Posts Tagged ‘Chrysler’

Freedomain Radio host Stefan Molyneux on the misdirected outrage of the working class in this economic crisis leading to ill-informed embrace of the State.


Libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano’s internet show “Freedom Watch” from FNC’s Strategy Room interviews Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), WSJ’s Steve Moore, and anarchist president of the Mises Institute Lew Rockwell, Jr. with Peter Schiff Tracy Byrnes, and Cody Willard in studio. (more…)

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 7321, Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, before the House of Representatives, December 10, 2008:

Transcription from

I rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying legislation. It doesn’t take a whole lot to convince me that we are on the wrong track with this type of legislation. And at great risk of being marginalized, I want to bring up a couple of issues. One is that if one were to look for guidance in the Constitution, there’s no evidence that we have the authority to take funds from one group of Americans and transfer it to another group who happen to need something.

And the moral argument is it’s not right to do so. Why should successful Americans be obligated to take care of those who have made mistakes?

But those two arguments in this Chamber are rather weak arguments, so I will try to talk a little bit about economics. I think what we’re doing here today and what we’ve done here for the last week has been, essentially, a distraction. We’re talking about transferring funds around, $15 billion that’s been authorized. It’s been designated to do some other interventions that were unnecessary in the car industry. And in a way, this legislation probably could have been done by unanimous consent, but there’s been a lot of talk and a lot of publicity and a lot of arguments going back and forth about the bailout for the car companies; and it is, of course, very important.

But in the scheme of things, you know, what’s $15 billion mean anymore, especially since it’s been authorized?

The big thing is the big bailout, the $8 trillion, the unlimited amount the Federal Reserve has invested and what we’ve been doing for the past 6 months. We are on the road to nationalization. In many ways, we’re in the midst of nationalization without a whimper.

There is no real talk about it. I mean, we’ve essentially nationalized the insurance companies, the mortgage companies, the banks, and medical care is moving in that direction, and now the car companies are going to be run by a car czar from this Congress. I mean, it is such an embarrassment. It is such an insult to us who believe in freedom, who believe in sound money and who believe in limited government. It is such an insult to the whole idea of what made America great, and this is what it has come to – bailout after bailout after bailout – and nobody even calls it what it really is. It is the nationalization of our industries.

You know, in many ways, Harry Truman was a much more honest person. He said we should nationalize the steel industry, and he did. Fortunately, we still had a little bit of common sense in our courts, and they said “Hey, you’re going too far.” That’s what we’re doing here. We’re nationalizing. It happens always for good purposes, and we are always going to do good for this group, or that, but you never ask the question “How much harm have you done to the other group?” and that’s what we ought to be talking about. We ought to really find out what this is costing.

As much as I strongly believe in the free society – and I can defend it from the economic viewpoint – I also know where we are and where we ought to go.

I do believe in the transition. That is, if we need a bailout for the car companies, even though I don’t like the idea, if you could pay for it, take it out of these hundreds of billions of dollars running the American empire around the world. Cut it; bring it home and spend it here, but running up these deficits is going to do us in, and we are working on the collapse of the dollar. That is what you’d better pay attention to. So pay attention. This is a lot more important than this little $15 billion. To me, it has been a gross distraction from the great harm we’ve done in the past 6 months.

Yesterday, the auto bailout plan didn’t pass in the Senate.

Today, Zimbabwe prints a $500 million note which is equal to $5 USD.

6dbl5321 regarding recent bailouts:

Workers Out of the Job Wanting their Share of Bank of America’s $25B Bailout(12/6/08)

– “UAW Works for Viability as Detroit Asks for $34B” (12/3/08)

Life Imitates Art, Which Imitates History (C4L – 11/19/08)

GENBC Kapital, Three Blind Mice, Il Duce, and the Naked Emperor(C4L – 11/17/08)


Al Jazeera English:

BBC News:

Commentary: “Obama Doesn’t Plan to End the Iraq Occupation” by Jeremy Scahill:

The New York Times is reporting about an apparent evolution” in president-elect Barack Obama’s thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a “residual force” in the country and his pledge to “listen to the recommendations of my commanders” as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. “At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps’ letting out its collective breath,” the Times reported. “[T]the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels.”

The reality is there is no “evolution.”

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric of “change” and bringing an “end” to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation. While he emphasized his pledge to withdraw US “combat forces” from Iraq in 16 months (which may or may not happen), he has always said that he intends to keep “residual forces” in place for the foreseeable future. [read the full article] “Shambles in Afghanistan: Why Are They Dying?” by Brian Cloughley:

There can be few things more shameful or degrading for a head of state to have to admit than “I wish I could intercept the [US] planes that are going to bomb Afghan villages, but that’s not in my hands.” But Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai was forced to say this last week. In 2008, so far, at least 190 Afghan civilians have been killed by air strikes; about the same number as died in the atrocious slaughter in Mumbai. But there haven’t been any protests about the killing of civilians in Afghanistan, except by Afghans, of course. But who listens to Afghans?

No, it’s not in Karzai’s hands to rule his country, as he was elected to do. It is in the hands — or fists — of the occupying powers, who, through a pathetic combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence, are, in Karzai’s words, “still…not able to defeat the Taliban”. … [read the full article] “Muslim Revolution: How Washington Arrogance Helped Drive the Mumbai Attacks” by Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Pakistan responsible for the Mumbai attack in India? No.

Is India’s repression of its Muslim minority responsible? No.

Is the United States government responsible? Yes.

The attack on Mumbai required radicalized Muslims. Radicalized Muslims resulted from the US overthrowing the elected government in Iran and imposed the Shah; from the US stationing troops in Saudi Arabia; from the US invading and attempting to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games; from the US violating international and US law by torturing its Muslim victims; from the US enlisting Pakistan in its war against the Taliban; from the US violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by conducting military operations on Pakistani territory, killing Pakistani civilians; from the US government supporting a half century of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands, towns and villages; from the assault of American culture on Muslim values; from the US purchasing the government of Egypt to act as its puppet; from US arrogance that America is the supreme arbiter of morality. … [read the full article]

guardian (UK): “The Answer is Easy” by Tim Otty:

The answer to the question “What to do with those still held at Guantánamo?” is at one level extraordinarily easy, and it remains the same as it has been since the detentions first began almost seven years ago. The detainees should be given a fair trial consistent with internationally recognised standards, or they should be released. Merely moving the detainees to a different prison on the US mainland to face preventative detention or trial, before a national security court hearing secret evidence, would do little to vindicate the fundamental rights of which they have been deprived to date or to restore the reputation of the US. If those to be tried are able to have the evidence against them ruled out, on the grounds that it has been obtained by torture, then those individuals too must be released. That is the price of a democratic system governed by the rule of law and, as Lord Brown put it in a recent appeal in the House of Lords concerned with our own counter-terrorism measures, the right to a fair hearing is “not merely an absolute right but one of altogether too great importance to be sacrificed on the altar of terrorism control”.

As to where those to be released should be sent, that too should not be complicated. If they can be returned safely to their countries of nationality then that is where they should go. If there is a risk that they would suffer further ill-treatment if so returned then the US or its allies should offer them asylum.

There is, however, a third and equally important question arising out of the detentions at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. What is to happen to those responsible for devising and approving the interrogation systems deployed at these detention centres and which many respected commentators consider involved the direct sanctioning of torture? … [read the full article] “The Great Society: A Libertarian Critique” by Murray N. Rothbard:

The Great Society is the lineal descendant and the intensification of those other pretentiously named policies of 20th-century America: the Square Deal, the New Freedom, the New Era, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the New Frontier. All of these assorted Deals constituted a basic and fundamental shift in American life – a shift from a relatively laissez-faire economy and minimal state to a society in which the state is unquestionably king.[1]

In the previous century, the government could safely have been ignored by almost everyone; now we have become a country in which the government is the great and unending source of power and privilege. Once a country in which each man could by and large make the decisions for his own life, we have become a land where the state holds and exercises life-and-death power over every person, group, and institution. The great Moloch government, once confined and cabined, has burst its feeble bonds to dominate us all. …[read the full article]

Lew “Making Sense of the Taliban” by Tom Engelhardt and Anand Gopal:

Just when the Obama presidency-to-be was revving up to introduce its new national security “team” and reformulate U.S. policy in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border regions, the Afghan War ratcheted up a notch – and not because there was another missile strike from an American drone aircraft in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, or because yet more civilians died in U.S. military operations, or even because attacks by “the Taliban” rose yet again to new heights.

No, that ratcheting up occurred in Mumbai, India, where the planners of the murderous rampage by a crew of Kashmiri militants decided that stirring up a good old face-off between the two edgy nuclear powers of the subcontinent would be advantageous. A precision operation that managed to slaughter just about anyone in sight (including Indian Muslims) now threatens to change the nature of the Afghan War, heat up the conflict in Kashmir, and embroil the region in an even wider catastrophe, ending a period of easing tensions between India and Pakistan. Already Pakistan is threatening to transfer up to 100,000 troops from the borderlands with Afghanistan to the Indian border. …[read the full article]

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times over the last month: GM isn’t too big to fail, they’re too awful to succeed.

I could rant on forever about how asinine it is to loan $25B to Detroit considering the GM is only worth $2.99B with a cash flow in the red by $5.79B and Ford is only worth about $6.81B with a cash flow a little over $7B. Anyone with half a brain can see that the numbers and laugh their ass off at the request of $25B to three companies who couldn’t sell a bowl of Ramen to a homeless person because they’d charge $10 for it.

The value of GM and Ford have actually double over the last two weeks since I first wrote GM’s request of $25B, so what do they do yesterday? Ask for less, right? After embarrassing themselves with products too expensive to make that no one wants to buy, borrowing $25B in Oct. ’07, and coming back a year later for another $25B, the three blind mice went to DC and rattled the tin cup wearing shoes that just might cost more than my desktop and asked for $34B. But, this time with plans to present before Congress, displaying a somewhat lesser sense of entitlement:

The key points of GM’s 30-page plan are:

— A systematic review that will shrink or dump four vehicle brands — Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn. GM will then plow the bulk of its funds into new models and marketing for Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC trucks, and Buick. Those brands make up 83% of GM sales.

— Reduce the total number of vehicle nameplates (the name of a particular vehicle, such as Chevy Malibu or Saturn Aura) from 63 to 40.

— Renegotiate GM’s $66 billion of debt to drop it to $30 billion.

— Open the existing labor pact with the United Auto Workers in an effort to rewrite job-security provisions such as the JOBS bank (which guarantees 75% of pay for laid-off workers) and get more workers out of the company so GM can bring in new hires at half the pay. That would cut GM’s labor costs by $4.5 billion a year.

— Get cost parity with Toyota by 2012.

— Show how GM’s product line is changing from being heavily dominant on trucks to having more passenger cars and crossover SUVs.

Chrysler and Ford offered few actual new cuts, claiming they’ve already cut deeply. Chrysler, for example, has cut its head count by 32,000 people since 2007, including 5,000 who left last week. It has cut employee programs ranging from leased-car subsidies, to company 401(k) matches, to tuition reimbursement. Salaried retirees have lost life insurance benefits and workers are paying more for health care.

Ford has made similar cuts, and said it is selling off its five corporate jets. It plans to cut CEO Alan Mulally’s salary to $1 a year if it draws down the government loans.

Interesting little sideshow, but upping the request to $34B while the United Auto Workers (UAW) are granting concessions like health care trusts and wages and execs claiming that bankruptcy isn’t an option, these suits just strengthen the case for nationalizing the auto companies.

Better yet, nationalize them and auction them off.

Or, how about the UAW who thinks that striking before the suits have to step into DC for a $25B loan can be a good idea, but (who I must say) are equipped to handle the workers’ health care in trust, represent millions of workers, retirees, and their families run the auto companies as a new corporate entity. In this case, the workers would split the shares evenly as opposed to how they’re currently shared regressively. These workers would be responsible for making quality products and contracting consultants to help those products sell. If they fail, there’s no big bad suit in the sky to whom they can pass the buck of blame.

I don’t blame the UAW. From what I’ve seen and read, they do a phenomenal job of representing their workers and if anyone’s ever met an auto worker in Detroit, you know the pride that these men and women take in their jobs. The New York Times’ grossly distorted report of the workers making $70/hr. has been debunked over and over, but since The Gray Lady is the “paper of record,” the sheep scream, “Baaaaaa.”

In this rare moment, I will tip my cap to Keith Olbermann:

Mr. Olbermann is exactly right.

Nationalizing Detroit would be another disastrous case of government failure like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The fact is that the State is worse than corporations at prosperous production because where corporations act irresponsibly knowing they’ll get a bailout from the Nanny-State, the State knows they can just print money for their corporation — reaping more illegitimate authority over people — while the rest of us pay the grossly regressive hidden tax on every dollar the Federal Reserve prints and hands over: inflation.

Not to mention that the State meddling in the private market with a stake in hand-picked corporations’ performance is the definition of fascism.