One of my bothers, as I have stated before, is co-owner of a trucking company. The government, and politicians, have been consistently trying to put him out of business (from leftists/Democrats refusing to allow drilling to President Bush's brain dead continuation of purchases for the "Strategic Oil Reserve--even as oil prices skyrocketed--to Congressional and EPA "environmental" regulations vastly increasing his cost of doing business). My brother has received no "bailout", and no one seems to be proposing one for him. According to him, several thousand trucking compainies have gone out of business in the last year--all without talk of bailout while Democrats talked like "global warming" made higher fuel costs necessary and Republicans basically fiddled (as President Bush embraced "global warming", along with other brain dead things).
My brother is struggling to survive. Unlike General Motors, my brother has slashed costs. He has been working 80 hour weeks, but gets no real "tax cuts" (a $150,000 salary being peanuts to GM executives, and an hourly salary equivalent to $75,000 to $100,000 a year). My brother's salary could disappear at almost any time.
My brother's company employs 200 people. What does the company need to survive? Well, it may survive on its own--selling assets and trying to be a surviver as capacity drops in the trucking industry. However, a mere low interest loan of one million (not billion--million) dollars would pretty much guarantee my brother's company a strong shot at survival.
General Motors wants 25 billion dollars (probably as merely the beginning of the "blank check" Obama keeps mentioning, in his usual empty word fashion).
What makes General Motors worthy of survival, while my brother's company is not? In fact, 25,000 companies like my brother's could be potentially "saved" with that same 25 billion--maybe saving 500,000 jobs directly, and many more indirectly.
Is General Motors an especially "deserving" company? Don't be silly. General Motors is notorious for playing "hardball" with its own customers, with suppliers, with its own workers, and with government. It has beeen a mismanaged compny for decades. Its costs are too high (partially, but only partially, because of its union). People have made the case that GM is a pretty evil compnay.
I know. I was a plaintiff's attorney who sued FM myself for consumers, including injured consumers. GM had the (deserved) reputation for engaging in a "scorched earth" philosophy with regard to lawsuits (and other perceived "opponents"). As stated, GM pretty much regarded the whole world as its enemy, and believed in Russia's World War II type "scorched earth" policy with regard to all of its enemies (essentially everyone). Now you may think the perspective of a plaintiff's lawyer is biased, but remember that I am a conservative (albeit one with a jaundiced view of big business). I am giving it straight to you as to the reputation of GM as an unreasonable company to deal with--a company which rarely acted like it needed to be a responsible company with regard to its customers, suppliers, workers, and the public.
Further, GM's costs are so lout of line that only Chapter 11 bankruptcy may give it a chance to put itself on a reasonable cost basis. My brother, despite equipment costs that do him no present good (not enough business to use all of the equipment he is still forced to pay for), has put himself in a position where he can operate at a profit (provided he can get through his present cash crunch, and provided that Paulson does not further ruin the economy). In other words, my brother has been pro-active, while GM has been little more than a beggar for years--begging as its policies have continued to cause the compnay to deteriorate, even before the recent economic downturn. .Who deserves to survive more?
Yet, it is my brother who has not been asking for a bailout, although he has been asking for rational government/environmental policies (which have hurt GM, as well, and auto workers, but without causing any public campaign against such policies besides GM's continual guerilla, scorched earth war against specific government regulation). Unlike GM, Wall Street, and the rest, my brother is willing to fight for his own survival, without government bailouts (see AIG if you want an explanation for the plural).
However, you explain to my brother why he should not receive a bailout, while GM, banks, financial institutions, etc. get one? I can't explain it to him, and I don't think there is anyone out there that can. In fact, GM is one of those companies hat has previously made life miserable for my brother by using its economic power to oppress smaller businesses like those of my brother. My brother can tell you stories about GM. Why should my brother have to watch one of his previous oppressors receive a government bailout, while my brother is left to sink or swim on his own--worse, while my brother is subjected to a government attempt to sink him in endless costs and regulation?
Yes, my brother's company now has about the best safety record in the industry. His company was complimented in a recent DOT audit for having about the best "compliance" (with government regulations) procedures the auditor had ever seen. My brother has accomplished this, despite the economic troubles of his compnay that have caused others to cut corners.
You tell my borther that GM deserves a bailout, while he does not.
It is one of the absurd things about the recent rise of the communists on Wall Street, and in our financial community (Larry Kudlow, and CNBC people, this means YOU), that small business people like my brother (and wannabes like Joe the Plumber) are willing to play by capitalist rules, Meanwhile, our "elites", and big business types, are willing and anxious to abandon capitalism for their own self interest.
No wonder Republicans lost. They now come across as people of no principle at all, while many "small" peole out there actually have principles. It is sad. Obama could have been beaten. As it is, however, there is no reaons for people to resist bribes, when eberyone is offering handouts to their faovred groups.
Yes, this "baliout"/"handout" mentality will eventually destroy us all. My brother and Joe the Plumber realize that. Too many of our "leaders", and opinion making elites, do not.
No, the auto makers should not receive a bailout, because of pro-union Democrats and pro-big business Republicans. They certainly should receive no bailout until someone can expalin why GM deserves such a bailout, and my brother does not.
Good luck on explaining that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember, 25,000 smaller companies could be bailed out for that 25 billion.