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Obama suggests some auto execs should lose jobs

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Good man. He is right. These auto execs truly have no shame begging for handouts when they should be taking a hike for running their companies to the ground. It's not like these execs are gonna be hurting. It's not like the good old days when there was still such a thing as accountability and integrity. CEO's and execs now can destroy company after company, still get rewarded with tons of money and stocks, and to add insult to injury, have no injury to their reputation and can hop onto another cushy CEO job.

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Earlier, these auto execs were talking of shoring up what's left by laying off more workers. HUH? NO bailout should reward the harming of auto-workers. Not one secretary, accountant, paper-pusher, janitor or (above all) Autoworker should lose their job because of the incompetence of the execs, or as a result of the bail-out. The bail-out MUST preserve every job possible, except for the jokers who refused to market the electric car, who chose to build hummers over an American Kei-car, who biased production to feed the fad of suburban-monster trucks over what the nation NEEDED.

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Good. Now, start firing some of those UAW higher ups too.. They have also been part of this problem for a long time. Time for unions to go back to basics and no, I do not agree you get rich by being head of a union, NPO or NGO...

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telecaster, The nation needed energy efficient cars and Detroit gave us the Hummer. In that you are correct. I also agree that a bailout should harm no worker. But the US is not a fascist country (as much as Bush would like it to be) and the means of production are still in the hands of capitalists (socialists on one key issue, i.e. their salaries) and capitalists give people what they want and are willing to pay for, hence, the Hummer.

Meanwhile, Toyota is riding high with the Prius and other hybrid cars. That Bush wants to give money to GM from the research money set aside for hybrid and electric cars shows that Bush could run GM if he chose. Short-sighted thinking. Maybe it's too late for GM to play catch up with Toyota but by gutting the money for hybrid and electric car research, Bush is assuring GM will not be in existence in 10 years.

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borscht,

I think that if Bush were going to be president for the next 4 years, it might be true that he had gutted the research program. With an Obama presidency, I would expect that these funds would be restored if the automakers can hang on. If they can't, it's rather a moot point.

It seems to me that Bush and Paulson were being rather petty in not releasing funds to the Big 3. They were certainly no less deserving than the non-productive financial industry which has haphazardly received the whimsical gifts of bailout funds. It was an odd time in his career for Bush to begin to practice conservatism.

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In case none of you bother to watch, please watch this 20/20 clip. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=6343705&page=1

After watching this you tell me if GM deserves this bail out. GM has three problems

Bad mamagement for the past few decades Little or no innovation The United Auto Workers Union

The people who are going to lose their jobs are the same ones who felt they should get twice the national average, long term severance payments, forcing GM to keep to be closed factories open for four years so they could basically sit and do nothing and get paid. They should have known that one day this honey moon would come to an end.

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Easy to say when you have never worked in the private sector.

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HOwever, a president of the country should not even have his head in this place. His opinion should be considered moot - even if he is correct. This should be up to the stock holders and no one else.

The gov shouldn't give any loan. They can file for bankruptcy and move on. Other companies have.

If the president is going to say anything, it should be to stop the UAW from any company making necessary moves.

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skipthesong,

The more we have, the more we feel we deserve. That is the natural way of things. I think it's difficult to fault workers for bargaining for all they can get.

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fault workers for bargaining for all they can get." Of course not and I don't blame them. I do blame the union, it has its part in this mess and has been over looked greatly.

However, someone should have seen this coming and I am talking about them.GM workers have gotten a lot when comparing them to other businesses/workers.

Easy to say when you have never worked in the private sector." I wish I knew who that quip was meant for.

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"Easy to say when you have never worked in the private sector"

The president-elect's only financial experience is voting to spend taxpayers' money. But don't worry, he'll fix everything.

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I agree 100% -- at least some of them should kiss their jobs goodbye and be held accountable. Can a few of them and you probably have the salaries of a good 20 or so regular Joes.

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I also agree, the GM boss should be canned, Ford is doing better but I would put him a warning, and Chrysler's head is new so i think you need to give him time. The US auto industry forsaken the car market years ago. I think its time for new leaders with a clear vision of the future of automobiles.

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Nobel economics prize winner Paul Krugman is saying the U.S. auto industry is likely to disappear. Perhaps Bush, Obama and the Congress should reconsider wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on the Big 3.

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The only money that should be spent, if any, is on retraining laid off workers.

If the bailout goes through, the Japanese government would be completely justified giving subsidies to Toyota and Honda to keep their technology ahead of the pack.

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Through tax breaks and other incentives, the Japanese government does subsidize Japanese car companies; many Japanese innovations are done in consortiums with the company and government labs. Same as in the US, I suspect.

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I agree with Altria.

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borscht:

From an industry insider: The US auto maker stood no chance with the non-gas powered vehicles. The very same people giving money to the auto makers for alternative energy vehicles were in the pockets of the oil lobby. And no amount of progress in R&D in the auto industry was allowed. Government regulators have shot down every advancement in the field. Obama's right in realising that the auto companies carry some people that would have to go now - they're also the people 'planted' by the oil barons to keep the auto makers in check.

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No problem. Obama, the great economic leader, will tax and spend the nation to new prosperity.

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In the US system, a bail out like this is going to have some very catastrophic results.

The only money that should be spent, if any, is on retraining laid off workers." Ah, so are the any different than others? The US auto workers have gotten a lot more than most other industry workers over the years and many have gotten money for just showing up. If you are going to bail them out, then ever Wall Str. worker should get something too. Oh, and let's not forget about the US postal Workers who, I believe are heading for a large layoff as well... I am sure within the next few hours, one of the sitting economists sitting in this office will come up with some labor numbers.. but it'll fall on deaf ears as most other industries don't have the political clout of GM

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Altria: Are you kidding me? The J-companies have always been protected by the government. Access to cheap loans and grants is the backbone of Japan Inc. I think we need to ask how many industries are we willing to let go. Is semi conductors next? what about Boeing, caterpillar, etc. Do we just say of that's OK let it fail. Then we really have to rely on imports and other countries, not to mention all the research that goes along with these industries. Like one article stated they are looking into battery technology of the auto industry.If that goes so will the interest in that. Its ok we will just rely on the rest of the world. I don't think we can let that happen. We already have in many industries and look where that's gotten us, Huge reliance on imports.

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The entrepreneurial spirit, formerly the bastion of the Anglo-Saxon business model has been abandoned, and now seems to be alive only in a few small businesses.

Saw a TV piece yesterday on the president of super success E-Mobile, the mobile internet-service provider. The guy's motto is a yen saved is a yen profit, and his company demonstrates this in everything they do. No color copies, no private offices except for the president's which is basic and spartan with faux-wood paneling, 15 minute-max meetings with on-the-spot decisions lessening the need for overtime work, etc etc.

Private jets and the business-class lifestyle are anti-entrepreneurial in spirit, and should go the way of the dinosaur. Which is the purpose of a business, to make money, or spend it?

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Unions out! Compnies are laying off thousands while Unions are negotiating more money and benefits for others. This should be illegal. I believe this to be the main reason many companies are struggling or so they say. Without question CEOs should be in a position to accept the responsibility of their companies actions, balance sheets etc. and ways to improve without laying off workers. Wouldnt it be nice if a CEO could turn around a company with some level of intelligence that goes beyond layoffs. We could actually respect them then. If the big 3 go down, the negative affect on the economy and society will be incredibly difficult.

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rgetty-you could add the health care subsidy and the unpaid overtime subsidy to your list of advantages that the Japanese companies have over the American companies.

I have no idea what to say about the Krugman reference though!!!

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If the auto companies fail, so be it, NO bailouts. Retrain the workers to be able to handle the tasks in the new "green" jobs and the massive infrastructure programs that are being planned.

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WilliB: "No problem. Obama, the great economic leader, will tax and spend the nation to new prosperity"

Poor Willi... it's so hard since Obama won, I know... but he'll make things better for 'non-patriots' like you. Now, please go on to tell us how Obama saying that a few executives being fired is taxing and spending the country into the ground. The CEOs cost more than anything, so wouldn't getting rid of a few SAVE money for the company?

As usual, your lack of logic gets caught up in your hatred for what is right. How are you going to say unhappy when you're happy?

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If a business plan doesn't work, that company should file for bankruptcy and restructure like every other company does.

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And to think I blamed the economy on george bush and it's been Barack Obama's fault. And if it wasn't his fault, it will be.

I'm glad I read these post tonight. < :-)

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Those execs, i run this company to the ground why should i be fired, i have lots of experience. The world changed but the 3 big ones didn't

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Big 3 autoworkers should be mailing their resumes to Nissan and Toyota.

The Big 3 are toast. A bailout will only prolong the death spiral and waste even more taxpayers money on trying to prop up a long dead horse.

They had their chance to change to producing more environmentally friendly cars.

They didn't take it.

Tough. It's hard to feel sorry for the companies, but easy to be concerned about the workers.

What a sorry end to Bush's presidency. Red ink leaking everywhere.

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They had their chance to change to producing more environmentally friendly cars.

No one is buying those dorky electric cars.

Governments don't pick winners. Free markets do.

The Big 3's problem is their UAW. Japanese execs joke about the lavish benefits US carmakers provide.

Tough. It's hard to feel sorry for the companies, but easy to be concerned about the workers.

Especially when as a Lefty you basically oppose capitalism and when it is not your money being taken by the gov't.

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TooFargone - the US auto industry has been on the wrong track for over a decade.

Bill Ford gave a well-received speech I don't know how many years ago on the urgent need for US automakers to build more environmentally-friendly cars, but the current CEO ignored it and kept on building gas-guzzlers.

Both Japanese and US automakers are now watching sales drop off the cliff mainly because of the credit squeeze, but the Japanese are years ahead of the Detroit 3 in terms of building cars for the conditions and future market, and will have a huge advantage when credit conditions loosen.

I've got no sympathy at all for the Big 3, but you can defend them all you like.

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Why retrain workers when there is going to be no jobs for them? Motor industry crashes so does many other sectors. Why support industries that have not prepared for bad times? These industries will crash any way without inovated management and it is obvious their managements are not inovated or they would not be in the mess their are to start with. Start asking questions and define problems before trying to answer them or you just waste time and resources which is what the U.S. is doing now.

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All I can hope is the the 2009 Camaro will still be available, to help keep those few flat-earthers left on the boards that would rather remain in denial about the death-knell of the US auto-industry.

The writing was on the wall twenty years ago - but Detroit carried on building vehicles with horrendously un-economical 1950's era OHV V8 engines.

A lot of the blame can be put on the oil industry's clout - but the fact remains that American's only woke up to the fact that change was needed when gas finally got "expensive".

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Time to dust off the old plans for the Pinto, Gremlin and "K" car again, I'd say. Put those bad boys back into production and the customers will be back in droves. No retooling necessary.

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sailwind - even the Gremlin had a small block V8 if I remember rightly.

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Why not just buy Japanese?? The Japanese auto companies employ Americans in America anyway so what's the difference?

Pride?

Time to get over pride and buy cars that are better for the environment - Japanese!

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Where is that happy talk winger who use to post about how great GM was and how Toyota was going to go out of business?

Yes, once again the sound of crickets from the rightwinger choir. The fact is Roger Smith gutted GM and turned it into a finance company in which the cars did not matter. They do now. And the government has to bail out these companies in order to run then correctly. Another free market failure which criminal crony capitalism turns on itself in the search for short term profits and in the process destroys the company itself.

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"Another free market failure which criminal crony capitalism turns on itself in the search for short term profits and in the process destroys the company itself."

The UAW is one of the most dependable Donk support groups in America.They do report that in Canada, right?

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zurc,

DeLoean died a while ago y'know...

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DeLorean....

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Bailout isn't free money. The US government couldn't ask for a better investment than a bailout loan. And Japanese auto makers have so much support - criminal support, I won't even bother going into it. Taxpayers have absolutely no right to discuss how the tx money is used. You pay under duress so how could you ever feel entitled to saying something?

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Of course, all the loons are out blaming capitalism, etc... The unions have ruined the US with their demands, etc... Protection of the worker is one thing, but this has swing WAAAYYYYYYY to far to the benefit of the workers and the detriment of the organization.

I speak from experience. I couldn't move workers from one desk to another, only 7' away without doing a lighting study, ergonomic comparison, full and complete justification, etc... And then the union said no, she can't be moved unless you provide her with the exact same quality of work/space she has now. Total cost to upgrade this area for a TEMPORARY move of 4 months? $1800.00. And another 500 for the lighting study and extra lights, if necessary. Not only did I not move her, I approved the renovation plans for every work area except hers. When she complained to the union, AFTER the renovation was complete, I showed them the plans I had submitted very clearly showing that she was sitting in the middle of the renovated area. Every one else had space age technology around them, completely ergonomic, brand new, etc... And she was sitting in a vintage 1940's wooden desk left over from WWII. Life IS good.

And this is why unions exist. To protect their workers from abusive pr1cks like me. But, after beating my head against the wall, I simply did EXACTLY what the union wanted me to, even though I KNEW in the end she was gonna complain and it would be my fault.

THIS IS WHAT THE UAW has caused the big 3 to do. Their demands have NOT protected the worker, and they've failed at GREATER COST to the worker than what they intended. Like most liberal organizations, and liberals, they simply do not understand the law of unintended consequences. I, and other managers, will NOT abuse the workers. But you damn well better give us some flexibility in what we DO do... I don't work, or care for you, I have loyalty to the organization. The union is an evil that is not necessary anymore.

And now... I have to watch commercials where fat old men, and three generations of slobs cry me a river about the need for a bailout?

It's called bankruptcy. Let the union worry about the workers. Maybe they can do a better job this time around.

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A lot of the blame can be put on the oil industry's clout - but the fact remains that American's only woke up to the fact that change was needed when gas finally got "expensive".

The relatively cheap gas we got in America was always a source of envy to Euros, in their silly little Peugots and their VeeWees.

Fact is, it's your governments taxing you in advance that makes your gas prices so high.

But more to the point, gas is back down to around $40/barrel.

Governments can never respond to such fluctuations the way free markets do.

The little pixie mobiles that Watermelons Opposed to "Global Warming" want to see Americans be forced to drive are not selling:

A bright star just months ago, electric car industry goes into dramatic reverse.

Electric car sales have plummeted this year, plunging the fledgling industry into financial turmoil. Many manufacturers and dealers are cutting back operations; some have shut down entirely. Others are calling for government action to prevent the industry from wholesale collapse.

Many dealers understandably don’t want to discuss declining sales. When asked how well their cars were selling, a spokesman for Electric Vehicles, Inc, in Tampa, tersely replied “no comment”, and hung up. A dealer in Texas didn’t answer the phone at all. Another in California had its number disconnected.

http://www.dailytech.com/Electric+Car+Sales+in+Freefall+Industry+Risks+Collapse/article13601.htm

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But... I don't mean to sound like the ONLY factor is the UAW. Only half. The extreme mismanagement, going on for YEARS, is the other half.

And the workers did NOT care... as long as they were 'getting theirs', they were alright with cranking out overpriced, subpar, products.

LET. THEM. FAIL.

Yea, yea... too late.

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Silly little Peugeots, Chevy?

Heh, I guess you slept through the 1980's when European cars with tiny turbo-charged 4 cylinder engines cleaned up at the prestigeous Pikes Peak event.

The only good thing about Euro governments over-taxing fuel meant that the market demanded more economical ways of burning the damned stuff. That's why Europeans have cutting-edge engine technology and DIESEL's powered race cars winning Le Mans for pete's sake, whilst you can buy a nearly new Hummer right now for about $9000, if you can afford to fix it when it breaks down.

:D

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJsHlugRls4

For "toolonggone".

Heh, I don't call that silly. Green with envy more like ;)

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Nah, that's generally the owners of said cars that see kids rioting and decide to get an insurance payout by torching the car they've been trying in vain to sell....

But the disposable thing is a valid point I'll grant, and something all car manufacturers are guilty of. Back in the day cars were built to last - these days, if they get to the end of the warranty without a glitch it's a bloody miracle.

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Obama suggests some auto execs should lose jobs

Talk like this just causes uncertainty, and markets react badly. Obama's handlers need to be more prudent when his pronouncements affect millions of lives.

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If I was Toyota I would buy GM. Waiting for them to die was a mistake because they have not died. If they bought them, they own the US auto market.

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sailwind - even the Gremlin had a small block V8 if I remember rightly.

And a Levi's interior! Cool little car to boot. I liked the Pacer also, AMC forever!

Serious note.....The Government of the U.S also has to much to do with where we are as far as the big three. Years of regulations and lawsuits had made it impossible for any small dreamer with dreams of making an economical car and see into production impossible. He or she could never afford the start costs even if they could get enough venture capital to even try.

Let's not forget that, if the market was flexible enough without Government regulation through the years to really compete in the U.S you could very well be driving a model made by Sailwind motors, driven by windpower through turbine blades in the front powering the electric motor.

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If the execs from the auto companies have to come cap-in-hand to the government then it is an admission of failure of their management. The unions can be blamed but management gave in to their demands. While Honda and Toyota were expanding their offerings to both big pickups AND hybrid cars the big three concentrated on building a bigger land barge. There has been no expansion of the line to introduce new technology. They have been plucking the goose that laid the golden egg. Their bonuses looked great, I'm sure.

The board of directors of the companies involved should sack the senior management for their abject failure but they won't; it's the old boys club after all. Since they won't it will have to be a precondition of any loans that the losers hit the pavement. And bounce twice.

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"Time to dust off the old plans for the Pinto, Gremlin and K car again"

Har! I had a Pinto and two of my buddies had a Vega and a Gremlin. All of them sucked, especially the Vega!

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Sarge,

My buddy had a Lada and I had a Fiat Bambina. We both dreamed of US V8s in those days.

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Talk like this just causes uncertainty, and markets react badly.

If the punters are so stupid as to think that the auto execs have been good stweards of their funds then they deserve a few more lessons at the school of hard knocks. Maybe once their stock is worthless they will start braying for heads to roll.

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romulus3 : Toyota buy GM? With what? Make belief money?

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who would want to buy gm? it's bankrupt.

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C'mon Obama, get some b*lls. A "suggestion" is far to weak. Scream at the top of your lungs, "FIRE ALL THOSE IDIOTS!"

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Every Honda and Toyota I've owned has lasted twice its warranty before being sold used. There are some good American cars, but they're sadly the exception. Not to mention 50%-80% of their parts are foreign.

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They should fail, but Democrats won't let that happen because they are in part funded by the UAW (union). Corruption continues -- where's the change Obama promised?

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