We've been commenting on Washington's poor attitude toward Detroit for some time now, but nothing can say it better than award-winning author and Detroiter Mitch Albom's Nov. 23 column says it best. Here's a piece of it, and follow the link to read the entire (and very thoughtful) column.
OK. It's a fantasy. But if I had five minutes in front of Congress last week, here's what I would've said:"First of all, before you ask, I flew commercial. Northwest Airlines. Had a bag of peanuts for breakfast. Of course, that's Northwest, which just merged with Delta, a merger you, our government, approved -- and one which, inevitably, will lead to big bonuses for their executives and higher costs for us. You seem to be OK with that kind of business.
"Which makes me wonder why you're so against our kind of business? The kind we do in Detroit. The kind that gets your fingernails dirty. The kind where people use hammers and drills, not keystrokes. The kind where you get paid for making something, not moving money around a board and skimming a percentage.
You've already given hundreds of billions to banking and finance companies -- and hardly demanded anything. Yet you balk at the very idea of giving $25 billion to the Detroit Three. Heck, you shoveled that exact amount to Citigroup -- $25 billion -- just weeks ago, and that place is about to crumble anyhow.
Does the word "hypocrisy" ring a bell?"
Oh, how very true indeed. If you haven't read the column, it's well worth jumping over to read at this link here.
Albom then quite correctly points out how Washington literally threw money at Wall Street without requiring so much as a "pretty please."
If most voters had been asked to choose between a bail out for Wall Street or a bail out for the Big 3 in Detroit, one or the other, I doubt that many would have voted for Wall Street at all. Albom's right.
In Detroit they build things. On Wall Street they move money around and just skim some off the top for themselves. Who do you think deserves a helping hand?
Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org and catch "The Mitch Albom Show" 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).
The simple fact is that he's right and, like more than one person has said, conservative Congress people are just plain wrong.
Contact your Congressional representative and tell them so. Otherwise, they just won't listen.
As taxpayers, we are all going to be left holding the unemployment bag if GM or Chrysler or Ford fail. As consumers, we can't afford to have the people who made our cars erase our warranty rights from existence. And as voters, we can't afford the "head in the sand" approach promoted by conservative "let them fail" politicians.
It's time to be reasonable. It's time to help American workers keep their jobs.
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978.