No it was not. There are a few union members who made out like bandits and a few more senior managers who got to keep their very generous pensions. It was worth it for the president because he was able to sway Michigan and Ohio by convincing people the auto bailout was for them. But for the rest of us, the world would be better off if GM had died in 2009.
We’ve said multiple times that GM is a company which deserved and deserves to die. It is a shame that this company still treads the earth along with the rest of the herd of bailout dinosaurs.
We are just beginning to get the story on why vehicles were not recalled to GM when they should have been. That the vehicles involved might have shown the government sponsored car manufacturer in a bad light had nothing to do with the slow response of course.
GM at this point should be GMC, Corvette, and Cadillac. These make make sense. There are customers for them and the quality of the cars is nearly that of Japanese and German autos. Cadillac particularly has made tremendous strides. It’s no Mercedes Benz or even BMW, but it has gotten consistently better over the last 10 years. The bumpers don’t fall off anymore. (Remember the Coupe Deville?)
Why do you think it was that Volkswagon actually supported the unionization of its workers in its Chattanooga plant? (The workers voted against unionization.) Might it be that there was something in it for the company?
The bailouts were worked for the politically important United Auto Workers. For pretty much everyone else it wasn’t such a good deal.
The GM bailout was really a bailout for the United Auto Workers and their pensioners. A solid pro-Obama constituency the unions were given a colossal gift courtesy of the American taxpayer. A company which made terrible products for decades and which paid its workers much too much, got to live another day because Obama knew he needed to win the northern Midwest in 2012.
That’s right, GM, General Motors, the car company which was nationalized, is sponsoring a “free enterprise tour.”
Look GM, you have embraced crony capitalism at every turn. Don’t you even think for a moment that you can associate yourself with honest business, with free enterprise.
I am a big fan of used cars generally. I just can’t bring myself to buy a new one given the immediate depreciation which occurs once I wave goodbye to the salesman. It’s just too painful for me. I prefer to buy my cars used.
I have written before that unions, especially private unions, are not necessarily bad things.
Peter Schweizer reports in the Washington Times, that as bad as many believe the auto bailout was, it is likely worse than they imagine.
Yes GM and Chrysler are alive, as we have said like Dracula is alive. (Not our words originally.) But what was the cost?
GM and Chrysler could have gone bankrupt and life would have gone on. In fact they would probably be better companies today if they had gone bankrupt in the traditional (and legal) way. They would be leaner, meaner, and more competitive.
They would have been restructured and there would have been some disruption to be sure but investors would not have been tossed aside for votes and the American taxpayer would not be on the hook for gratuitous pensions and health benefits. I will never see a pension. Most people my age will never see a pension. I personally am OK with this, but I am not OK with paying for some guy in Lansing to retire at 55 and to move to Florida. That is just theft.
In the attached article Marc Thiessen at AEI calls Vice President Biden out on the following statement:
“Stated simply, we’re about promoting the private sector. They’re about protecting the privileged sector. We’re a fair shot, and a fair shake.… And ultimately that’s what this election is all about. It’s about a choice. A choice between a system that’s rigged, and one that’s fair.”- Joe Biden
Today is the Michigan primary and the Auto Bailout, or more accurately the UAW Bailout is front and center. This reasonably even-handed (for mainstream news) article in the USA Today takes a close look at the massive government intervention.
It shows in a limited way the troubling nature of such heavy-handed government involvement in industry. But the article also is full of pro-bailout nonsense such as this: