|Poker players call dumb players donkeys.|
In the EM08 big picture, the welfare bailout of GM is a mere divot on the course. While I was vehemently opposed to giving GM anything -- then CEO Rick Wagoner was about as bad a manager as this country's ever known -- what was astounding to me at the time was the amount of people who were in favor of welfaring this cesspool of bad management. Most of them liberals and Obama supporters.
One of them was a friend, Luigi, who insisted saving GM was the right thing. When I pressed him, he could offer no more than "Well, it saves all those jobs."
Me: "So lemme get this straight; GM jobs are more important than, say, jobs at [local grocer] Andronico's [which was going belly up]?
L: [bit sheepish] "Well.... no...."
Me: "Do you think it's the government's job to pick and choose favorites in a so-called free market and determine which businesses, which markets, are important, which ones aren't, which ones should get welfare tax money, and which ones shouldn't?"
Flashback, 1960's. My pops bought a Toyota and it had all of the stigma that other Japanese products had then; "Made in Japan = cheap."
Did Toyota or the other Japanese manufacturers like Nikon or Sony cry cry cry "Waaaa FOUL! That's racist! That's unfair!"
No. They put on their big boy pants and said, we're gonna get better, because in business and life, that's what you're supposed to do, not sit around and whine or blame others.
Flashforward from the 60's a bit to the 80's: Remember here in heartland USA, where "REAL Americans" turned out and had Toyota bashing parties where they'd take turns with a sledge hammer and wack a Toyota?
Did Toyota or the other Japanese carmakers cry? Did they try and run pr end-arounds? Did they whine about anything???
Another 80's flashback: Chrysler CEO Lee Iacoca -- who I believe went on to become Time's Man of the Year -- goes to congress and gets welfare for his company.
Did Toyota or the other Japanese carmakers cry "FOUL! That's favoritism! That's protectionist!"?
No. They innovated, they reflected, worked hard, and ascended. They evolved. Toyota, of course, became -- surprise surprise -- #1. Honda's and Nissan's (nee, Datsun) ascendancy was also superstar status, as was the Japanese manufacturing sector in general.
Then there's South Korea's new kids on the block, Kia and Hyundai, who seem to get better and better every year. When it became known that Rodney King had been driving a Hyundai, the Orientalist jokes flowed. Gotta admit, they were funny.
But now, in today's time, Obama and his cronies have taken our money and welfared GM and Chrysler. Again.
So, scoreboard: When Japanese automakers are faced with pressure, they innovate, evolve, work hard.
When Waaaamerican car companies face pressure, they hold out their hands and whine, "GIMME MONEY!"
Is it ANY wonder why our country's marketplace is so distorted?
Btw, when ex GM CEO Rick Wagoner was forced to resign by the Obama administration (a calculated pr move), he nabbed about $20 mil for driving (yes, driving) one of the largest corporations in the world into the ground.
About 4 years ago I asked a group of poker players around the table how many drove a Japanese car; 7 out of 8. I was the one who was driving American because at the time I wanted to "do the right thing."
In a tip of the hat to P.T. Barnum, I admit it; I was a donk.
General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy -- Again
President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.
For a 6’1” tall man, sitting in the back seat of the 2012 Passat behind a similar-sized driver is like sitting in a limo. His knees will be nowhere near the back of the front seat. In contrast, the same sized man would have to struggle to get into the back seat of the 2013 Malibu, and would have to sit with his legs splayed once he did.