Hear I Rant Jamaica

Bailouts, persona and ugliness

In my post of September 22, I said that other banks are in the line to fall. Oops!! there goes Washington Mutual. I also stated that the auto and airline industries were very likely walking around with targets on their backs.

Well, perhaps not the auto industry, since congress has just voted them a $25B crash programme package. See the pun in that? Cars, crash programme? No? I tried.

Anyway, president Bush declares he will sign the package and the General Motors mouthpiece says that he is ‘… pleased congress has chosen to act at this critical time’. Chrysler’s chairman stated it’s not a bailout. Riiiight.

Oh by the way, this crash programme money is for the US auto industry, not for the more efficient, cheaper and popular imports, even if they have manufacturing plants here. I would think that a better use of money would be to fund a study as to why Detroit isn’t competing against foreign plants with American labour (just so no one uses the usual lame excuse of cheap foreign labour).

In this case we are very much taken for a ride (ride, car industry… still no? Tough crowd). The US auto industry has been overtaken (still no?) by practically every other company other than Lada. Well actually, that is not fair or true. Wikipaedia states that Lada is a part of the world’s third largest automotive group after General Motors and Toyota. Whouda thunk it?

But you get the point about the US auto industry. The best selling car right now in America seems to be amongst Honda’s Civic, Accord, or Toyota’s Camry or Corolla. Actually I don’t have any recent updates as the stuff I’m looking at is from the grand old days of May 2008.

It was in that very same month that Asian automakers (48.1%) outsold the Big American three (44.4%).

Foreign automakers are unhappy with the bailout as they are losing money also as the economy continues its freefall, but nothing is in the pot for them (parson christens only him pickney). Detroit legislators are expected to ask for another $25B next year.
The media frequently claims that Obama ‘offered no details’ of whatever plan he is proposing, more so than McCain. Not really arguing that point. According to many independent sources (not myself as I rarely listen to political speeches and missed the first debate) neither candidate is too free with specifics. As I’ve pointed out before, Obama and McCain have reams of experts on their side so if there is the lack of particulars it cannot be for want of expertise.

I wonder if this is a trend taking root in American politics where the political machinery and the persona of the politician are more important than any ideas he/she may have.

I know that McCain’s manager had announced that personalities not issues would be the deciding factor in this election. It worries me because we are talking about the ‘dumbing down’ of an already pretty uninformed public. I mean, it’s only dumbinity that caused the election of George Bush (twice). Pretty soon anybody in a clown suit can vie for the presidency. Ohhh, someone already is?
I was in the supermarket earlier picking up a few things. I had just laid out my purchases-to-be when a voice behind me said, “You must live alone”… which indeed I did.

I looked back to see this rather disheveled woman, staring at me with the unsteadiness of someone who might just have had too much to drink. Still, I looked at my goods to see what could have given her cause.

Not seeing any clues, I kinda marveled at her perceptiveness. “How did come to that conclusion”, I just had to ask.

Screwing up her face in the utmost effort to concentrate she said, “You’re ugly’. Ouch!
Just had a quick glimpse at the terms of the tentative deal on the bailout package and I must say quietly, “I DON’T LIKE IT!!”

There were too many things like ‘… the money SHOULD help…’, ‘… the government would later TRY to sell…’, ‘… would ENCOURAGE holders of distressed mortgage-back securities to keep them and buy government insurance to cover defaults’, ‘the legislation would place “REASONABLE” limits on severance packages for executives of companies that benefit…’, ‘…calls for the financial sector to HELP make up the difference if the government doesn’t recoup its investment in five years…’. Similar words and phrases as as, ‘… giving taxpayers a CHANCE to share in financial companies’ future profits’.

Methinks the only thing that seems concrete is the handing over the money to Wall St. Recouping taxpayers’ money, giving taxpayers some benefits, regulation of the industry, helping the burden on taxpayers seem to be nothing more than a list of probables, possibles and might-be’s.

About the author


Writer, photographer, artist. Have been doing all three for some time. More about myself and my art can be found at http://www.louisdavisart.com, and http://www.broward.org/arts/publications/cq/2008/winter08/cq_winter08.htm