Geee Posted February 19, 2012 Share Posted February 19, 2012 UK Guardian: In Detroit, a job is everything. The city, once an engine of American economic might and now a byword for industrial decline, has suffered more than most during the Great Recession. So when Carol McRary, 51, got a position two years ago as a janitor for car giant Chrysler, it meant the end of several years of desperate unemployment and allowed her to keep paying her mortgage. But Chrysler itself – along with huge swaths of the rest of Detroit's car industry – owes much of its current existence to a massive government bailout in the depths of the economic crisis. So when McRary hears of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's opposition to that bailout she gets angry. "He needs to rethink that. It was a blessing. It saved me. So many people would not have a job without it." Now, with Michigan emerging as the next vital must-win state in the GOP presidential race, Romney is struggling under his anti-bailout stance. He summed up his views in a now notorious New York Times article he wrote in 2008 under the headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt". That piece opened with the sentence: "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout … you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." Fortunately for Michigan, but unfortunately for Romney's political triangulating, the auto bailout is now widely considered a triumph. Some experts believe it could have saved as many as 1.5 million jobs. It has also allowed the American car industry to roar back to life. Just this week, GM posted record profits, paid hefty bonuses to its factory workers and edged out Toyota to once again become the biggest automaker in the world. But Romney is holding his ground. This week he published another editorial, this time in the Detroit News, in which he stood by his opposition to major government intervention in the private economy and lambasted President Obama's role in the bailout. At an appearance in Grand Rapids, Michigan's second biggest city, Romney claimed that the auto industry bailout had in fact granted far too much influence to the giant UAW union, one of the few remaining genuinely powerful labour groups in the US. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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