It's another deadline week, so posting will be sparse... I haven't had time to read the details of the GM bailout and forced Chrysler merge, but my gut reaction is...
Yes, viewed in a vacuum, I say the government gets to dictate terms when they bail you out. If that means, "fire your board," or "your shareholders get a haircut," that's fine. Don't take the money if you're not willing to abide.
But the fact that the auto companies—companies that nation-wide employ hundreds of thousands of people in good living-wage jobs manufacturing real, durable, tangible goods that contribute to the economy in myriad ways—are getting a trial by fire from the Obama team. Last I checked, the Big Three didn't blow through everyone else's savings (well, excepting Dodge Avenger owners) and drive themselves and the economy over a cliff with borderline-illegal high-stakes gambling. At least at the end of the year Detroit can point to several million cars as a result of their business.
Meanwhile, the greed cancer-infested financial sector that engaged in an unregulated spree of graft and thievery is getting comparatively soft, kid glove treatment and a bailout approach that seems hell-bent on preserving the previous, fatally flawed system and those who run it. Oh, and did I mention an exponentially higher price tag?
This double standard is fucking bullshit. Automakers get raked over the coals for how they flew into D.C. while Wall Street thieves walk away with taxpayer-funded bonuses totaling in the billions.
Someone explain to me how this doesn't sound exactly like something that would have happened under the previous administration.
UPDATE: Mike's spent some more time thinking/reading/writing about this...
UPDATE 2: And so has The Michigan Posse.