[Marxism] Saving the Big 3 for You and Me ...a message from Michael Moore

nchamah miller nchamah at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 17:26:32 MST 2008

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Moore

Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 4:14 AM
Subject: Saving the Big 3 for You and Me ...a message from Michael Moore

Saving the Big 3 for You and Me ...a message from Michael Moore

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008


I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement.
It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold
ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have
had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work
in something that won't break down:

My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and
comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good
grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was
that a sweet ride!

When it would start.

More than a dozen times in these years, the car has simply died.
Batteries have been replaced, but that wasn't the problem. My dad
drives the same model. His car has died many times, too. Just won't
start, for no reason at all.

A few weeks ago, I took my Chrysler in to the Chrysler dealer here in
northern Michigan -- and the latest fixes cost me $1,400. The next
day, the vehicle wouldn't start. When I got it going, the brake
warning light came on. And on and on.

You might assume from this that I couldn't give a rat's ass about
these miserably inept crapmobile makers down the road in Detroit city.
But I do care. I care about the millions whose lives and livelihoods
depend on these car companies. I care about the security and defense
of this country because the world is running out of oil -- and when it
runs out, the calamity and collapse that will take place will make the
current recession/depression look like a Tommy Tune musical.

And I care about what happens with the Big 3 because they are more
responsible than almost anyone for the destruction of our fragile
atmosphere and the daily melting of our polar ice caps.

Congress must save the industrial infrastructure that these companies
control and the jobs they create. And it must save the world from the
internal combustion engine. This great, vast manufacturing network can
redeem itself by building mass transit and electric/hybrid cars, and
the kind of transportation we need for the 21st century.

And Congress must do all this by NOT giving GM, Ford and Chrysler the
$34 billion they are asking for in "loans" (a few days ago they only
wanted $25 billion; that's how stupid they are -- they don't even know
how much they really need to make this month's payroll. If you or I
tried to get a loan from the bank this way, not only would we be
thrown out on our ear, the bank would place us on some sort of credit
rating blacklist).

Two weeks ago, the CEOs of the Big 3 were tarred and feathered before
a Congressional committee who sneered at them in a way far different
than when the heads of the financial industry showed up two months
earlier. At that time, the politicians tripped over each other in
their swoon for Wall Street and its Ponzi schemers who had concocted
Byzantine ways to bet other people's money on unregulated credit
default swaps, known in the common vernacular as unicorns and fairies.

But the Detroit boys were from the Midwest, the Rust (yuk!) Belt,
where they made real things that consumers needed and could touch and
buy, and that continually recycled money into the economy (shocking!),
produced unions that created the middle class, and fixed my teeth for
free when I was ten.

For all of that, the auto heads had to sit there in November and be
ridiculed about how they traveled to D.C. Yes, they flew on their
corporate jets, just like the bankers and Wall Street thieves did in
October. But, hey, THAT was OK! They're the Masters of the Universe!
Nothing but the best chariots for Big Finance as they set about to
loot our nation's treasury.

Of course, the auto magnates used be the Masters who ruled the world.
They were the pulsating hub that all other industries -- steel, oil,
cement contractors -- served. Fifty-five years ago, the president of
GM sat on that same Capitol Hill and bluntly told Congress, what's
good for General Motors is good for the country. Because, you see, in
their minds, GM WAS the country.

What a long, sad fall from grace we witnessed on November 19th when
the three blind mice had their knuckles slapped and then were sent
back home to write an essay called, "Why You Should Give Me Billions
of Dollars of Free Cash." They were also asked if they would work for
a dollar a year. Take that! What a big, brave Congress they are!
Requesting indentured servitude from (still) three of the most
powerful men in the world. This from a spineless body that won't dare
stand up to a disgraced president nor turn down a single funding
request for a war that neither they nor the American public support.

Let me just state the obvious: Every single dollar Congress gives
these three companies will be flushed right down the toilet. There is
nothing the management teams of the Big 3 are going to do to convince
people to go out during a recession and buy their big, gas-guzzling,
inferior products. Just forget it. And, as sure as I am that the Ford
family-owned Detroit Lions are not going to the Super Bowl -- ever --
I can guarantee you, after they burn through this $34 billion, they'll
be back for another $34 billion next summer.

So what to do? Members of Congress, here's what I propose:

1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important
functions our government must address. And because we are facing a
massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president
and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced
with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and
instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point
forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil
and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail
(a corresponding public works project across the country will build
the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create
millions of new ones.

2. You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for
less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion
or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You're going to
demand collateral anyway if you give them the "loan," and because we
know they will default on that loan, you're going to own the company
in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)

3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but
there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired
to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent
vehicles and get us into the 21st century.

This proposal is not radical or rocket science. It just takes one of
the smartest people ever to run for the presidency to pull it off.
What I'm proposing has worked before. The national rail system was in
shambles in the '70s. The government took it over. A decade later it
was turning a profit, so the government returned it to private/public
hands, and got a couple billion dollars put back in the treasury.

This proposal will save our industrial infrastructure -- and millions
of jobs. More importantly, it will create millions more. It literally
could pull us out of this recession.

In contrast, yesterday General Motors presented its restructuring
proposal to Congress. They promised, if Congress gave them $18 billion
now, they would, in turn, eliminate around 20,000 jobs. You read that
right. We give them billions so they can throw more Americans out of
work. That's been their Big Idea for the last 30 years -- layoff
thousands in order to protect profits. But no one ever stopped to ask
this question: If you throw everyone out of work, who's going to have
the money to go out and buy a car?

These idiots don't deserve a dime. Fire all of them, and take over the
industry for the good of the workers, the country and the planet.

What's good for General Motors IS good for the country. Once the
country is calling the shots.

Michael Moore
MMFlint at aol.com

P.S. I will be on Keith Olbermann tonight (8pm/10pm/midnight ET) to
discuss this further on MSNBC.

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