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Thread: GM, Amtrak and an Increasingly Fascist America

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    GM, Amtrak and an Increasingly Fascist America

    June 8, 2009

    by Ron Paul



    Last week, General Motors finally declared bankruptcy. Many in government thought $20 billion in taxpayer dollars would save the company, but as predicted, it only postponed the inevitable. The government will dump another $30 billion into GM and take a 60 percent controlling interest for it. Public officials are now involving themselves in tactical business decisions such as where GMís headquarters should move and what kind of cars it will build.

    The promise that this is temporary and will eventually be profitable is supposed to ease the American people into accepting this arrangement, but it is of little comfort to those who remember similar promises when the American taxpayers bought Amtrak. After three years, government was supposed to be out of the passenger rail business. 40 years and billions of dollars later, the government is still operating Amtrak at a loss, despite the fact that they have created a monopoly by making it illegal to compete with Amtrak. Imagine what they can now do to what is left of the great American auto industry!

    In a truly free market, GM would get your money one way and one way only Ė by selling you a car you want, at a price you are willing to pay. Instead, the government is giving public money to a private company in spite of the market signals it has been sending. Throwing money at GM does not stop it from being an engine of wealth destruction; on the contrary, it simply gives it more wealth to destroy.

    Had it been allowed to fail naturally, the profitable pieces of GM would have been bought up and put to good use by now. The laid off employees would likely have found new jobs and all that capital would be in private hands, reinvested in companies that produce products demanded by consumers. Instead, we are all poorer now.

    Political pressure, rather than the rule of law, is deciding how to divide up the remains of GM. The bondholders had billions in retirement savings invested in the company, and though they were entitled to nearly three times as much as the United Auto Workers, the bondholders were left with just a 10 percent stake compared to the unionís 17.5 percent stake. For their 60 percent stake, taxpayers have a future of constant bailouts to look forward to.

    Comingling public control of private business is known as fascism. While todayís politicians may feel emboldened with all their new power, history will only repeat itself as all this collapses on itself. It is the height of hubris for bureaucrats and politicians to attempt to control the market and the free will of the American people. In the end, the market always wins out. Maybe one day future generations will wise up and allow free markets to function and thrive without the albatross of government around its neck. For now, it looks like those in charge have not learned the lessons of the past, and have doomed us to repeat those mistakes once again.



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    Funny how we never heard the word FASCIST coming from any right wingers during the last 8 years (or any of the previous BCE administrations before that) when the people who actually funded the original fascists were in charge.

    Without ever being elected their last time through, no less.

    Now having said that, I'll also say that Ron Paul needs to read a dictionary. When government owns businesses, that's socialism. When business owns government, it's fascism.

    GM should be a private business. Amtrak should not. A national high speed rail system should be part of public infrastructure. So should energy, healthcare, and a REAL national bank (as opposed to the "Federal Reserve" which in reality is neither.)
    Last edited by FORD; 06-08-2009 at 05:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    When government owns businesses, that's socialism. When business owns government, it's fascism.

    Right now, we have both...

    GM should be a private business. Amtrak should not. A national high speed rail system should be part of public infrastructure. So should energy, healthcare, and a REAL national bank (as opposed to the "Federal Reserve" which in reality is neither.)

    Any public ANYTHING should be state sponsored, not Federal! Thea's not what the federal government was created for...

    And why do we need a national bank ??



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    Seriously? We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression due to lack of appropriate regulatory oversight and you are asking why we need a national bank?
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    A national bank to do what ??

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    Uh, ensure the stability of the entire financial system when the market is unable to do so on its own?

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    Sometimes ELVIS scares me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post
    [url=http://www.ronpaul.com/]The promise that this is temporary and will eventually be profitable is supposed to ease the American people into accepting this arrangement, but it is of little comfort to those who remember similar promises when the American taxpayers bought Amtrak. After three years, government was supposed to be out of the passenger rail business. 40 years and billions of dollars later, the government is still operating Amtrak at a loss, despite the fact that they have created a monopoly by making it illegal to compete with Amtrak. Imagine what they can now do to what is left of the great American auto industry!
    To be fair not many countries have managed to have a decent unsubsidized private railway. Plus if you think about it then government taxes pay for roads so why shouldn't they pay for train tracks especially since there is less cost from accidents and pollution compared to cars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post

    Comingling public control of private business is known as fascism.
    Nope. Not buying into it. Having the Rethuglicans throwing around beleaguered words like "fascism" and "socialism" was bad enough but now Paul with all of his moderate retarded hodgepodge rhetoric has hitched his wagon to the same post. To say it's a free market by having GM sell [me] a car I want at a price I want goes to show how incredibly stupid Ron Paul is. GM has yet to build me a car I want much less would ever want to buy and if he really knew shit about how a free market works then he's also realize that's it's highly competitive.

    I'm still looking to buy a new(er) car and there is NOTHING in the GM or, really, any American manufactured inventory that interest me in the slightest. Just by the way Chrysler shit on their employees and dealers only proves that don't care about their customers either. Paul must think Americans are that gullible to buy a mediocre product simply because it's American rather than look for an import with better quality standards.

    GM over time destroyed themselves by being ignorant to what a free market offers. They were/are so far removed from what the consumers wants & needs when it came to buying an automobile like durability, low-maintenance, economy, safety, warranty standards, re-sell value, etc but instead offered John Mellencamp singing "this is our country" to a embarrassing pseudo-patriotism montage of the flag, baseball games and apple pie. Don't know about you, but that really doesn't tell me shit about the workmanship of their product.

    Having the government come in with billions of dollars to save GM's ass and in homage telling it to get it's act together if it is going to survive is not fascism. Perhaps Paul should try defining a word before using it. For far too long have the big wigs of these corporations had it too easy with too much power with little outside coaching on what the American public demands from a car in these days and times. No wonder the imports kicked their ass over the past 10 or so years in sales and if that isn't free market at work Paul then I don't know what is.
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    GM (which I never cared much for their products, besides the newer stuff), Chrysler and FORD all made quality vehicles along with the Japanese model, anything...

    The foreign companies don't have UAW healthcare costs for retired empolyees and sold their cars under cost ON PURPOSE for years to undermine the US auto industry...

    Paul was 100% correct when he said GM should have been allowed to fail on it's own...

    I could go further, but these are NOT federal issues, Period!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Shark View Post
    Uh, ensure the stability of the entire financial system when the market is unable to do so on its own?
    So, it's stable now ??

    Maybe for you, but what about the millions of young people entering the market ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post
    GM (which I never cared much for their products, besides the newer stuff), Chrysler and FORD all made quality vehicles along with the Japanese model, anything...

    The foreign companies don't have UAW healthcare costs for retired empolyees and sold their cars under cost ON PURPOSE for years to undermine the US auto industry...

    Paul was 100% correct when he said GM should have been allowed to fail on it's own...
    Then why were Japanese and German cars out-selling American if quality wasn't an issue? Are you sure about the "undermining" part? Could it be that the imports were just better suited? In fact so better suited that the heads at GM, Ford, etc continually lobbied for higher tariffs therefore having the imports selling under cost in order to stay competitive?

    Paul is right when he said GM should fail on their own but to call their bailout "fascism" is juvenile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post
    GM (which I never cared much for their products, besides the newer stuff), Chrysler and FORD all made quality vehicles along with the Japanese model, anything...

    The foreign companies don't have UAW healthcare costs for retired empolyees and sold their cars under cost ON PURPOSE for years to undermine the US auto industry...

    Paul was 100% correct when he said GM should have been allowed to fail on it's own...

    I could go further, but these are NOT federal issues, Period!
    What a massive oversimplification. Firstly, when we talk about "Japanese cars," we're really only talking about Honda, Toyota, and MAYBE Nissan (Datsun) and Subaru. The Japanese have made their fair share of utter shit and companies such as Mitsubishi don't even really make money selling cars in the States and are little more than a tax write-off for what is actually a huge Japanese bank. Makes such as Daihatsu, Isuzu have failed to an extent and Mazda would have folded if it weren't for Ford and they still grapple with quality control problems. And you couldn't give me a Suzuki junkbox for free.

    The reason Honda and Toyota make better cars is that they actually listened to the American engineering genius Edward Deming after WWII who told them they would starve and die if they didn't make high quality products and develop superior, efficient manufacturing since Japan had no natural resources and everyone in Asia hated them. So they set up a rigorous focus on quality control and a system where they could adapt quickly to the market...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

    In any case, the Japanese, or at least Honda, DID NOT SELL their cars under sticker and are historically one of the most profitable companies in terms of how much they make on each car sold. In fact, I know an old car salesman that sold the Honda Accord when they first came to the US in 1977. Consumer Reports ranked the car very highly and praised it as the only alternative to shitty American offerings, such as the Chevy Vega that had an aluminum block that literally cracked open after so many miles and died. The Accord was on a five to eight month waiting list. The Buffalo area dealership actually had cars on hand in five months, so he would sell cars to people in Boston, MA and NYC because they had to wait eight months at their local dealerships. The Hondas were sold at $1500 ABOVE THE MSRP STICKER PRICE! Furthermore, when the customer took delivery, they had to fork over more money and allow the dealership (or stealership ) to perform every possible bullshit service such as rust-proofing, Simonizing, and interior Scotch Guarding...

    Dude, it wasn't about dumping cheap cars in the US. The Japanese handed Detroit their asses because they brought high quality products into a market the US manufacturers scoffed at and then paid a very heavy price for once the gas crisis' began to erupt...

    That is not to say that there are some very good cars the American nameplates have made and they have done some things right. And right now, I'd certainly look at a new Euro-influenced Ford over the boring as fuck Toyota appliances with wheels. But there is a reason for that "perception" of quality. So, don't be an apologist for some of the cavalcade of the dumbest fucking assclowns ever to run a company (GM). They were the same assholes that thought it would be cheaper to allow people to burn to death in their 1970s vintage pickup trucks and pay out lawsuits rather than to actually issue a recall and simple fix that could have saved hundreds of lives...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-08-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post

    The foreign companies don't have UAW healthcare costs for retired empolyees and sold their cars under cost ON PURPOSE for years to undermine the US auto industry...
    And the solution to that problem, is single-payer health care. Not union busting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Shark View Post
    Uh, ensure the stability of the entire financial system when the market is unable to do so on its own?
    Even though numerous large banks are literally waiting for the government to take their TARP money back that they don't need (and are willing to pay back WITH interest)? That part of the financial system is quite stable. If only the government would allow them to give it back. Take that money and use it on some hot "Shovel ready" job action, take the steam out the 2 million job losses in this year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    GM should be a private business. Amtrak should not. A national high speed rail system should be part of public infrastructure. So should energy, healthcare, and a REAL national bank (as opposed to the "Federal Reserve" which in reality is neither.)
    So do you feel the same way about air travel? Should the government own Southwest and Delta? Airlines are a barely profitable business in the best of times.

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    BT...

    You've got an alert mind...

    Thank God!



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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post
    Paul was 100% correct when he said GM should have been allowed to fail on it's own...

    I could go further, but these are NOT federal issues, Period!
    It's not just about cars, it's about the cars' credit companies such as citigroup, travelers' and ditech.. which over here in Los Angeles we are seeing Ditech.com commercials for the last couple months coming back on TV at a rediculous pace.. they were at one point like Countrywide throwing loans as much as 125% of the property value.

    I doubt they're doing 123 percent loans anymore, but I think about GM going down when some of their ancilliaries caused the problems we have to begin with and wonder maybe they should have gone down and taken wall st. with them, even if the old folk's diversified 401K's went with them.

    11 trillion dollars, if you had a choice to cover one or the other (autos banks and insurance, or cover 401K's losses) to me that's the question but it appears to me as if Obama's trying to do both and neither has worked all being wasted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    What a massive oversimplification. Firstly, when we talk about "Japanese cars," we're really only talking about Honda, Toyota, and MAYBE Nissan (Datsun) and Subaru.
    I had a Daihatsu man, that thing was killer: one of the first four valve per cylinder engines, good body styling, strong engine only 1.5L, good 5spd comparable to my Honda Preludes..

    You can't get 'em anymore in the US but theyre still made in Japan. Awesome acceleration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Train View Post
    So do you feel the same way about air travel? Should the government own Southwest and Delta? Airlines are a barely profitable business in the best of times.

    That's a fair question, and I'm not honestly sure how I'd answer it. Obviously you have physical differences between air travel and a rail system or even interstate highways. Airports are under the jurisdiction of local governments, (and to some extent, the federal government) and you don't have roads or rails in between to maintain, just open sky.

    I definitely would not want to see Boeing go the way of Chrysler or GM though. They may have moved their corporate offices, but they're still a huge company in this state, and if they went out of business, the impact on Washington would be comparable to how GM and Chrysler's non-existence would impact Michigan.

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    Wanna bet the Chinese military is already in the planning committee stages to redesign the military-spec Hummers with a lower steering column?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    I had a Daihatsu man, that thing was killer: one of the first four valve per cylinder engines
    Wrong again GARgoogle, Peugeot did it in like 1915
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    Even I knew that...

    But i'm a car guy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    Wanna bet the Chinese military is already in the planning committee stages to redesign the military-spec Hummers with a lower steering column?
    The military spec Hummer is built by AM General. GM only bought the name and built a Hummer like body around their crappy trucks...

    China did not buy anything AM General related...



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    Perhaps, however if GM has license to build the design I expect that license to continue through to the new owners wouldn't you think so too?

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    They have the license to build civilian vehicles only, dumbass. And even the GM Hummers were really nothing like the military version anyway. They were built on a regular GMC truck chassis and basically cheap plastic crap otherwise.

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    Tell that to the Chinese, this is just the beginning of another international incedent not forseen by the Democrats who bought GM to give it away to the Chinks anyways.

    The end result tells you all one needs to know about it! It's just the foot in the door for them to sue for further military hardware design contracts and anything else GM had to do with the gummint.

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    They can say they were misled, and want to back out of the deal, until they get the concession to build the military version.

    Do you doubt Obama or Clinton will intercede for them?

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    Fucking racist idiot

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    Chinkasocialist pawn!

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    First Clinton goes over there with a mere tug on her leash, then is sent back with the instructions to send tax-cheat Geithner to spill the beans on where all our assets are.. next thing you'll know is the Chinese will lay claim to debt in gold bullion.

    THEN we're in trouble.. really in a real way. Not that the gold standard tie's been cut by Nixon, but the perception of value in assets can be destroyed if the chinks demand debt service in bullion and we have none left.

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    The BCE sold us out to China in the fucking 1970's. Let's put the blame where it belongs.....



    .....right on Poppy and his brother Prescott Jr.

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    FORD...

    Don't distract yourself with your BCE theories...

    I believe a lot of what you say about the Bush family, i've looked well into it...

    BUT! it's not possible for the BCE to be responsible for the countless things you've accused them of. Yes, they have had their dirty hands into many, countless EVIL things, but you need to examine international banking and the other puppet masters who are hell bent on trying to create a one world government...



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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    Wanna bet the Chinese military is already in the planning committee stages to redesign the military-spec Hummers with a lower steering column?
    The Chinese already have a pretty stout military small truck they offered for sale here years back. And the company that bought Hummer has little connection to the Chinese military....

    Try fucking knowing what you're talking about for once...

  41. Thanked Nickdfresh for this KICKASS post:

    jhale667 (06-10-2009)


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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    I had a Daihatsu man, that thing was killer: one of the first four valve per cylinder engines, good body styling, strong engine only 1.5L, good 5spd comparable to my Honda Preludes..

    You can't get 'em anymore in the US but theyre still made in Japan. Awesome acceleration.
    Daihatsu was bought out by Toyota, which means that it's just a cheaper line of Toyota. And how would a tinny little subcompact compare to a Prelude as they are completely different cars?

    Idiot....

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    I agree...

    It's like comparing a Geo Metro to a Ford Taurus or something even more upscale...

    The Prelude was top of the line and a big seller world wide for Honda for many years...

    I only mentioned the Taurus because it sold great. I never cared for them but they were a huge success...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    Tell that to the Chinese, this is just the beginning of another international incedent not forseen by the Democrats who bought GM to give it away to the Chinks anyways.

    The end result tells you all one needs to know about it! It's just the foot in the door for them to sue for further military hardware design contracts and anything else GM had to do with the gummint.
    Struggling with the logic here - are you suggesting that the Democrats actively want and intend to weaken their own country, thus making themselves unpopular, by giving GM away?
    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELVIS View Post
    I agree...

    It's like comparing a Geo Metro to a Ford Taurus or something even more upscale...

    The Prelude was top of the line and a big seller world wide for Honda for many years...

    I only mentioned the Taurus because it sold great. I never cared for them but they were a huge success...
    Well, I'm pretty sure GAR owned none of the above...

    The Prelude was pretty much just a slightly sportier coupe Accord with a bigger carburetor or a few more horsepower later on after they got fuel-injection. They now just have an Accord Coupe, which is sort of the current equivalent. But I wish they'd bring back a more distinctive off-shoot such as the Prelude. The incarnation of Acura as Honda's luxury/performance branch in the US and Europe also killed off the Prelude and has limited the Honda product here. Honda only reluctantly brought over a knackered version of the Civic Type-R known as the Si here after numerous screaming by American Honda-philes that they wanted an officially modded street fighter. Largely because they didn't want to undercut the Acura RSX girlie-mobile.

    In Japan, Acura doesn't exist. The same cars are just the nicer, upscale Hondas - which shows you that 50% of the automotive world is just bullshit perception playing on peoples insecurities and the need to show others that they've "made it!". It's all about "perception"...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-10-2009 at 10:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The Chinese already have a pretty stout military small truck they offered for sale here years back.
    which one was that?

    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    Wanna bet the Chinese military is already in the planning committee stages to redesign the military-spec Hummers with a lower steering column?
    dummy...

    the government balked when Renault bought into AMC, and that's when AM General was born. military Hummers weren't made by a foreign company then, and they won't be now.
    Last edited by twonabomber; 06-10-2009 at 11:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    which one was that?



    dummy...

    the government balked when Renault bought into AMC, and that's when AM General was born. military Hummers weren't made by a foreign company then, and they won't be now.
    HA!!

    The Chinese already use the Hummer and AM General actually helps them.



    PRC HMMWVs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Previously (to 2003), they used a BJ:

    BJ2020S Light Utility Vehicle - SinoDefence.com

    The civvy version is actually pretty cool:

    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-10-2009 at 11:54 AM.

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