Argument: US autos are not just companies; part of American fabric

Issue Report: Bailout of US automakers


Bob Herbert. “‘Drop Dead’ Is Not an Option”. New York Times. 17 Nov. 2008 – “The ideological hard-liners have now cast their collectively jaundiced eye on Detroit’s automakers. Their response to the very real danger that General Motors might crumble into bankruptcy is: C’est la vie […] Unlike President Ford, Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican of Alabama — to cite just one example — is not troubled by thoughts of cascading effects, such as the toll of domino-like business failures and swelling unemployment moving like a toxic virus through an economy that is already ill[…] “The financial situation facing the Big Three is not a national problem, but their own problem,” he said[…] Whoa![…] I can agree that it’s impossible to make a positive case for the backward, self-destructive practices of the auto industry over many years. (Just as it was difficult to defend the practices that led to New York’s fiscal crisis.) But in the current environment, allowing one or more of the Big Three to go bankrupt would be like offering up your nose to Sweeney Todd to spite your face […] It’s not just General Motors or Chrysler or Ford. The U.S. auto industry is the cornerstone of American manufacturing. It supports millions of jobs, directly or indirectly, in a vast array of businesses.”