(All pictures taken in Decorah, IA, on a day much nicer than the ones we’re having right now. Sigh.)
The car industry “bail out” issue is one that has been pressing on my mind of late and there’s many facets of it that I’m trying to consider and draw up conclusions in my mind. None are very clear and I’m never completely certain I always know what’s best for the situation, but like most people, I’m forming opinion anyway. The difference with myself, however, is that I readily admit that I may be taking the stance of a raving idiot.
Here’s some things I do know:
- Without extremely strict guidance as to where funds are used in the corporations, they will be misused. Period. Clearly the folks couldn’t properly use their own money; what makes us think they’ll use loaned money any better? To paraphrase Olbermann, piles of cash sitting around are a bad idea.
- There’s loans to hold your current business open and keep it running, and there’s loans to restructure it into something better. Everyone says it’d be bad to let them go into bankruptcy, but for restructuring? I think that’s exactly what they need. Telling someone to stop being bad or hold a gun to their head and see which method gets more response.
- I really, really hate unions. Always have — I think they’re fundamentally unnecessary in today’s modern market. And now we are going to (probably) see a prime example of why they’re a bad idea when everyone has to go along with the negotiated terms. UAW Suckers.
- Letting these companies die scares a lot of folks, and don’t get me wrong — it’s a big deal. But to be honest, I’m leaning more and more towards letting them die. Yes, it’ll be extremely painful, but in the long term I think we’ll end up with something better than we will if we limp things along. It’s like a broken bone — if you snap a bone straight through, when it heals it’ll be very strong, stronger than it was before. But a “green” fracture that only bends or frays the bone takes longer to heal and is never the same again. I think that can be applied here, and as painful and traumatic as it is, a clean break may be our best bet.
I worry — a lot. We’re struggling big-time to make it right now, but if I had my choice, I’d rather dive into a horrific couple of years to emerge victorious and more productive than ever before vs. limping a broken economy along for the next 10 years.
Your thoughts and discourse on these reflections and any others are appreciated.