Whatever Happened to Shame?

Despite tremendous advantages, the Detroit Three CEOs have failed in business. They have stubbornly produced cars that Americans no longer want. They have allowed union bosses to emasculate their companies with value-busting contracts.

And now they are on the brink of bankruptcy. Or so they claim. Before Congress. On national television. With their hands out. Grasping for the hard-earned tax dollars of Americans smart enough not to buy their overpriced gas-guzzlers.

These guys are major-league screw-ups. Other auto companies, located in other places around the country and around the globe, are getting by without bilking the taxpayers.

These three ought to be too ashamed to show their faces at the country club, let alone on C-SPAN.

But one of the many bad consequences of the welfare state is the death of shame. Now we’re supposed to believe that failure is someone else’s fault. And picking the taxpayers’ pockets is morally neutral.

So the Detroit Three CEOs flew in to Washington in private jets to poor-mouth before a Congress with a long and ugly history of showering tax dollars upon whiners.

Shame on them.

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4 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Shame?

  1. Remember also, a lot of the problems the Big Three are facing have to do with the unending amount of interference of government into the workings of free markets.

    Whom should the residents of NE Ohio and Michigan blame for the desparate situation of the US auto industry? GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE!!!

    That said, the bailout is not the answer–after all, more government is never the cure for government interference (except inside the Beltway)!

  2. Just a thought; when we visited Pearl Harbor twenty or so years ago, the visitors parkong lot was filled with Japanese cars. I suspect that the reason lies largely in the fact that the Japanese don’t have to build U.A.W. costs into the prices of their products, nor do their politicians have to seek union member votes.

  3. The only thing I will disagree with you on (the ONLY thing) is the fascination with the jets.

    It’s gotcha journalism at its laziest and worst.

    If *I* were a stockholder in a major company, I would WANT my CEO traveling by private jet. Because I know that his time is more valuable than to spend two hours before and one hour after to slog through the details of cattle-flights.

    Demanding they fly coach is akin to destroying efficiency and workflow. Hell, when they’re in the jet they can still communicate and conference – can’t do that on a commercial jetliner.

    The worst piece of this focus on the jets is it misplaces the public attention on something that is not at issue: Corporate perks and greed, no matter how bad they are for PR, is not to blame for Detroit’s woes. It’s a long-term systemic failure to innovate, because of union locks and promises.

    If you let the media set the agenda for disgust by giving credence to Jet-gate, then you set up anti-capitalism as the solution. The REAL answer, of course, is letting the market sort itself out.


  4. Whatever Happened to Shame?

    Leslie, I agree with most everything you have to say in this blog, however I think you are off base a bit.

    You say, “they have stubbornly produced cars that Americans no longer want”.

    Wrong, they were producing the cars we WANT. Even the imports have been producing larger cars, trucks, and SUV’s to tap into the high margin market.

    It was the very sudden rise in oil prices that caused the people to stop buying these type of automobiles. If the price had not risen like it had, people would continue to buy these vehicles.

    GM has a full line of small, medium, and large vehicles in their product lineup.

    You were correct to point out “They have allowed union bosses to emasculate their companies with value-busting contracts”. This is the source of their problems. After all, their business in Europe, Asia, and South America is doing just fine.

    Keep up the good work!

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