I suck at my job

Monday at 12:45. sweeping edits throughout. read it again!

it’s 2:45 in the morning and I’m about to pass out.
I just read an insanely long article in Sunday’s Washington Post (I’m now the proud owner of a Washington Post subscription, and it rules) about how the current GM management is putting all of its chips on the color Volt, but oddly could give a fuck.
this is a good summary quote:

“In time, the government is going to legislate out of existence cars like the Camaro, the Corvette, the Cadillac CTS — all these acclaimed vehicles that have lately gotten rave reviews from the automotive press around the world.
“So, ultimately, we are driven by legislation into the kind of excitement provided by the Volt.”

that’s Bob Lutz, GM executive. this asshole must not have handlers, because that’s the worst fucking pitch I’ve ever heard from a car salesman.

it’s pretty fascinating watching this government intervention into the auto industry take place. but, wait: intervention seems like a soft, prescribed word. I’d say it’s the partial nationalization of the auto industry, the aggressive politicization of the auto industry, but it remains to be seen what the government will do if and when GM and Chrysler (the company that brought you the LeBaron) return to profitability. maybe it wants to redefine the boundaries of the free market. and the dumb assholes in Detroit came stumbling down the road, buckling under the weight of their costs, and the incoming Obama administration saw an opportunity to break the country of its energy dependence on foreign oil, by force. or maybe they really fucking care about the environment so goddamned much that they just really want us all to drive green cars. and they bought GM in a firesale to do it. or maybe, like some beneficient fairy godmother, it will take its repaid loans, and wipe its hands clean, in that same sweeping motion that casino dealers that do when changing shifts at a blackjack table. “my work here is done.” 
I don’t think it’ll ever really leave these companies. not that I really care. but my early, a minute-into-the-first-quarter prediction? this auto intervention bullshit, it’s gonna be the Obama administration’s boondoggle. it will be as the Iraq war was to the Bush administration, only with a lot less terrifying violence and human rights abuses. if my useless and ill-informed prediction turns out to be right, and the domestic auto industry is forever intrinsically linked to the government, I’ll get over it, because, really, fuck the free market. I don’t buy the canned argument that being able to buy fifteen million different kinds of tooth paste, or peanut butter, necessarily is a statement and testament to my personal freedom. blowing fifty bucks a week at the grocery store isn’t personal liberty, no matter how many varied products I return home with. I’m not defined by the kind of beer I prefer (it’s Miller High Life, and I’m a High Life Man).
but when you get into such a large part of the national economy — like the auto industry — it’s probably for the best that you do it whole hog, or don’t do it at all. this isn’t peanut butter, and it’s not beer. these nifty little cars had better become affordable, and right quick, because I don’t have a lot of faith in the federal government not to fuck this up.  
Lutz, meanwhile, could give a shit whether the government leaves or not. he’d rather be driving a Corvette, but he will make do with what he has. the government owns 70 percent — 70 percent — of GM now, and the union gets the lion’s share of the rest, and they demand the Volt. so that’s what’s coming next. alright, fine. as long as it runs okay.
principled conservatives will continue to bitch and moan and gnash their teeth about how the government is growing drunk with power and intruding into the market in ways still opaque, the consequences of which will not be fully realized until GM drops a $40,000 pile of bullshit on all of our front doors. but no one will really care, because, ha ha, fuck you, National Review and Charles Krauthammer and Grover Norquist: you thought it was a good idea to back a stone moron for president for eight goddamned years, and he started a war based on whimsy and rolled back civil liberties and now you don’t have any more political capital to spend. so now, you get Obama and social democracy, and I hope it burns when they force it down your throats.
but, hey, there’s an important lesson in all of this. and I bet you didn’t see it. so grab hold of your shit because I’m about to bring it full circle on your ass: if American-made companies didn’t have to pay their employees’ health benefits for their entire lives — like the Japanese and European automakers don’t, because the government does it for them — there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have been facing a total market collapse in the first place. so this is all of your fault, health care industry. you greedy cocksuckers.

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