Friday, November 21, 2008

Tone Deaf

So, did you see the Nightly News yesterday? It seems that the "Big Three Automakers" -- Moe, Larry and Curly -- went to Washington, D.C. in private corporate jets (they couldn't even "jet pool!"), to tell Congress that they are broke, and need billions of taxpayer dollars to guarantee that they won't go belly-up.

Talk about tone deaf.

Don't these people know that appearances DO matter? The American Public is feeling the heat from one of the worst economic periods in our history. Everyone is concerned. 401(k) accounts and college savings plan values have been sliced in half. People are justifiably nervous about the future.

So what do the "Big Three" do?

“It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high-hat and tuxedo,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY).

Here's a note to General Chrysford: We get it. We understand that if you guys go out of business, it will have untold repercussions on the rest of the economy. And while we'll not part with our money cheerfully, we will, in the end, part with it because it's far better than the alternative.

But have a little humility. Come back in a couple of weeks with a PLAN. We want to see a clear path forward that shows us that you "get it," and that you can compete with Toyota. And, for goodness sake, don't come back in three individual private jets. Is it too much to ask that you fly coach for once?

On a side note: We're told over and over again about the millions of people who will be out of work if you guys bite the big one. And usually, we're told that over video B-roll of cars rolling through ROBOTIC ASSEMBLY LINES. Once again, keep in mind that appearances DO matter. You may be proud of your robot assemblers, but nobody cares if THEY are put out of work!

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