Thursday, November 13, 2008

you know I'm good for it!

Right after Wall Street sucked down the better part of a trillion taxpayer dollars because of problems resulting from their own malfeasance, the Big Three American automakers have now sidled up to the Bush administration with their hands held out for money to "retool" and "modernize" their industry to make them competitive in the new global economy. This comes right on the heels of the government funneling twenty-five billion dollars just a few weeks ago in a sneaky little bit of maneuvering designed to keep the public from learning about it until it was a done deal. Now, like George W. Bush knocking on his coke dealers door at 4 AM after snorting an eight-ball over the last few hours, they are back for more money. The implied threat is that if they go down, they take three million jobs down with them, something the government can not afford to permit in this economic climate.

It seems to me that if the money they already received to keep them afloat is not enough, it is time to let the companies that over-reached to die. Think about it. The three main American car companies made money hand over fist selling bloated, gas-guzzling SUVs to the citizens of this country ever since "Jurassic Park" made the Ford Explorer an automotive icon. When the Explorer wasn't big enough, Ford doubled down with the Expedition, a vehicle practically large enough to park your Explorer in to use like a dinghy to navigate congested city streets. GM offered the Hummer, and later the Escalade, kings of kings of single-digit mileage, the automakers posted record profits year after year.

Yet at the same time, they didn't bother to research new fuel technologies, to design more fuel-efficient vehicles, to save a large enough portion of their profits to get them through any possible economic problems, they took no steps whatsoever to try to secure their own existence. It is time for them to suffer the consequences of their inaction.

Toyota makes better cars anyway.


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