Bailout Watch 260: Warren Brown Is Insane

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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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2 of 31 comments
  • 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.

  • IH_Fever Another day, more bloviating between the poor downtrodden union leeches and the corporate thieves. But at least pantsuit guy got a nice new shirt.
  • IH_Fever I can't wait to see an Escalade on 24"s blow the brakes off of the competition!
  • Redapple2 Why does anyone have to get permission to join? Shouldnt the rules to race in a league be straight forward like. Build the car to the specs. Pay the race entry fee. Set the starting grid base on time trials.?Why all the BS?I cant watch F1 any more. No refuel. Must use 2 different types of tires. Rare passing. Same team wins every week. DRS only is you are this close and on and on with more BS. Add in the skysports announcer that sounds he is yelling for the whole 90 minutes at super fast speed. I m done. IMSA only for me.
  • Redapple2 Barra at evil GM is not worth 20 mill/ yr but dozens (hundreds) of sports players are. Got it. OK.
  • Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?