This week, as heads of Ford, GM, and Chrysler groveled at the feet of lawmakers, begging them for a bailout as they picked the last of the filet mignon out of their teeth, a different kind of whining was being heard outside.
People supporting foreign car makers stood outside the Capitol building, expressing support for their employers and makers of products that they prefer. “We don’t understand why they should get a bailout when we don’t,” said one man, “especially when some of our models are made by more American components than ‘American’ brands. We just don’t think they should play favorites.”
Their proposition was met with hostility in congress. “This is just another reason why we shouldn’t have let the foreign companies in in the first place,” one politician was recorded saying. “It’s just more proof that we should have left Germany, Japan, and Korea to the Nazis and the communists. We save the world and this is the thanks we get.”
When asked about why the automakers deserve a bailout when their businesses have been unprofitable for years, spokespeople for lawmakers sipped their coffee and gently explained to the protesters that the big 3 were too big to fail, since they employ 250,000 people directly and have “big” in their name. The group then showed data pointing out that 103,000 thousand Americans are directly employed by foreign car manufacturers, the cars are made by Americans in plants in America, and sold by Americans to Americans. They also pointed out that a significant portion of the big three’s research and development is done by foreign companies or in conjunction with foreign companies, and gave a few examples.
“They shouldn’t play favorites,” a protester shouted again. “This is just like when I asked for roller skates for Christmas,” he continued, obviously agitated, “and my parents bought some for Davey instead. This is totally just like that!”
His outcry for justice fell upon deaf ears inside Congress. An aid, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported overhearing “if they don’t calm down and go home, so help me god, we will turn this industry right around and go straight home and NO ONE will get a bailout!”
- written by Stephanie Shimko