Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opposing the auto industry bailout

I just sent this brief letter to my congressman, Paul Hodes. The last thing this country needs right now is an even bigger deficit to pass on to the next generation (namely, mine.)

Dear Rep. Hodes (or the LC who reads this letter),

Congratulations on your re-election. I was proud to vote for you a second time.

The last time I wrote your office, it was in anger over your opposition to the $700 billion bailout plan. While I still disagree with you over that particular bailout, I hope you will show the same fiscal restraint if all this talk about a bailout of Detroit ever comes to an actual vote in the House. To rescue an entire industry is one thing, particularly if that industry has such deep ramifications for middle America (student loans, credit cards, etc.), but to bail out individual companies that have been bailed out before is a horse of an entirely different color. As David Brooks wrote in yesterday's New York Times,

"It is not about saving a system; there will still be cars made and sold in America. It is about saving politically powerful corporations... If Detroit gets money, then everyone would have a case. After all, are the employees of Circuit City or the newspaper industry inferior to the employees of Chrysler?... If ever the market has rendered a just verdict, it is the one rendered on G.M. and Chrysler. These companies are not innocent victims of this crisis. To read the expert literature on these companies is to read a long litany of miscalculation. Some experts mention the management blunders, some the union contracts and the legacy costs, some the years of poor car design and some the entrenched corporate cultures."

Thanks for all your hard work representing us in New Hampshire's 2nd District - both "you," Congressman, and especially you the staffer who reads this!

Nathan Empsall


media boy said...

In the case of the auto-makers' bailout, it's a relief to have a national issue that is so straightforward: American cars tend to break down and fall apart therefore people are not buying them. If GM and Ford don't want to go out of business, they should start making decent cars. To bail them out would be to reward their terrible manufacturing standards.

Nathan Empsall said...

FORD: Fix Or Repair Daily. Found On Road Dead. Fails On Road Daily. (Although this was more true of their trucks in the 1980s than it is today.)