Tuesday, December 30, 2008

About the bailout...

Now that the government has decided to bailout GM and Chrysler, and in light of the news that the financial corporations who have already received bailout funds refuse to disclose exactly where the money went and how it was spent, I have made a personal decision.

Some of you may remember that I recently purchased an American-made auto. I had been a Toyota man for much of my life but I decided to go American with the commitment that I would continue to buy American as long as I was happy with the quality of the product. This was their chance to win me over for life.

Well, so much for that.

I am so disgusted with the behavior of our auto industry, in particular the executives and the labor unions, that I have decided to never buy a GM or Chrysler product again. And if Ford accepts federal money I will add them to the list as well. I will be in the market for a new truck soon and it seems that my options have just been narrowed.

And for the record, I bank with a local bank that is not involved in the financial mess. The same goes for my 401k, IRA and other investments. I will remove my money at once if I discover that any of them accept federal money as part of the bailout. I figure since our elected representatives have no interest in the will of the people regarding this matter, then I have no interest in doing business with these agencies. One way or another I'm determined to have my voice heard.

I'm not calling for a boycott. I'm simply documenting the action that one citizen has decided to take against this monstrosity that Congress has decided to shove down our throats.

So be it.


Dan Trabue said...

Better yet, buy yerself a bike and forego the auto industry altogether!

Uncivil said...

A Modern Parable

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (GM Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting comp any and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: GM has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US . The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while GM racked up 9 billion in losses.

GM folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...and now they want the Government to 'bail them out'.

Auntyem said...


Since the '20s my parents always purchased GM cars----Chev, Olds, Cad. Toyota was just a gleam in someone's eye. Our clan never bought "enemy" made cars--the Japanese had been their enemies, the Germans too. I have always bought American-made too, since I was brought up to have faith in American-made goods.

My first cars when I started making enough to buy my own (before you were born?) were Fords--a new '65 Mustang that turned out to be a lemon---I was tired of the breakdowns and I thought I would buy a new '73 Mustang Grande--thinking maybe they had worked out the kinks---not--it turned out to be a lemon too. Since then I have owned nothing but GM cars--Corvette, Cad. They served me well--I sold the Corvette after 20 years, the first Cad after 16, bought a new Cad in 2003, sold it in August and bought a new Chevy Malibu LTZ with all the bells and whistles the Cad had but more sporty and fun to drive, handles better, more visibility--I'm very petite--the Cad felt like a tank--difficult to park in tight places.

I believe a vehicle will serve you well if you maintain it properly. I don't understand those that say their Japanese cars are more reliable and last longer than American ones, when my experience is as I outlined above--since I started buying cars in 1965 I have only bought six (all new), two Fords and four GM, in 43 years, and the four GM cars have been very reliable and have lasted me years (well, I have yet to see how long the Malibu will last).

However, I am as disappointed in GM management as you. What "Uncivil" said made me laugh---GM seems to have more Chiefs than Indians, and it now seems a miracle to me that their cars have served me so well for so long. I hope my next new car won't have to be a Ford if GM goes belly up. I'll be damned if I'll buy a Japanese or German car. I'd ride a bike if my circumstances would allow me to.

What a revolting development---but I don't blame the Indians, I blame the CEOs and their sense of entitlement to obscene salaries to fund their obsecene lifestyles of private jets, yachts, million-dollar club memberships, expensive mistresses, mansions all over the world, etc. This class of high placed immoral thieves infect so much of the industrial and financial world, not just the auto industry. They are more interested in accumulating wealth for themselves to impress each other than in maintaining a viable business. But I won't boycott GM just yet.

Maybe GM should let the Indians run things---they couldn't do any worse. It is the designers and those that do the hands-on work to bring the product to market that deserve the bonuses, etc. The Cad CTS and the Malibu LTZ have been judged Best Cars of 2007 and 2008 by independent reviewers, and Escalades are the envy of those who can't afford them.

Too bad, another great American tradition gone down the tubes, and I don't blame the little guy.

As for our finances, my husband and I have been with B of A, as my parents were for decades, and we also invest in local banks and the local credit union. I wouldn't do business with a financial institution that has to rely on government tick to stay afloat, and then not be transparent, to add insult to injury.

Port Orchard, WA