ATTENTION BEDRAGGLED TAXPAYERS OF AMERICA! We may be about to bail out the wrong auto companies. The bailout funds for the 'Big Three' automakers can be guaranteed to do a few things. 1) It will perhaps forestall total collapse of the companies for awhile. 2) It will support and reward their bizarre business plan that is aimed at selling oversized trucks and monster engines to big boys who are perhaps a little insecure about their, well, boyness. 3) The handout will undoubtedly buy some very nice golden parachutes and bonuses for the top echelon of management. 4) And given the state of the American/global economy, we can predict that eventually these companies will rejoin the queues to get more government handouts. (This last point is virtually guaranteed to occur if current rumors are true that Haliburton/Brown and Root have been caught with their pipelines in the cookie jar one too many times and that even the usually sheepishly placid American people are finally getting pissed off!)
Remember the basic principle of charity: "Buy a man a fish and he can eat for one day. Teach that same man to fish and he can eat forever?" Of course that principle was coined when there were plenty of fish... and, for that matter, plenty of water as well. Times have changed. So maybe the metaphor is out of date, but the principle remains intact. Shall we throw the automakers a herring or two, or shall we 'teach them to fish?'
To do the latter will require an usual approach to bailouts: the Daemion Recapitalization Plan proposes to give whatever bailout money can be scammed from the overlords to those companies who already know how to 'fish' – i.e., to those companies who already understand how to build cars that the public wants to buy, and cars that are far more eco-friendly to the planet. Yes, instead of throwing good money at proven bad management, the Daemion Plan propose that the US taxpayers immediately 'bailout' Honda and Toyota. Yes, you heard me right: let's put our cash where it will do the most good.
This may not be as weird a suggestion as it may at first seem. Here are some of the benefits of this plan:
1) The 'lifeline' money could immediately benefit Honda-Toyota by reinforcing their presence in the US by requiring that it be spent to create new manufacturing centers on US soil (and no, I don't mean new sweatshops in Saipan), using American parts suppliers entirely - except perhaps for components critical to quality such as engines, tires, transmissions, door handles, etc.
2) The new plants could then hire all the GM/Chrysler/Ford employees when they are downsized as the Big Three commit to oversized small-weenie trucks and Hummers for their entire model range.
3) When the Big Three finally close, with a great and manly roar of their new Hexa-Brutal-24, Really-Big Truck Hummer-Banger engines, the CEO's and upper management could be hired by Toyota/Honda and shown 'how to fish' by businesses that have proven their ability to follow and lead markets worldwide.
4) In their secondary management and design roles, the US 'influence' could provide Honda-Toyota with whatever the US engineers and business structures really do well. Well, whatever it is. I'm sure they will shine forth if given just one more chance.
5) And we would all be driving vehicles that were at the cutting edge of fuel economy and engineering quality, which would provide optimal bridging technology until we can develop truly sustainable energy sources.
You know, it's high time we come to recognize that we just can't afford to be giving out hundreds of billions of dollars to just anyone anymore. After all, 'losing' those planeloads of billions of fresh, new American dollars in Iraq, throwing planeloads more after it, buying all those arms (and governments) and lately having to 'act at once to save the economy' by giving $700 billion to our friends at the top, let's face it, we are simply running out of scammable cash!
Thus the final point (6) in the Daemion Recapitalization Plan is absolutely critical to its success. If we bail out these already globally successful Japanese automakers (who don't really need to be bailed out... either) it is essential to the success of this investment plan that all of the 'profits' from these newly created factories be returned to the American economy. Yes, all of it: the CEO's of Toyota and Honda probably don't need the hundreds of millions of dollars a year that our own 3-martini-lunch-boys need and considering all that we have done for them, they just might need to suck it up and do something for the good of the planet. And because greater economic 'presence' in America seems to be closely related to the acquisition of enormous wealth and political power, they really have nothing to lose. Since we do not manufacture anything in America anymore, all profits generated by my plan can be used to supply consumer electronics to the American consumer market at even lower prices. Think of it, folks: New stuff! Electronics, motorcycles, air conditioners, tractors, snowmobiles, waveriders, etc.
Thus, instead of growing infrastructure per se, the surge in the US economy that will come from this new joint enterprise will ultimately help to further anesthetize the American public by replacing their football-playing, new-kitchen, monster Hummer dreams with other hands-on distractions – new toys to further insulate them from the growing global economic meltdown around them. This should delay our need to get off out butts, shut off the widescreen sports and get on with solving the global economic, health and climate crises by at least another decade or so.
I don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a lot better proposal than greasing the wheels of the Big Three as they head off to into the sunset, carving big-wheel donuts in the mud of all the small towns in America. If you agree, write your congressional representatives at once and demand your fair share of "NEW STUFF!" by urging them to support the Daemion Recapitalization Plan.