SEATTLE, Washington - General Motors has released a video documenting why we should be writing our lawmakers and demanding that they fork over a $25 billion bailout (or as the video calls it, a "loan") to the auto industry.
There's a lot of hot air here, but the main bone in my throat is that most of the video assumes a complete "collapse" of the domestic auto industry - that it completely ceases operations. They did everything but show a picture of auto workers at a plant and then ghost out the workers, leaving an empty factory.
Have they never heard of bankruptcy? Do they think we've never heard of bankruptcy? You declare bankruptcy, which shields you from creditors for a time while you do what you have to do - sell yourself off for parts, restructure your debt, resize, whatever. Often, businesses keep operating during bankruptcy, and this would certainly happen in the case of the big automakers.
But that is insufficiently apocalyptic.
One of the first and most powerful criticisms during the original "bailout" debates for the financial sector was that it would cause many other industries to show up in Washington, hat in hand. Now everyone from Ford Motor Company to the mayor of Phoenix is showing up for some cash.