Questions that People Should Be Asking Themselves About the Auto Industry Bailout

  1. Are there better uses for the $25 billion?
  2. If we spent $25 billion on mass transit instead of bailing out the big three, would that be better in the long run for our country?  Would it be better for our economy, our environment and our energy policy?

  3. What happened to the $7 billion Detroit got from the Clinton Administration to increase gas mileage?
  4. In 1993 the Clinton Administration offered Detroit a “Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles” under which the auto manufacturers got $7 billion to create cars capable of getting 80 MPG by 2000. What happened to that money?  According to one analyst, the partnership “failed to deliver improvements in fuel economy. By defusing environmentalists’ demands for increases in CAFE standards, it has probably done more harm than good.”  (Johne Buntin, American Prospect, 11/30/2002)

  5. Can the big three compete paying more than $70/hour to assembly-line workers when their competitors pay 50% less?
  6. The UAW president told Congress they have made concessions, but if competitors have lower labor costs can the big three ever be as profitable?  How much added productivity can GM, Ford and Chrysler build into their production facilities?  Enough to overcome the fact that they’re paying 50% more to their hourly workers?

  7. Is opposition to the loan Union Busting?
  8. Some characterize opposition to the Senate’s proposed $25 billion loan to the big three auto manufacturers as motivated by those who wish to break the UAW (United Automobile Workers).  Is this based in fact or is it a union tactic to blackmail the public into supporting the bailout?

  9. Do we need all three companies to survive?
  10. The anticipated annual new car sales is likely to drop from 17 to under 15 million a year for the foreseeable future.   Ford looks like it can survive and Chrysler is privately owned and should be left to its own fate.  What’s wrong with letting GM go into bankruptcy?  They could re-negotiate their labor contracts, get rid of factories and brands that are no longer viable and survive meaner and leaner.

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