Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check [Mitt Romney, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," New York Times, 2008.11.18].
Romney speaks from close family experience. Remember, he grew up in Michigan. His dad George ran American Motors and saved the compnay from its own collapse, apparently with no government intervention.
Romney's recipe has some ugly, like cutting retirement benefits. But it also talks sense: boot the management that helped make the mess, axe executive salaries and perks, and switch from trying to make a quick buck for shareholders to investing in "truly competitive products and innovative technologies — especially fuel-saving designs — that may not arrive for years."
Sometimes if your friend is drinking too much, you have to intervene. But Romney is saying you don't intervene with a check to buy more hooch. Romney says smack 'em until they're sober—or, more accurately, force the automakers through a managed bankruptcy. It'll hurt... but we'll all be stronger for it when it's done.