US Motor Industry wants a hand out too

The US Motor industry want a piece of that financial aid the US government seems to be handing out to irresponsible bankers at the moment. The motor industry have already been given $25 billion to develop gas-not-guzzlers, but a cleaner environment isn’t really their focus at the moment. They’d rather use it to prevent bankruptcy.

But Congress, or the Senate, or whoever it is who makes the decisions in that loopy superpower country, isn’t really buying in to the story.

The day’s hearings, before the House Financial Services Committee, got off to a rousing start when panel chairperson Barney Frank asked how the government could justify a bailout for banks and insurers, but not the automakers.

“Frankly, there seems to me to be an inherent cultural bias,” Frank said. “Aid to blue-collar employees is being judged by a standard different than white-collar employees.”

But is the aid the motor industry asking for really going to help the blue-collar workers on the shop floor?

Gary Ackerman, Democrat from New York, noted the irony of the CEOs flying on private jets and “getting off with tin cups in their hands”.

“Couldn’t you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled … to get here?” he asked. “It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in a high hat and tuxedo.”

The executives on Wednesday’s panel — GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli — all flew to the hearings on private jets.

The Onion couldn’t make this stuff up!

All excerpts from the Mail & Guardian

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