Publius lays out an interesting argument for the auto bailout. Even if the bailout is destined to fail, even if the companies don't deserve it, even if we won't see a penny of the loan ever again, even if all it does is forestall the inevitable collapse of General Motors -- it still might be worth it. Why? Because the companies won't fail now. And now, in the middle of a major economic crisis, is not a time to let a major sector of our economy sink like Atlantis.
If the Big Three go under right now, given all the other economic strains, I genuinely worry that Michigan is going to turn into some sort of hell hole -- like sub-Saharan Africa or Iceland. Of course, the counter argument is that there is never a "good" time for huge employers to fail dramatically, so you might as well suck it up and get it over with. But, granting that statement as true, I can still say that some times are probably worse than others, and now certainly qualifies as a worse time.