Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Obama’s finger wagging at Detroit is mighty curious considering that the amount of money being sought by the automakers is a mere drop in the bucket compared with the bail-out of the fat cats on Wall Street. I guess you get what you pay for. The financial sector has spent over $20 billion over the last ten years to curry favor on the Hill and in the White House, and now they’re calling in their chips.

You could also argue that the auto industry is being treated like garbage because the government blew the bank bailout badly by pouring $350 billion down the drain with no benefit on Main Street. The political reality of the moment is that somebody has to get in it in the shorts to satisfy the public's need for blood. The sheeple glued to CNN apparently buy the party line that the collapse of GM and Chrysler was the fault of the union line worker (damn those people who can afford THREE meals a day on their salary), rather than bone headed management decisions. Couple the public perception with the fact that the industry’s influence in Washington is on the wane and presto, the auto industry gets to die in place of the financial industry that caused our current problems.

Yes, the banking industry is important to the American economy, but the banking industry is not wholly composed of BofA, Citibank, et al. As long as they remain the sole focus of the discussion and the people are browbeat into believing that their rescue is absolutely necessary, it becomes clear in whose interests these banks are being saved. Hint: it ain’t ours.


Anonymous said...

While not fully disagreeing with you, I will just point out that Detroit's failure to be progressive or inventive about the cars they make, or to grasp the direction their industry is moving, or to bother to re-evaluate how they handle competition made certain such a problem as they now face, notwithstanding any downturn in the economy or meltdown of the financial markets. In the 70s they had the attitude of why make a car or worry about competition on the assumption that americans would eat whatever sh*t they produced. They had their arses handed to them by the Japanese shortly thereafter. Their lunch has been getting eaten by others ever since.

Mark said...

I completely agree. A failure of vision and management. No cutting of line workers salaries and benefits will make GM competitive absent some fundamental reorganization of their R&D department. And no one can buy cars if they're unemployed.