Here’s my plan for the Big Three Bailout (I’m serious, by the way. Obviously I have no clout and no contacts and no way to promote my plan, but that’s not stopping me from proposing it.)
So far all the talk has been about how much money should we-the-taxpayers ought to give the Big Three and under what conditions. I think that’s the wrong approach (obviously, or I wouldn’t be wasting my time and yours outlining my alternative.
Here’s my plan: First, let the companies fail.
Second, hire the Car Czar -- but make sure it’s someone from OUTSIDE the auto industry. My vote is for someone at Google, because, love ‘em or hate ‘em, those Google folks are smart, creative, and innovative. They invented the phrase “think outside the box.” (Not literally, but you get the idea.)
Third, put most of the money that would have gone to the companies into a special unemployment fund for all the people who will lose their jobs because the Big Three have shut down.
Fourth: use part of the money to have the Car Czar and his/her staff fund and organize “wisdom-and-planning groups,” which will consist of those laid-off auto industry employees: line workers, engineers, managers, designers, foremen and so on. Collectively, those people represent years of car-making wisdom. They’ve been on the front lines. They know what works and what doesn’t. Let them talk about and draw up plans for new, 21st-century automakers.
As plans solidify, the Car Czar will then begin re-hiring those same former auto-industry employees to help turn the plans into nuts, bolts, machine tools, and new cars.
Do I sound crazy? Maybe. But no crazier than the idea of giving the Big Three Dumbasses millions of dollars when they haven’t a clue what to do with it and will, mostly likely, come back in six months asking for more.