Warning: The following statements are completely political, biased and may not jive with your own opinions. They have nothing to do with homeschooling, traveling or anything else entertaining.
When Ford revolutionized the auto industry, indeed all factory industries, with its assembly line it represented American ingenuity, true competitive spirit, and success. Those were the days when Americans were building amazing structures, landmark bridges and buildings that stand today. When individuals and companies developed goods and services that changed the world.
Today, government hand-outs are reaching the highest echelons. Soup kitchens scratch while execs who make millions of dollars each and every year are asking for bailouts for their companies, and thereby themselves. Teachers of tomorrow's builders and planners, lawmakers and caregivers drive clunkers and live in suburbia while CEOs shoot for more, more, MORE!
It was bad enough when our government decided to bail out the banking industry which, through it's own poor judgement, opted to give credit to people who clearly couldn't afford the homes they were buying; banks which capitalize on customers to such an extent that every service is fee-based for CUSTOMERS with cash in the bank. If I go out and buy the land and home I want and KNOW we can't afford, will government please come bail us out too?
Now they're talking about bailing out the Big Three auto makers. I find it appalling that government would even consider a multi-BILLION-dollar bailout of companies that pay their highest executives MULTI-MILLION DOLLARs EVERY YEAR while their lowest-paid employees struggle to make ends meet. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rick Wagoner, GM CEO, reported an income of $15.7 MILLION in 2007 alone. Alan Mullaly of Ford reported $22.8 million. What can a person even do making that kind of money year after year? And why should we, as taxpayers who scratch to get by, bailout a company that can't pay its employees equitably?
I know, I know - it's not about the execs. It's about saving the industry and the multitude of jobs it supports. But there must be some way to compete, to make it, to move forward rather than stagnate and die, than to put it on the backs of the taxpayers. This isn't free market, we're talking about. This tends a helluva long way toward a twisted socialist system - let the people pay while the biggies continue to live large.
Before taxpayers like you and me who struggle to get by bailout these companies, these companies should work on their own bailout plan which IMMEDIATELY calls for the reduction in pay of all top execs to no more than a living wage - say $1 million per year cap. (Certainly they couldn't live of the income with which so many families manage.)
I know GM and Ford execs have pledge to work for $1 next year if they get this bailout. Big deal! What about a LONG-TERM solution!? If I made $21 million in 2007, I could work for a buck a year for the rest of my life. Couldn't you?
Perhaps they should pledge to compete in the global market. Perhaps they should develop vehicles that are truly cutting edge. Consumers want performance and energy savings these days. Cars that don't run on petroleum. Vehicles that provide safety, comfort, speed and range while also protecting their wallets (and thereby the environment). The technology has been here for decades. Perhaps the Big Three can start investing in that.
Addendum: Thanks, Bret, for this -