Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Congressperson or Senator: Say NO to the Big Three

I just wrote to my senators and congresspeople. I also wrote to the Speaker of the House, but I don' t think that she will read or heed my letter. Here's what I told them:

I have been watching the hearings in the Senate and the House. I want to ask you again to vote AGAINST the automotive bailout. As you have seen from the polls, the majority of Americans feel the same way I do.

1. Product line revisions -- too late. 2012?2013? That's three and four years down the road. And all that will do is put the automakers where Toyota and Honda were two years ago. There's an entrepreneur in San Jose CA already building full-sized electric cars, today. Why not give him the money instead?

2. Continued emphasis on trucks. We don't want trucks anymore. The F-150 pickup, which Ford boasts as the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. today, sold fine until June, I think, and sales have dropped to near-zero since then. WE DON'T WANT TRUCKS, and they ALL keep trying to sell trucks.

3. If these companies are too big to fail, then they're too big. NO corporation should have that much power in this country. Congress has stood up to oil, railroads and telecommunications in the past. Now it's time to stand up to the automakers. If they want to stay in business, then PLEASE cut them up, and turn them from the Big Three into the Little Nine or whatever. If it worked for AT&T, it can work for GM.

4. Utter lack of humility. I saw arrogance from Mr. Gettelfinger, and "strictly business" attitudes from the three CEOs. What they said in front of the Congressional panels mirrors what they say to all Americans. If you watch the automobile commercials on TV, you will see that they're just as arrogant and superior, appealing to Americans' egos and greed, as they've always been.

5. Economic impact. I don't deny the economic impact of the Big 3 going out of business, HOWEVER: the parts mfrs. also make parts for Toyota, Honda and Nissan, so although the parts mfrs. might be downsized, they won't go out of business. As for economic impact, today is my last day on the job. I am currently underemployed, and on Monday I will be unemployed. That has nothing to do with the Big 3, and their going under will not affect me one whit.

Please stick to your guns, honor the will of the American people, and vote AGAINST the bailout.

Ray Depew

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