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Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: December 02, 2008 11:33AM
I just listened to an interesting interview with Dan Neil, the LA Times automotive columnist, on NPR's "Day to Day"
The interview was based on his column from todays issue, where he proposes the nationalization of GM.

His premise was that rather than bail them out with loans and let the current management continue,
that we (the taxpayers) should just buy the company (estimated 32 billion) and use the opportunity
to start building the hight efficiency types of autos that the country needs right now.

He addresses the socialism aspect by pointing out that by bailing them out we are pretty much doing the same
except we (taxpayers) will not have any control over the management. He proposes that once
it has been turned around that the comapany can be sold at a profit.

His argument is also since the Big Three are dealing with legacy cost in terms of healthcare and retirement
that they are at a disadvantage when competing with Japanese companies which generously subsidizes those cost
(not including American built I assume)

Interesting idea - [www.latimes.com]



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: DevoBill
Date: December 02, 2008 11:46AM
Yes by all means do it. I cant wait for the 2010 model.






I want ambiguity, or possibly something else.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 02, 2008 11:49AM
<< Must not post pic of government issued auto.>>
refrain
refrain
refrain
refrain
refrain
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: December 02, 2008 12:00PM
OK - so the two Bills think that it is a better idea to

A - Give them the money with no strings attached and give them more in about 3 months

B - Let them file for bankruptcy

C - Go under

D - Other (Please supply alternative idea)



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: DevoBill
Date: December 02, 2008 12:01PM
B




I want ambiguity, or possibly something else.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 12:01PM
Who said the government is going to run the company or design the cars? You guys are reacting without thinking.

We are handing over an enormous amount of money anyhow, at least this way we might see a profit when -- as clearly stated above which you seem to have totally ignored -- we sell the corporation down the road when it has become profitable again.

If you ask me, we ought to nationalize healthcare. That is one thing that cripples our car manufacturers when competing with foreign manufacturers. That and the fact that other countries subsidize their car companies.

The U.S. is no longer in a position to call the shots in the global economy. There has to be some give and take here regarding this absurd paranoia about "creeping socialism" or we are going to go completely down the crapper. Wake up and smell the coffee, folks, it's broke and we have to fix it.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 12:03PM
Letting the car companies go bankrupt is a right wing wet dream because they see it as the beginning of the end of the unions. And they don't care how many non-union people it takes out with them.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: December 02, 2008 12:06PM
Quote
DevoBill
B

Fair enough - free market and all

So would you personally buy a new car from a company that is in bankruptcy ?



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 02, 2008 12:18PM
The government has done so well with social security and health care, they should apply all that technique and expertise to building and designing cars.

Car assemblers should have all union benefits PLUS tenure.


Every auto should come with a government subsidized driver to control miles driven and fuel economy.
Nationalized auto insurance, too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 12:21PM by billb.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: the_poochies
Date: December 02, 2008 12:20PM
Quote
lafinfil
I just listened to an interesting interview with Dan Neil, the LA Times automotive columnist, on NPR's "Day to Day"
The interview was based on his column from todays issue, where he proposes the nationalization of GM.

His premise was that rather than bail them out with loans and let the current management continue,
that we (the taxpayers) should just buy the company (estimated 32 billion) and use the opportunity
to start building the hight efficiency types of autos that the country needs right now.

He addresses the socialism aspect by pointing out that by bailing them out we are pretty much doing the same
except we (taxpayers) will not have any control over the management. He proposes that once
it has been turned around that the comapany can be sold at a profit.

This was done by the federal government over 30 years ago when it took over bankrupt northeastern railroads and created Conrail. Conrail went public with its stock in the 1980s after becoming profitable, netting taxpayers a nice sum of dough.

Quote
lafinfil
His argument is also since the Big Three are dealing with legacy cost in terms of healthcare and retirement
that they are at a disadvantage when competing with Japanese companies which generously subsidizes those cost
(not including American built I assume)
Interesting idea - [www.latimes.com]

I know that GM already turned over the administration of pension and healthcare costs for its retirees to the UAW.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 12:21PM by the_poochies.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 12:22PM
I would love to see some sort of proof that private health insurance is well run. And by that, I don't mean making enormous profits. I mean, do private insurance companies perform efficiently and do they serve their customers well?



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 12:24PM
By all means nationalize GM. Get responsible people for the board. I think I would start with Al Gore and Warren Buffett.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 02, 2008 12:29PM
while having the gov run GM doesn't sound too great, they'd probably do better than private business has.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 12:36PM
I think the Bills are pointing out that gov'ts don't usually build very good cars. I also have a hard time thinking our gov't could build a better car than Toyota or Honda. The only car company I'm familiar with that was nationalized was Alfa Romeo, and they languished under gov't control, until Fiat bought them. I guess Fiat is now in big trouble though, and people are calling for nationalization (shoot, maybe it happened while I wasn't paying attention). I think it's hard to make products that will be a "hit", but it's really the only option. Look at apple. Jobs knows how to make a "hit", but who else does? The auto industry needs people as talented as Jobs, but I don't know how that is going to happen. I really doubt that nationalizing the car industry would help though. Do you think Apple would have produced the iMac, iPod, etc. had it been nationalized in the late 90's? I don't. kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 12:37PM
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 12:44PM
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

YES!



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: TLB
Date: December 02, 2008 12:58PM
On a percentage basis, both Toyota and Honda sales are down MORE than Ford. We are living in extraordinary times and the difficulties faced by the auto manufacturers go well beyond the "American Cars Suck" mentality.

Nationalization of GM? It is a global company--what about European and Asian operations? I am also concerned about the government picking a "winner". I know the author has a who cares attitude about Chrysler and is of the opinion that Ford will survive, but how can a company compete when your competition makes the rules?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 12:59PM by TLB.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 12:59PM
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 01:06PM
And, while we're fantasizing, I can't wait for the gov't to take over GM so they can build a 1800lb electric street-legal race car for me. kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 02, 2008 01:06PM
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.

How dare you interupt a hate session with facts.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: DevoBill
Date: December 02, 2008 01:10PM
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

It snows a lot here, enough that a Subaru would only be moderately effective. Plus I have three kids a dog and a boat to pull around. Going to the lake for the week uses most all the cargo space in the Suburban. Taxing trucks more is just plane dumb.

These auto companies problems start with having too many models, they compete with them selves.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 02, 2008 01:12PM
Quote
billb
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.

How dare you interupt a hate session with facts.

Women can have penis envy.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 01:17PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
billb
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.

How dare you interupt a hate session with facts.

Women can have penis envy.

Thanks for your declaration matt. That is basically my mantra. ;) kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 01:20PM
You concluded that I hate men based on that statement? Awfully sensitive of you.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 01:26PM
I tried debating some sensible points but nobody cared to respond. So-called "hate talk" at least breaks through the apathy and lazy brains.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: December 02, 2008 01:29PM
Ummmm - Did anyone actually read the article ?

Many if not all of the arguments were addressed



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: December 02, 2008 01:45PM
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.

Gifts from their husbands? smiling smiley
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 01:47PM
Quote
Gutenberg
You concluded that I hate men based on that statement? Awfully sensitive of you.

I didn't say you hate men. Your statement was false, though.

Stevie, you seem to be choosing to ignore the serious points I made.

I read the article, and a bunch of other blogs on the same subject. I don't think they address my point that well. There have been green cars available, and not everybody wants them. I don't see how requiring GM to make green cars is going to save them. Not only do they need to make green cars that are as good as the alternatives, but they have to make green cars that people percieve as being as good. Nationalizing won't do anything to improve their ability to do this. And toyota/honda/etc. will continue to make non-green cars that people will buy instead of the green gm cars. A camry/accord is not green.

Al Gore is going to help GM? Now that is a frickin' joke. He definitely has his hand on the pulse of the auto-buying public. kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 01:49PM
I did read the article. I think he has some excellent points. However, precedent is a bitch.

Quite a few threads ago, also on a topic involving the automobile industry, rgG made the excellent point that we can't just let our auto industry go down the tubes--it's a matter of national security. America's industrial might won World War II as much as its army did. It certainly would be a comedown to have to buy our military vehicles from another country--particularly when we have disagreements with that country.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: December 02, 2008 01:53PM
I'd rather see us nationalize energy. Electric power was created with government funds- bond sales, primarily. Now incredible profits are being made and no further investment is done.
Since they're not taking the money and building more power plants and improving the infrastructure, offer to buy 'em out and control them.

Power to the People !

(Yeah, Ohio is about to 'deregulate' electricity. We're all gonna get Enronned to death. It's going to be a cold winter, and me without a wood burner.)
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 02:02PM
I wonder if GM failed, and spawned a ton of startups with new ideas,etc., if that might help get us back on the right track. Of course, the gov't could encourage these startups in whatever way. GM's out of ideas, and I don't know that they'll ever be able to shake the stigma they've acquired/earned. Maybe the gov't could encourage industry to look at the more general "tranportation" issue, rather than just cars, too. We're lacking in the "great ideas" department, and I think maybe going through some rough times might be the only way. kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 02:10PM
Ooooo, yeah, cbelt3. Careful about that. Maryland deregulated itself right into a near revolt. Essentially the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. sold all the power from its nuclear generator that had been paid for by the ratepayers and then bought electricity from the grid at a much higher price. BG&E hosed the ratepayers but its holding company, Constellation Energy, made a mint which it then squandered in derivatives. Warren Buffett owns the whole shebang now. Mayo Shattuck (the CEO) was lucky he wasn't tarred, feathered and set on fire. He has his millions to keep him warm though.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 02, 2008 04:06PM
Quote
Gutenberg
By all means nationalize GM. Get responsible people for the board. I think I would start with Al Gore and Warren Buffett.

They can start their own car company NOW. What are they waiting for? A cushy government job perhaps?
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 02, 2008 04:45PM
It's obvious we can't let the automobile companies die. It's foolish to pretend otherwise.

I think it is legit to question the need for behemoth vehicles. Maybe it got too heated, but they are a terrible idea that people have simply convinced themselves is necessary.

And kj, I am sorry because you did talk to me like an adult and I ignored it. Thank you for that.







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 04:48PM by $tevie.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 02, 2008 04:56PM
Sorry, I must have been confused. I have no idea how I could have concluded that "Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here," implied hatred of men. Silly me.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: December 02, 2008 06:17PM
Quote
billb
The government has done so well with social security and health care, they should apply all that technique and expertise to building and designing cars.

Car assemblers should have all union benefits PLUS tenure.


Every auto should come with a government subsidized driver to control miles driven and fuel economy.
Nationalized auto insurance, too.

I'm with billb here.



[www.papanicholas.com] coffee smiley
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: December 02, 2008 06:18PM
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
What the government SHOULD do to pay for all this is to tax the living daylights out of trucks for anything but farm and commercial use. And kill the Hummer division. Men should find another method to prove their sexual worth, like raking the leaves and finishing the weatherstripping.

Uh, I don't want to interrupt the shared man-hate session here, but I see a lot of women driving huge SUV's, Pickups, and even Hummers. Penis-envy? kj.

I'm with kj here.



[www.papanicholas.com] coffee smiley
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: December 02, 2008 06:19PM
Quote
lafinfil
Ummmm - Did anyone actually read the article ?

Many if not all of the arguments were addressed

Wait . . . do what now?



[www.papanicholas.com] coffee smiley
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: December 02, 2008 06:21PM
Quote
kj
Quote
Gutenberg
You concluded that I hate men based on that statement? Awfully sensitive of you.

I didn't say you hate men. Your statement was false, though.

Stevie, you seem to be choosing to ignore the serious points I made.

I read the article, and a bunch of other blogs on the same subject. I don't think they address my point that well. There have been green cars available, and not everybody wants them. I don't see how requiring GM to make green cars is going to save them. Not only do they need to make green cars that are as good as the alternatives, but they have to make green cars that people percieve as being as good. Nationalizing won't do anything to improve their ability to do this. And toyota/honda/etc. will continue to make non-green cars that people will buy instead of the green gm cars. A camry/accord is not green.

Al Gore is going to help GM? Now that is a frickin' joke. He definitely has his hand on the pulse of the auto-buying public. kj.

The only thing that can possibly be green about any car is the paint color. Please stop using "green" and "car" together.



[www.papanicholas.com] coffee smiley
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: karsen
Date: December 02, 2008 07:23PM
Quote
$tevie
It's obvious we can't let the automobile companies die.

Why not?

It's a noble idea to rescue a failing company and save thousands of jobs. Nobody wants to see people become unemployed. But when does a company become too big, or too important, or too historic to be allowed to fail in a free market society?

Would it be wrong if the government stepped in to bail out the world's largest producer of buggy whips? Nobody is buying those buggy whips, and the buggy whip maker refuses to change with the times. But man, they have so many employees, and they've been in business for over 100 years. They shouldn't be allowed to die, the government should give them a cash infusion until sales pick back up.

Should any companies be allowed to fail? What about a company with only 1,000 employees? 100? 10? My business with 1 employee is kind of slow, should I be allowed to fail? What companies do you feel should be allowed to die? Where do you draw the line? If no line is drawn rest assured that the line of companies asking for bailouts will NEVER end.

A company that fails will always be replaced if the market demands it. If the market can't support it then a company will ultimately fail no matter how many billions of dollars you throw at it.

But the companies will pay our government back, with interest! It's a money making opportunity! If it was such a sure thing then banks and investment groups would be lining up to give money, that's how it works. The fact that no one but our government is stepping up to the plate should give you some indication just how risky this whole proposition is.

Business is a gamble. It doesn't always work out; it's not supposed to always work out. Giving billions (perhaps trillions) to failing companies is even more of a gamble. I don't think our government should be gambling with our money. We are gambling with our children's future and printing Monopoly money at the risk of super inflation, the results of which are potentially more devastating than letting some mismanaged companies die.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: kj
Date: December 02, 2008 07:27PM
>>>The only thing that can possibly be green about any car is the paint color. Please stop using "green" and "car" together.

You're absolutely right about that. I'm not even sure you could say "relatively green". Sort of like "relatively dead".

>>>I'm with kj here.

If you're trying to placate me, well, it'll work until I figure you out ;) .

>>>I think it is legit to question the need for behemoth vehicles. Maybe it got too heated, but they are a terrible idea that people have simply convinced themselves is necessary.

There are a lot of people driving F350s around without so much as a scratch in the bed, and I think that's lame too.

>>>And kj, I am sorry because you did talk to me like an adult and I ignored it. Thank you for that.

No biggie, I actually went back to make sure I did, and almost couldn't find it in there. Thanks. kj.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 02, 2008 07:59PM
Karsen does have a point. If an automobile company fails and goes bankrupt, it doesn't necessarily disappear, though that could happen if an uncontrolled collapse was allowed to occur. The facilities and resources are still there to be picked up at fire sale prices after a bankruptcy, and if there actually is a market for Big 3 vehicles then the buyers would almost certainly simply reorganize the companies and continue production. Look how quickly Lehman Bros was snapped up by Lloyds, etc after they were allowed to go bankrupt. Most of the employees kept their jobs, too. I definitely don't agree with the concept of handing them money with no strings attached. If we hand them money, there should be an extremely rigorous set of strings (enough to allow repayment of the taxpayers and/or seizing of resources in the event of further losses, and a significant amount of control by the government (i.e. the taxpayers) regarding management of the company). You can call it nationalization if you like, but there's no way the government should give our money to the automakers without getting ownership rights in exchange. There's also no way that the government should allow the Big 3 to fail completely (i.e. the right wing wet dream of laissez faire capitalism) without making a significant attempt to ensure the best possible outcome for the workers and local economy.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 08:00PM by davester.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 02, 2008 08:51PM
People who write these columns know no history. Nationalization of British Leyland in 1975 by the British labor government and its eventual demise in 2005 oughta be enough of an example. Having owned a one in the 70s I must say that Lucas electrics must have more to do with the demise of British cars than anything else.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: karsen
Date: December 02, 2008 09:03PM
Regarding Nationalizing GM:

Imagine you are the founder, or employee of an upstart American automobile company. You're part of a company that is making sound business decisions. Your company is profitable and your future is bright. Your automobiles are top notch and they being bought up left and right; you're starting to make a real dent in market share, both because of your wise choices and the poor choices made by your competition.

Your competition is slow to react to market needs. They have a bloated product line with repetition and self induced competition. They sell vehicles that are well made, but greatly overpriced compared to yours, partially due to their legacy agreements with labor. Your competition is hurting, and it's good for you. But wait... The government steps in and bails out your competition. Now the government is the majority owner of your biggest rival!

Will the government give sweetheart deals their new nationalized business? Do they get special breaks on taxes or fees? Do they get special consideration regarding zoning and pollution? What about tariffs? How does this affect your business? How can you possibly compete with a company with complete backing of the government? You're now up against a company with control over every aspect of business; someone who has the power to change the rules as they see fit; a company who if need be, can simply print more money to squeeze you out of business.

This is no longer an even playing field. This discourages small business and innovation. This is no longer capitalism.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2008 09:05PM by karsen.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 02, 2008 09:22PM
>>This is no longer an even playing field. This discourages small business and innovation. This is no longer capitalism.

Best argument argument against it.
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: December 02, 2008 10:33PM
Problem is karsen, your entire argument falls flat on its face because there is no "upstart American automobile company" anywhere in the wings looking to take over a piece of the market. Given the startup costs to enter in this day and age where you have certain technologies required to even have a sellable vehicle, it is unlikely there will be a "new" company able to enter the market. Most likely if the GM, Ford and Chrysler portion of the supply goes away it will be filled from the other existing players in the field. That is of course, unless a government action takes place to protect the new company from competition until it is profitable.

Now as for nationalizing GM or one of the other US car companies, that is more than I see a need for at this time. But if we as a country do end up "bailing them out", we do need to get something back in exchange for that help.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 02, 2008 11:03PM
The country needs 15 million vehicles every year. Somebody has to make them, big three or not, and they all can't be imported. So what is the problem?
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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 02, 2008 11:10PM
>>Problem is karsen, your entire argument falls flat on its face because there is no "upstart American automobile company" anywhere in the wings looking to take over a piece of the market.

It would still hurt those who invested in competitors and cause those who were considering it to hesitate.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: December 03, 2008 12:19AM
Which competitors are those? Ford and Chrysler made pretty much the same bad decisions as GM. About the only difference is that Ford appears to have realized it sooner and started changing their business model just a little earlier than GM and Chrysler. But not soon enough. All the rest of the competition is owned by foreign companies except for a few producers of niche vehicles. Even Chrysler was foreign owned for a while, until Daimler gave up on turning them around. Your argument is nice in theory, but ignores that the US auto industry has been an oligopoly market for decades, and the last few has shown all the worst symptoms of that status.



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Re: Should We Nationalize GM ?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 03, 2008 12:47AM
Quote
Dakota
The country needs 15 million vehicles every year. Somebody has to make them, big three or not, and they all can't be imported. So what is the problem?

Sorry, imported versus domestic has no bearing on whether to bail out the big 3. The foreign makes build a huge number of cars in the US, while the Big 3 build a huge number of cars in Mexico and Canada to avoid US labor and healthcare costs.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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