Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bailouts Galore

More "too big to fail" entities are looking for handouts, and Thomas Friedman is inclined to give them, provided conditions are met:

Giving G.M. a blank check — which the company and the United Auto Workers union badly want, and which Washington will be tempted to grant — would be an enormous mistake.”

I would add other conditions: Any car company that gets taxpayer money must demonstrate a plan for transforming every vehicle in its fleet to a hybrid-electric engine with flex-fuel capability, so its entire fleet can also run on next generation cellulosic ethanol.
Wouldn't this make sense as part of both an economic stimulus package and a "green jobs" initiative, two things the incoming president has vocally supported?

I enjoy bashing US car makers as much as anyone -- goodness knows they deserve it -- but letting another 7+ million jobs vanish and turning Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana into expansions of North Dakota -- endless corn fields and abandoned old people -- is a steep price to pay. Maybe this is the audacity of hope speaking out of turn, but this is an opportunity to remake these companies in a future-oriented and sustainable way.

No comments: