TPM Reader AB’s thoughts …
I believe the “don’t reward bad management” argument about the prospective Auto Industry bailout is a red herring, which I’ll explain below.
First, to add to the irony of the Auto Industry treatment vis a vis the Financial Sector Bailout, remember that in large (if not whole) part, the Financial Sector is directly responsible for the Auto Industry’s current situation.
Which brings me to the red herring issue. The Auto Makers just released their sales figures and sales across the board were down over 40%. No industry can absorb those kinds of losses. Now the problem isn’t that in the last year more than 40% of buyers in the auto market had a revelation and decided they absolutely needed hybrids, or fully electric cars. These sales are off because of tight credit and uncertainty about the economy as a whole, including the housing market.
I have no problem using the bailout to get “green” concessions from the companies who have been heretofor resistant. But using it for some sort of morality play while messing with real people’s real jobs (people who can’t just transition easily into other fields) is wrong.