I guess I may be old-fashioned in that I get so worked up over things like the bailout nonsense that is going on (I got worked up over it before: here). As you may have heard (here and here), the CEOs of Ford, GM and Chrysler flew their private jets to D.C. to beg Congress for money. The word is that Rick Wagoner’s (CEO of GM) private jet flight to D.C. cost GM approximately $20,000.00 while coach tickets on an airline cost $288.00 and first-class tickets costs $837.00.
After hearing about AIG’s $443,334.00 party, which occurred two-weeks after that company received about 85 billion dollars from the Government, it’s all starting to disgust me just a little bit. I’m sick of seeing public money squandered like this. Any money that is just handed to these large companies is going to be wasted and will only postpone the inevitable. The Big Three aren’t really trying to save their companies, in my humble opinion.
For example, as we all know, the CEOs of the Big Three are making millions of dollars per year in salaries; if they truly cared about all of the jobs that are going to be lost, they should certainly look into working for a lesser dollar amount so that average workers can continue to put food on their tables. Ford, in the above-cited ABC news article, just like AIG, maintains a fleet of private jets (yes, I used the word ‘fleet’). If the CEOs of the Big Three truly cared about the future of their companies and the future of thousands of workers, they would be putting the jets up for sale on eBay or Craig’s List and hitching a ride to D.C. on Southwest Airlines like a normal human being.
But, you’ll probably never hear about these CEOs doing anything like the captains of old, who would go down with their ships. The CEOs of the Big Three aren’t going to give up one plug nickle to help their own employees; they aren’t going to sell any non-necessary big-ticket items to help their cash flows. They are just going to fly to D.C. in private jets and grovel before Congress in their Armani suits, asking the American taxpayer to keep their companies alive. And, the worst part is that if the Government doesn’t give the Big Three a huge bailout, those CEOs are probably going to blame the demise of the U.S. auto industry on the big, bad Government.
Now, to be fair, not all of the blame rests on the CEOs; the unions also bear some of the blame because they are unwilling to take any pay cuts (here), which is one of the primary reasons why the U.S. auto industry can’t compete in the global economy. The union workers would rather be unemployed than grant any concessions to the auto companies. So, no doubt there is a real problem; however, I don’t think throwing tax dollars at the situation is the answer.