October 8, 2009

Lucid Links (100809, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:51 am

From this Wall Street Journal article (which may be subscription-only) about General Motors and Chrysler (HT Kaus):

(GM CEO Fritz) Henderson said during the conference call that GM is on track to meet cash flow and cost-reduction targets, though he didn’t elaborate. GM will release third-quarter financial results in mid-November, he said. Also on schedule are plans to shrink GM’s U.S. dealership network. (On the financials, we’ll see, and it’s about freaking time.)

GM has about 10,000 more U.S. workers than it plans to have by the end of 2009 after buyout programs for hourly and salaried programs fell short. GM aims to have 64,000 workers and isn’t as far along toward that goal as it expected by this point. (That means the company is blowing through $500 million of cash a month for wages and benefits beyond what’s necessary not even 90 days after supposedly flushing out all of its past problems in bankruptcy.)

Chrysler …. (its chairman, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne) insisted, is already pulling itself out of the mud, only five months after Fiat took a 20% stake and full management control of the company. “I can see us making money in the next 24 months,” he predicted. (These guys also went through a bankruptcy that was supposed to set the company back on course, and they MIGHT be making money in TWO YEARS?!!.)

In each case, it looks like the bankruptcy plan really consisted of the following:

  • “Let’s steal as much as we can from disfavored stakeholders.” In Chrysler’s case, with the help of government intimidation, first-lien non-TARP lenders were fleeced.” At GM, it happened to the unsecured bondholders.
  • “Let’s cut things back just enough to make us look like we’re serious, but not enough to be able to emerge profitably.
  • “Let’s hope for a miracle in the marketplace.”

This, America, is “your” $81 billion (at least) government “investment.”

It is really sad that so many employees and other presumably good people are caught up in these two messes. But the fact remains that anyone who buys vehicles from these two companies in full knowledge of what has transpired in the past year betrays capitalism, freedom, the rule of law, and their fellow citizens.

That statement will surely offend some readers, but stealing roughly $700 from every household in America, an amount that is going to have to be paid for somehow (in taxes, inflation, or interest on funds borrowed by the government), deeply offends me and millions of others. If you’re not offended by and deeply concerned about what’s happening, you’re not paying attention.

Math-Is-Fun Update: The at-least $65 billion spent to prop up GM thus far is $1,015,625 per job allegedly to be saved.

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I’m sorry, this is just creepy (“School Kids Sing For Health Care Reform On Set Of CNN”).

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From BigGovernment.com“Durbin Amendment Calls for Review, Audit of ACORN and Affiliates.” As explained here a couple of weeks ago, this is not good enough, unless the Comptroller General brings in the big guns from one of the Big Four accounting firms, lets them run the show, allows them to go wherever the evidence takes them, and allows FBI agents free of Eric Holder’s influence to come in on anything criminal.

Beyond that, there’s no reason anyone should trust a senator who voted against defunding ACORN mere weeks ago to come up with something that has teeth.

Durbin’s proposal is useful as a backhanded admission that ACORN’s selection of Democrat Scott Harshbarger to do its internal “review” is completely inadequate at best, and nothing but grandstanding at worst.

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Here’s a term that needs to catch on, and a problem that really needs to be addressed: “Overcriminalization.” Go here and see why. Another example has to do with the rules that have been thrown at those who hold yard sales.

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4 Comments

  1. T,

    My neighbor across the street isn’t paying attention. I think he’s the rule rather than the exception since he gets his understanding of the world from the Antique Media. They have used their famous Double Standard to completely ignore the GM/Chrysler debacle when, if it had happened a year ago, we’d be reading and hearing daily all about how Bush robbed Taxpayers to bail out to the “greedy capitalists at GM and Chrysler”.

    There is a God, though. My neighbor bought one of the new Camaros a couple months ago. The parking break failed due to a design flaw (it doesn’t hold if the vehicle is on a slight uphill pitch) and the car rolled out of his garage (!) down his 100′ driveway, across the street – miraculously hitting no pedestrians or other cars – and came to rest in the topiary bed in our front yard. As it rolled, it thoroughly sideswiped his other GM auto parked in the driveway – a mid-sized pickup truck. Total cost for body work, exhaust damage, etc.: almost $4000. I felt bad for the guy, but I still had to laugh.

    Comment by goy — October 8, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  2. #1, ouch. That would appear to be a teachable moment.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 8, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

  3. Oh, but what a wonderful job the government is doing in making GM a lean, “green” automaker.

    I wonder if the Camaro was one of those models that the MSM kept telling us was getting such “high marks” from whoever a few months ago.

    Comment by zf — October 8, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  4. Let us not forget the overcriminalization of children. Zero tolerance in schools, and now with hate crimes legislation plus the amendment to focus on gender data for the safe school laws promoted by Kevin Jennings, I worry all the more about zero tolerance policies. Also of note, the overcriminalization of parents or caregivers of children. You have to be a member of a union to babysit! and heaven forbid you don’t want to pass your child over to the state for kindergarten, and don’t even think about not getting vaccines according to the government schedule. (Of course, ignore all those vaccine champions whose families vacation all over the world, including US tourist destinations, and don’t give a thought to who they are exposing their children to who haven’t been immunized as hotel workers or fellow travelers.) Overcriminalization is killing parental rights as the government barges it in through the front door over individual rights.
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2262“>H.R. 2262: Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2009

    Comment by FeFe — October 12, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

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