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  • Way OT - Buy American or...

    allow the mismanagement of companies such as the automakers to suffer the
    fate that perhaps should be afforded them?

    I'm not promoting either side here. Just starting a "little" discussion.

    I know the buy American thing has been beat to death. And then there's the flaw in that campaign where American branded products (cars) are actually built across the border. And now the bailout thing...

    Anyway, in this capitalistic society, why shouldn't a company whose mismanagement has allowed it to fall prey to more efficient overseas competitors? Of course, there are Americans who rely on the existence of that company for the food on their table and the roof over their heads. So, then should the bailout be allowed to happen to 'help' those workers? Will this bailout really buy the automakers enough time to become solvent again? Or will this be like the bank bailout where the money goes into a pool and then gets used for whatever the users think it will best be used for?

    Again, I'm not trying to pick sides here, but I'm curious about how everybody here feels about this stuff.

    Dave
    Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

    Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
    MM180
    SP125+

  • #2
    Timing is Everything

    I'll bite (i'll probably be sorry....

    Earlier today I just emailed this to the New York Times
    letters-to-the-editor
    Re "Pursuing U.S. Aid, G.M. Accepts Need for Drastic Cuts", G.M., and
    presumably the other American car manufacturers claim that their
    current round of troubles are due to "the continued deterioration of
    the United States vehicle market, because of the weakening economy
    and tight credit, which has made it difficult for consumers who do
    wander into dealerships to get loans."

    If Washington insists on bailing out the Big Three, then why not take
    them at their word? Instead of sending money to GM, use it to
    make auto loans easily available. Consumers can then vote with their
    wallets, making it obvious whether GM, Ford, and Chrysler make cars
    that people want, or not. And the big three will then sink or swim on
    their own merits.

    That said (and now I'm sure I'll really be sorry), it seems to
    me that even if some/all of the Big Three failed and went completely
    out of business, we still have a market in the US for something like
    10-12 million cars&trucks a year. If GM went "poof", the demand would
    still be there, so the remaining companies would have to increase
    production, perhaps buy some plants or brands from GM's corporate-
    corpse, and so on. True, the foreign makers would increase exports
    into the US -- but they'd also increase production here (they already
    make a lot of cars and engines and parts here...).

    The changes would hurt but it would not be the end of Civilization
    As We Know It. (perhaps _that_ is where the bailout bucks would
    best be spent -- unemployment, retraining, helping Toyota buy/
    rehab some of the closed plants, etc)

    But what do I know...

    Comment


    • #3
      Whew ,This thread could be trouble,I was at the mall a few weeks ago,they had a Saturn car in there that you could fill out a card and maybe win it.I started looking at the sticker,Motor -made in some strange 2nd rate euro country,Transmission made in France.But I think the car was put together in Tenn.or some other southern state.
      Our Gov. gave Billions of dollars to AIG, and Several big name banks with no strings attached.I would not be afraid to loan the car makers a fraction of that if they really mean what they say about changing the way they do business.
      There is no easy answer to this problem,If it was just the big boys that were going to suffer ,I would say let them starve,but it affects a lot of reg.joes out there.
      With the price of OIL what it is ,I wouldnt be suprised to see EXON or CHEVRON asking for a bailout,now that would be sick.

      Comment


      • #4
        It also helps if you remember that most foreign automobile companies are in bed with their own government's subsidies on a scale that makes this bail-out seem like chump change. They also need not pay for their employees health care like U.S. auto makers as every other industrialized country has universal health care. Matter of fact, the foreign automobile companies with plants here in the U.S. are also extremely well subsidized by the numerous state, county and municipal governments where they are located with give-backs, location incentives and tax write-offs. If it was a level playing field, I doubt the Big Three would be in the fix they are in right now...of course they have the high corporate salaries and bonuses that are the blight on every U.S. manufacturer.
        Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just give every household anew car with that money. Stimulates production, employment,the local dealers, etc...plus, we all get a new car....or , just buy me new TIG, and I'll go away happy.
          "Good Enough Never Is"

          Comment


          • #6
            Foot, I like the way you think!!!
            Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.

            Comment


            • #7
              Let 'em fail. I love my Fords and Dodges, but I'd buy the same quality vehicle if we had to loose the 100 years of tradition and it said Toyota on the tailgate. IT WOULD STILL BE AS MADE IN AMERICA BY UAW AS IT IS NOW...

              Comment


              • #8
                ...or thje UAW could make their own car and compete with the others....they might get some great deals on production facilities...'wonder what they would name a car they made...???
                "Good Enough Never Is"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just purchased a pickup from the GM dealer, literally in my own neighborhood.They sell dodge gmc chevy and toyota.I bought a chevy that fit what I needed.It was an 08 on the red tag sale.It replaced a high mileage ranger I had.It was a great truck but they are gonna quit making them.I am union myself and have always bought american cars.But plenty of friends and relatives buy Nissan and Toyota,you can't flame people for it I probably buy a ton of other stuff that's foreign.I does bother me though that at the dealership you can see how crazy some of the designs are when we have just went through $4.00 gas and it might be back.Kind of hard to feel sorry for companies that think you need a hemi or v8 in everything.Also in the gm and ford 4cyl trucks you can't even find what you want to work on but toyota you open the hood and it's laid out great.What's our problem?
                  Pro-level dumpster diver/Shop full of the finest foreign tools Hobart 125 EZ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fjk View Post
                    I'll bite (i'll probably be sorry....

                    Earlier today I just emailed this to the New York Times
                    letters-to-the-editor
                    Re "Pursuing U.S. Aid, G.M. Accepts Need for Drastic Cuts", G.M., and
                    presumably the other American car manufacturers claim that their
                    current round of troubles are due to "the continued deterioration of
                    the United States vehicle market, because of the weakening economy
                    and tight credit, which has made it difficult for consumers who do
                    wander into dealerships to get loans."

                    If Washington insists on bailing out the Big Three, then why not take
                    them at their word? Instead of sending money to GM, use it to
                    make auto loans easily available. Consumers can then vote with their
                    wallets, making it obvious whether GM, Ford, and Chrysler make cars
                    that people want, or not. And the big three will then sink or swim on
                    their own merits.

                    That said (and now I'm sure I'll really be sorry), it seems to
                    me that even if some/all of the Big Three failed and went completely
                    out of business, we still have a market in the US for something like
                    10-12 million cars&trucks a year. If GM went "poof", the demand would
                    still be there, so the remaining companies would have to increase
                    production, perhaps buy some plants or brands from GM's corporate-
                    corpse, and so on. True, the foreign makers would increase exports
                    into the US -- but they'd also increase production here (they already
                    make a lot of cars and engines and parts here...).

                    The changes would hurt but it would not be the end of Civilization
                    As We Know It. (perhaps _that_ is where the bailout bucks would
                    best be spent -- unemployment, retraining, helping Toyota buy/
                    rehab some of the closed plants, etc)

                    But what do I know...
                    You are right on target. We should NOT reward bad management !!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      personally I will never buy another foreign vehicle, unless that is my ONLY choice. It has nothing to do with what is going on with the economy, and has everything to do with my past experiences with the foreign cars I have owned. and no I am not talking yugo or anything.

                      Brew

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's an interesting link -

                        http://info.detnews.com/video/index.cfm?id=1189

                        If an American company doesn't hire Americans why should we buy American ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think some of the guys here need to think a bit further than where something is made.

                          this issue upon us is NOT where something is made, but where all the profits for these companies will ultimately end up.

                          do I think executive pay is outrageous? Abso-friggin-lutely.....do I think they've done a bad job? hello? this is america in the 21st centruy, it's all screw your neighbor, of course they did a terrible job while lining their own pockets. that said, in spite of those 'executives', the grunts in the companies are turning out autos that are on par with anything else out there. they have for quite some time, I can't fathom how anyone could say anything other than that. a few lemons here and there, but I've been in tons of foreign cars, and honestly, I don't see the draw. boring tin cans, with sometimes a nice gadget here or there. the biggest problem these domestic have had is terrible terrible customer service. had these companies accepted problems and taken the onus to repair issues as they became apparent, the whole 'domestic cars are junk' mentality would not exist. this easily started in the 70's and carries through to today. foreign cars have had just as many problems and recalls, the difference was that the dealerships for the most part fixed the issues without causing heartache to the customer.

                          Buying something built by a foreign company sends money, your hard earned money, to some giant corporation overseas, and then quickly, to the govermnet of said foreign company. Will we ever see that money back in this country? not likely.

                          I have no problem with free trade, the problem as it exists is that we don't HAVE fair trade.

                          the domestics have gotten themselves in some sticky situations with labor agreements, and unfortunately, this is catching up with them. so they are fighting the fight with both hads tied behind their backs. first, they are paying money moreso than they should have due to these agreements. secondly, they compete with companies that are goverment subsidized, whether they admit it or not. so it's a double whammy.

                          not only are we talking about the three domestics, but many many people indirectly related. it's not a good situation to let them fail. this 'bailout' is simply a low interest loan, not a handout like the 700billion given to the banking theives.

                          unfortunately, I don't know how effective it will be. the screw your neighbor mentality and foreign car 'superiority' brainwash has been most effective in this country for quite some time. I don't think they can undo it.

                          oh well..off the soapbox.....my apologies for the rant....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When i got to work this morning,the rest of the boys were discussing just this subject. I will try not to offend anyone with my views. I dont stay up too much with current events,but the proposed bailout has been all over the news so i couldnt miss it. I must state first that i am a Canadian,but figure that Canada will become the 51st state sometime in the future. From what i heard this morning,the unions wouldnt take a pay cut as part of the bailout proposal. Back in 1981,I was trained as a millwright to work at GM. I finished my 40 weeks of training and went to work. I lasted two weeks before i quit. The only reason i will give here why i quit,is the system is controlled by the union. I now bust my butt working two jobs to make my 50 k a year,while the union auto worker makes double that reading his newspaper and doing some menial task and always paying his union dues. I wont go any further with that before i offend some people. At one point I ended up being a Teamster and it was the same as the auto workers union,only these boys play a little rougher (no whining to the union stewart like grade 4s running to the teacher as with the auto workers). Having gotten that off my chest,I buy whatever kind of car i can get for 100$ and drive it till the wheels fall off. I am currently driving a 93 Dodge Shadow that has 390 k on the clock and running strong. That will be replaced by a 56 GMC military that i am presently building. My apoligies again if i urinated in someones cornflakes with my comments

                            Bill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A large part of the problem is that labor costs for a union plant runs ~$75/hr versus ~$46/hr for the Japanese companies. My sister has in-laws (husband and wife) that are both now retired from GM. They both made the same amount as everyone else , which was closer to $54K. She was 5'1" and 93 lbs; and worked on the assembly line installing radiators in Astro Vans, having to pick them up, hang them and bolt them in, while a 6' 240 lb. male got to sweep floors for the same pay (and no, he didn't have any diisability).

                              There are also economies in production of parts - for instance, electronic parts are standardized and used by multiple manufacturers, same with transmissions and differentials (kind of like arrangements AMC and Jeep had with Chrysler before Chrysler bought 'em). This economic and manufacturing model was instituted my none other than General MacArthur, who did an awesome job in getting the Japanese economy going after WWII.

                              But the biggest hit occurred when gas prices shot up and the Big Three's reliance on building gas guzzling SUV's and trucks for high profit margins cut their sales so badly. They created the demand for the category themselves and relied on it for too long without paying attention to the smaller cars.

                              As long as each and every worker in the American auto industry has the attitude of looking out for #1, as opposed to the Japanese attitude of team work, we will always be at a disadvantage.

                              It appears that we are too lazy to learn from history. Everything (for the most part) the Japanese have learned from us in manufacturing and business they have surpassed us in implementation, and we refuse to admit it and face reality - perhaps because the UAW won't swallow it.

                              hmburner:

                              I don't know if we'll ever have Canada as a state as long as it includes Quebec - come to think of it, I'm not so sure that most Canadians wouldn't mind them as a separate country! (I think that we've both drawn a line saying only two languages on al government signs/literature, and we've already got English and Spanish)

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