Friday, December 12, 2008

Have You Driven A Ford Lately? No, Because They Suck.

What happened to the American economy? When did it become such a gold-diggin’ ho? We just bailed out the banking system with billions of dollars, and now -- oh gurl, hell no! You are not coming back to me for more money!

Yep, she’s back, and she wants more. Now our auto industry wants government money to avoid its eventual collapse into bankruptcy. They’re asking the government for money, but really, they’re asking for your money -- your tax dollars. Of course, that’s not entirely true because the auto industry executives are asking for a bailout with money the government doesn’t actually have yet; they’re asking for whatever tax money of yours they can have now and a piece of future tax money you’ll be giving to the government. The government cannot provide that money upfront, and it will be borrowing the money from foreign banks.

So to clarify, your tax money now and in the future is going towards paying off the government’s loans borrowed from Chinese banks among other banks to give to the auto-industry.

Americans should stop chanting “USA NUMBAH ONE” whenever they feel patriotic in some clusterfuck. Instead they should shout “DE-FI-CIT ” or maybe “USA NUMBAH ONE BECAUSE OF ARTIFICALLY PRODUCED ECONOMIC POWER BY DEFICIT SPENDING -- HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MUCH MONEY WE OWE FUCKING CHINA -- HOLY SHIT I JUST LOOKED IT UP ON MY IPHONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CHANT AND ITS LIKE 350 BILLION!!!!” Of course, if we pursue these new chants, sports games and political rallies might end in a lot more sobbing and rioting, and there’s nothing patriotic about tears, unless they’re from the eye of a bald eagle, encapsulating the twin towers.

As I write this blog post, the bill the Democrats are trying to push to keep the auto industry alive with a bailout has basically floundered because Republicans refuse to support the bill.

I’m personally conflicted about it, as I was over the bank bailout. On first impression, I was, for the first time in my life, impressed by the Republican refusal to cooperate with the government bailout. I quickly and not surprisingly retracted my feelings realizing the main reason a lot of Republicans are opposed to the Democratic majority’s bill for the bailout was that it was friendly to the auto-industry’s worker unions. Republicans were not standing up to corporate welfare in defense of the tax-payer, but rather, in typical Republican fashion, were attempting to find a way to weaken unions; by weakening unions, it could allow for a significant reduction in workers’ pay, benefits, and safety, allowing for, when the auto industry is revived, industry owners to make a greater profit from car sales.

I’m sympathetic to the Democrats because what they’re attempting to do is to pump as much money as they can into our failing economy in a hope to lessen the economic turmoil and eventually turn the economy around. They’re doing it in a sincere hope that this bump from government will help the economy and keep American jobs for Joe Shmoe (my preferred American everyman -- look, his name rhymes, he’s probably self-employed by his lack of title, and his last name is vaguely Jewish -- true red, white and blue American. Fuck Joe the Plumber.)

But there is a problem with the solution of throwing money at whomever needs it. Democrats are going to be funneling money into an industry that is clearly meant to die. The most outrageous analogy I could think of is using a time-machine to go back to the mass-extinction of the dinosaurs with defibrillators in hand, screaming “live, damn you, live!” as you defibrillate their dino corpses. The American car industry has not been competitive for decades. Conservatives blame the environmental, labor, and safety regulations imposed upon the auto industry by the government, which bumps up the cost of the car manufacturing. In order to turn a profit, American cars are significantly “shittier”, thrown together with cheaper parts so they can be competitively priced next to cars that are made in factories with little regulation.

So, is the solution to curb all regulation and allow for a future auto industry to do whatever it wants to create the best, cheapest cars to out-sell its global competitors? Well, for me, that is not a solution, since I don’t want our country to become 30 percent dimmer because of smog (This is not a joke, China is actually less sunny because of industrial pollution), and I don’t want to be employed in a factory where I don’t make a living wage, have no power to resist unfair treatment, and have the work place be so unsafe that I could have my head chopped off by some low-hanging buzz saw -- hey, I’m pretty tall, and I’m upper middle-class so I’ve never been in a real factory, leading me to believe all factories have giant buzz saws to cut giant blocks of stuff. Well, I suppose if I die prematurely from unsafe work conditions or cancer caused by pollution, it doesn’t really matter. Cars will be so cheap you can bury my ass in some swanky ride with leather seats and a moon-roof -- play Taps on the car horn, please.

A more viable solution is to develop new industries, technologies and ideas. This can only occur with resources, and the government needs to be funneling money into think-tanks with vision that can give laboratories ideas to work on to develop new technologies that can be built in swanky new factories. We need the auto industry to die a grisly death, and this will surely mean further economic depression; but it is actually a necessary failure in order to give the country a chance to rebuild anew. We need this catharsis more than anything. Car production as we know it needs to cease, and car ownership and use as it is in America needs to cease.

The government needs to spend money to help develop electric cars, or something in such a vein, that can run-off cleaner fuels and renewable energy; the technology is there, but it needs to be rapidly advanced to meet American demand. American factories need to take some notes from Japan and other countries, and come up with some of their own ideas, on significantly improving the efficiency of the production process; factories can be smaller, cleaner, more efficient if we just begin to apply some ideas rather than kicking a dead horse -- or investing money in it, whichever… The dollar is the catalyst. And in the interim, there are numerous steps the government can take to help reshape America. All of this requires money and lots of it. We cannot invest billions in a dead industry that will probably die even if we put the money into it; for one, the industry will most likely not do anything significantly different from what they have been doing, leading to their eventual collapse again; the same executives that fucked everything up to begin with are going to still head these companies; the same factories and the same products are going to be produced -- shit nobody is buying. And also, if another country develops a new form of transportation that can run off a cheaper or a renewable energy source, the gas-guzzling car will be to the future what the music cassette is to us now.

I knew I should have bought that Hootie and the Blowfish album on CD rather than cassette in 94. Come on, America, do you want to end up like me, locked in the past listening to Hootie in my giant American shit-wagon? No, no, you don’t.


Brendan said...

GREAT Coldplay post, made even greater by its 4:20 AM posting time.

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 12/20/2008, at The Unreligious Right