Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shame and Buchanan

My brother is watching Hardball in the next room, and I hear some guy valiantly (more specifically, loudly) supporting the U.S. automobile industry and encouraging the U.S. government to take the necessary steps to support the Detroit-based manufacturers. Intrigued by his enthusiasm, I got up from my computer and made my way into the other room. You know who that guy was? Pat Buchanan - one of the craziest men on planet Earth. Because I have never found myself agreeing with anything Pat Buchanan has ever said, I'm beginning to fear my understanding of everything and my position in support of the U.S. automobile manufacturers. Up is down, left is right, and fruitcake is delicious.

Wait a second, fruitcake is not delicious, and it will never be delicious. I am shocked and saddened to be in agreement with Pat Buchanan, but I continue to support my hometown companies. I find some solace in the fact that he is all crazy-man arguing for evil globalization and the polluted Chinese and hooray America, but my opinion is less that of a crazy person and more based on my broader understanding of the intricacy and breadth of the automotive supply chain, the major auto debt held by financial institutions (the downfall of the car companies will result in additional massive write-offs of the troubled houses of finance), and the selfish effort to keep me and my family from having to eat dirt for meals because we can't afford anything else.

Buchanan may be a nut and I may not share his same arguments, but I do agree with the desired outcome.


/smh said...

First of all, I hear you're paying people to read your blog. Something about dollars being offered on a specific day? I want my piece of the cake, Ken.

On the topic of the auto industry bailout, I've heard from several sources that it would be (will be?) wasted money for two main reasons. The first reason noted is because the unions are simply too strong and are choking out the revenue from the companies. The second reason being that GM has roughly 3 times the number of dealerships than Toyota, but they have the same market share. Without filing for bankruptcy, they aren't able to get out of those contracts short of major payoffs to each dealership for breaking contract. Since I'm not very well-informed on the subject, I'm not sure which side I'd be on. That's why I wanted to get your response to those claims/arguments. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts and receiving my dollar--haha.

-Steve Holden

Joseph Fisher said...

I think you may have spent quite some under the misconception that Pat was some sort of huge free trade guy. This has never been the case. In fact, his protectionist views are consistent with his ideas regarding the superiority of the United States. His social views are what is conservative about him

Ken said...

Hey Joe and Steve, Happy Holidays!

Joe - just to clarify, I'm definitely not under the perception that Mr. B is a free trade champion; in fact, quite the opposite. One of the main reasons I find myself at odds with him (or, conversely, people who are intensely pro-free trade), is that he seems to see absolutely no value in free trade and that is the thing that is ultimately ruining the world (where pro-free traders claim that minimally regulated and controlled free trade is the only correct path to prosperity). Trade boundaries are an incredibly complicated issue and, as with most things, I definitely have an opinion but can at least acknowledge that there may be some validity to the other side of the issue. I know having one driving opinion is what gets you on TV or quoted in the news, but going as far as he often does is just a little too crazy for me.

Steve - I'll formulate my thoughts and will be back with thought-related enthusiasm.