Daily Podcast: All of the People Most of the Time
Michael Karesh's deconstruction of J.D. Powers' Initial Quality Survey (IQS) got me thinking. Clearly, J.D.'s mob shelter behind the [accurate] assumption that most people can't be bothered to, as they say, "do the math." Just as automakers draw strength (or not) from our natural instinct to slot brands into clear-cut categories, J.D. plays to the peanut gallery's desire to quickly identify "winners" and "losers." Add in a bit of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (a proposition is true because it hasn't been proved false) and voila! Porsche is America's most reliable car brand. An Audi is more reliable than a BMW. Never mind the difference between initial quality and five years down the road. Never mind the varying definitions of quality, or the fact that J.D. won't tell you its exact methodology. Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain because he's an old bald guy– just like that pathetic pre-tornado snake oil salesman. The '08 IQS represents the same sort of lazy thinking Detroit has been feeding itself– and feeding off of– for decades. It's one thing to fool others, another to fool yourself. Here, Lieberman and I attempt a reality check.