While the Republicans railed against it, the Obama bailout of GM and Chrysler has been worth it, and it may not end up costing as much as many people feared. Steve Rattner’s book seems to support that thesis, in spite of its lukewarm review by the NYT.
American manufacturing is disappearing fast enough without have most of the automotive industry go down in one fell swoop. Unemployment would be much worse with the automotive companies gone. The two bailed out would probably have taken down most of their parts suppliers, and the loss of those suppliers might have taken down Ford, which was financially strong enough to forgo a bailout. You think unemployment is bad now? What would it have been if the big 3 and all their suppliers had disappeared? We were constantly reminded that we had Honda and Toyota plants scattered around Southern parts of the country that resisted unions, but we still would have had a lot of unemployed people in the Midwest. The Republicans say we should have bitten the bullet and taken the hit, but even now they complain loudly about high rate of unemployment. You can’t have it both ways. Obama did the right thing. If you are going to let the car companies go down, do it when the economy is booming and there are new jobs available.