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November 2008 Posts
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I can't help but believe that bailing out GM would be a terrible blow to the ev movement. I also don't think it will work. If they are burning through all this money now why would it change because of the bailout? If it is deemed in the best interest of the country to bail out the automotive industry it should be done by changing the healthcare system in such a way that they and other American companies will not have the tremendous burden of financing their employees health plans from their buisness gross income - a burden that allows foreign competitors a distinct advantage and encourages GM and its siblings to ship as many jobs out of the US as possible. Instead of throwing good money after bad, lets take that money and use it for programs for those who lose their jobs as a result of GM's failure - job training, extended unemployment insurance for those in the auto industry, and small business loans for companies converting ices to evs.
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There is a good historical analogy for the bailout.
In 1979, Chrysler was in trouble and loaned $1.5 billion by the US government. The money was repaid in 1983 with $350 million in interest. So not all government programs are corporate giveaways.
I remember the Chrysler loan. Lee Iacoca was a great manager and a great salesman. I did a quick check on the economy and found inflation was over 13% and unemployment was 6%. So the economy had its problems then as well. I remember the concerns were the same as they are today - loss of jobs. I think foreign cars did not have as large a piece of the market as they do today.