First, it was the wanton homeowner that bit off more than they could handle on their mortgage. Then it was the banks that lent the money to the wanton homeowner. Now, the Big Three are in trouble and it looks like you and I could help them out next.
However, talks over bailing out General Motors (GM) actually began over the summer and have reached a fevered pitch with GM announcing it will officially run out of money at the end of the year.
Some have blamed the overabundance of cumbersome SUVs and trucks that would suck down $4 a gallon gas or even $5 a gallon diesel. Others pointed the finger at those nasty unions, always looking out for those pesky workers, who obviously had it out for the automakers from the get-go. But still other say itís our own fault for wanting a brand new car every year and financing that $70,000 shiny new vehicle for 72 months and now weíre so upside down in our auto loans that thereís no way anyone can afford a trade in.
I donít really know what the answer is. I do know that GM, Ford and Chrysler employ more than 240,000 American workers, with GM employing about 266,000 worldwide. Thatís a lot of people who are facing unemployment if the automaker goes belly up, and I feel for them.
Founded in 1908, GM was once the ninth largest publicly traded company in the world. GMís subsidiaries include Chevy, Saturn, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Saab and a list of cars only sold overseas.
GM is working to transfer all retiree health care benefits to United Auto Workers (UAW) union and employees who once enjoyed an average hourly wage of more than $80 are now down to $78 an hour with new hires starting at $26. (OK - that doesnít make me feel too sorry for them).
The company also suffered a nearly $40 billion loss in 2007. They recently announced that all Hummer and Buick production plants would close by Dec. 15.
Well, Iím just a writer and numbers mean relatively little to me. But that sounds like an awful lot of money and it looks like an awful lot of people stand to lose their jobs in this deal. But I gotta say Iím not so sure that I should be paying the bill on this.
I work hard. In fact, I think I deserve a raise and if you see my boss make sure you tell her you think so, too. (Only kidding, boss. Well, kinda). I pay my bills on time. I donít spend an exorbitant amount of money, but I do have a mortgage, student loans, two children and a higher balance on my credit card than I care to admit. Basically, Iím doing well if I can make one paycheck last until the next. So, am I going to get a $25 billion government bailout package? Umm, probably not.
If I am fiscally irresponsible with the money I already have, why in the world would anyone give me more. The last time I checked, thatís why banks run credit checks before they just go around handing out money.
So whatís a girl gotta do to get bailed out? I guess Iíll have to run a multi-billion dollar company into the ground first.