Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Car Wrecks

Walked out of the house this morning and there, parked on the street, were two totally demolished cars. One pushed into the other from behind, with the car behind also having a wrecked rear end. Someone must have been absolutely bombed to make that mess. The street is a 25 mph zone, but people regularly go 50 plus on it. Not cool. My dear wife and our dear Mini got clipped on this same street just last week by a lady going too fast and not paying enough attention. Morbid curiosity got the better of me and I looked at the note under the windshield wiper of the rear car: "your car has been damaged by a hit and run driver, I am the officer who will be handling the investigation..." WTF people - don't drive around hammered and do stupid stuff.

“I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad. British Leyland carried on for a few more years, but they’re not there now, are they?” - some British dude talking about how Britain threw money at British Leyland and was able to prop them up for the bargain price of only billions a year before the inevitable happened and they failed.

The philosophical question is whether we are better off having a crappy US auto industry or having no US auto industry. I can see someone coming along and buying like Saturn, GMC and Cadillac and making a go with that as a new company, and that might work. I don't know, not the expert, just solidly in the camp that believes that bailing out these guys is an endless swamp with no solid ground underneath.

A similar question exists in housing. What the market and the housing economy need right now is for there to be no new residential construction. The question is what do you do on the other side? We can't very well get away with having to restart the entire industry from scratch in three years, but you can't very well sustain an industry while telling it that it can do absolutely nothing for three years. On top of that, you have the significant tie in with immigration. Whenever the construction industry at large needs a bunch of warm bodies to ramp up production, the leaks in our borders are more than happy to supply that labor.

The biggest question of all is when am I ever going to get on the trainer? The answer seems to be no time soon. I'm busting it out with running and lifting and other stuff so I'm not going to pot, but I can't seem to find any magical love with trainer sessions lately.


Pete said...

Sorry, but I'm about to make your post NSFW.

I hear the most retarded shit on the radio yesterday. They were talking about giving government bailout money to GM, and then getting the government to run the company, since it has proven to be a miserable excuse of an enterprise. That ain't socialism, that is communism (which is decidedly different from socialism). State-run enterprise and all. If only Gore had his tree-hugging ways, we'd be to nearly 100 mpg by now, and we'd have a booming auto export.

I'm still a little dumbfounded by the credit bailout. The rationale is good: pump money in so that credit can move, but what did they expect would happen? I haven't heard any sort of regulation on said 700 billion, short of "DON'T SPEND IT ON VACATION OR PAYING EXEC'S". Lame.

BTW, Pot won't make you any faster, I'd definitely not go to Pot and get on the trainer ;) For trainer magic, I recommend good lighting and a mirror...

Dave K. said...

Totally agree, that passes the line from lipstick socialism all the way to hardcore bull communism.

Without having a single number in front of me, my guess is that with $25 billion you could fund the pension liabilities (which is really the only aspect of it for which I have any sympathy) and do some serious Manhattan Project type stuff with hybrids/very high MPG cars and build a seriously strong auto industry within 12 years tops.

I'm happy that Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman CEO) did what he did in taking no bonus this year. Goldman really only took the bailout because Paulson pleaded with them to do it and remove the stigma of taking it. This is why I came to be against exec salary caps as part of it - the cost of a bonus is (all things considered) a relatively cheap way to find out which of these douchebags are really in it for the greed. Taking the choice to forego a bonus is shown for the responsible act it is rather than just following the rules.

I've heard differing reports about going to pot.