

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
nyt not everyone in michigan is pro bailout

As the battle over bailout bucks rages, it’s easy to get the impression that Fortress Detroit is unanimous in its support for the home team. As usual though, there’s more to the story than just the loudest voices. The New York Times conducted interviews across the state over the last two weeks, and found that opposition to the bailout, if only in private. “There are plenty of people who are rolling their eyes,” said Bill Ballenger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics newsletter. “You keep your head down if you’re one of them, but they’re out there.” And much of the opposition seems to come from Michigan residents who lost their jobs before the automakers even came begging for a bailout. “How many other, small companies would like a bailout?” asks Heather Davison, an unemployed graphic designer who lost her job at a real estate publication a year ago. “It seems to me that the car companies saw the banks getting a bailout and said, ‘Oh, let’s go!’”

Even those who work within the orbit of the once-big three have their reasons for opposing a bailout, even if it comes at the expense of their jobs. “I remember when G.M. shut down 11 plants, some of which were in the Great Lakes region,” says John Raterink, who works at a small machine shop that supplies the auto industry. “They said, ‘We can’t afford to keep doing business like this.’ But do you know what happened at the upper echelon of G.M.? They got six-figure bonuses at the end of the year. If we look at thousands of workers in counties around here, they got no sympathy. We got hurt, and we got hurt badly. As a result of their practices, I haven’t seen a raise in six years, and I’ve seen my health benefits decline.” And Raterink acknowledges that things will get worse than they already are if there’s no bailout. “But bear in mind that we’ve already been dealing with this since the last quarter of ’99,” he says. “If I have to pull myself up by my own bootstraps, I hope G.M. faces that same reality of pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

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  • Boofie59 Boofie59 on Dec 03, 2008
    I did expect some lecture from Thomas Friedman on how to construct smart government managed company (still may come, since Mr. Friedman has no education or experience in either government or management or auto industry). Autonut, you just learned the definition of a pundit.

  • Runfromcheney Runfromcheney on Dec 03, 2008

    Well, I am sure you guys at TTAC knew about this for a while. I am from DETROIT and I am against the bailout. I want GM and Chrysler to go down, as opposed to just propping them up when they are dead just to "save jobs!!"

  • Ajla This was discussed a little in the Camaro thread yesterday but IMO these GT350s along with the 5g Camaro Z28 are going to be the most valuable post 2000 muscle/pony cars around the time I'm going in the ground. The experience those two cars give isn't going to exist in the future while they are also just fussy enough about maintenance/repair to make themselves rare as time goes on.
  • Lou_BC Battery trickle charger. My EV is a 12 ft. aluminum boat with a Minn Kota.
  • Olddavid Last year while perusing Craigslist I found a 26 year old Jaguar convertible that had sat for seven years. In Alberta, Canada. The worm had infected several areas, but most were of the cosmetic variety, with all suspension mounting points and motor and third member mounts solid. The price was about the cost of a good set of tires, and with only 110k kilometers (about 70k miles), I jumped the shark. I haven't owned a ragtop since 1982 and decided the time is now. That it started right up had within 5% of new compression with an untorn leather upholstery and all working accessories made me feel like I should have at least worn a mask and brandished a weapon at delivery. These are not known for their trouble-free longevity so I guess time will tell. For now, I howl at the moon when driving around and feel like I am 25 again. Cheap at twice the price.
  • BetterOne Yet another recent TTAC headline that oozes Schmidtian levels of double entendre...
  • Dukeisduke “maximize commonality on the assembly line to ensure a quality launch for the new Ford Ranger”Lol, this is Ford we're talking about, right?Also, pausing the Base trim? I've seen a surprising number of those, with their silver steelies.