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Posts Tagged ‘industrial policy

The Idea That America Won’t Make Cars. Ridiculous.

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leo4b1

america the proud

The Auto Industry defines America. There is hardly a major part of recent American history that isn’t profoundly influenced by cars, socially, economically, and politically. As the nation debates the future of its manufacturing heart and soul, it’s worth looking back a few decades in the shape of a list of manufacturers and their slogans or ‘taglines’. It wasn’t always the “Big Three”.

The list speaks for itself about the how much the nation’s vibrant multi-faceted, innovative car industry has been laid low in the past few decades.

The name of each manufacturer (and there are many) is followed by their slogan. Full of pathos, a vigorous, often naive optimism,  and an odd polite dignity, they tell of a time when American manufacturing ruled the world. Some of the lines are truly priceless. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by coolrebel

November 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

The Cannibalism Of Capitalism

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feed me

feed me

There’s something diabolical about a creature that consumes itself. It seems so profoundly irrational, so utterly insane. We file stuff like that in some ‘unspeakable’ part of our minds.

Except that we live it every single day.

Capitalism is a great system in many ways, but it has a tendency to destroy itself if left unchecked. We’re seeing that all too clearly right now. There are two areas where capitalism is profoundly cannibalistic. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Good for America is Good For GM

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Is this the future of the Big Three?

Is this the future of the Big Three?

David Brooks in today’s NYT suggests that bailing out the Big Three US car companies is a bad idea. While I have some doubts about his ideologically driven “creative destruction” thesis, the notion that some US Government Car Czar is going to be able to prevent these monoliths from going over the precipice is absurd. They are beyond recall in their current form. I come from the UK and back in the seventies we experimented with nationalizing the once glorious British car industry. British Leyland was the result and it was a national joke.

There are many well documented reasons that the Big Three can’t be saved; ranging from massive legacy costs, onerous union agreements, byzantine, slow moving management, being enslaved by short term stock prices, outmoded technology, and of course bad, boring cars. These companies as they are now are from another era. They are inherently dysfunctional, and need to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

Bold Is Better – Will Obama Step Up To The Plate?

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Euphoria is turning into something more useful. Paul Krugman conjectured yesterday whether Obama had what it takes to turn this country around.

The political lesson is that economic missteps can quickly undermine an electoral mandate. Democrats won big last week — but they won even bigger in 1936, only to see their gains evaporate after the recession of 1937-38. Americans don’t expect instant economic results from the incoming administration, but they do expect results, and Democrats’ euphoria will be short-lived if they don’t deliver an economic recovery. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 11, 2008 at 1:15 pm