“Hi Marvin.  I saw your trillion dollar plan a while back.  I noticed even Marvin planned to give money to automakers and that was before they were on their knees begging for it!  Now, they are all in big trouble and the government has to have a big debate about giving them a dime.  Meanwhile, financial institutions get billions without even a hint of disagreement.  Citibank>>General Motors?  What gives?  – Signed, Mad in Michigan”

Hi Mad.  That’s an easy one.  Bankers employ mostly white collar workers, who probably donate more to political campaigns.  Moving around electronic bits that represent money is critical to our economy, especially when there are so many other companies in the USA that do the exact same thing.  Blue collar workers who actually make stuff are essentially expendable.  Plus, manufacturing jobs are so 1970s.  The government and industries have done their best to send our manufacturing to the far east for the last decade or two, so what’s the big deal if one or two of the three US-based automakers disappear?

Seriously, Marvin is a little mad, too, because the Big Three support a lot of child passenger safety initiatives, like Safe Kids USA, fitforakid.org/seatcheck.org, Lifesavers Conference, etc.  Granted, these efforts have seemed to dwindle in recent years, but it’s a lot better than what those financial institutions contribute to preventing the #1 cause of death for children!  Marvin thinks the amount of one taxpayer-funded golden parachute for a failed banking executive would be a huge windfall for an organization like Safe Kids.  Instead, that executive will retire comfortably and buy cars made overseas and luxury villas in foreign countries, while our friends who built cars in the USA (and kept our economy afloat for decades) will be in unemployment lines, wondering if their pensions and health care will continue after their company is allowed to go into bankruptcy.

Marvin really hopes the US automakers get their share of taxpayer charity, with some major conditions.  It’s no secret that they’ve been losing market share for many years because they build vehicles that few people want.  They’ve been caught building gas guzzlers during a gasoline crisis, twice!  In terms of safety, the Big Three seem to be years behind even a relative newcomer like Hyndai/Kia.  In terms of green, combined they can’t even match a relatively small company like Honda.  In terms of jobs, the big three have been busy off-shoring and outsourcing, while many foreign auto makers have slowly increased their USA operations.  Marvin isn’t sure what they are doing in Detroit, but it needs a big shakeup, just as the banks do.  It would be sad to see so many of Marvin’s friends lose their jobs if the government fails to bailout the auto makers, while plenty of executives and overseas interests laugh their way to the bank (so to speak) as USA taxpayers spend a trillion or two on financial institution bailouts.  Marvin wonders why banking execs aren’t forced to give a detailed plan before they get their billions?  Instead, Marvin sees children being rewarded for bad behavior.  That is never a good plan.

Marvin is thankful for the Big Three, despite inept corporate and union management that has driven them to near bankruptcy.  Maybe a bailout and a new mandated focus on SAFE and GREEN and bringing jobs back to the USA could solve some economic, environmental and childhood fatality issues in one action.  That would be a lot more than most actions our government has taken recently.  If only the government had the foresight and the guts to actually do it.

 

Marvin’s Giveaway Corner

Marvin’s Giveaway Corner will now appear in a separate blog!