Abortion

Ford Can Use Whatever Color Ink It Wants To Do Its Accounting As Long As It's Red

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Here's a newsflash from the business pages: Ford Motor Company, once upon a time the face of innovation, progress, and a bright glittery future, is a real crap outfit these days:

Ford Motor Co. could post the worst annual loss in its storied 103-year history when the automaker releases its 2006 earnings today. The old record net loss was $7.39 billion in 1992, but through three quarters of 2006, Ford already had lost $7 billion.

Fourteen analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect more red ink in the fourth quarter, predicting an average quarterly loss of $1.01 per share and $1.35 per share for the year, excluding special items.

Ford's shares closed Wednesday at $8.20, down 10 cents.

More details here.

Let's not worry too much about adjusting for inflation this time around. Clearly, the day is coming--maybe not in the immediate future, but certainly soon enough--when GM or Ford (most likely the latter) goes bankrupt and/or is fully taken over by a "foreign" car company (that is, one headquartered outside the U.S. even if most of their cars are made here), setting off monumental wailing and gnashing of teeth over the End of the American Economic Era, etc. You know, sort of like when the last Woolworth's shut down. Or when A&P went into receivership.

Creative destruction can be a real bitch, that's for sure, especially if you're tooling around in a Tempo.

Former Ford employee Shikha Dalmia looked into the hybrid dreams of former CEO (and human proof of regression to the mean) Bill Ford and saw nothing but green goblins and red ink here.

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  1. You’re being a little harsh on poor Bill Ford, aren’t you?

    Do you want to deal with the UAW?

  2. Gee I wonder why they’re losing money? Could it be because their products suck?

  3. Uh, yeah, too many hybrids. That’s Ford’s problem.

    If only they’d concentrated on big gas guzzlers, they’d be strong, like GM.

  4. So, how are green-transportation leaders Honda and Toyota doing?

  5. I wonder how Lou Dobbs will react to Ford or GM being “taken over” by some non-American company…

  6. American owned car companies will never compete untill they get rid of the Unions.

  7. Yeah, labor costs are so much cheaper in Japan.

    If not for the unions, the Pontiac Aztek would have put GM back on top of the world.

  8. joe

    Toyota’s and Honda’s success has little to do with their greenness.

    Their success at delivering hybrids has everything to do with their commitment to the project. And the fact that they made the decision as a response to perceived market demand rather than as some kind of social statement.

    I think one of the biggest complaints about Ford is that like BP their commitment to “alternatives” is mostly a public relations ploy and a smokescreen to mask their other failures.

  9. “the Pontiac Aztek would have put GM back on top of the world.”

    LOL!

    between that and This one, it’s kinda like the Astros uniforms and the Pirates caps during the 70s!

  10. I love the xB, and they’re selling like hotcakes.

    If they came out with a hybrid version, they’d sell even more.

    Five years ago, Honda and Toyota were smart enough to recognize the buying power of the “urban demographic,” and design and market their cars accordingly. Remember the “Civic Nation” ads? People don’t trick out old American cars anymore – it’s all about the little Japanese cars with aircraft-carrier-sized spoilers these days.

    Those giant SUVs have a great profit margin – if they sell. If they don’t, the company takes a huge hit.

  11. Those giant SUVs have a great profit margin – if they sell. If they don’t, the company takes a huge hit.

    That statement is a tautology and is true of any product anywhere.

    The Japanese car companies are strong not because sales of Hybrids, but because the Camry, Corolla and Accord are the strongest selling cars in America, and I believe the world. This trend, the decline of American car manufacturing relative to the Japanese, has been apparent for a decade far before the introduction of Hybrids.

  12. The Japanese car makers have done well because they build solid cars that run more or less forever. While the American car makers have been getting better for the past decade or two, it will take a long time to overcome the public perception that domestic vehicles just aren’t as good.

  13. joe — I have a simple question. How would a progressive fix Ford? That’s a serious question, not an intended jab at you.

    From a libertarian point of view, the market will fix the situation. Either Ford will get better or they will go under. If they go under, some other company will pick up the pieces at a discount and restart the company.

    How does a progressive view lead to a recovery at Ford? Economic bailout from the state and federal governments? What?

  14. An anecdotal example, but one that I think is illustrative: Several years ago, my mother started looking for an SUV. (Back off, anti SUV folks-she’s married to a farmer, and wanted to be able to drive to the various farms, which are not always on paved roads. And a pickup was not an option.) I advised her to look at the Honda monstrosity. She went with the Ford monstrosity. And sold it two years later. The windshield never properly sealed, and nothing seemed to fix it. This time, she listened to me and went to the Honda dealer. She loves the Honda, which is slightly more trouble-free than the average refrigerator.

  15. I don’ know how a progressive would, but this is what I would do;

    1) Put it into Chapter 11

    2) Invalidate existing union pension and healthcare contracts, foist them onto the PBGC

    3) Shut down/sell off any excess manufacturing capacity

    4) Increase R & D spend, in my experience American cars still suck

    5) Cancel the existing stock and debt

    6) Determine which market niche they have an advantage in (cheap cars, green cars, trucks, etc…) and focus on existing as a small car company

  16. Yeah, labor costs are so much cheaper in Japan.

    Toyota pays it’s US workers less than GM or Ford pays it’s unionized workers. As far as I know the only UAW employees Toyota has are in a joint GM-Toyota plant in California.

    I can’t find a source for this, but if I recall correctly (I think it was a 60-minutes interview with Rick Wagoner) GM needs to charge ~2K more than it’s Japanese competitors on an equivalent class car to cover current and legacy union obligations.

    I buy Japanese because they make reliable cars, but it doesn’t help that American autos are crap and more expensive.

  17. lannychiu,

    Honda and Toyota’s leadership on fuel efficiency and low emissions cars – of which their recent turn to hybrids is just the latest example – has accompanied their conquest of the automobile market.

    It’s debateable how much of that dominance is because of that leadership – maybe a little, maybe a lot – but what is not debateable is that choosing to pay attention to those features has demonstrably not harmed their bottom line. On the other hand, choosing to blow off those concerns and focus on big gas guzzlers has demonstrably not helped Ford and GM’s bottom lines, as it was supposed to.

  18. joe — I have a simple question. How would a progressive fix Ford? That’s a serious question, not an intended jab at you.

    Not speaking for joe. My answer: antitrust suit that breaks for into independent companies called Ford1, Ford2, Ford3, Ford4, Ford5, Ford6, Ford7, Ford8, Ford9 and Ford10.

  19. jake,

    Progressives don’t really give a damn if Ford collapses. Personally, I’d be quite happy to see Toyota buy them out and convert the Excursion plants to produce hybrid Camrys. I think we’re pretty much on the same liberaltarian page here.

    Bailing out a company whose environmentally inferior products have lost in the marketplace to a superior, greener product would be big government conservative/centrist/maybe Clintonite thing to do.

  20. To amplify what Joe is saying (sort of): Off the top of my head, I can name several Japanese cars, both hybrid and traditional, that get something close to 40 mpg. While there are probably American cars that do the same, none come immediately to mind. Put it this way: the average person who thinks, “I need a fuel-efficient vehicle” is probably going to follow that thought with “I’d better go down to the Toyota/Honda/Mazda dealership and see what they have.”

  21. One more thought: The shift away from traditional gasoline engines is a way off, but it will happen. I don’t know what the replacement will be (nor does anyone, yet), but the Japanese and European companies’ focus on things like hybrids and fuel-cell cars is going to make them better prepared when the change comes.

    And yes, I’m aware of the GM electric car. They don’t make it any more. And, IIRC, Ford’s hybrid technology is borrowed from Toyota.

  22. Bailing out a company whose environmentally inferior products have lost in the marketplace to a superior, greener product would be big government conservative/centrist/maybe Clintonite thing to do.

    Interesting response.

    I was just thinking back to the federal bailout of Chrysler way back when.

    The general justification was to prevent Chrysler from going under to protect the welfare of all the workers that would be negatively impacted by consequences of the business failure.

    So looking at Ford today. Conservatives would typically focus on the mostly positive impact to stockholders if Ford was broken up or bought out by a new company. While liberals (or progressives) would tend to focus on the mostly negative consequences to the guys and gals on the line that would certainly lose out on wages and benefits.

    Of course the environmentally conscious wing on the left side have been appalled at Ford’s (and GM’s) focus on SUVs and trucks instead of lighter, more efficient cars.

  23. Sam

    Don’t you have to corner the market, not get your ass kicked in it in order to be a monopoly?

    joe

    I agree with you on the direction of the market…In addition, I would add that unionized auto companies can’t compete on a similar vehicle to vehicle basis with higher production costs. Thats all.

  24. Long live Toyota. But damn, those furriner companies are evil because they only pay unedicated semi-skilled workers $20-30/hr instead of $40.

  25. I don’t think we can blame this all on the unions. Management had made some pretty stupid decisions as well. Remember the guy at GM who said that they would never have to worry about selling Buicks because as Americans got older and fatter they would automatically buy big cars with big seats?

    And go watch “Who killed the electric car?” for another example. If GM had decided to continue with what technology they alreaddy had they could have had a really nice alternative product for the present line-up. But noooo…..

    Even crazier is that GM has some damn good gas-sipping cars over on the other side of the pond. Why don’t they sell them here in the US?

    (Me, I’m waiting for a diesel Smart car.)

  26. Joe,

    I don’t think that is entirely correct. Honda and Toyota’s focus on low emissions is not the reason they are winning. They after all sell lots of SUV’s, trucks and luxury vehicles (Infiniti and Lexus), which are not low emission vehicles.

    They win because their cars are better, and more reliable. They may be intelligent and realize some buyers are willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly cars, but that is not the source of their success.

  27. Good news, Joe:

    “WASHINGTON, Jan 23, 2007 — Ford Motor Company unveiled on Tuesday the world’s first drivable fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle with plug-in capability. The vehicle, unveiled at Washington’s Auto Show, combines an onboard hydrogen fuel cell generator with lithium-ion batteries to deliver more than 41 mpg with zero emissions….”

    Put every penny you have in Ford shares, and let us know how it turns out.

    ———-

    “…antitrust suit that breaks for into independent companies called Ford1, Ford2, Ford3, Ford4, Ford5, Ford6, Ford7, Ford8, Ford9 and Ford10.”

    They could initiate that process (and save significant legal fees) by selling off Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mazda and Volvo. And Lincoln.

    ———–

    They could always hire an outside superstar like Carlos Ghosn, for a few hundred million dollars. He would fix everything. Of course, they would have to pay Mulally a couple hundred million to go away, but it would be worth every penny.

  28. Nick, either you 1)are rooting for Detroit’s demise, which doesn’t need any help from outsiders, thank you, or 2)are a complete fucking idiot. I doubt its number (2) so what’s your deal? Let’s see….the last production Tempo was 1994, 13 years ago! Fair is fair, so let’s compare apples and apples, shall we? In 1994 my ’92 Toyota Truck bed was rusted through by then, had a broken horn button, heater control cable, and was on the second exhaust system, so spare us the propaganda that asian cars are made in Heaven by Angels while Singing the Praises of the Lord. The sad part is that people believe that shit. Some people are plain stupid)…and the losses that were announced today are no surprise unless you have been playing in the fuckin’ mud for the last five years. I cannot for the life of me figure out why you pundits act so goddammed surprised when it was announced a year ago that this shitstorm was coming? Your bit reminds me of those asshole local weathermen who scream about COLD and SNOW in JANUARY as if that’s news in Michigan. (ITS AN INCH OF SNOW!!!! DONT GO OUT!!! DONT GO OUT!!!)Another news flash: a large ball of fire is slated to appear in the east sometime tomorrow morning. Do not be frightened. But go ahead and inform us , as if we would see it through the clouds anyway…..yes, Bill needs to taken out back and paddled on the ass real hard for giving the time of day to those environmental assholes, because they are like a begging dog at dinner, always wanting more. Bunch of goddamn crybabys. Also, The present situation that Ford finds itself in can be traced right back to management. (note: I am not a union member). Ford has been more of a developer of careers than vehicles. The average grunt on the line cares more about the company than the average manager, because these clowns care about one thing first and foremost: cover your ass, bullshit your way through, and hope you get transferred before your boss figures what a stupid dick you are. I am afraid this problem has not yet been solved. God help us all. Now the Junk Science Believer Bush wants to “solve” global whining – I mean warming – on the backs of the automakers. So, yeah, Nick. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I’m glad you’re here to tell us these things. And you really should not want Detroit to completely sink because then we will spread throughout the country like a pack of starving dogs and start beating the shit out of people, tipping over police cars, etc….just lock everything down. We’re coming, motherfuckers….Number 6, you used the wrong shit to wake and bake with this morning. Ford did NOT borrow Toyota’s technology. It was developed INDEPENDENTLY but many of the patents were similar enough to trigger Licensing agreements. The TRANSMISSION is supplied by the supplier AISIN which is partly owned by Toyota. So what. If you knew anything at all about the car business you would know this happens all the time. Yes, there are Delphi and Visteon (formerly units of GM and Ford) parts on all sorts of Imports including Nissan and Toyota. My old ’83 CJ7 had a Ford ignition system and a GM steering unit. This has been happening for 100 years. There is a name for people who blather on about things they know little if anything about: POLITICIAN, or, Bullshit Artist.

  29. thank you Biff, that was very entertaining

  30. “…antitrust suit that breaks for into independent companies called Ford1, Ford2, Ford3, Ford4, Ford5, Ford6, Ford7, Ford8, Ford9 and Ford10.”

    They could initiate that process (and save significant legal fees) by selling off Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mazda and Volvo. And Lincoln.

    Then they better. because a good antitrust court would split the talent and cash (or debt) exactly ten ways and not worry about perpetutaing the familiar trade names or respecting the historical entities. Competition is not about sitting on yr laurels. It is about the future.

  31. To be fair, its really not the unions that are killing Ford, besides, those can be negotiated with. Its the pensions and legacy thats dragging Ford to its rusty grave. There’s something like $2000 built into every car that has to pay for pensions and legacy. With competition as tight as it is, you can’t compete if your cars cost $2000 more if you don’t have the superiority in design and construction to justify the higher price. So Ford loses money on every car a dealership sells. Ford, GM and Chrysler don’t produce bad products nowadays for the most part, but they are chained to their pasts and have no room to move as long as they have cash to lose. Bankruptcy is the only thing that could save them or they could use the cash to buy off every last one of their pensioners, just hand it all away and rid themselves of the drag. Or, entrepreneurs could start negotiating to buy factories from Ford for a new car company. That’s something I’d love to see. Instead of a foreign company taking over, American VC’s could buy off the parts, overhaul them and start new companies.

  32. jake,

    A progressive would support the workers by targetting help to them, not to their employer.

    lannychiu, P Brooks,

    Every time I comment that Clinton’s economic policy’s didn’t derail the economy during the 90s, people throw up the straw man that I’m claiming the strong economy RESULTED FROM his economic policies. You two are doing the same thing with my statement about the Japanese’ concentration on greener cars.

    Also, lanny, while the Japanes do produce trucks and luxury cars in addition to very clean basic cars, even those less-clean models are environmentally superior to the American models in their same class.

  33. They could initiate that process (and save significant legal fees) by selling off Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mazda and Volvo. And Lincoln.

    And Mercury. And don’t they have a piece of Kia?

  34. Ah, Mercury. A Mercury really makes a statement.

    A Grand Marquis, for example, says “I paid too much for a Crown Vic.”

    I used to mow the lawn of a family that had a Grand Marquis. They also had an expensive French lawnmower.

    No really. It broke. A lot.

  35. L_I_T-

    “…its really not the unions that are killing Ford, besides, those can be negotiated with. Its the pensions and legacy thats dragging Ford to its rusty grave.”

    Unfortunately, those legacy costs are the direct result of previous labor negotiations.

    As for your point about selling off factories and business assets, look at GM; they have spent vast sums of money killing off, rather than selling, what should have been an extremely valuable business asset, the Oldsmobile brand. The last thing these guys want is more competition.

  36. “Ah, Mercury. A Mercury really makes a statement.”
    lol
    indeed: the medicare sled! the steering wheel and the wheels must have sent the engineers and designers over the top – no right angles there! And, to quote the BBC car reviewer (the one that *giggle* likes Jaguar (a little nationalism there?)) said, “has a top safe speed of… four”

  37. Unions are probably not the sole reason that the American auto companies are dying, but their fingerprints are all over the murder weapon.

    http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2007/01/strangling_detr.html

  38. Bailing out a company whose environmentally inferior products have lost in the marketplace to a superior, greener product would be big government conservative/centrist/maybe Clintonite thing to do.

    Just curious, joe – would you also be opposed to government bailouts of companies who’s environmentally sensitive/greener products have lost out in the marketplace?

  39. Magnificent rant by Biff. I have to agree with him about Ford management. I’ve worked with most of the big automakers in my career and Ford does seem to have by far the highest percentage of genuine nitwits amongst their white collar staff. It seems to all stem from the top. Google up Mark Fields. The man is their EVP for the Americas and he sports a fucking mullet! The douche has a year-round tan because they fly him down to his house in Florida from Detroit every week on the corporate dime.
    My only wish is that some how, some way, Ford goes down in flames so bad that the bastards are forced to sell the Lions. Just like the car company, the football team will never be a winner with this kind of loser ownership.

  40. I wouldn’t worry about the employees if Ford went under quickly and was bought out–the new employer would hire most of them and keep going. It’s if Ford goes down slowly by dribs and drabs, laying off people bit by bit who don’t get hired because it’s still inefficient for competition to move in, that the employees get screwed.

  41. I’ve been reassuring myself the past few years that however bad my financial situation, I’m still making billions of dollars more than Ford. Or GM.

  42. A progressive would support the workers by targetting help to them, not to their employer.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  43. Joe,

    As I understand it Clinton successfully enacted the following major policies

    – Tax increase on highest bracket (from 36-39.6%)

    – NAFTA

    – Welfare Reform

    – Gave Greenspan a lot of leeway in keeping inflation down

    First off, I don’t see how any reasonable conservative would disagree with those, except for the tax increase. And I don’t imagine anyone believes that these would derail an economy.

    If I am wrong and there were other policies in place, please fill me in.

  44. Joe,

    “Yeah, labor costs are so much cheaper in Japan.”

    Um, actually they are. Health care costs for one, that’s about $1300 per vehicle.

  45. I used to mow the lawn of a family that had a Grand Marquis. They also had an expensive French lawnmower.

    No really. It broke. A lot.

    What brand?

  46. I’ve still waiting for my biodiesel-hybrid car: three times the green! 🙂

  47. Um, actually they are. Health care costs for one, that’s about $1300 per vehicle.

    Japan has universal healthcare. As Libertraians, are you sure you want to go on this line of comparison?

    http://www.nchc.org/facts/Japan.pdf

  48. Japan has universal healthcare. As Libertraians, are you sure you want to go on this line of comparison?

    that just means their healthcare is crappy and they don’t live very long./sarc

  49. “As Libertraians, are you sure you want to go on this line of comparison?”

    yes – because facts are out there, and it’s better to know. You know, the Postrel’ian Method. Dynamic. Bayesian…

    Plus you want to find out what solutions are out there for various problems. You want to get ideas how the “market solution” is derived, the process; the trial and error. You’ll want to see how top-down or government-mandated solutions work; you’ll want to see how solutions work where the competitive market forces are limited. And you’ll want to see how solutions look when there are competitive market forces.

    Since outcomes can’t be guaranteed, having an understanding of outcomes and “side effects” from policy/action/choices is all part of the learning and decision-making process.

    You learn, you try, you err, you try again. Sometimes the solution works, other times it does not. Aggregate that across all the people doing it.

    You’ll have a lot of failure and success. And you’ll have an idea of what to do when you have a situation where competitive market forces are hindered or even blocked.

    You can have different expected risks plotted out, and you can have strategies to deal with those different scenarios.

    So, yes, even though most here would reject the notion that universal health care is a good idea or gives an advantage, I doubt if anybody here would suggest that the current way things are done 1) even remotely approaches a “market-based solution” 2) that there are competitive market forces at work 3) and there is NO! number three.

    But it’s good to know.

    Selection + Mutation = Continual Improvement
    (Mutation defined as: endogenous and exogenous shocks)
    Selection + Recombination = Innovation

    🙂

  50. My father manages one of Ford’s plastics plants. They make things like tail lights and interior trim parts. I’ll agree that Ford’s upper management is crap and their cars generally suck. (Their trucks are better: I’ve owned a ’95 Explorer since new that’s needed a tranny rebuild and a replacement thermostat but nothing else has ever broken in 160,000 miles.) I’m not pointing the finger at unions for Ford’s coming demise, but some of the stories I hear from my dad are mind-boggling. They had a union electrician doing maintenance on a $100,000 backup electrical generator. The guy literally couldn’t read, and he rewired the thing based on the pictures in the schematics. Unfortunately he reversed the polarity on the motor and when it was fired up it exploded, destroying the generator. Because of the union they can’t fire they guy, but they don’t dare let him work on their equipment so they basically pay him to hang around in the break room all day. When other machinery goes down, the operator isn’t allowed to fix it even if he knows exactly what to do, because fixing it would take a job away from some other guy. Instead the entire production line stops and everyone in the plant waits for the union-authorized wrench turner to come back from lunch in order to tighten a bolt. Crap like this happens a lot.

    I don’t have a problem with unions per se, but when a union’s relationship with their employer is adversarial rather then cooperative, everyone loses. Illiterate electricians, for example, cost the company money and make the union look terrible. When Ford goes bankrupt, the union won’t have caused it, but they’ll have made a major contribution.

  51. RC Dean axes me: “Just curious, joe – would you also be opposed to government bailouts of companies who’s environmentally sensitive/greener products have lost out in the marketplace?”

    Ideally, I’d prefer to see regulation that forces the dirty birdies to internalize their environmental externalities. Making them cover their own costs instead of passing them off onto us would vastly improve the market standing of cleaner products.

    As a fallback position, I’d be willing to see the government subsidize companies that have superior technologies.

  52. VW,

    I like your response.

    But it’s not much of a soundbyte 🙂

  53. fyi joe a lexus ls460 is considerably less fuel efficient than a cadillac sts, and the american v8’s in ford and gm pickups are also more efficient than toyota’s. though not honda which only uses v6’s cuz they actually care about fuel efficiency.

  54. clone12, VM,

    I hate the idea of state run healthcare, I’m just trying to be honest. The healthcare cost is a huge factor in the inability of American Co’s to compete. Sure, there are other reasons, wretched union, wretched contracts, etc… But this is certainly a huge one. I would never support state run healthcare, that’s not my point.

  55. Kohlrabi,

    I didn’t think you are supportive of universal healthcare, and I appreciate your honesty in pointing out this $1300 healthcare competitive disadvantage faced by the US.

    Having said that, how would you go about fixing it?

  56. clone12,

    I really wish I had a solution. (I’d prolly be promoted if I did. I work for an Am. Car Co.)

    I suppose you’d have to compensate in other ways. Ween the employees out of their company healthcare onto their own, and make products compelling enough to sustain the transition. Maybe offer the employees a yearly increase over and above their current health costs to opt out of the benefit. It would be an initial hit, but pay off in the long run. Other than that, I really don’t know.

  57. “As a fallback position, I’d be willing to see the government subsidize companies that have superior technologies.”

    Something like the Energy Policy Act of 2005

    Just fill out your Your IRS 5695 (PDF) and you’re on your way!

    Or maybe the Department of Energy’s Distributed Energy Program

    clone12: grin. lack of good soundbite material is a big weakness of libertarianism. Or when people do give sound bites, it sounds really silly (“the market will take care of it” or some BS about that. Or yell “DEMAND CURVE”)

  58. vm

    Soundbite politics is the besetting problem of democratic political systems.

    Literacy tests for voters is not a bad idea. A demonstrated knowledge of the implications of the Bill of Rights, an ability to solve a quadratic equation, an understanding of Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage would all be suitable subjects for the questions. Even if you set the ‘pass’ grade at 50%, you would definitely improve the level of political thought.

  59. Arensen,

    I’d bet that most pols would fail your test.

  60. Why don’t you weigh the vote by the number of questions correctly answered?

    Sure, you might end up with Ken Jennings as the next president, but hey, at least he’ll know the difference between a Shia and a Sunni!

  61. A progressive would support the workers by targetting help to them, not to their employer.

    Funny how every time “progessives” “help” “the workers” it always ends up as a big fat payout to the threatened company.

    Corporate Welfare is never about about wealth transfers to the friends of politicians, no, it’s always about helping “the workers”.

    Just as how if Al Gore had won in ’00 he would have bailed out Enron in ’01. But it would not have been for Ken Lay and the shareholders it would have been for “the workers”. Yeah that’s who Bob Rubin was calling the Bush treasury guys about helping. RRiigghhtt!!.

  62. Isaac,

    You’re blowing smoke. What “progressives” are you talking about? Uber-centrist Paul Tsongas (bless his soul) and his Chrysler bailout?

    Bob Rubin? A great administrator, but he doesn’t come within 100 miles of being a progressive.

    Yes, centrists and conservatives and the center-left adopt progressive language to justify their non-progressive policies. Some of them are genuine in their beliefs that their pro-corporate policies are done for the benefit of the workers.

    Whoop de doo.

  63. Bob Rubin? A great administrator, but he doesn’t come within 100 miles of being a progressive.

    Yeah, joe, I know that (and so do you), but does everyone else? 🙂

  64. The Real Bill

    I agree.

    That’s a major reason why it would improve the level of political discourse.

  65. On the odd chance there’s anyone still here:

    From the Chicogo Trib version of this story:

    ‘”Mulally also confirmed that Ford is considering giving performance bonuses to its top executives at the same time it is incurring massive losses, closing plants and cutting jobs.

    “More of the compensation of senior leadership is tied to their performance,” he said. “This team has made great progress. You have to keep the talented people you really need.”‘

    Damn those union slackers, demanding more money than they’re worth!

    Any time anyone wants to notice that a dollar spent on the salaries of top management costs as much as a dollar spent on a unionized worker, that would be cool.

  66. Joe, I’m still here. Yeah, that sucks. It doesn’t make the union any less culpable to point that out, though.

  67. My hydrogen powered 1996 Jeep with over 318,000 miles and no major repairs (radiator, clutch pedal linkage, starter) disagrees with all of your American vehicle bashing crap.

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