“Better safe than sorry” is not a truism. In fact, it’s more often wrong than right.
Too much safety is its own danger. If you stayed in a wheelchair all the time, your muscles and bones would soon become so weak that walking really would be dangerous.
Mothers who try to protect their children from too much, of course, end up raising adults who are a danger to themselves, unable to deal with real-life situations once they’re out from their mother’s skirts.
And it’s no coincidence that our ever more “protective” government is called a nanny state; it does the same thing to us, even as adults.
But, in the case of the needlessly deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, this burden of destructive protection caused death in a whole different way:
Another response some children, and plenty of adults, have to a needlessly smothering authority is to stop taking safety seriously, even when it matters.
In 1973, the Joplin area responded to a particularly damaging by dramatically lowering its standards to include “dangerous” rainstorms, not just tornadoes. This means that when you hear a tornado warning in Joplin, it probably isn’t a tornado.
On top of that, the standards for what to trigger a tornado warning, nationally, has changed more recently to not require any actual tornado. At one time, this was called a “watch”, but now “there might be a tornado” triggers a false alert, not just a watch.
In fact, because of such “better safe than sorry” alarmism, there three quarters of all tornado alerts are false alarms, nationally. Therefore, people have wisely started ignoring tornado warnings.
Thanks to this, plus the abuse of the system for mere thunderstorms:
When the second-worst tornado in sixty years hit Joplin, people did what they’d, quite rationally, learned to do whenever the tornado siren went off; ignored it.
A pair of national media journalists, coincidentally in town for other reasons, felt the normal east coaster’s panic at the sound of tornado sirens, but were puzzled to discover that everyone else just went about their business, as if nothing were wrong.
This has happened many times in the past decades, and the locals had always been correct to sneer at it..
But — this one time — there was an actual, deadly tornado bearing down on them.
Sadly, the Culture of Safety has turned into the fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
How many lives would have been saved without the government’s ridiculous alarmism?
Just seven years later, with warnings legalized and an siren system in place, a nearly identical tornado hit a nearly identical urban area, and only resulted in 15 deaths.
Now that progress has been undone, by the increased in government busybody mentality.
The way I see it, government alarmism is responsible for horrible, avoidable deaths of at least 100 people in Joplin, Missouri…and probably a large part of the other tornado-related deaths this year, for similar reasons.
The 4th Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Your prudism about being ogled by minimum wage goons who share pics and stories of your genitals with each other and post them on the Internet is not the biggest reason why the nude scanners and crotch gropings cannot be allowed.
It’s that they also violate your Constitutional rights. And that kind of violation, you must never tolerate.
The Fourth Amendment secures not only our external property, but especially our bodies against unreasonable search and seizure.
By “reasonable” the amendment says it means “with probable cause”, and this means government agents must suspect you, personally, of a crime or else they are not allowed to search you, no matter what.
The police are not legally allowed to search random the houses on your block, just in case they might find something illegal, and even the most law-abiding of us is glad our privacy is protected this way. And they cannot, for the same reason, search all people passing through the gates at the airport, just in case they might find something illegal.
Appeal to Cowardice
Big Brotherment tries to justify this violation of the Bill of Rights with Appeal to Cowardice:
“But aren’t you willing to put up with a little inconvenience, to be safer?”
But real Americans aren’t cowards. Even if the violation of your body were improving safety — and in real life, it does NOTHING for your safety — it would not be a tolerable reason.
The government could judge who seemed a threat, and search those people. That would be “probable cause”, valid under the Constitution.
Searching people at random, instead, violates the Bill of Rights, and helps the actually-suspicious people get through the line. If the searches could actually stop terrorists, the random nature of the searches keep that from happening.
They who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Ben Franklin
Nobody honest, not even on the pro-TSA side, denies that these random searches violate the fourth amendment…they just claim that you should surrender this Essential Liberty, to try to gain a little temporary safety.
But real Americans aren’t cowards. This expansion of the Police State ends, here and now.
Blame the Parents
Statistically, parents really do spend less time with their families, these days. Because of this:
- Social conservatives, and some others who blame Hollywood, the music industry, and public schools for the decline in “family values”, condemn parents for not spending more time with their kids to offset those bad influences.
- Teachers, in a dramatic demonstration of how to serve as an irresponsible role model, prefer to blame parents, not themselves, for the decline in public education’s results. Those parents just aren’t spending the time with their offspring that they once did.
- Police like to blame parents for the trouble kids get in after school…they’re not spending enough time with them as role models.
- Technophobes blame newfangled televisions, video games, the net, and mobile phones for, well, anything cultural or behavioral…and blame the parents for not screening such entertainment, not knowing what the kids are seeing.
And, statistically, there’s no question that there’s some strong correlation between the amount of time parents spend with kids, or families in general spend together, and many other things, like drug use and success later in life. The more family time, the better-off the kids are.
It isn’t clear which way the causal relationship goes, but there’s certainly something happening there.
Prosperity-haters therefore blame most of society’s problems on how Greedy Materialists in America spend all day working, both parents, therefore leaving the children in the hands of day care help that is luck to keep the kids healthy and sane, much less serve as good role models and teachers.
If only they were willing to do without many of the nice things in life, like a second car and TV, they’d raise better kids.
They’re halfway correct.
The problem isn’t that people are so greedy as to wish to have decent lifestyles for themselves.
Working Man’s Burden
The actual cause of this decline in family time is taxes.
You thought the title was simply hyperbole to drag you in, didn’t you.
The typical main breadwinner in the US pays about 28% of his income in Federal taxes.
The typical second earner in the US brings in 27% of the first earner’s income, after taxes.
This means that the second parent is actually gone all day just to pay the first parent’s taxes.
And that’s only counting Federal taxes taken directly out of each earner’s check.
It doesn’t count the massive local tax burden they both pay for the public school that is failing their children, the state income taxes, and the many other tax and regulatory burdens we all shoulder outside of the direct hit on our paychecks.
But what it all adds up to is that, if not for high governmental costs, the second earner would not have to work at all, and yet the family would still have more money than it does now.
One of You Labors ONLY For Government
In fact, the second earner’s ENTIRE after-tax income is only a fraction of their household’s governmental burden.
Just cutting the tax and regulation-compliance burden in HALF would allow the second earner to stay home completely, or both earners to work far less than they currently are, and therefore spend more time with the kids…or even each other.
The greed is not on the part of the people who want to live better lives, but the government bureaucrats and the selfish people who support their massive spending (calling for expanded government, voting for politicians who bring home pork), therefore a tax burden so huge that people need to spend all day working, neglecting their families.
The death of the family is yet another problem caused by Big Brotherment, not simply bad parents.
Social conservatives, cops, teachers, and everyone else who is concerned about absent parents and family values should focus first on freeing parents to do something other than toil for the tax man.
e’re told by teachers, politicians, and the media that unions are the best thing ever to happen to people who work. Without them, we’d all be working 80 hour weeks, for pennies per hour, and dying by 30 from how dangerous the conditions are.
And yet, for some reason, most people not only don’t belong to unions, are not even thinking about forming unions, but wouldn’t even want their industry unionized, if they had the chance. In fact, unions are dying out. The odds are that if you don’t more or less inherit a union career because you’re locked into a Company Town situation, you will never join one.
In the 1940s, 35% of American workers belonged to trade unions. Today in the private sector, membership is less than 7%. It is even lower in states that protect your right to have a specific job without joining a union.
Because, in reality, a union takes more freedom away from a worker, than from anyone else.
Pay is Important
It’s not fun, negotiating with an employer for your compensation. Well, not unless you’re really in demand. Then it can be joyful agony, trying to decide which offer is best, and what to require you be paid…but, the rest of the time, it’s unpleasant.
But the joy and pain are both because of how completely important your pay for your work really is. Your entire lifestyle depends on that set of decisions.
Not just how much you’ll be paid, but in what form. Do you want more cash, or would you prefer more days off? Are you better off putting up with a company insurance plan, that is cheaper but less responsive and lacking in choices, or more money and save up for your own checkups? Do you want paid lunch and breaks, or more money and come home sooner?
The problem with a union is that it strips away any control you have over that life-changing question.
You don’t even get to choose when, or how, to negotiate. Union management takes all power away from you, and you have to cross your fingers, praying whatever they think is best happens to be something you can tolerate.
Even under the best circumstances, they’ll be negotiating for the lowest common denominator. What the average worker is worth, and the union will gain from getting. The problem is that in the real world, almost nobody’s average. A good compromise, famously, is one where everyone goes away equally unhappy. With a union, you don’t just have to compromise with an employer, but also with all of the other workers.
You Become a Cog
With a union, you must settle for:
What the average worker is worth…
Diluted by what benefits the union management and corporate management negotiate.
You also lose the power to be paid for your effort, quality, ideas, and unique traits.
For example, you may be willing to work extra-hard to make more money, or have more job security. You may not even need to work hard; there may be some special part of your occupation you’re particularly good at.
But most unions avoid the idea of being paid for how well you do the job, replacing it with being paid for how many years you’ve worked. What could be a worse system of payment than this?
Of course it’s bad for the customers, because quality falls by the way-side…and therefore is bad for the company, as its profit depends on that quality. But it’s also bad for you, the worker, whose efforts become meaningless…just hang on to the job for as long as you can, that’s the only way you can make more money.
Likewise, no amount of effort can protect you from being laid off during the slow or hard times, with a typical union contract. You could be the very best at your job, but if you’ve only been there a few years, you’re out the door.
The Worst Kind of Middleman
It’s bad enough that unions harm companies, consumers, and society by causing unemployment, playing insider favoritism, price increases, inefficiency, low quality, reducing non-union worker pay, and other means, plus all the above disadvantages to union members, but what do you gain, in return for this?
- The right to be forced to pay union dues, whether you find them worthwhile or not.
- The privilege to have part of that hefty fee spent to bribe government officials with policies you probably don’t actually like, and be punished if you object.
- The fortune of having some of the rest divvied up among the secretive, corrupt union management and their cronies and masters, for no apparent reason whatsoever.
- Oh, and the joy of having yet another Tyranny of the Majority government ruling over you, in the form of that union’s quasi-elected crony management.
It’s no surprise that unions actually reduce real household income.
Not a Number, but a Free Man
The reason most of us eschew labor unions like they’re a porcupine who recently attacked a skunk’s posterior, is that we really are better off as free people, than as vassals of a collective, whose real function seems to be the profit of its “leaders”.
In other words, I’d rather protect my right to earn pay based on what I’m worth, not my seniority, and not be given useless token “compensation” that sucks part of it away, like hourly coffee breaks and a dubious promise of unreasonably high, distant retirement pay, I probably won’t see, once the union bankrupts my employer.
Unionism seldom, if ever, uses such power as it has to insure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguarding bad work.
- H. L. Mencken
- Henry George
When people object anything relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, neocons claim that they should be quiet and comply, because the criticism hurts the feelings of “the troops”, who are busy “defending our freedom” over there.
I do appreciate that the soldiers feel like they’re serving America…but defending our…freedom?
Our freedom? We Americans, here in the United States?
When I’m faced with this argument, it is hard to give a clear, coherent response for or against, because the claim makes no sense to me, whatsoever.
This is an honest question, not sarcasm:
What, exactly, does the conquest of Iraq have to do with American freedom?
Did we conquer Iraq for American freedom?
- First, we built up momentum to attack because Hussein was supposedly involved in 9-11.
But then it became more widely understood that Hussein was one of Al Qaeda’s mortal enemies. In fact, one of the things bin Laden demanded was that Hussein, whom he referred to as a socialist infidel, be removed from power. So…
- Second, when we actually attacked, it was supposedly because of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We knew Iraq once had WMD, because we openly sold Hussein the technology for them, in the 1980s, and claimed we thought they still had somehow kept some, despite the years of inspections.
But it turned out, after we got there, that we had known he didn’t have the WMD any more at all, so…
- Third, we retroactively decided we were there to remove Saddam Hussein from power. He is a dictator, killed hundreds of thousands of people, imposed tyrannical laws, et cetera.
Of course we supported him doing ALL of those things, including the mass murder, for decades, we even sold him WMD tech months after acknowledging that he was slaughtering innocents with it, but let’s just pretend that’s why we invaded, anyway. It sounds good.
The problem is that NONE of those things have anything to do with American freedom.
The Warfare Facts
- First, 9-11 wasn’t an assault on American freedom. Al Qaeda was attacking in order to change our foreign policy (giving money to Islamic tyrants, occupying Saudi Arabia, killing a million people in Iraq with economic sanctions, backing Israeli war crimes).
…in fact, the only 9-11 related assault on freedom was domestic, like the PATRIOT Act.
- Second, American freedom wasn’t going to be threatened by Hussein having mustard gas, or anthrax, or even nuclear bombs. Nobody ever seriously suggested he could conquer the US with his mighty navy of 16 wooden patrol boats and his deadly force of a few dozen short-range SCUD missiles, no matter how many WMD he loaded on them.
Liberty depends on economic freedom…whomever controls your life needs, controls you. This war has crippled the US economically, which had turned into an assault on our freedom of choice. By the way, why exactly did we sell him WMD technology in the first place?
- Third, that’s barely even a fight for Iraqi freedom, since they’re voting as much against freedom now as anyone who knew about the region would have expected. The laws passed are on their way to becoming more repressive than under Hussein’s secular government. These include a move to make burqas mandatory, and growing bans on freedom of expression. Certainly overthrowing Hussein has nothing to do with freedom here in America.
Actual Assault on American Freedom
Because we’ve been “on war footing” for six years, BOTH parties have used the “don’t criticize the government during a war” argument, dramatically attacking American freedom of expression. We have had “free speech zones“, warrantless wire tapping, demands that we not criticize foreign policy lest the troops feel bad, secrecy regarding torture and other violations of American principles, et cetera.
We have had economic malaise caused by both the huge deficits and diversion of wealth-production the war produced, and the 700% increase in the price of oil that attacking or threatening four different oil-producing nations caused. And this resulted in a depression that Bush and Obama have used to expand government massively into our personal lives, and to loot our future to pay off failing multinational corporations, perhaps the most vicious of the attacks on our freedom.
You know, there may be a country closer to home than Iraq, where our troops should be fighting a government that is attacking American freedom…
Anyway, I definitely need someone to explain what is the “defending AMERICAN freedom” part of invading, conquering, and occupying Iraq.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
– Oscar Wilde, A Portrait of Mr. W.H.
This was going to be an article about how the Obama administration’s “Cash for Clunkers” campaign is an assault on the poor — which it is, because it breaks the flow of newer used cars to poorer people — but, in gathering facts for it, I came to realize that another of the unintended consequences of this self-destructive law is that it, literally, will increase pollution.
Cash for Clunkers Pollutes
This is because the older a car, the worse its gas mileage. Not only in general, but also because cars tend to perform worse as they age.
Cash for Clunkers only rewards people for buying new cars, not for simply buying any car that got better gas mileage, regardless of its age. And it destroys the cars traded in, regardless of their own gas mileage.
This means that only more-prosperous people, who can afford new cars, are able to use the C4C program. They are, therefore, often trading in relatively nice, fuel-efficient cars. Often, they are even buying cars only a couple of miles per gallon more efficient.
Meanwhile, what about the people with older cars, which are much less fuel efficient?
Simple: They are having the nicer, more efficient used cars they WOULD have bought destroyed. Leaving them in a pollutive car longer than if the C4C never happened in the first place.
Since the older the car, the more pollutive, this has the net effect of WORSE pollution, not better.
Someone buys a new car that gets two miles per gallon better. His used car is destroyed, instead of going to someone who owns an older car that gets TEN miles per gallon worse. The net result is an LOSS of 8 MPG.
Take this real-life example:
- Dude A has a 16 MPG truck
- Trades it in for an 18 MPG truck, Obama gives him $3500 to save 2 MPG
- Dude B has a Chevrolet 1500, that gets 9 MPG
- Dude B finds he cannot afford to buy to buy a 16 MPG truck, because prices have gone up so much.
- He keeps his old truck.
Net result? The Obama plan gets credit for a whole 2 MPG increase, but actually produced a 7 MPG decrease.
“But this isn’t a good example”, some greenie shouts, “people were trading in SUVs for compact cars!”
While that would be a good example of the program increasing traffic deaths, it’s not actually true in this case.
This is because the initial stats claiming it were a contextual lie.
The actual numbers, in fact, show that the most people traded their vehicles in for SUVs and trucks.
But that’s not all…there is a large “carbon footprint” around manufacturing a new car. Statistically, it should be impossible for the above +2 MPG truck to save enough, in pollution, to make up for being built, over keeping the used truck. Same with non-carbon pollution, manufacturing versus microscopically worse gas mileage. Keeping an older car can actually reduce pollution.
Of course that wasn’t the original point of this article:
…and Causes Poverty
In their attack on consumer choice, the Obama administration attacked consumerism itself, which is a very politically-correct thing to do. But the fact is that consumerism makes our economy more efficient, and benefits the poor.
As the best-off consumers buy better things, items out of favor — whether used or just old models — become less expensive, allowing poorer people to buy progressively better stuff for the same prices.
In the case of cash for clunkers, the Obama administration broke this:
- Nice used cars will now be in shorter supply, which will raise the relative prices of the remaining nice used cars.
- This will make it harder for poorer people to afford to upgrade.
- This will trickle all the way down to the very poorest, who will soon find that their ability to buy some minimal car AT ALL, is affected.
- That can mean the difference between getting to a job, and getting out of poverty, or being trapped indefinitely.
So aside from the many other unintended consequences of this program, and there are many, the program has actually set the scene for poor people to have an even harder time affording cars, a vital tool for earning more money.
What’s more, most of the sales are ones that would have happened, anyway.
Didn’t Even Help
Speaking of poverty, the program did not actually stimulate car buying, to help the economy, especially did not help the American car companies (who did not deserve it, anyway), and did not even get those new buyers to save gas mileage!
Because most of the buying was just what economists call “front loading”; the choice to buy a car was simply moved ahead…once the plan ends, car purchasing will decline to an abnormal low from where it would have been, as most people who could have anticipated buying a car in the next year or two will have simply bought ahead, at taxpayer expense.
The net result, therefore, will be the same amount of economic activity, but crammed hastily into a shorter period of time, and with the economy-damaging side-effect of government spending having required government debt or taxpayer burden.
“Hasty” seems to be a government motto, of late.
Oh, and the “helping American car companies”? The people who took advantage of Cash for Clunkers mostly bought Japanese cars.
In all, these factors mean that even this most feel-good of big government programs, Cash for Clunkers, has had the overall effect of increasing pollution and harming the poor, by removing perfectly good, modern used cars from the road, trapping poorer people in much older cars, for longer…while either increasing pollution through manufacturing more new cars, or just causing future economic turmoil by using economy-depressing public finance to encourage people to simply buy their cars a few months early, all at one time.
It’s bad enough that new gas mileage standards will cost the already-struggling US automakers at least $21,000,000,000 per year, which they will pass on to YOU, either in as consumers or taxpayers, but they also can TRIPLE the chance of your family dying in a car crash.
The new CAFE standards require automakers to have a much higher average gas mileage within a few years. But since automakers can’t force people to buy smaller cars, this means they must stop making larger cars, in order to force the “average” bought to be more efficient.
GM, for example, is going to literally stop selling the Caprice, one of its most popular and longest-made cars, to regular people…because it’s large. It will only offer those to “fleet” buyers, like police, taxi, and limo companies. Each company will also make the cars it does offer smaller and lighter. You will have no choice but to buy these, if you want a new car.
And, of course, you will be forced to finance this change through your taxes, with the new Cash for Clunkers law, while Cap and Trade (if you let it pass) will cause more car shrinkage and insane tax burden on you than CAFE and Cash for Clunkers combined.
Forced Green = Death
Yet no expert seriously denies that smaller cars are far more dangerous than large cars. They may refuse to use those exact words, but crash test results like this are not just normal, but a question of physics.
When a car hits something, its size, weight, and the materials out of which it’s made decide how much harm will come to its passengers. This is true even when an immobile object like a fence or tree…but it’s most true when hitting a moveable object, like a deer or another vehicle. These factors determine how much of the energy goes to moving the object you hit, and how much to crushing your body.
Even if your car has a rigid steel frame (Smart cars) and crumple zones (European cars), the change in speed from hitting a heavier object will snap your body around and kill you.
So when Barak Obama and John McCain attempt to force through standards that will effectively ban the building of larger vehicles for families, they are condemning many people to death. But, they say, this is worthwhile in order to force greater fuel economy on regular people.
Efficiency is more important than human life.
In 2004, a study by Dynamic Research, Inc. found a a 20% change in the weight difference between two vehicles in a collision produced a 15% change in mortality. The motivation, of course, was to show that people needed to be forced to drive lighter vehicles; punish SUV owners by reducing the side of their vehicles…but a more rational way to look at it is that, since large vehicles (and deer, and trees) will not cease to exist, a 20% reduction in the weight of new cars means a 15% increase in the death of families riding in them.
Your Death: A Risk They’re Willing to Take
Not only will there continue to be industrial vehicles, tractor-trailor rigs, and other necessary vehicles on the road to hit your shrinking family car, and not only will the deer you hit not be on a corrresponding diet, but bear in mind that the “fleet vehicles” the politicians use are effectively exempted. So Obama, McCain, government officials, and their loved ones will still be safe in their gigantic limosines, massive taxis, and ponderous police cars, to collide with and crush we mere mortals.
Statistically, you are twice as likely to die in a small car than a larger one, during a crash…THREE times as likely, if it’s a single-car crash. That’s right; you don’t have to hit an SUV to die from driving a small car: The more your car weighs, the more it can push back against the object it’s hitting, reducing the speed at which your body is jerked in an accident.
In fact, in a recent test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, smaller vehicles even proved doomsday devices in crash tests against mere mid-level vehicles. It’s not just that a smart car will kill you if it collides with an SUV, but even a normal sedan…and when the new laws are in effect, the normal sedans being made then will be death traps against one made today.
So if a Cap and Trade politician’s limosine crashes into your family car, a few years from now, you (not he) will be far more likely to die than today…but that’s ok, it’s a chance he’s willing to take.
So far, some 2,700 people have been hospitalized with the current “swine flu” outbreak in the US. 3 have died.
Each year, some 200,000 people are hospitalized with the normal “seasonal flu”. About 36,000 die.
So for the regular flu, that’s an 18% chance of dying.
“Swine flu”, just about 00.1% chance of dying.
If I’m gonna get one or the other, I hope it’s h1n1 – the “swine flu”.
Refer to Beware the Coming [insert non-threat] Pandemic!!! for why this ridiculous hysteria started in the first place.
Hint: Fear Equals Funding
When you hear those lazy, tax-dollar-stealing car company reps on the radio saying you should “buy from us, or otherwise be sure to Buy American”, don’t forget that “Buy American” is unamerican.
The American Dream is for everyone to earn their way, NOT for people to be given an easy way out with affirmative action.
And Buying American™ in order to protect overpriced, inefficient union monopoly jobs is the very worst form of Affirmative Action.
We Americans have, for good reason, a long-standing belief in “meritocracy”, people getting what they earn, earning what they get.
Most of us have ancestors who came here because they could earn what they deserved, regardless of class, nationality, or whatever…at least compared to anywhere else.
And they passed on the kind of attitude necessary for such a tremendous move. Most of us still have a healthy dose of it, today.
And we’re in the one place in the world where we still have some opportunity to exercise it. Not as much as America used to, especially not as much as we’d like…but still more than anywhere else.
So we love this place, America, because we really do believe it’s the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
We love it enough that it’s hard to avoid getting suckered into tolerating, or even supporting, something completely unamerican, if it’s clothed in enough patriotic trappings.
The examples of that today are many…more than since the middle of the Cold War. But, aside from the many others which get plenty of bandwidth on the net already, there’s one which I almost never hear anyone speaking out against.
So I’m doing that, now.
Do you know who deserves to have the money for that new car you want to buy?
Whoever makes the best car in your price range. Frankly, that’s the only answer that fits with the Spirit of America.
Same with your shirt, your birdhouse, your silicon implants…whatever.
Yet some people, mostly bloated, bureaucratic corporations who make products which can’t compete on fair terms because they’re overpriced and underquality, have the nerve to tell us that it’s patriotic to “Buy American”. And because the word “American” is one we love, we’re tempted to fall for it.
But we need to stop.
If Mitsubishi and Hyundai make better cars than Ford and Chrysler, then they’re going to get more money. Then Ford and Chrysler are going to struggle. The solution? It’s for them to get off their lazy butts…and we, as Americans, are just the kind of straight-talkers to SAY that about them…and make better effing vehicles.
But if they can convince us to unconditionally “Buy American”, along with forcing us to give them billions in bailouts, then they don’t have to. They can keep making mediocre-or-worse cars. Which is what they’ve done since at least the mid seventies.
I remember an ad where Lee Iacoca leaned forward earnestly at what was implicitly his desk as a Ford executive, and said, in essence, ”OK, we admit it, we have been half-assing the cars. But you taught us a lesson, so now we’re making really good cars. All you have to do is come back and try us out, we’ve decided that Quality is Job One, now.”
That was twenty-something years ago, if I recall correctly.
Just recently I saw another ad. Another car exec looking repentantly into the camera and ernestly saying something like “OK, we get it, we’ve been half-assing the cars. But you taught us a lesson, so now we’re making really good cars. We think quality is job one, now. No…really. This time we mean it.”
No, they’ll mean it when the people — who really do buy inferior cars because of emotional appeal — stop letting the FEELING of being patriotic come before the actual actions of American ideals.
I’m going to stick to being a REAL American, and you should, too.
Support whomever deserves it, because anything else is not only wrong, and unamerican, but self-destructive in the long run.