Flutterby™! : Utopian ramblings

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Utopian ramblings

2008-12-05 15:03:01.551128+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Several days ago, CJ forwarded me David Graeber's essay "Hope In Common", and I've been sitting on it because on the one hand it's a good call to remember that states are just belief structures, and as we watch portions of this system self-destruct it's important to remember that we have the opportunity to rebuild those belief structures in a way that better serves us, and yet I believe that the underpinnings of the belief structure that Graeber proposes are fundamentally broken.

However, this morning Frank Paynter passed around De-Corporatizing the Panhandling Panjundrums, which just points out that the part of the reason that most of us are so unsympathetic to the bailouts of the automakers is that we see corporations, rather than the interlinked economy of our fellow citizens in the central states (even if those fuckers have generally been voting against our freedoms and liberties and for destroying the economy and the image of the U.S. abroad).

I think there's something there. Of course the reason that we're seeing self-interested fat white guys in suits panhandling in Washington is that they are generally just assholes who happened to get lucky who don't generally have a clue ("No one could have foreseen...", except for, maybe, Toyota, Honda, etc...), and who are begging so that we fund their corporate jets, but if they were sincere they'd start making the public face of this endeavor our fellow citizens. Of course that might mean actually changing the way that the automakers run from an adversarial one to one where everyone feels like they're on the same team, and the UAW is gonna fight that one as hard as GM's upper management, but a lad can dream.

[ related topics: Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-05 15:25:21.654836+00 by: ziffle

Fairly arguementative post.. the unions have a stranglehold on the manufacturers and with Obama coming it will get worse. Goodby more jobs. I am shocked that GM let this happen actually. they had it all and kept thinking short term.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-05 15:42:23.039636+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Yeah, I don't think there are any good guys in this particular fight, but it sure seems like there could be. As it is I'm having trouble not saying "screw it, let's let the auto industry collapse and spend the bailout money cleaning up the resulting Superfund sites", 'cause it'll be cheaper to re-hire those auto-workers for the cleanup than it will to prop up the bozos who got into this mess.

As for how GM let this happen, they've been riding so comfy on the SUV gravy train that they've been fighting any attempt to build towards things like energy independence or decreased carbon emissions (or, for that matter, safety), where the Japanese automakers long ago realized that the legislative attempts to coerce those goals were simply getting ahead of the inevitable economic forces which would require them.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-05 16:43:30.486394+00 by: Dan Lyke

Via my mom, sponsor an executive "The money you give won't just save a life, it'll save a lifestyle."

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-05 17:11:57.613508+00 by: ebradway

And in continued idiocracy, GM is considering killing off Saturn. As for the unions, I would point the finger back at GM, Ford and Chrysler. If the workers didn't feel like they needed a union, there wouldn't be one.

I'm still of the mind that Exxon/Mobil should use their $40B profit to make the loans to the car industry. It's their bed. They should have to sleep in it.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-06 11:08:51.808726+00 by: DaveP

Chapter 11, baby. It'll make for better car companies in the end. And better suppliers. And it's about the only way the automakers can break the Treaty of Detroit, which is what turned them into welfare states that make cars in order to keep the cash-flow flowing.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-06 15:02:46.897882+00 by: JT

I read somewhere the big three made approximately 18 million cars last year and sold about 12 million of those.

18 / 3 = 6

6 * 2 = 12

seems with the most simple math I can imagine, the market is big enough for two of the big three to keep producing cars. Seems they should either all cut production or one of them should cut their losses.