I searched and looked around before I posted this. I honestly had no idea their had been a thread on this topic before I posted this.
I was raised in and near Flint Michigan, which was dependent on GM for most of it's economy either directly or indirectly been a result of GM's business. (I moved away from the Flint ghetto and now reside in Kentucky) - The loss of middle class both skilled and unskilled jobs have destroyed Flint Michigan, and has made Michigan one of the highest amount of unemployment on the books. Yes competition really killed them and forced many many changes. I'm not saying, at all, that poor quality was not the major reason for the downward spiral that started back in the 1970's for the American "Big Three".
I have an uncle that is a GM retiree after 30 years. My father is in his 70s and is also a GM retiree. After what GM pulled on the retirees and employees, they lost a lot of what they had worked for and were promised over working 30-40 years, but the UAW leaders negotiated the best deal they could and after 60 days GM came out of Bankruptcy in 2009. There are many rumors of major changes with this single company, it's obvious they are trying much harder and they do have some very good engineers, but we all know they still have a ways to go.
I feel I owe it to my Country to TRY to buy American products. I feel a major reason our economy is in the worse shape since the great depression has to do with both corporate and consumer greed, nobody cares any more where anything is made. I can recall times many years ago when people would look to see what country made a product before buying it, I no longer see this except for my family and I. But I do understand the need for value, and especially high quality products.
To Da Point: It's my understanding that the Cash for Clunker's program has been a big hit with consumers, and as a result we have many cars/trucks that are being pulled off the road that had rather poor gas mileage with many new cars/trucks being placed on the roads with better fuel economy. I like to think it is a win win for us. But I realize not all agree, and for many 4x4 truck owners, their trucks are worth far far more than $4,500 cap, so they are not in the deals. But many others have cars/trucks that are worth less than the max $3,500 cars, $4,500 trucks and have bought news ones this year because of their increased trade-in value. I only hope these new purchases are sold on solid credit (or cash) and people are not getting into cars that they will have to be "repoed" latter on.
Good News: My sources in Flint Michigan have told me GM and other car companies are calling back to work many laid off and idled workers as a direct result of cash for clunkers. I also understand the imports have been helped as well. As a result, for the time being, we seem to have more automotive workers working, and that's good for our economy if it lasts. My fear is that the money for cash for clunkers will dry up soon- AGAIN, and it will only be a temporary bubble in a bad recession. It may help the environment a tiny bit, but I think most minds are on the economy, jobs, and being able to afford a new cars/trucks. Some, like me, appreciated high gas mileage.
So, is this a red flag issue? Many I talk too seem to like the program. But what about the cost to the taxpayer? Are we stimulating the economy and helping our environment, or is this just another corporate bailout of sorts (this case being all car/truck companies involved in USA)
I can confirm first hand that there are right now many thousands of laid off and idled workers being called back to GM plants. Michigan has been hit likely the hardest by this recession than any other state. I like to think if Michigan starts to turn around then the rest of the country might follow.
I do NOT mean to get into politics. Please, lets keep this related to only the Cash for Clunkers program and if we think it's a good or bad idea... ' kay?