An open letter to the Prime Minister of Australia
Hon Kevin Rudd MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister
I read with interest today your Government’s $3.4 billion proposal to bail out the Australian car industry. No doubt your Government is concerned about the welfare of the unionized employees at these plants, and in related parts industries.
While some may argue that the payment is corporate welfare, your decision follows the billions spent previously by the Howard Government, and before that under Keating and Hawke on the industry as well, so it certainly is not without precedent.
However, my concern as a taxpayer extends to the Government handing over money to these companies for nothing in return. Mitsubishi received significant contributions from both State and Federal Governments, and yet still closed their Australian manufacturing plant, and I take from the current round of funding that there is little or no guarantee that Ford, Holden (General Motors) or Toyota won’t do the same thing.
My suggestion to you Prime Minister is that instead of handing over this money without condition, that the Australian Government would be better placed acquiring one of these companies instead. Not the Australian concerns, but the American holding companies.
The market capitalisation as of close of business Friday for General Motors was $2.8 billion USD, and Ford $4.87 billion. General Motors would be the more appealing acquisition of the two, due to the lower acquisition cost, its historic relationship with Australia (producing the first locally made car) and the fact that it actually makes a half decent local product, unlike Ford over the last 20-30 years.
As taxpayers it is not unreasonable to expect something in return for the investment of our money. Despite being of the right, the American Government has taken stakes in banks as part of the financial bailout. For an Australian Government of the left to take a similar step in the car industry would not be difficult by comparison.
I look forward to your consideration of this idea, and hopefully one day seeing the Australian flag fly over the automotive plants of General Motors in Michigan.
CEO Nichenet Pty Ltd, Editor The Inquisitr.