"Taking One For The Team"
Now maybe I am just getting old, and maybe I don't trust the government or big business, but something has been gnawing at the back of my brain for the last 30 days.
Let me give you a little scenario and tell me how far fetched you think it is.
Four really, really, rich and powerful people sit down to have lunch at a very, very expensive and exclusive Washington restaurant. In attendance is the current government appointed head of General Motors (who just got a government approved 7 million dollar bonus I might add), an international investment banker, a high ranking official from the United States Federal Reserve bank and a wealthy industrialist that has multi-million dollar holdings in several of the worlds largest corporations.
While they are waiting for the crisp iceberg salads to arrive, the conversation goes something like this:
GM Prez: "Things are tough, folks just aren't buying our cars. This bankruptcy stigma is really hitting us hard."
Reserve Banker: "We are tapped out, 'B.O' won't even think about giving you any more money, he got really burned the last time around ('B.O. = Barrack Obama)."
Investment Banker: "You need to give people a reason to buy your cars. Make it worth their while with some type of government mandate. Otherwise cash will never start flowing from the world community back into your industrial base....and that is going to hurt ALL of us in the end. Collective governments and 'The Club' are projected to loose hundreds of billions if the auto / petrol infrastructure of the United States continues to stagger."
Industrialist: "We can't raise tariffs on foreign cars, the U.N. and smaller countries won't stand for that. Americans have become used to buying cheaper, well built foreign products. Detroit can't compete with that."
GM Prez: "Make them less well built."
The salads arrive and the croutons are shuffled while the ranch and the thousand island dressing are poured on.
Reserve Banker: "....less well built?"
GM Prez: "Make people think they are crap. Industrialist, you own a bunch of Toyota stock don't you?"
Industrialist: (nodding his head)
GM Prez: Have a sit down with Mr. Toyota and tell him to find a few defects in their cars. Surely there have to be some lawsuits out there in the courts alleging something wrong with the Camry or the Prius. Remember the Corvair, the Pinto, the Crown Victoria? Inflate one of those class action suits in the media so that people assume that Toyota is crap. Problem solved. Folks dump their Camry and buy a Malibu.
Reserve Banker: "Why would Toyota be willing to lose all that money?"
Industrialist: "Because 'B.O' is going to guarantee them a windfall down the road?"
Investment Banker: (chuckling)
GM Prez: "Problem solved."
Reserve Banker: "I'll make some phone calls....."
Industrialist takes out his cellphone and punches a number...."Leo, have my jet standing by, the destination will be Osaka."
I just find it a bit odd and sort of a coincidence, that the best selling and presumably the best built cars in the world for the last 50 years, suddenly has 4 major recalls just when GM and Chrysler are about to go under. Hmmmmm, I really need to stop watching the nightly news....I would be much happier if I were blissfully ignorant.