So, Conservatives Should Embrace Fascism?

Normally, I get a LOT of useful information about the capital markets from this source, but this editorial pegged the pisstivity meter.

Read it for yourself, and decide. From Investors’ Business Daily.com

 

Time For Conservatives To Lighten  Up On GM?.

By KEN  BLACKWELL, Investor’s  Business Daily

 Posted 11/01/2013 07:18 PM ET

From THIS, to THIS…………………………….

 

…And the “good conservative” Blackwell, who, most likely, voted for Obama, says WE need to “cut GM some slack??  WTF, over.

 

About five years ago amidst the background of a national financial crisis, an  American icon admitted that the mistakes of its past had caught up to its  present: General Motors filed for bankruptcy and turned to taxpayers for  help.

A Republican president — George W. Bush — initiated what eventually became a  $50 billion government bailout plan.

In the years since then, GM has restructured its business practices and  redesigned its product line, brought on new management and many new board  members, returned the company to profitability and invested more than $8 billion  in the U.S.

But you’d never know that from reading recent editorials in the media.

Five years ago, GM may have deserved robust indignation from American  taxpayers. But today, GM is doing plenty to earn its place at the forefront of  the U.S. auto industry. The new GM has an interesting story to tell, and it’s  time to give that story a fair hearing.

It starts with a contrite, and somewhat chastened, company determined to  implement change. The bailout money came with certain stipulations, yes, but  even beyond those, management knew that without significant internal  restructuring and a new commitment to building better vehicles, any taxpayer  investment in GM would be wasted.

GM re-negotiated a deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) that is grounded  in reality, not union perks. The agreement gave employees a direct stake in the  company and also included a five-year no-strike provision.

The company’s legacy costs have been scaled back from $32.9 billion at the  time of the bailout, to $7.8 billion at the end of 2012. Its balance sheet today  shows the company’s debt at $4 billion, compared to the $45.8 billion for the  old General Motors.

And since 2009, the new GM has invested $8.8 billion in the U.S., while  adding 25,500 jobs here in the U.S.

As a result, the company has seen 14 consecutive quarters of profitability.  In 2012, GM earned nearly $8 billion by selling more cars in the U.S. under four  brands than it ever did with eight. In August of this year, GM saw retail sales  that were up 22% from 2012.

GM’s operations in China have become the subject of one-sided criticism. It’s  strange that a global company with a renewed commitment to free-market practices  would be condemned for seizing the opportunity to expand business in another  part of the world.

Not competing in one of the top two auto markets globally makes no sense, and  other auto manufacturers are working night and day to establish the kind of  foothold and market share that GM has achieved in China.

Noticeably absent from the critiques of GM’s business ventures in China are  other facts.

Despite recent reports, GM’s largest manufacturing footprint is still in the  U.S., with 41 facilities and 85,500 employees who assemble the cars, stamp parts  and build engines, transmissions and tooling.

Moreover, GM’s operations are completely self-funding. In other words, no  taxpayer money is being sent overseas to support Chinese operations. In fact,  the company has repatriated dividends of $3.7 billion back to the U.S. from  China.

It’s also worth pointing out that General Motors began its expansion into  China in 1997 — 10 years before any help from the taxpayer. The company has  always been committed to building vehicles where their customers are; by the end  of 2015, GM will have 21 facilities in China.

For the first time in decades, GM is operating on sound financial footing  with the flexibility to run its business unburdened by past mistakes. It’s  making better cars, and selling more of them.

By the end of 2013, GM will have successfully bought back its remaining  shares from the Treasury Department — the kind of progress that doesn’t just  come from a government directive.

We’ll never know what would have happened if the Bush administration had sent  General Motors and Chrysler on their way. Maybe the auto industry, which  supports 8 million U.S. jobs and $500 billion in wages, would have survived.  Maybe instead we’d be talking about the great auto industry collapse of  2008.

The bottom line is: Because difficult decisions were made, GM is a better  company today than yesterday, and we don’t have to witness our government  spending an estimated $30 billion on unemployment benefits paid to idle auto  workers.

As principled free-marketers, it’s easy to demonize a major company that  preferred partial government ownership to structured bankruptcy. As  right-leaning Americans, it’s tempting to trot out the auto bailout every few  months as a constant ding against the Obama administration. But in the process,  we accomplish little save for convincing the public conservatives are stuck in  the past.

It’s time to look to the future, where General Motors Co. becomes once again  an enviable, profitable private company and an American success story.

• Blackwell was the mayor of Cincinnati from 1979 to 1980, Ohio’s state  treasurer from 1994 to 1999 and Ohio secretary of state from 1999 to 2007. In  2006, he was the Republican candidate for governor.

~

Let me get this straight. GM, after DECADES of mismanagement, union pandering, shameful wasting of money on crap designs, and crappier cars, goes to the federal government, hat-in-hand, to BEG for taxpayer relief from THEIR stupidity?

Then-president Bush (no, I don’t miss him) decided to put together a package to tide GM over after the big commercial lenders saw the writing on the wall that this bloated whale was about to be beached.

Along comes the 2008 elections, and what with the TONS of money and support the UAW gave to Obama, they wanted something in return. The package that the incoming  Obama Regime put together, according to some reports 10 TIMES as much as Bush had proposed, did EVERYTHING to save the UNION, and SCREW the bondholders, shareholders, and creditors.

The GM bankruptcy turned 100 YEARS of bankruptcy law upside down. In return, we saw GM start to build new plants. A couple here, but the MAJORITY of GM plants built went to China, Mexico, and Brazil.

While I have ZERO issue with GM competing anywhere in the world they can, WHY should the American taxpayers, which, BTW, are STILL on the hook for close to $30,000,000,000 for this fiasco, be the means for GM to invest in GLOBAL operations BEFORE expanding the opportunities HERE?

For Blackwell, supposedly a conservative republican, to tell conservatives to “cut GM some slack” after going to a government who is going hell bent for leather the SAME direction of the old Soviet Union, requires the willing suspension of disbelief.

A question for Mr. Blackwell: IF the white republican had won the election, would YOU feel the SAME WAY about this? I have my doubts. Also, Mr. Blackwell, WHERE is there ANY indication the “new” GM is doing business ANY differently than the “old” GM ?

The UAW is STILL firmly entrenched, the wasteful ways are still in place, the ONLY thing different I see is now, instead of the MARKET deciding what types of cars and trucks they are putting out there, a government that can’t find it’s ass with both hands in front of a mirror is making a LOT of those decisions.

This government can’t run itself, let alone a supposedly “for-profit” business.

And THAT, Mr. Blackwell, WILL be GM’s downfall. You get in bed with a mangy cur, you WILL get it’s fleas. Watch for GM, in the next 5 years, be back to the table YET AGAIN.

This time, they MUST be told NO. Let them go the way of Packard, Studebaker, et al. No one much cared when THEY went bankrupt.

~

Clyde

 

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12 Responses to So, Conservatives Should Embrace Fascism?

  1. CW says:

    Very good post and commentary, Clyde.

    There’s plenty to argue with here but this statement by Blackwell really got to me: “…[because of the bailout] we don’t have to witness our government spending an estimated $30 billion on unemployment benefits paid to idle auto workers.”

    Blackwell is yet another example of a ‘conservative’ trained to think the way liberals want him to think, namely that the rest of us MUST pay the price for the poor decisions made by others so we may as well just accept the most expeditious way of dealing with it and forget about letting people learn something by suffering the consequences of their own behavior. Instead of defending GM and the bailout readers would have been far better served if Blackwell would use his forum to examine what’s wrong with a system where this or that group can make bad, selfish decisions and the U.S. taxpayer has no choice but to pay the price when things go bad.

  2. Buck says:

    Let me understand this. The UAW workers bleed the company dry like tics on a dog then when the company is about to go bankrupt they want US to put out hard earned money into a monetary transfusion to save THEIR jobs? And the government, without our approval does just that?
    Uhm.
    Where in the Constitution does it say the government can use the taxpayers’ dollars to bail out a private enterprise????

    • Clyde says:

      Well, Buck, since Conyers was a HUGE part of this fiasco, he must have thought it was covered in the “Good and Plenty” clause. Makes about as much sense, eh?

  3. Saltwater says:

    Fascism is indeed the word to use. Obama is an economic fascist. Something I tried to explain back in May of 2009. A quick excerpt from that essay:

    The economic philosophy of fascism is most accurately described by Sheldon Richmond at Library of Economics and Liberty as “socialism with a capitalist veneer.” As Richmond explains:
    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it…. Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

    Full post still available at:
    http://manningthecrowsnest.blogspot.com/2011/09/benito-obama.html

  4. Mrs AL says:

    Can’t we just put them in a Packard or Studebaker and let them drive away?

  5. Kathy says:

    Blackwell is full of hot air. All he did was repost GM’s press release. While it’s true that GM paid back some of the money, they changed very little in their business practice.

    I said it back in 09 – unless the money was contingent on drastic changes to the way they do business, WITH oversight, that GM would be right back at the well.

    Not one of Bush’s brightest moments, then along comes O and makes it worse.

    • Clyde says:

      Good comment, and thanks, Kathy. I cannot HELP but think if Bush had pushed through this large of a bailout, Blackwell would NOT have been as generous with his “praise”.

  6. Hardnox says:

    Great post, excellent commentary, and great comments. Take a bow.

    Next to Global Warming this is the biggest rip-off ever pulled on America.

    • Clyde says:

      Thanks, boss. I had to cool down from the time I saw this on Saturday, until this morning. No matter how I tried to “clean” it up, YOU would NEVER have allowed it through! haha