Other Contributors

About Us

The contributors to the Consumer Law & Policy blog are lawyers and law professors who practice, teach, or write about consumer law and policy. The blog is hosted by Public Citizen Litigation Group, but the views expressed here are solely those of the individual contributors (and don't necessarily reflect the views of institutions with which they are affiliated). To view the blog's policies, please click here.

« Credit Cards -- Less Purchasing Power | Main | Tire Pressure Monitors Save Lives »

Monday, November 17, 2008



Hi Friends,

What best of all, Dollar or Euro? This question worry many peoples.
But only you make your choice! Remember - your love and your personal intelligence make you rich. :)


Ehren Bragg

I must respectfully disagree with your viewpoint. I've spent the last thirteen years working in the automotive industry - mostly for luxury import manufacturers, one of which was owned by a Big Three American manufacturer.

The Big Three have suffered a dramatic loss of market share in the U.S. while their share of overseas markets has seen dramatic increases, particularly in the Russian and Chinese markets. Their products are much more competitive than they've been in decades. Ford Motor Company now has some of the best reliability ratings in the industry.

Where they've suffered the most has been in the cost of manufacturing their vehicles. The United Auto Workers Union has handicapped the Big Three by adding as much as $2,000 per car manufactured in healthcare and pension expenses. This is an affliction that is not shared by foreign rivals who manufacture their vehicles in the US because their newer factories are largely un-unionized. The argument could be made that the Big Three should have been more heavy-handed in negotiations with the UAW in the recent past, but hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

The Big Three have been cataclysmically affected by the events of the last year, including the downturn in the economy and astronomical fuel prices - much more so than their foreign rivals. This is due to the fact that they relied upon highly-profitable light trucks and SUV's for most of their income. They were making what people wanted right up until people didn't want them anymore. Could they have foreseen the coming disaster? I would argue no - I don't think anyone could have foreseen the gas price bubble. However, I would argue that they should have known better than to put all their eggs in one basket. Greed, after all, is not good.

The risk of a failure by one or more of the Big Three is very real and very, very dangerous. One thing that is not considered is the Big Three's role in our country's defense. Their gi-normous factories have produced airplanes and tanks that helped us win WWI and WWII. If called again, they would help us do the same - but that may not be an option, if they become foreign-owned.

We must think not only of the automakers' employees, but also of those of their countless suppliers and dealers around the country. Big Three supplier have already been decimated by the economy’s downturn and even one of the Big Three falling would deal many a final and fatal blow. There are suppliers headquartered in every state of the union and they employ hundreds of thousands of workers.

Yet another thing to consider is logistics. The parts made by these suppliers have to be transported to Big Three factories. The locomotive and trucking industries and other logistics providers would also receive potentially unrecoverable damage from the fall of the Big Three.

Finally, we must remember that each of the Big Three has dealerships in almost every COUNTY in every STATE of our union. A collapse of any of the brands they sell would bring a corresponding loss of jobs on the retailing side of the business.

Can institutions become to big to fail? Without question. The Big Three would certainly be included in that category, in my humble opinion. Should money be given with NO pre-conditions or qualifiers - NEVER. But we must remember that the people in the driver's seat of these companies know far better than our Congressmen or Treasury Dept Employees how to run their business…and so I would argue that balance is crucial. The Big Three have been wildly unsuccessful and arrogant in the past, yes, but they've finally "found Jesus" and are finally getting it together. Let them succeed and let the American people share in the profits when they do - from both domestic and foreign sales. But please remember that we can't afford to let them fail.

Ehren Bragg



Tire pressure monitors will be standard equipment, as federal regulations now require them. See federal motor vehicle safety standard # 138. See


The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to CL&P

RSS/Atom Feed

To receive a daily email of Consumer Law & Policy content, enter your email address here:

Search CL&P Blog

Recent Posts

December 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31