Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · What would Mr. Scrooge...
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What would Mr. Scrooge think?

Robert Downes - December 15th, 2008
What does Mr. Scrooge think about the Big 3 auto bailout?
Meaning, the Republican Scrooges in the Senate who killed the rescue of the auto industry last week, at a time when the recession is expected to last for years...
Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Present, shall we?

Mr. Scrooge: “Bah, humbug! I’ll tell you what I think of these short-sighted, fat-cat dinosaurs from Detroit, dragging 400,000 GM retirees in their wake, like the chains of Jacob Marley... (Rattle, rattle) You UAW workers never voted for me in the first place, and it’s the banks I care about! The banks, the banks! Where’s my change purse? Ah, here, my dears -- a $700 billion contribution to you good bankers. Spend it as you will! No strings attached -- it’s Christmas, after all! Bless you, my boys.
“But for you miserable automakers and your blue collar ilk, only a lump of coal, and not a penny in my purse for you!”

Bob Cratchit: “But Mr. Scrooge, if the Big 3 go under, it will mean three million people out of work! And 3,000 auto parts suppliers will likely go under as well, with millions more jobs lost.”

Mr. Scrooge: “Nonsense, my boy -- they’ll simply go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and reorganize the companies. They’ll be able to toss those retirement benefits on the rubbish heap.
“Did you know that $1,600 of the sale of every GM vehicle goes to pay for retiree health-care benefits alone? Why, GM has 400,000 retirees to support, and Toyota has only 700. Why should I part with a single penny from my purse to support such a reckless scheme?”

Ghost of Marley: “Look Scrooge, can a poor ghost interject here? Recall that if GM, Chrysler and Ford go bankrupt, their suppliers will be paid back only pennies on the dollar for all they are owed.
“Suppose that there are auto parts suppliers in a benighted place, like -- say, Northern Michigan -- and they receive only 10 cents on the dollar for what GM owes them. How will they afford to pay their employees? How will they stay in business?”

Scrooge: “Bah, humbug! The only solution, in my view, is to let the Big 3 fail and get bought up by Toyota or Hyundai. They‘ll start with a clean slate, with Michigan begging them to come in with wage cuts and tax breaks; and with no benefits or health care bills to pay, no pensions and ‘legacy’ costs.”
(A smile dawns on Mr. Scrooge‘s face at the very thought of it.)

Tiny Tim: “But, please, Mr. Scrooge -- how will the people who are out of work pay their bills? How will they live?”

Mr. Scrooge: “They can live in their cars for starters -- how‘s that for an ‘auto bailout‘? And they can do what every person in need does these days and borrow on their credit cards. At 30 percent interest, it will be good for the banks!”

Ghost of Marley: “Gee, I‘d forgotten that Congress allowed the banks to raise interest rates on credit cards to insane, usurious levels a few years ago... Back then there was a limit of 19 percent on credit card interest, but Republicans and Democrats alike voted to allow interest rates to go sky-high. What a brilliant solution, Mr. Scrooge: we‘ll all simply borrow more on our credit cards and the 30 percent interest will do wonders for the banks!”

Bob Cratchit: “But Mr. Scrooge, think of the personal bankruptcies! People can’t afford 30 percent interest on their credit cards. They won’t be able to pay for their mortgages... They won‘t be able to buy new cars! Even the banks will suffer...”

Mr. Scrooge: “Stuff it, Cratchit, or I‘ll cut off your kid‘s Medicaid benefits.”

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: “Lord, Mr. Scrooge, you really need to take a trip to the future to see what you‘ve done. You’re nasty, Mr. Scrooge -- you really need to smell the coffee...”

Mr. Scrooge: “Bah, humbug! And Marley, stop rattling those chains!”

Ghost of Marley: “That‘s not me, Mr. Scrooge. That‘s the sound of the stock market crashing -- again...”

Tiny Tim: “God help us, every one!“



 
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