The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Bailout won’t solve irresponsible choices

By Gary Collins/reporter

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The once-mighty billion dollar U.S. auto industry is in deep, deep debt.

After Congress turned down a rescue plan, the Bush administration gave carmakers $13.4 billion to last a few months. The Obama administration is deciding whether Detroit might need more.

Should the government help GM, Ford and Chrysler when all are victims of their own poor planning and mismanagement?

There’s a saying that if you don’t remember history, you’re bound to repeat it. And the current situation of the Big Three is similar to one that happened in Hollywood 60 years ago.

The Big Five film studios of Hollywood suffered a similar demise. After the Paramount Case of 1948 that broke up the studio system monopoly, the studios were required to sell their theater chains.

The Paramount Case coupled with the rise in television sales further crippled Hollywood.

20th Century Fox producer Darryl Zanuck said people would soon tire of watching a tiny screen.

Film executives assumed that TV was just a fad and would vanish in a couple of years.

Hollywood continued to produce big budget films throughout the 1950s. But without their theater chains, the studios were no longer guaranteed a profit.

In the 1970s as fuel-efficient smaller import autos entered the U.S. and gas prices rose, American automakers continued producing large cars. 

Film studios also assumed their superior product would win out over television and poured much-needed dollars into failed technology such as Smell-o-vision to attract viewers. It pushed them farther into the red.

When European and Asian automakers were producing hybrid or smaller cars, Americans continued producing the same gas-guzzling cars. By ignoring the competition, they were unprepared to confront it.

If the leaders of the Big Three had paid attention to the failure of Hollywood, they could have avoided the problems they now face.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian