General Motors declared bankruptcy today. In the past I’d have said it was the end of an era, but I know now that bankruptcy is not necessarily The End.
I haven’t followed the details of all the recent GM talk so maybe my questions have already been answered out there somewhere. I’m wondering why we gave them so much bailout money when clearly they were failing and had been failing for many years. Was that all just money down a rat hole? I was quite willing to let them fail last fall, rather than spend a ton of money just delaying the inevitable.
We saved jobs? Really? For how long? If GM keeps building cars like they’ve been building, nothing will change. The cars won’t sell, the “new” GM will fail, and the jobs will still be lost.
Apparently the government ends up owning a big chunk of the company after the dust settles. Goodie. A US-government-built car? That’ll be a hit. Or maybe they mean the taxpayers will own the company. That’s no better. It wasn’t my choice to buy shares in a failing car company.
Bottom line, it seems to me, is that nothing the government can do, nothing GM can do, nothing the UAW can do, is going to make Americans walk into those showrooms and buy GM cars. The buyers decided years ago that GM products weren’t what they wanted. They tried and fell in love with other cars from other manufacturers. GM had many years to woo those customers back and failed miserably. I can’t imagine anything changing now.
So much talk about today’s global economy and how the markets are changing and imports and exports are the way of the world now. Jobs are going overseas, companies are international, American calls to customer service are routed to India and elsewhere. But still we spend a fortune to keep a failing old-school American relic on life support because it’s an “icon”? Because it’s “too big to fail”?
Come on, somebody. Get real. GM belongs in a museum.
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