Monday, December 08, 2008

FIAT CURRENCY: IT'S NOT JUST THE MONEY TO BUY A CRAPPY ITALIAN CAR ANYMORE

I know that some of you won't like this cartoon, but I think it's great. (H/T Barry Ritholz)

I have nothing against Detroit getting bailed out in comparison to Wall St. Nah. I think we should leave both industries out to dry. And any other industry that comes to Washington, looking to pick our pockets clean.

The "free" in "free market" refers to one's choices, to the constraints on one's decisions.

It doesn't refer to the cost of doing business, any more than it's ever referred to the price of the products anyone sells.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Applesaucer said...

Right on!

This is another great cartoon (from Jesse's Cafe Americain)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_H2DePAZe2gA/STljyLSAA0I/AAAAAAAAGrg/ttC_Fmqv5v4/s1600-h/capitalistgreed.JPG

Applesaucer

9:51 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Since you clearly don't know much about American cars, I direct you to here:

http://aroundthekeg.blogspot.com/2008/12/7-myths-about-detroit-automakers.html

2:09 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

The "free" in "free market" refers to one's choices, to the constraints on one's decisions.


The "free market" is a joke.

Only the American government lets their companies hang out to dry. The Japanense and Korean markets are effectively closed to imports, the French and Brazilian governments are bailing out their automakers and the Germans are considering the same. Every other country provides health care for their workers.

And you complain about a loan?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Edwardo said...

There is an excellent chance that within approximately a year, a bag equal to the size of what is, in the cartoon, presumably a bag of U.S. "greenbacks" will be needed to buy everyday items like soap and/or a loaf of bread.

In the meantime, I disagree with you about not loaning money to the auto makers, at least in theory. This is a golden opportunity to reorganize the auto industry, refashioning it for the future. We do need an auto industry, just not the one we presently have. Having said that, I have no reason to believe that CONgress will, ahem, steer the industry in the right direction, as the D.C. bozos clearly don't have even an inkling of what the right direction might be.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Bob, thanks for the link, but I'm not sure what the article says that really contradicts me. Nor does a piece from the Detroit Free Press necessarily stay totally free of bias on this topic (I don't have figures on the DFP's advertising numbers, but on the FREEP website, there's a link to MarketplaceDetroit.com, for instance. Under auto sales on that site, 30 of the 34 retailers listed are big 3 dealerships).

Anyhow, the article you post makes certain points about big 3 cars, but fails to make full comparisons to foreign automakers. And it says that big 3 automakers have the biggest sales. If that's true, then what's the problem here?

The article also acknowledges that until recently they did make crap cars, they did make too many SUVs/trucks. Hey, guess what? They're reaping the consequences of those choices.

Now, as to the American autoworkers (who I do care about, unlike the American auto companies that I don't care about), why do care if they work for GM or for Toyota? Aren't many American autoworkers already working for foreign owned companies?

Let those companies use some of the bailout money they've gotten from their governments to hire American autoworkers. If the autoworkers are the best in the world, then the companies will hire them. They may take a pay cut, but then again so have many Americans in many fields.

The "free market" is a joke.

Whatever.

Only the American government lets their companies hang out to dry.

That's flatly false. In addition to the heinous looting of money to support failing banks, you know Detroit's gonna get the money it wants, so I'm really not sure what's bugging you so much. Are you as concerned about bank workers (tellers, security officers, truck drivers, secretaries) as you are for autoworkers? They're both gonna get screwed and the CEOs are gonna get rich.

Every other country provides health care for their workers.

And I wish the U.S. did the same, in some well-thought out, well-planned manner. We'll see what comes under Obama.

But what the hell does this have to do with throwing money at badly-managed business sectors?

And you complain about a loan?

If it was a "loan," I'd think about a different answer. But since it's not a "loan," I can't say. No one "loans" money to businesses without good cash flow, legitimately valuable collateral, or solid business models. This is a bail-out, and a politically motivated one at that.

I disagree with you about not loaning money to the auto makers, at least in theory.

"At least in theory." Ahhhh, four very important words.

In theory, I support a lot of things.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Let those [Toyota, etc.]companies use some of the bailout money they've gotten from their governments to hire American autoworkers.

GM employs more Americans than all the transplanted auto companies combined. If GM goes under, the jobs are gone. Period. Toyota has done a great job making themselves look American, but there is really no comparison.

...they did make too many SUVs/trucks. Hey, guess what? They're reaping the consequences of those choices.

They are also reaping the consequences of building the cars people wanted to buy. At the time it was SUVs. Plus, the fact is small cars don't make money, so why would they invest more money in a money-loser? Even the Japanese are building larger and larger cars because they don’t make much on small cars either.

Are you as concerned about bank workers (tellers, security officers, truck drivers, secretaries)...

Yes, but less so only because their jobs are more easily replaceable, where manufacturing jobs take billions of dollars of investment to create.

But what the hell does this [health care] have to do with throwing money at badly-managed business sectors?

Because the competition has had money thrown at them for years, including in the form of subsidized health care, as well as other sources. To fall back and say the D3 haven’t competed in a free market, where the global market isn’t free, is just bull. I have heard it from others and it deserves to be corrected.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

The "free" in "free market" refers to one's choices, to the constraints on one's decisions.

What, you mean to say it isn't a carte blanche for wanton greed and unrepentant corporate assfuckerey? Your ideas intruige Rickey...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

If you were on facebook, I would have been discussing this with you in real time. But as it is, this is just one more reason that I am anti-union. The unions acted like they made some big, HUGE concession by allowing the elimination of a program in which people who have no work go and literally SIT IN A ROOM 8 hours a day and get full pay and benefits. I laughed last Friday when the deal fell through bc the unions refused to agree to further "concessions." Since then I just stopped following the story, it is so ridiculous.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

The whole union angle doesn't bother me too much. Hey, if they can get concessions, all the more to 'em.

My objection remains at the fundamental level: no bailouts for any industry. Period.

7:10 AM  
Blogger George said...

FaceBook calls. "Join us! join us!"

1:04 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

"But as it is, this is just one more reason that I am anti-union. The unions acted like they made some big, HUGE concession..."

This is becuase you have believed the BS coming on of Richard Shelby's mouth and not done any thinking or basic math of your own.

For the Unions to reach the so called transplant "pay level", based on the Republican's erronious math, either the current workers would have to work for free, or the retirees would have to had to lose their entire penions and all their health care.

The Senate R's were including retiree costs in with current workers pay for the Detroit three, but leaving it out of the import makes. It was a big fat lie.

The fact is the actual pay is about even with the transplants, but the whole thing was a setup to get the unions to take the blame.

We'll see how anti-union you are, when someone comes after your retirement or pay.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Bob, my information and my math is based on articles published long before the Big 3 went to Congress, and long before congressional republicans took note of what was happening in the auto industry at all. The WSJ knew at least a year ago that Detroit was in trouble, largely be of union demands.

And FYI, the one time I became a member of a union, I lost one week of paid vacation per year, had $20 a paycheck withheld involuntarily, had to pick up the slack from workers that weren't doing their jobs but couldn't be fired, and got absolutely no benefit from it.

2:05 PM  

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