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  1. #81
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modern Nomad View Post
    I agree with you that protectionism is generally bad for mature developed countries in the long run, especially in industries based on innovation... I just had no idea it was that protectionist for the big 3 in the us... o_O
    It was really bad for a while, but has been relaxing quite a bit (mostly over the last 15 years, IRC.) It's only in that time period that the auto pact was removed between Canada and the US, even.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It was really bad for a while, but has been relaxing quite a bit (mostly over the last 15 years, IRC.) It's only in that time period that the auto pact was removed between Canada and the US, even.
    And relaxing that protectionism is part of the problem for the Big Three. They grew to rely on it.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #83
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    And relaxing that protectionism is part of the problem for the Big Three. They grew to rely on it.
    Absolutely. That's the fundamental problem. Even though they are shedding the baggage surprisingly fast (and surviving this long to do it), they can't dump all the baggage that they have.

    The big deal about this is that the baggage they can't dump will be dumped on the government. Bail out or no, the people get to pick up the bill from the protectionist policies. Absolutely brutal. You end up with two really crappy choices:

    1) Let them go bankrupt. Hundreds of thousands of jobs go away then come back under competitors. Government picks up the tab for pensions/etc. Entire cities are bankrupt. The state coffers shrink dramatically. Economic ripple effects magnify each problem further. Mostly local.

    2) Bail them out. They only fire tends of thousands. Company continues to be inefficient because of past debt (effectively transferring bail out now and in the future to cover the efficiency gap.)

    Either way, the people pay, and either way, the economy suffers. But at least in 1), the long term effects should recover... if the economy doesn't take a nose dive, as it likely could. It's the catch when demand suddenly drops across the board the way it has. Either way, people are going to be let go. But the frictional losses and ripple effects.. egad.

    In my view, a controlled breakup is in the works. The problem is that the US won't allow the brand names to die, when they should. Toyota and all that should be able to buy out the factories they want, the rest liquidated. But that would eliminate American cars, in name, and simply won't happen. So it'll be some half measure, no different than if they were bailed out. *Sigh*

  4. #84
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Something I'd like to see, and I know this wouldn't fix all the problems, but it would definitely help fix the situation. I'd like to see those contracts with the UAW torn up. They're simply paid too much for too little production, even though it is the Big Three's fault for signing those contracts...to a point.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #85
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    If anyone would like to hear it, here's an interview with the author of Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg on the Glenn Beck show.

    Glenn Beck - The Glenn Beck Program - Nov 21,Hour 1, Jonah Goldberg - Free MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music

    *** See also my recent post about Rahm Emanuel's comments about the economic crisis.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...utshell-3.html

  6. #86
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Something I'd like to see, and I know this wouldn't fix all the problems, but it would definitely help fix the situation. I'd like to see those contracts with the UAW torn up. They're simply paid too much for too little production, even though it is the Big Three's fault for signing those contracts...to a point.
    yeah, i don't get why management doesn't step up and say they'll take a pay cut, if labor does. i mean, its so simple. like that movie, Glory. lolz


    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    *** See also my recent post about Rahm Emanuel's comments about the economic crisis.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...utshell-3.html
    yeah, i guess their crazy dictatorial agenda is creating 2.5 millin jobs in construction, alternative energy, and fuel efficient cars. it seems like they have been relatively receptive to alternative suggestions about the auto bailout (altho I think the ex-ceo of GM had the best suggestion, a staggered bridge loan, that loans in portion by portion tranches according to objectives met), so i'd rather go on real history, instead of pure fringe speculation.

  7. #87
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    Well, Bush has succeeded in partially nationalizing the auto industry. Bush was quite adamant in getting this through, on only $17 billion dollars, enough to do WHAT for a "collapsing" auto company!? Are you kidding me? I'll come right out and say it. This bill was supported as nothing more than a power grab.

    And let me not only bag on Bush. Let me also state that every step of the way the democrats have been in support of all this foolishness. The house republicans have opposed these bailouts and moves toward nationalization, but the majority of them have faltered under pressure and are just as guilty as the democrats in Washington who support it from the get go. There are only a hand full of true conservatives in the house that have an ounce of integrity and stand against this crap. Washington is sorely disconnected from reality, from what is good and wanted by the American people, and from what makes an economy work (particularly a capitalist economy).

    As Rates Race to Zero, Printing Presses Gear Up - Economy * Europe * News * Story - CNBC.com

    Bailout approved: Automakers to get $17.4B

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    By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer Deb Riechmann, Associated Press Writer 17 mins ago
    Bush Announces Auto Rescue Plan Play Video ABC News Bush Announces Auto Rescue Plan

    * Financial Crisis Slideshow: Financial Crisis
    * Bush bails out automakers Play Video Video: Bush bails out automakers AP

    Related Quotes Symbol Price Change
    GM 4.04 +0.38
    ^GSPC 890.20 +4.92
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    President George W. Bush makes comments on the auto industry, Friday, Dec. 19, AP President George W. Bush makes comments on the auto industry, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, in the Roosevelt

    WASHINGTON Citing danger to the national economy, President Bush approved an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.

    Allowing the massive auto industry to collapse in the middle of what is already a severe recession was not a "responsible course of action."

    "It would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis," he said. "It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office."

    Stock prices rallied on Wall Street as investors cheered the government's action. Republicans on Capitol Hill, though, expressed disdain for the bailout. And while the United Auto Workers said the plan would keep factories running, the union said it was upset by loan conditions "singling out workers."

    "We will work with the Obama administration and the new Congress to ensure that these unfair conditions are removed," said Ron Gettelfinger, president of the UAW.

    President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office a month from Saturday, said the White House action was needed to help avoid a collapse of Detroit's Big Three. "With the short-term assistance provided by this package, the auto companies must bring all their stakeholders together including labor, dealers, creditors and suppliers to make the hard choices necessary to achieve long-term viability," he said.

    Obama will be free to reopen the arrangement from the government's side if he chooses, an administration official said.

    Bush said, "The time to make hard decisions to become viable is now, or the only option will be bankruptcy. The automakers and unions must understand what is at stake and make hard decisions necessary to reform."

    Some $13.4 billion of the money would be available this month and next $9.4 billion of it for General Motors and $4 billion for Chrysler LLC. GM is slated to receive the remaining $4 billion in loans after more money is released from the financial rescue account.

    Under terms of the loans, the government will have the option of becoming a stockholder in the companies, much as it has with major banks, in effect partially nationalizing the industry. Bush said the companies' workers should agree to wage and work rules that are competitive with foreign automakers by the end of next year.

    And he called for elimination of a "jobs bank" program negotiated by the United Auto Workers and the companies under which laid-off workers can receive about 95 percent of their pay and benefits for years. Early this month, the UAW agreed to suspend the program.

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Congress should release the second $350 billion from the financial rescue fund that it approved in October to bail out huge financial institutions. Tapping the fund for the auto industry basically exhausts the first half of the $700 billion total, he said.

    If the carmakers fail to prove viability by March 31, they will be required to repay the loans, which they would find all but impossible. A firm will be deemed viable only if it can show positive cash flow and can fully repay the government loans.

    General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner said in Detroit that GM had much work ahead but he was confident it could reinvent itself with the government help and even lead an economic recovery in America.

    House Republican leader John Boehner called the administration's plan "regrettable." He said that granting loans for automakers was never the intention when Congress passed the $700 billion plan to rescue financial institutions and that the new plan "has failed both autoworkers and taxpayers."

    Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the congressional oversight panel for the Wall Street rescue program, decried the decision, saying a Chapter 11 reorganization, not loans rewarding decades of mismanagement, would have been a better decision.

    "Unless union contracts are renegotiated, and unless demand picks up for domestic autos, $14 billion, $34 billion, $74 billion even $104 billion will not solve the problem," Hensarling said. "I fear that a devastating precedent has been set that the federal government will now be pressured to bail out every failing company in America something that taxpayers and future generations cannot afford."

    Under terms of the loan, GM and Chrysler must provide the government with stock warrants giving it the option to buy GM and Chrysler stock at a specific price. In addition, the automakers would be required to agree to limits on executive pay and eliminate some perks such as corporate jets.

    Paulson, who plans to discuss the deal with congressional leaders and Obama's transition team in the near future, said he was confident that the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have the resources to address a significant market crisis if one should occur before Congress approves the use of the second half of the rescue fund.

    Friday's rescue plan retains the idea of a "car czar" to make sure the auto companies are keeping their promises and moving toward long-term viability.

    The short-term overseer will be Paulson. But the White House deputy chief of staff, Joel Kaplan, said that if the Obama team wants someone else installed to bridge the administrations, Bush is open to that. Kaplan said there have been discussions with Obama's aides throughout the process and the White House believes Obama's view of the problem and the solution tracks with theirs.

    The White House package is the lifeline desperately sought by U.S. automakers, who warned they were running out of money as the economy fell deeper into recession, car loans became scarce and consumers stopped shopping for cars.

    The carmakers have announced extended holiday shutdowns. Chrysler is closing all 30 of its North American manufacturing plants for four weeks because of slumping sales; Ford will shut 10 North American assembly plants for an extra week in January, and General Motors will temporarily close 20 factories many for the entire month of January to cut vehicle production.

    Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli thanked the administration for its help.

    In a statement Friday morning, Nardelli said the initial injection of capital will help the company get through its cash crisis and help eventually return to profitability. He said Chrysler was committed to meeting the conditions set by Bush in exchange for the money.

    Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said his company would not seek the short-term financial assistance but predicted the aid would stabilize the industry.

    "The U.S. auto industry is highly interdependent, and a failure of one of our competitors would have a ripple effect that could jeopardize millions of jobs and further damage the already weakened U.S. economy," Mulally said.

  8. #88
    Member Sture's Avatar
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    Wow, listening to americans discussing anything related to ideology or concepts like "freedom" and "fascism" is always overwhelmingly tragicomical.

    My favourite so far is probably:

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I think what Risen was TRYING to convey was that America would never go down in a Communist coup or revolution, but that incremental erosion of liberty could happen for a long enough time that the end result could be totalitarianism.
    Priceless comment to anyone who has studied history/politics outside the US.

  9. #89
    Sniffles
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    I wouldn't call it socialism per se; Hillaire Belloc's term of "the Servile State" would be more appropriate. This basically means the alliance between Big Government and Big Business, who implement policies that are detrimental to the well-being of the common people.

    The ex-Communist James Burnham came to a similar analysis, although he used the term "Managerial state".

  10. #90
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    You guys all know Marx and Smith predicted the same end-state, right? Smith only talked breifly of it, Marx turned it into a balls-to-the-wall political movement that bipassed the grusemness of Capitalism. Saying the result of Smith's capitalism is a world communist(lower-case c here, NOT Communist) state is not necessarily a contradiction. Global capitalism will begin to look like socialism, it's just a question of time (and an interesting unfolding experiment if I do say so)

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