Consequences

I’m still pondering the fate of the US auto industry and what that means to the rest of us who have no direct or indirect connection. ( I also can’t help thinking that we still have at least one foot caught in the Wall Street bear trap and while we’ve pour cash on that fire, we are far from putting it out. ) But back to Detroit – it seems to me I’m hearing a lot of talk that is largely emotional and of not much help, ie.

  • It’s all the fault of the fat cat managers, afterall the foreign car companies (with intelligent leadership) doing business in the US are in fine shape.
  • or

  • It’s all the fault of the greedy unions, afterall the foreign car companies (non-union) doing business in the US are in fine shape.
  • I suspect it’s the fault of both. So what? Isn’t one of three things about to happen regardkess of who is at fault?

    1. One (GM) or more of the big auto manufacturers will collapse – go out of business.
    2. One (GM) or more of the big auto manufacturers will avoid collapse by going into bankruptcy.
    3. One (GM) or more of the big auto manufacturers will avoid collapse – or maybe temporarily stave it off – through a government bailout.

    What I’m seeing and reading so far is a lot of ideological ranting about whose at fault, who deserves what, and how any of the solutions do or do not threaten the soul of capitalism or unionism or will bring about socialism or communism ( or at least put us on the proverbial “slippery slope”) and these are all hot button words in one quarter or another.

    What I’m intrested in is the consequences of the various actions. The choices are clear and what i see is a lot of passionate analysis coming from vested interest – the automakers, the unions – that in the end I don’t trust.  I have yet to see muchin the way of a dispasionate, objective analysis that says if we allow one or the other to happen – choos eone course or another – these are the consequences.

    Anyone seen that sort of analysis from a tusted source indepdent of the parties diretly involved?

    Meanwhile, I sense we are in the early stages of a pradigm shift – a real rocking of the foundations. The New York Times chronicles the events of this shift to date in a beautiful summary graphic here called “10 weeks of financial Turmoil.

    They also give a quite detailed – but ultimately, for me anyways, unsatisfying update on the auto industry mess here. The focus of that article is how the foreign makers – operatig in the US – will take up the slack from a GM collapse. Uh huh. Either we ship jobs overseas, or we import management and ownership who create jobs for our workers here – at lower pay, of course, with fewer benefits.  Hmmm. . . feels like the Third World solution. ;-(

    What’s the ultimate question here? Manage the economy and you smooth out the bumps so highs ar enot too high and lows ar enot too low? Or return to the jungle? And what happens if you let the jungle “punish” the guilty and its mostly the innocent who get hurt?

    May you live in interesting times!

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