The US auto industry needs help. If we sit back and do nothing, thousands of workers could lose their jobs. It is said that over 10% of the US work force is connected to the auto industry.
So here is my solution. Let's start with the 25 Billion issue. Face it Detroit, we're not just going to give it to you. Philosophically, we are against straight handouts to save failing businesses. But here is what we can do.
We should give the poorest 5 million US taxpaying families a car voucher for $20,000.00. That's right. Just give the money to the taxpayers. So they can buy a new car. But only a car.
Here is how it'll work. The voucher must be used to purchase a new American made car from either Ford, GM, Chrysler or their affiliates.
To encourage fuel conservation the car must get at least 30 MPG based on EPA estimates.
Obviously there would have to be some other bits attached - only tax paying families so it wouldn't be the poorest folk, maybe it should have some restriction on re-sale but maybe not, anything else? - which would give some lawyers income for a month or two but the bottom line is that it would get those companies working, contribute to the larger economy, it encourages competition as the three companies compete for the business, it doesn't hurt the companies that are doing better as those customers aren't in the market for a new car anyway, it helps the environment as it would push some of the big older gas guzzlers and polluters off the road, and wouldn't be the same as just flushing the money down a toilet as seems to have happened with the bank bailout. If the auto-makers needed to retool a few plants to increase production of the smaller cars rather than SUV's, they would have the solid promise of a chunk of income coming their way as encouragement to the lenders.
I think it is a great idea that deserves wider discussion, consideration, and bettering up. What do you think?