I am a bit behind commenting on this subject, but this bailout of the Big Three is just idiotic. Personally I am rather upset at much of the bailout in general, but this is not a systemic problem, it is unique to the incompetence of the industry. Here is Herr Pat's spin:
In a good year, like 2005, Americans buy more than 17 million new cars, and West Europeans as many. Tens of millions in Eastern Europe, Russia, China, India and Southeast Asia are now moving into the middle class each year. These folks will all need or want one or two family cars. If we let the U.S. auto industry die, that immense and burgeoning market will be lost forever to America, and ceded to Asia.
"Who cares?" comes the free-traders' reply. Japanese and Koreans are setting up factories here. They can pick up the slack.
But that means Americans will work for and depend on foreign companies for a necessity of our national life as vital as the imported oil and gas on which our cars and trucks operate. All the profits of the mighty automobile industry in America will be sent abroad.
Hey genius, the profits go to the shareholders. Based on their profitability, I am sure more profit has gone to Americans who hold Honda stock than GM lately. In fact the Big 3 have been one of the biggest destroyers of wealth in the history of the world.