Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Confused.


Yeah, I know that comes as a news flash to everyone. (Insert sarcasm here!) But I really am confused. Now I don't claim at all to be incredibly informed about the whole bailout issue. I am one of those slacker Americans who doesn't get incredibly involved in politics, and I remembered just enough economics to pass my 10th grade Civics class and balance my checkbook. So if anyone can enlighten me a little more - in a constructive way - I would love it.

The banks and mortgage companies made some really bad decisions and made loans that they never should have made. Then they played Russian Roullette with them selling them over and over and creating one ginormous mess when people suddenly couldn't pay. They were given a $700 BILLION bailout. Our good friends at AIG took their bailout money and went on a vacay to the spa under the name of leadership training. No one required that these companies show what they were going to do with the money. No one is making them account for the funds they are given. No one required that those CEO's and CFO's and COO's made huge changes to cut costs and put a infinitely better business plan on paper much less into action.


Now we have Detroit asking for much less help. They too have made some really stupid mistakes by not being pioneers on the energy revolution front. They have bowed to unions and have put a lot of money in their own pockets as well. The unions have run their own companies into the ground and don't really seem to be trying too terribly hard to help out right now. Our government turned Detroit down. Big old "rejected" on that application and a severe tongue lashing for showing up at their hearing in private jets. Detroit went home with their tail between their legs and took their time out to honestly think about what they had done wrong.

They came back with an apology and a detailed plan of what steps they were taking, what steps they would take and what they would do with their money should they get it. They even carpooled this time. They got the big red stamp again.

Before someone one jumps on me for supporting the government's involvement in business, let me tell you that this is not my point. I don't want government involved in business except to make sure that things are run ethically and responsibly via laws. What I DO want is for people to actually look at the ripple effect.

You let the automakers fail and the folks on the line lose their jobs. The folks who work in the electronics factories lose their jobs because they don't need to make car stereos anymore. The people in the upholstery sector lose their jobs because there are no seats to cover. The machinists in the nut and bolt factories lose jobs because what are they putting together? This isn't even looking at the sales force that now has no product. Do you supposed Capitol Hill looked at these factors?

They gave the banks money so that they could help people stay in their homes. Well, guess what guys? If those folks don't have jobs, you can throw all the money in the world at the banks and they are still going to lose their homes, and food, and clothing.

I'm confused. I don't understand why the rules are different for white collar versus blue collar. I don't understand how you can give so much money to one group and require little to no accountability, but you can't give money to the group who has just given you every detail they can possibly provide. Especially when the second group has such a direct and monumental impact on the voter you are supposed to represent!

The CEO of Ford is working for $1. Not he's not going to starve thacks to all his years at the top but he made a personal cut to show his sincerity. AIG dude let his crew go to a spa. I just don't get it.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

I don't get any of it myself. I know this particular bailout was more personal to you than other people. I think the banks mishandling their bailout money is the biggest obstacle that the automakers are facing. I personally think that the government is giving the automakers a hard time to make themselves look tough. They'll eventually give in at the last minute and "save the day"