I’m torn, folks. Really I am.
On the one hand, the Big Three ought to go down in flames. Mismanagement to the hilt. You know this. But if they declare bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands would be put out of work. And not just at the plants, but lots of other suppliers too, as well as mom-and-pop shops around the plants. And not just here, but in Big Three plants worldwide. Meanwhile, there may be honest-to-God bread lines in Michigan this winter. Total meltdown, in other words. The economy has been teetering on the brink of complete and utter disaster, and this may give it the last nudge over the edge.
And now we have an impending bailout bill. If I had to choose right freaking now: put all the regulation and oversight on the Big Three as is humanly possible and eject the current bigwigs, but go ahead and pass the damned bailout. It might buy us some time, and the economy might be stronger next year so that a failure of one of the Big Three might not sting us poor innocent saps as much. Hell: they might even survive, get smart and, longshot of longshots, come back. (Another thought: the Big Three can be bought fairly cheap at this point by some other interested parties — like Japanese auto makers. If they can swing it, they might as well pull the trigger on a takeover.)
So: what’s the endgame here? Is there an option that (oy vey) screws us less than Ford closing its doors?