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December 3rd, 2008
09:47 PM ET

Drive off the lot with a new car company today?

Auto industry executives testify November 19 before Congress.
Auto industry executives testify November 19 before Congress.

Michael Moore
The Daily Beast

I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement. It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, half of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won't break down:

My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was that a sweet ride!

When it would start.

Read more...


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Michael Moore
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. harold coleman

    can someone tell me how much GM is worth

    December 4, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  2. rod

    The CEOs heard from their buddys, the bankers, and Paulson and Son that Washington was giving out money so, they thought they'd fly into town and get some, too. The free markets aren't so free, but free marketeers think the money is. We've been sold out, but we don't have to buy it.
    Mike, your on the mark once again. Making highly placed people uneasy with the truth. Good job and keep it up. Unfortunately, they don't shame and making changes to large institutions is like trying to push an elephant up a flight of stairs. The only way they'll change, is if they think they thought of it and if there's lots of money in it for them. Your plan works. I wonder what the next mine these globe trotting robbers will move on to, once they have completely tapped the Great American mines?

    December 4, 2008 at 9:20 am |
  3. James Carter

    The auto industry has kept the consumer in the dark for many years. They produce cars that looks a little different or a little better than the previous year, and charge thousand of dollars more. The performance of the vehicle remains the same year in and year out. Quality of the vehicle is thrown out the window. Most vehicle are in junkyard before they are paid for. The buyers are getting less for their bucks and paying more. Now they are asking the tax payers to bail them out so they can continue to do the same thing to us. I'll bet that they won't drive back to Detroit in that hybrid.

    December 4, 2008 at 7:42 am |
  4. earle,florida

    Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli was,"one of three" protege's of GE's(stalwart "Iconic"leadership) Jack Welsh. Nardelli unfortunately has been a complete business failure since Welch's departure from GE. Mr. Welsh chose (one of the three) Jeffery Emmelt, as GE's (who by the way seems to following in Nardelli's footsteps,nice) new CEO. Nardelli was offered the CEO job at Home Depot for six (2001-06) years+,and basically ran the company into the ground! He was fired! But get this, given a severance package worth," $210 Million Dollars"! Now,to reward such leadership Chrysler signs him up as their new CEO ,but his contract is,"Not" privy to the public (scrutiny) ,and to add insult to injury the poor guy was forced to sign on for a Dollar/Year Salary,what a wonderful man? It's time to bankrupt this bungling company that reward mediocracy.....

    December 4, 2008 at 6:41 am |
  5. Mercedes

    I too drive a Chrysler (or shall I say own one) and it is the worst piece of junk I have ever owned. Of course it is non-drivable and it cost too much but at the time I thought it would be a great investment...... NOT!!!! They wonder why they are in trouble.... BECAUSE THEY MAKE CRAP!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:41 am |
  6. Pamela J. McConnell

    Bail outs comming from all directions. Going to thoes who have already showed they can't handel the money they have already been given. Q: Did Chrysler ever pay their last loan back? Also why should we help thoes who cut their own throths several years ago by killing the electric car. Don't even get me started on the stupidity of that, and why I think they did it. Why not bail out the avrage taxpayer? Paying all their bills off? By doing that wouldn't the banks get paied back for all the defulted home loans, and people wouldn't be loseing there homes, and the credit card companys would benifit also. But the ones who would benifit the most would be the ones, who's money it is in the first place. Us the american taxpayer. The one who is always the last one on the todem pole, and always the ones who suffer. Just this morning I got a call from a bill collector from A Bank. I told him not to worry. that I was just waitting for my bail out, and would be able to pay them off as soon as I got it. He didn't seem impressed.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  7. tracy

    Why should they use taxpayers money to bailout car companies that pay outragous union salaries to build cars that i a blue collar worker can not afford to buy. I took a cut in pay it help my company so it would not close, as did all my co-workers. My company is open and we are trying to keep it that way. Why should my tax dollar go to keep a company open that the lowest paid union worker gets paid double if not more than my salary. If I can take a cut in pay to help keep my factory to stay open and in production why can’t they.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  8. Fenton Canada

    I would like to hear ordinary Americans opinions about the wages of the United Auto Workers . I think it's somewhere around $73 an hour
    what about the Americans who are working hard at McDonald's or Starbucks for $8-$10 an hour or minimum wage whatever it is

    December 4, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  9. Tim Samuel

    I would like to ask why is nobody blaming the oil industry for the problems with the auto industry. I believe if it wasn't for them raising the prices of oil we wouldn't be in this trouble. Why nobody is blaming them. I ask how could anyone afford to keep buying cars when the gas prices was 4 dollars a gallon. I just don't understand why they are not part of the blame.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:11 am |
  10. Greg Bollinger

    Anderson why should we continue to pay the autoworkers high wages due to their union contracts while the typical US workforce cant find jobs for the fraction of the wages they are collecting.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  11. Peter Gibson

    I own a used car dealership. I have worked in new and used dealerships and have ran my own for the past 10 years. America has to see and realize that there are more CARS in America than people! All dealerships on every other street corner are packed and overpacked! Franchize and dealer auctions around the country are loaded full of so many dealer and late model, low mileaged program cars that they don't know what to do with them! It's so obvious that these auto makers need to take a break! People are not buying brand new cars right now! Please take a year off to restructure and reorganize! The overpaide unions and greedy CEO's and managment have broke these companies and made them unprofitable. As a hard working, tax paying citizen PLEASE don't give these guys millions of dollars to just sit around and wait for new orders of the same cars! I know without a doubt that they will only be back for more money 6 months from now. Money that we don't even have!!! It is crazy and it has to stop! NO BAILOUT!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  12. Jim,

    I drive a 1974 Chevy Pick up that I bought used for $1.00 Runs great & if
    it breaks down I can work on it myself without having to take it into the dealer who now days has to be a computer expert to fix the thying & charges a fortune to do it- Pass this on to the C.E.O.'s of the big 3
    GO BACK TO BUILDING SOMETHING AFFORDABLE & RELIABLE
    until then Hell will freeze over before I ever buy a new car.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  13. Marsha

    I had a travel agency when 9/11 happened – the airline industry was hit hard. Airlines were going chapter 11, cruise lines were closeing along with many tour company. The only company's that were bailed out was the airlines. The poor travel agencies were left out in the cold fending for themselves – no one came along and bailed us out. GM needs to take an inventory of themselves and regroup. No bail out for them! Marsha in California

    December 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm |
  14. Vicki in Vermont

    You've got to be kidding me! Know one knows where the bailout money went? How can these executives sleep at night knowing their over the top life style is being funded off the blood and sweat of the middle-class; the ones who show up everyday for low paying jobs and struggle to stay afloat! I bet if you put the IRS on the trail of the money, they would find it!!!!

    December 3, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  15. Kathy Lee

    I feel the same way about trusting the American automobile companies. I don't. I haven't seen their proposals, but I understand it's a loan for $35B, Do we want GM to be bankrupt? No. I would say Chapter 11 would be okay. Then they could redo their problem contracts and reorganize in a way that would be approved of by American taxpayers, their labor force, and those who would buy their cars. We cannot keep doing the same old things and expect different results. It's time for the auto industry to get real like the airline industry. The airline industry also took all the employees' retirement funds when they went bankrupt. That's not right.

    December 3, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  16. Michael Vardaman, Las Vegas,Nv.

    Good Evening! Why don't the big 3 file for reorganization like the Airlines? They give the impression to save us now or we are closing the doors. Am I missing something here?
    Kindest regards!

    December 3, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  17. Andrew Naugler

    Are we a capitalist country? Last time i checked we claimed to be. Let the free market economy work, let these businesses fail, it's not as though the machines will disappear, they will still be there for the new management who takes over and runs the business properly. These are poorly run companies who overpay their employee's and are now feeling the heat of such faults.

    December 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  18. Thomas V Justice

    Do the math, production is out pacing demand, give the big three $34B to build more cars in a market that is already saturated? This is the ideology of big three management and the UAW that has brought them to where they are today. The UAW, which by the way is the employees of these companies, have for years demanded pay outside of what was reasonable to maintain profit. They are now wanting the taxpayers to fund more of their excess as well as that of their failed management. Tthe UAW is refusing any additional pay cuts and the cheap consessions the CEOs of these companies are offering is a joke

    December 3, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  19. berinda patzsch

    why are we wasting our time and money on loser companies...If every taxpayer had received 1 million tax free(its our money), we would be out there buying cars, new homes paying our credit cards etc.
    the last stimulus package was a joke..do something big and smart

    December 3, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  20. Bob Payne

    I would like to know why nobody has asked why the big 3 why they don't bring the price of cars down so we can afford them and maby they could sell more and not need us to bail them out . It will be a band ade a big waist of money need price of cars to come down
    Thank you Bob

    December 3, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  21. John Ortiz

    The overwhelming majority of comments on CNN suggests that the US auto industry sells products that Americans and the world don't want. Clearly, the data says that competition has eroded the US auto industries market share but, the US auto industry does produce products consumers want. I own a Chevrolet C6 Corvette. For $50,000 this vehicle has compared favorably to the Porsche 911 which cost $100,000. The US auto industry needs help and it's management and boards need to be replaced, but everyone needs to realize that this industry needs to be saved not just because of the impact failure will have on the economy, but also because they actually do produce some very innovative products which is the fabric of the US. If we do not bail out our auto industry, the talent which is producing some of the best autos in the world will be working for China or Japan. That would be a turning point for the United States.

    December 3, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  22. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    I don't make a lot of money. But, I bought a 7 year old BMW for less than $15,000. This car is now 10 years old, requires very little maintenance and has odometer reading of 110,000 miles. It is not uncommon for this make of car to last 300,000 miles and still have a resale value. Do you think the Big Three can make the same claim regarding their products?

    I will buy another automobile when this one is beyond repair. That vehicle will be electric or alternative fuel powered.

    Can the Big Three produce that automobile with a shot in the arm bailout? I doubt it.

    December 3, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  23. Sandra from Arkansas

    I am in the market for a new car. I test drove several a few weeks ago and finally decided on a GM Yukon Denali. At this point the only way I would buy a GM vehicle is if they were being taken over by Toyota and the current GM President is ousted. I don't think a "bridge loan" will help.

    December 3, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  24. Chuck Easton

    Just say no to the bail out. Maybe the execs are getting $1.00/ year in salary, what will they get in perks & bonus's.

    December 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm |