Putt-Putzes

All the proof you need that capitalism in American is deader than Vaudeville may be viewed this week as your Democratic Congress, at the urging of a Republican President, united to bail out General Motors.

Here’s a company that squandered its birthright as the world’s leader in the automotive industry.  Rather than adjust to the times, it fought them like hell, and played every shoddy political trick to keep its corporate head above water even as it drowned in red ink.  Why worry about fuel efficiency when it was easier to bribe Congress to weaken fuel-efficiency standards?  Why encourage national health care when it was nuickeasier to bash its unions for driving up the cost of production with outrageous demands like medical insurance?

Or as GM Chairman Bob Lutz put it,  “…global warming is a “total crock of shit. ….. Hybrids like the Prius make no economic sense.”

Yes, let’s bail these assholes out of the hole they dug their company, literally tossing it under the bus.  In fact, let’s install Harold “Heckuva Job Brownie” Brown as the new CEO.  A perfect private-enterprise position for public enemy #1.

Like so many American consumers, I spent more money repairing my middle-aged Pontiacs and Buicks in 10 years than I did buying and keeping my Toyotas for 25.  (Let’s not even talk about my nightmare Mercury experiences.  FORD = Fix or Replace Daily.)  While Toyota was giving us autos with functional trunks, reliable transmissions, 20+ MPG, and brakes that actually stopped the cars on a Franklin dime, GM was building 3 ton SUV clunkers that ran on beer and testosterone.  When they ran at all.

Every automotive company on the planet outside Detroit understood what had to be done to remain competitive and sell its products.  Everybody else embraced new technology, responded to economic conditions, and looked down the road to a time when efficiency trumped style and showbiz.  But not GM or its lickspittle representatives.  Big cars, big balls, big profits.

This bozoic management deserves a bailout?  You and I should pay for this nauseating, arrogant disregard for the marketplace?   Why?

Years ago, Jean Sheppard said it best: “There’s nothing deader than a dead Buick.”  Dearly beloved, today we should gather to bury, not to praise them.

P.S.  Thomas Friedman offers a more articulate argument with the same theme here.  Of course, he gets paid for it.

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This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Putt-Putzes

  1. Ruh Roh says:

    I had the exact same thought: we’re rewarding bad management for their total SNAFU. How come Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi don’t need bailouts?

  2. Beardsley says:

    You’re right: Friedman’s argument was more focused. But just as angry, and for the same reasons.

    The problem, naturally, is political as well as economic. Slam the door on GM and the number of unemployed workers is unthinkable. The ripple effect would be devastating.

    So not only does bad management decimate the company it operates, it takes down the entire system and all us innocent bystanders.

    The best part is, all these years we’ve been told to Buy American, it’s patriotic. The gall of these bastards.

  3. ya’gotta’guessit says:

    GM built my Corvette, which was an absolute pussy-magnet.

    A. Pussy. Magnet.

    I will never say anything against them.

  4. guido says:

    Yeah! Corvettes are hot! But so are Miatas, and that little Lexus #. Of course when you were out pussy trolling Vets were about the best magnet then.

  5. Little Margie says:

    ‘Vettes made me wet then, and make me wet now. I prefer the older ones. The Vettes, not the guys who drive them.

  6. Barbara Ganousch says:

    Right–toys for boys. That’s what they’re good at.

    What this tells me is that GM should sell off its Corvette and Hummer divisions to Mattell, and leave the serious business of making automobiles to capable manufacturers like Toyota.

    Bail THIS out, GM.

  7. Your Father's Oldsmobile says:

    David Brooks today in the NY Times:

    “If ever the market has rendered a just verdict, it is the one rendered on G.M. and Chrysler. These companies are not innocent victims of this crisis. To read the expert literature on these companies is to read a long litany of miscalculation. Some experts mention the management blunders, some the union contracts and the legacy costs, some the years of poor car design and some the entrenched corporate cultures.

    “There seems to be no one who believes the companies are viable without radical change. A federal cash infusion will not infuse wisdom into management. It will not reduce labor costs. It will not attract talented new employees. As Megan McArdle of The Atlantic wittily put it, “Working for the Big Three magically combines vast corporate bureaucracy and job insecurity in one completely unattractive package.”

    “In short, a bailout will not solve anything — just postpone things.”

    Amen.

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