Should the government rescue US automakers?
In regard to the Nov. 3 article, "Are automakers also too big to fail?": In these times of economic stress, creative approaches are needed to solve our problems. Why not try a plan similar to that used for Bear Stearns to help the Big Three automakers?
Instead of offering a rescue plan that would leave the existing management in control, the federal government could provide loans or other incentives to other financially successful automakers to take over struggling American automakers.
Let's say GM was taken over by Honda and Toyota. GM could then be divided up between these successful automakers, which could retool the failing companies while maintaining a parts-and-repair line to service existing GM vehicles during the phaseout period. This would help keep dealerships and parts manufacturers from going under, while simultaneously helping to maintain consumer confidence.
The government wouldn't be managing GM, or holding preferred stock in GM, but successful existing corporate management teams would be taking over various parts of GM, completely reorganizing the corporate structure and bringing them back to profitability and repaying the loan. Stockholders wouldn't lose their stock, as they did with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their current stock would be converted to stock in the takeover corporations.
For two decades, the Big Three American automakers have been making a fortune building and selling gas-guzzling SUVs, while Toyota and Honda were developing energy-efficient cars. They were able to profit so mightily because their SUVs were exempted from the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Now they want a bailout? I say, "No." Let these companies wither or get bought by companies who know how to make good and useful cars for the 21st century.
Interfaith dialogue important for peace
Regarding the Nov. 13 Opinion piece, "The Saudi King's vision for interfaith dialogue": I find King Abdullah's vision for interfaith dialogue hopeful and exciting. All the world's major religions have a peacemaking component that is central to their philosophies. Much good would come if the leading peacemakers from the different faiths engaged in constructive dialogue.
It is the religious fundamentalists from each faith who spread the extremism that so divides humankind. I hope King Abdullah's positive vision is realized. Interfaith leaders of goodwill have the awesome responsibility of promoting peace.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
No nuclear waste solution
Regarding the Nov. 12 Opinion piece, "The US nuclear waste issue – solved": Increasing quantities of toxic nuclear waste without a long-term disposal plan is wrong. Future generations should not have to take care of the mess we leave from satisfying our present energy needs. The "solution" of four temporary transfer facilities is no solution unless there is somewhere to transfer the waste to. Meanwhile, the communities that will house this waste will have to find comfort in their big payoffs of federal tax dollars.
I can just hear future generations saying, "Gee, we're glad they recycled their crayons to reduce their carbon footprint, but we wish they hadn't increased their nuclear footprint by leaving all this radioactive waste!"
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