Bailout Watch 260: Warren Brown Is Insane

bailout watch 260 warren brown is insane

Warren Brown is a shameless Detroit cheerleader. The Washington Post’s carmudgeon’s inability to criticize Motown’s products, process or prognosis has provided TTAC grill mist for years. Recently, we chronicled WaPo Warren’s lame, lamentable attempt to play the race card on The Big 2.8’s behalf. “ Reluctance to Help Detroit Reeks of Class Bias” takes a different– though equally fabulous– tack. Brown starts by suggesting that anti-bailout journalists are effete intellectual snobs. “The queries [against the bailout] often come from people who earn substantially more than the estimated $71,000 annually in wages and benefits paid to UAW members. They come from people who, having reached upper-middle-class status by virtue of their college educations and communication skills, certainly wouldn’t settle for earning less.” Does Warren know that the UAW has a freelance writers’ branch? Anyway, the main event: “There is a feeling in this country– apparent in the often condescending, dismissive way Detroit’s automobile companies have been treated on Capitol Hill– that people who work with their hands and the companies that employ them are inferior to those who work with their minds and plow profit from information. How else to explain the clearly disparate treatment given to companies such as Citigroup and General Motors?” How else indeed. More WTF after the jump.

“It apparently matters not that the domestic car manufacturers account for 3 million to 5 million U.S. jobs. It matters not that, despite some bad guesses on product development, they’ve remained engines of U.S. innovation. (Their work with biologically derived fuels and emergency communications systems are examples.) Nor does it matter that they pulled us through several wars and one terrorist attack (GM’s zero-percent financing plan after the Sept. 11, 2001, horror).”

Bad guesses? Engines of innovation? Kudos for spending $100 per vehicle to line the fuel system to burn a fuel that’s a bigger boondoggle than the bailout, that earns them spurious federal fuel economy regulation credits (not to mention spending a still-unspecified amount to buy into a bio-fuel company even as the house burned down around them)? Emergency communications systems? GM zero percent financing pulled us a terrorist attack? Bad juju here folks, and lots of it. Now with extra xenophobia, self-hatred and sarcasm.

What the heck? If things get really rough, we can always catch a sale at Wal-Mart. Citigroup most certainly would be willing to finance our purchases at favorable interest rates. What a country! We once rejoiced in building things, innovating, racing to the top. Now, at least for the people who use their hands to make this country go, we’re celebrating a mad dash to the bottom.

Are we not better than this? Is this the America we want to be?

Is that a trick question or is that a trick question?

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  • Derm81 Derm81 on Dec 07, 2008
    I will ask you this. With people in Michigan supposedly being so lazy and stupid, would you rather be treated by a doctor who graduated from med school at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, or the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor U-Mich no doubt.

  • Sanman111 Sanman111 on Dec 08, 2008

    A few things, Doctors need many years of education not to take a medical hx, but to learn to properly diagnose patients and manage their care. That is something that PAs and nurses are not always equipped to do. If you don't believe me,hang out on an inpatient medical ward and ask the nurse to diagnose and manage a medical condition. While they are great at their jobs, there is a reason that medical doctors exist. Now, I am not an MD, but I work with them and while they are not perfect, I would not want the average auto worker managing my care if I had cancer. All this aside, this a dumb argument. The simple truth is, the auto worker is culpable. The UAW bargained for a sweet heart of a deal that led to wages that were well above the rates the market had set and benefits as well. Did they blink when the Big 3 were losing market share because of these huuge cost excesses? No. Was build quality or pride in workmanship shown over the competition? No. Sure there are CEO's and others to blame as well. But, the bottom line was that EVERYONE was simply looking out for number one. This is the reason that people need to compromise for the greater good in a civilized society. You will eventually fail other wise. Though, after the financial bailout, I have to assume much of the congressional grandstanding is simply for the good press. The American people are angry for having to bailout faulty business practices and, frankly, it is a lot easier for the average person to understand that the Big 3 make a sh*tty car than that AIG, Lehman Bros, etc, underwrote a sh*tty financial inverstment.

  • Buickman how about LowIQ?
  • Gemcitytm Corey: As a native SW Ohioan, Powel Crosley, Jr. has always been an object of fascination for me. While you're correct that he wanted most of all to build cars, the story of the company he created with his brother Lewis, The Crosley Corporation, is totally fascinating. In the early 20's, Crosley was the nation's leading manufacturer of radio receivers. In the 1930's, working from an idea brought to him by one of his engineers, Crosley pioneered the first refrigerator with shelves in the door (called, of course, the "Shelvador"). He was the first to sell modular steel kitchen cabinets (made for him by Auburn in Connersville). He brought out the "IcyBall" which was a non-electric refrigerator. He also pioneered in radio broadcasting with WLW Radio in Cincinnati (wags said the calls stood for either "Whole Lotta Watts" or "World's Lowest Wages"). WLW was one of the first 50,000 watt AM stations and in 1934, began transmitting with 500,000 watts - the most powerful station in the world, which Mr. Crosley dubbed "The Nation's Station". Crosley was early into TV as well. The reason the Crosley operation died was because Mr. Crosley sold the company in 1945 to the AVCO Corporation, which had no idea how to market consumer goods. Crosley radios and TVs were always built "to a price" and the price was low. But AVCO made the products too cheaply and their styling was a bit off the wall in some cases. The major parts of the Crosley empire died in 1957 when AVCO pulled the plug. For the full story of Crosley, read "Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire That Transformed the Nation" by Rutsy McClure (a grandson of Lewis Crosley), David Stern and Michael A. Banks, Cincinnati: Clerisy Press, ISBN-13: 978-1-57860-291-9.
  • AndyinMA Well, will they actually make any? Wranglers appear to be black only at this point, but I do admit to seeing a few Gladiators in other colors. A few.
  • Garrett The only way to send a message is to pull out of the transaction when the fee is disclosed unless the dealer pays for it...or just walk out regardless.If this happens enough, eventually someone will get the message.
  • Sgeffe I pay for the Remote and Security HondaLink stuff (remote functions from a phone app; accident notification, etc.), at roughly $200/yr. That’s value-added stuff. (A nice addition is that I can enable the crash-notification on ANY Honda vehicle to which I pair my phone if I wish, as long as the vehicle supports it.) I can cancel this stuff at any time, though! It looks like you CAN’T with Mary’s Folly!Typical GM! 🙄
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