Opposition to a Domestic Automaker Bailout sign now

We, the undersigned, oppose any type of bailout or loan program for domestic automakers. Their current economic distress has been part of a long-term and predictable decline based upon poor management, poor products, poor business structure, poor investment choices, and poor labor contracts.

Rather than reinvest the billions these companies made during the SUV boom, they chose to acquire other brands and unrelated businesses in faulty expansion strategies. Rather than produce groundbreaking, high quality products, they chose to make a quick buck on SUVs and pickup trucks. Rather than operate in a lean, efficient manner like their competitors, they have chosen to not make the tough choices in employment and capital expenditures and instead chose to "manage the decline". In place of making their employees face the reality of a global marketplace, they chose to pay unsustainable wages that are higher than most Americans' wages and make unsustainable job guarantees.

All the while, they have counted on the government to judge they are too big to fail and instead bail them out.

America is not to be a corporatist society. We are to be one where businesses succeed and fail on their own merits. Where workers with completely unreasonable labor contracts must be forced to face the reality of a global marketplace. In a country where the majority of car owners have chosen to purchase foreign brands in an open and competitive marketplace, why should those same owners have their money co-opted via taxes to support failing domestic car companies?

These domestic automakers have alternatives that don't require a government bailout - chief among them is bankruptcy reorganization. Bankruptcy reorganization will protect the companies, allow them to rightsize their business, and rewrite their outdated labor contracts. Most importantly, it will allow the market, and not re-distributive government policy, to determine which companies are successful and which or not. Supplying a bailout will not encourage the leadership and workforce of these companies to honestly evaluate their completely unsustainable business practices. A market-based option like bankruptcy will.

Finally, we ask that citizens and corporations be equal in the eyes of the law. Individual citizens don't get a bailout when they can't pay their bills - they get debt restructured through negotiation with creditors or bankruptcy reorganization. Domestic automakers should be limited to the same options.

We, the undersigned, call on Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid, President Bush, President-Elect Obama, and each House and Senate member to oppose any domestic automaker bailout. We ask that you let the marketplace determine which companies are successful and which are not. We ask that you not reward failed companies for their poor decisions.

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Claudette AyalaBy:
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