Economics

Yes, He'll Be a Czar, but That Doesn't Mean He'll Be Running Things

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"We don't want government to run companies," President-elect Obama said on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday. "Generally, government historically hasn't done that very well." Still, the new car czar will have to dictate certain things to the people actually running the companies:

They're going to have to restructure. And all their stakeholders are going to have restructure. Labor, management, shareholders, creditors—everybody is going to recognize that they…do not have a sustainable business model right now, and if they expect taxpayers to help in that adjustment process, then they can't keep on putting off the kinds of changes that they, frankly, should have made 20 or 30 years ago.

Perhaps the right approach is the one taken by America's drug czar, who tries to eliminate an industry and thereby ensures its continued existence.

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  1. I don’t want to see a black market for Detroit automobiles. They will be even worse quality than they are now, and cut with all kinds of harmful substances.

  2. Perhaps the right approach is the one taken by America’s drug czar, who tries to eliminate an industry

    Somewhere, Algoracle is drooling.

  3. Didn’t Congress set minimum fuel efficiency standards? And didn’t they make deals with lobbyists so bad they rival the GM job-bank clause in retardedness? Why isn’t Congress taking any of the blame for the present state of the auto industry? Oh, right, nevermind…

  4. PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Well, I think we can get a lot of work done fast. When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door, but they’ve already lined up the projects and they can make them work.

    True story. Lieutenant: J sub D, can you spend 20K on “needed” computer equipment if the money’s available? J sub D: The list will be on your desk by COB.

  5. This shouldn’t be too bad for the Big Suckage 3. They get an uninvited board member and when they need to go back to Congress in six months for another 15-20 billion, guess who will be taking point?

    That’s right, the CAR CZAR who needs to keep them floating to keep his phony boloney job.

  6. One of these things is not like the others. The creditors’ business model is doing fine, especially if the government decides that the big three can’t be allowed to fail.

    -jcr

  7. You’ll be Czar-ry!

  8. All hail American Leyland!

  9. I just thought of the perfect solution to all of this car czar nonsense. We need a czar czar. That person would be responsible for deciding what new czars for whatever the fucking hell anyone proposes. That “czar” would then spend months and months on the required research and focus group data deciding the merits and flaws of the proposed czar. Then that czar must submit the proposal to the appropriate congressional committee. Then must go on a six month speaking tour promoting or rejecting the proposed whatever czar. Then vote must be a taken on the czar czar’s recommendation. No one would ever think a proposed czar or anything is real, actual proposal for anything ever again with those rules.

  10. everybody is going to recognize that they…do not have a sustainable business model right now

    Does this mean the first order of business is pulling the plug(!) on the VOLT, because they can’t make a profit on it?

    Will Obama scrap CAFE, and raise the fuel tax by a dollar, with scheduled increases to follow?

  11. Messa’ gonna save all da peoples!

  12. If any of those viable business plans includes getting out of the econobox business, the car czar won’t let them do it.

  13. Things are so fucked up now, if you try to buy a car with cash, the dealer walks away. The dealer makes no money on cash sales, it’s financing or no car for you.

  14. “We don’t want government to run companies,”

    …that would allow shareholders and the voting public to assign to us responsibility for those companies’ future mistakes.

    However, this will not stop us from regulating and micromanaging these companies’ affairs–just as, you know, someone running a company might do.

  15. However, this will not stop us from regulating and micromanaging these companies’ affairs–just as, you know, someone running a company might do.

    Ah, Fascism (the economic kind, not the gas-chamber kind)…keep the business owners around so you have someone to blame for mistakes made by the people with the real power.

  16. “Perhaps the right approach is the one taken by America’s drug czar, who tries to eliminate an industry and thereby ensures its continued existence.”

    HAHAHAHAHA!

  17. Didn’t Congress set minimum fuel efficiency standards? And didn’t they make deals with lobbyists so bad they rival the GM job-bank clause in retardedness? Why isn’t Congress taking any of the blame for the present state of the auto industry?

    That is the most novel application of doctrine despite the facts I’ve seen in some time. Bravo.

  18. Why stop with a czar czar? We need a Czar Czar Czar who oversees the czar czars who in turn oversees the czars. And the czars can oversee mini-czars and micro-czars, hell, even pico-czars.

  19. When this first got mentioned several weeks ago, I had another reason to be screaming at NPR through my radio.

    Marketplace was on, and someone suggested an Auto Czar, to which the host of NPR asked “Will the automakers want the government looking over our shoulders?”

    I started screaming “Not only will they ‘agree’ to an Auto Czar, they’ll DEMAND it!”

    “Bring it on!” was the mock-surprise answer from the Marketplace host.

    Democrats = Corporate Welfare.

  20. They’re going to have to restructure. And all their stakeholders are going to have restructure. Labor, management, shareholders, creditors-everybody is going to recognize that they…do not have a sustainable business model right now, and if they expect taxpayers to help in that adjustment process, then they can’t keep on putting off the kinds of changes that they, frankly, should have made 20 or 30 years ago.

    Damn! I didn’t know Obama had so much experience and other qualifications in the automobile manufacturing business. Dude missed his calling.

  21. The difference between the Drug Czar and Car Czar situations is that people actually want to buy drugs. More people probably consume illegal drugs than have any interest in buying a Big Three automobile. no one is going to pay more for a black market Chrysler.

  22. When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door, but they’ve already lined up the projects and they can make them work.

    So what’s stopping these governor’s from doing these projects?

    Oh, they don’t have the money? Well, either reallocate money in the state budget or raise taxes.

    What’s that you say? That would require political courage? I suppose it would, and for that reason will never happen.

    God, what a useless governing class we have.

  23. Here’s the new ad campaign.

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