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Santa Claus- Coming to a Boardroom Near Yo

by BobHiggins Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 01:35:46 PM EST

For the last month I've we have listened to an unending series of conservative chowder heads prattle and moan about redistribution of wealth, socialism, Marxism, and the destruction of society by giving government subsidized tuna fish sandwiches to the poor.

When they weren't whining about Obama being some kind of closet Islamofacist commie they were pontificating about the sanctity of free markets, the evils of big government, the purity of privatization, the miracles of laissez faire capitalism and the horrors of such social tools as unemployment insurance, public welfare programs, food stamps and the minimum wage.

One sight that warms the heart of the average conservative is a long employment line. The vision of hundreds, thousands of job seekers vying for bone crushing, mind numbing labor at spirit crushing wages is a romantic one, the favored fresco on the temple walls of Republicanism.

Now they, themselves are standing in line, hands out in supplication, seeking alms from the same government that they so detest and in fact sought to destroy, from the same people they have misused.

With the nation's automotive industry hemorrhaging cash, congressional leaders called on the Bush administration yesterday to offer government assistance to the car companies as part of the Treasury Department's $700 billion emergency rescue program.

The call came one day after General Motors, the nation's largest auto manufacturer, announced another multibillion dollar loss for the third quarter and said it was running out of money fast. Ford, the second-biggest car company, also reported heavy losses. Unless the government steps in, analysts warned, GM could face bankruptcy, endangering the livelihoods of about 100,000 North American autoworkers and hundreds of thousands of others whose jobs depend on the industry.

"Reid, Pelosi Urge Treasury to Extend Aid to Automakers" The Washington Post

Bankers, brokers, investment counselors, bond salesmen, gamblers, middlemen, scalpers, swindlers, and  all the silk necktie grifters are lining up to feed at the public trough in record numbers.

This week's hogs at the trough are represented by the auto industry; remember them? Ford, Chrysler, General Motors are at the front of the line for public largess. After decades of mismanagement, shortsightedness and executive suite greed,  they are looking for the government to provide what all their fancy marketing geniuses, high powered MBA's, creative accountants, and economic wizards couldn't. A profit.

They build trucks, they call them light trucks, SUVs. Huge, over powered, over weight, gas and diesel guzzling behemoths that clog our highways and streets and fill our planet with their noxious byproducts, our rivers and streams with their poisonous effluents, and our lungs with an expiration date.

I know,  I see them by the hundreds every day. Trucks, running empty, usually hauling one person, a cowboy hat, a soccer ball, a bottle of Grey Goose a cheese ball and a cell phone. Several thousand pounds of overpriced, over financed plastic, steel, and rubber, rapidly lurching and belching their way to McHell at eighteen miles a gallon.

More than three decades after OPEC showed the world the reality of oil, after science and medicine began to point out the long term effects of our addiction to it, and the Japanese showed American industry that the future would require efficient vehicles that the public would buy, they are still building and trying to sell...trucks.

They got 25 billion last month but "gee" they're still a bit short, "50 billion, more or less ought to cover it, Thanks, guys we really appreciate it, gotta go now, gotta get back to work, making our trucks you know."

I know that they make cars as well, cars that are modeled on the same principles of inefficiency, profligate waste and 1970s environmental ignorance. I also know that a large segment of the public wants the crap that been marketed to them by Madison Ave, Hollywood, and the auto industry itself. Speed, power and performance, big tires, tractor pulling, tachometer on the hood, chick magnet, death machines. Size matters, it seems.

We need transportation in this country, we need efficient, convenient public transit and light rail systems, and we need affordable alternative energy powered private vehicles. We need to look at transportation with new eyes, the age of the muscle car is gone, dead. Bury it.

In addition to needing transportation we need to get serious about using our ability to communicate by moving large sections of the workforce to telecommuting. There are huge numbers of people who are able to perform their jobs at home, to communicate, hold meetings, conference, decide and disseminate information. Why aren't we doing it? Why do we insist on continuing to take the mountain to Mohammed, when we have the ability right now and have for years to do the opposite?

Adulthood is on the horizon for America, it will not be welcomed with open arms by everyone, but it must be attained by most and especially government and industry. We must learn to design, build and sell efficiency and responsibility and we must do it today.

One out of every ten jobs depends on the auto industry, making and selling vehicles, parts, repairs, fuel, lubricants, paints, polishes, tires, roads, bridges, traffic control sytems, accessories, gadgets and pine scented air fresheners.

Those jobs will still be available when we are building vehicles and systems that are responsible and renewable, efficient and grown up systems that improve the Earth, or at least lessen the damage and improve quality of our lives.

The need is there, the tools, knowledge and technology are there, where is the will.

Automakers haven't shown the will to adapt to changing realities in the world by adjusting their products and methods, nor has the oil industry, nor most of industry as a whole. In betting everything on short term profits they have created a long term disaster.

The will must come from the public in concert with their government.

If we are expected to clean up the mess left behind by incompetence, greed and theft we must have a stake in the outcome. We shouldn't give or loan these yoyos one additional dime.

What must be done, and quickly, is for the people, the government to invest, to buy, large shares in these floundering outfits at bargain prices and exercise control over how they are run, what they produce, how they treat their employees and where the money goes at the close of the day's business.

Someone make up a term for the opposite of "privatization."

Hmmm..... Never mind, it just came to me.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

by SacredCowTipper (sct@strandedwind.org) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 02:04:29 AM EST
Good luck, america has been trashed and looted for so long you've forgotten it could be any other way. Not just back to Reagan, the vietnam war was one long corporate welfare spree.

now the cupboard is bare, they've brought in someone to fix the system, and I don't think it can be done in 4, 8 or even 20 years. The oil is going, the climate is gone and the world has run out of patience with the old way of doing things.

Good luck, We all need it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 11:09:59 AM EST
You wouldn´t be thinking of the big "S" word, would you Bob?  That´s still heresy throughout Big Europe, so don´t stick your neck out overthere.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 04:33:21 PM EST

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