Archive for economic crisis

detroit bailout?

Posted in Life in general with tags , , , on Wednesday 19 November 2008 by amanda

I’ve been thinking a lot about all of these bailouts.  First came the financial sector.  Now the US carmakers.  My final conclusion (as of this morning) is that I think that they need loans with serious restrictions, such as restructuring and a focus not only on green cars, but promoting and developing other forms of transportation as well.  This, I really do say with a heavy heart.  However, the tipping point for me is the workers.  If there are no loans, no bailout, then the auto makers will declare bankruptcy.  I understand that this may allow for the throwing out of labor contracts and potentially erase labor gains that have been made in recent history.  It is apparent that the companies, in one form or another, are not going to be allowed to fail.  The question then becomes, do we keep them afloat in a way that best protects workers against this recession, or do we keep them afloat in a way that allows the companies to screw the workers? 

I’m gonna have to go with help the workers.

I think that this, AIG and other companies, though, point to a major problem in our economy.  How come we have let single companies get so big that we can’t allow them to fail?  For better or worse, the US economy is supposed to thrive on the rise and fall of business as they are able to innovate or not.  It’s a Darwinian system that is supposed to benefit everybody in the end.  If that is so, then how has it gotten to the point that we are capitalist and pro-profits for some when times are good, but creating a social and economic net when times are bad?  This allows these companies to have the best of both worlds – huge profits, deregulation, screwing all kinds of people, but then when things get rough, they get bailed out.  It just doesn’t seem right to be.

But then it comes back to people’s jobs.  No matter what the companies as entities have done, I can’t support a measure that may promote union-busting, reduction of benefits or wages, or general further marginalization of the worker.

Damn it, this situation really sucks.

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