Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Bailout for Blue Collars?

It's discouraging all the way around.

Discouraging that "Auto Execs Fly Corporate Jets to D.C., Tin Cups in Hand," (WaPo) thus confirming the impression that Detroit just doesn't get it.

Discouraging that lawmakers were taking gotcha shots at the auto executives because they flew in separate corporate jets to the hearings this week.... admittedly an ill-timed display of corporate excess for a trio of executives begging for an additional $25 billion from the public trough.... instead of focusing on the million jobs that would be lost if the companies were allowed to fail.

Discouraging that the news outlets then gleefully looped the committee's stick-it-to-them sound bites.... like Rep. Gary Ackerman's (D-NY) who needled, "There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands.... It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high-hat and tuxedo. . "

Sis boom! Very clever. Lots of time taken up with precious cleverness. Time that would have been better spent trying salvage the situation. Pink slips can fly later.

Did we, the many imminent jobless, hear anything about the engineering already under way for more efficient "green" cars, or the renegotiated union contracts that will greatly reduce overhead costs to make the Detroit cars more competitive? No.... the media is more interested in the entertainment value of zingers delivered by camera-savvy legislators.

Let's admit up front that it appears that the Big Three CEOs are all probably a bunch of arrogant, over-paid and pampered executives.

So.... evidently the reasoning for many on The Hill goes.... let's throw a million people out of work, suffer hundreds of billions in lost wages (you know, the green stuff that buys things) and more billions in lost tax revenues because we don't like the cut of the jib of three pouty corporate peacocks.

Not to mention delivering a shock to our economy that will rip the Dutch boy's finger away from the already over-stressed economic dike.

Lawmakers, let's keep our eyes on the ball. Are you going to tell us that you whipped out the taxpayer checkbook for the white-collar crowd.... a blank $700-billion-plus check at that, with more goodies yet for "perky" AIG.... but will balk at using $25 billion of those bailout funds for the blue collars?

We're not looking for retribution here, or cutesy-pie finger pointing. Work with the auto execs, holding your nose if you must.... but save those jobs. In the big picture, it'll be the best bailout money spent so far in this whole sordid mess.

No comments: