OK ... I am wondering why we are so concerned about "American institutions" like GM and Chrysler. Since the mid 1960's we have watched one "American institution" after another fall or be bought out by foreign interests. And many more have simply "gone under" either because the demand for their products disappeared or they were simply not able to remain profitable.
I understand that losing a company like GM is going to put a lot of people out of work. But when you think about it, they have already put a lot of people out of work by "outsourcing" most of their manufacturing. Their plants still located in the U.S. are pretty much automated assembly plants that employ far few people that they did in the past. And even after receiving a multi billion dollar bailout, the first thing they did was to announce more plant closings the cutting of thousands of more jobs.
I don't remember hearing much noise when "American institutions" like Delta and Powermatic began closing plants in the U.S. and having their machines built in Brazil or Taiwan. And remember American-made audio equipment? OK, I'm showing my age by telling you that I do. Companies like Fischer, Sherwood, Marantz, Gerrard ... there were dozens of such companies and they were "American institutions" too. But one by one they either vanished or were bought out by Japanese corporations who sucked the quality out of them and turned them into cheap "consumer goods". And never once did I hear anyone suggest that any of these companies be given "bailouts" or subsidized with taxpayer dollars.
Too big to let fail? I would think that companies like GM and Chrysler (which will now be run by Fiat!?!?!?!) failed a long time ago. They have not been able to show viability for a long time now. Why is it all of a sudden a shock that we will have to buy cars made by Japanese or Swedish or Italian companies? Haven't we been buying them all along? Haven't we been buying Brazilian-made table saws and Taiwanese planers and jointers all along? I'm not saying that this is a good thing. I'm just mystified by sudden sense that we must support companies that are in hot water because they were not run efficiently, failed to produce products that people actually wanted to buy and shifted their focus from value to profit. Anyone want to try and explain this to me?