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Big 3 Bailout… Now What About The Rest?

Thu, 01/22/2009 - 10:05am

by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

"It turns out that if you want to strike a nerve with many an IMPO reader, mention the word "bailout.""

It turns out that if you want to strike a nerve with many an IMPO reader, mention the word "bailout."

The interesting thing about this very knotted issue pertaining to the automotive market is that there are a host of people, representing basically the same demographic, who have wildly dissenting opinions on this topic. After recent IMPO web coverage on the subject, I had readers write in with heartfelt concern for the devastation of families and communities, and others who felt the same, yet still feared this type of recompense would only further encourage a nation of people who consistently fail to live within their means. It's this slippery slope argument on accountability (or lack thereof) that has so many folks up and arms. And it's easy to see why—

Recently I saw the following headline on the CNN political ticker: "Porn Industry Seeks Federal Bailout." A spokesperson for Larry Flynt told the news agency, "The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine."

Yikes. Let's not get hysterical.

No matter how ridiculous this seems, the precedent has been set, and we'll likely have to read these ridiculous appeals for fiscal rescue for months to come. Did the government perhaps throw a slow lob to Detroit in what amounted to the first pitch in a dangerous game? As far as the Big 3 are concerned, the papers have been signed, and only time will tell. The government has shown its support for keeping the industry afloat, and hopefully the companies will utilize these resources to keep on truckin' (pun fully intended) until the country as a whole is on safer economic footing.

Either way, let's not let the aid package turn us against one another in what has the danger of becoming a fight over who is "owed" in this scenario. The fact of the matter is, no matter how dramatically different our career paths may be, we all want money. And the majority of us are not getting it from the federal economic aid package, no matter what we say.

Maybe it's evocative, fear-mongering headlines like "Porn Industry Seeks Federal Bailout" that create a phantasm of an economic train careening out of control—dollar bills flying out the window in a cartoon fashion while we complicitly shovel coal into the engines. We need to separate reality from resentment—and not let the latter distract us from the abilities we do have to improve our facilities in order to remain competitive on a global scale.

Do I have an interest in saving adult films? Not particularly. Do I think the federal government does? Definitely not. What I do have an interest in is American manufacturing, and I think it's important that we not allow recent events to detract from our progress or muddle our focus. I've seen, first-hand, dozens of innovative facilities in North America, full of leaders and visionaries. This is where our focus needs to lie—moving forward with renewed efforts, versus back-biting and bitterness over the money pile—no matter who wants it, and who gets it.

For reader feedback on the Big 3 bailout, click here.

Send comments to Anna.Wells@advantagemedia.com

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