Plenty in stock. Anglin’ Arlen. Britain, declining. Mimi on movie stars. Plus more.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Re: Eric Peters’s Too Many Cars, Not Enough Market:
I don’t know what auto industry you are referring too. But not the one I recollect.
A) “Literally thousands of people and several weeks (if not months) of assembly process are involved in the creation of just one finished car.” Cars roll of assembly lines at about one every couple of minutes. From a bare frame to out of the factory is mere hours. Even adding supplier times, adds only a couple of weeks for components. You don’t reach the production totals you quote using the time spans you propose.
B) “For years now, the margins on cars have been extremely slim — and getting slimmer. Often as little as a few hundred bucks, net, per car.” Oh cry me a river. Go talk to any American Farmer. They would die for the auto industry’s margins. The farmer sweats over a crop all summer. The pair of $250k each combines that get used 2 weeks out of the year are being worked on. He prepares to harvest the crop with hope that the price will stay up so he can pay off the working capital loan to the bank.
The auto industry gets a try at making a profit with each car they sell to a customer. The farmer gets maybe 1 or 2 times a year for that opportunity. The farmers factory is at risk each time he goes into production. Not so the auto makers.
C) “Mercedes, BMWs, Audis and Volvos were curiosities one rarely saw outside of places like New York City and Los Angeles.” Wrong. The year I graduated, 1970, there were plenty of all 4 brands in our little podunk town of Bradenton, Florida. Yes they had to drive all the way to Tampa to buy them at that time. Volvo station wagons were quite popular as I recall.
My cusiosity is, why do you gloss over the obvious? Many of these
imports have (or still are) receiving price supports from their
home countries. For every Hyundai sold here means jobs made there
— John McGinnis
I wondered when someone would have the good sense and knowledge to state the obvious. Mr. Peters is to be commended for articulating the facts in a rational and non-emotional way. I wish I could do the same but I worked for GMC during the '70s, '80s, and up until 1991. This overcapacity was no secret to anyone who did not have their heads in the sand. Socialist governments all over the world were either subsidizing or at least not handicapping their car companies with onerous regulations. In the U.S. when we in the auto industry would go down to D.C. advocating free market principles as well as criticizing environmental and market constraints that were killing our future, all we got from regulators and politicians was something like “Sure, sure we hear you (which they clearly did not), but what can you do to help us get re-elected?” Perhaps not as crass as those words but the meaning was clear.
The first Bush’s people were no different. Dumb ideas such as
CAFE and restrictions on the use of coal, and bad labor policy
doomed our auto industry just as sure as Al Gore must be the
world’s goofiest and greediest man. Well,the inmates are in
control of the government now so don’t expect any rational
responses. Also don’t expect honest analysis from the corrupt,
— Jack Wheatley
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s The Unseen Hand of Arlen Specter:
Arlen “the Weak” absolutely took the game completely out of the hands of the GOP before the first inning was started.
The Dems needed some GOP votes to sell this abomination and Arlen
“The Weak” obliged as always. He tells us he wanted certain
things out of the bill but never gave the bill a chance to be
debated. He is not the brightest bulb in the Senate; any senator
that would allow the feckless and just plain dumb Collins to be
the lead negotiator is stupid.
— Gene Deveney
Hoboken, New Jersey
OPIATE FOR THE LIBERALS
Re: Peter Ferrara’s Obama’s Failed and Tired Ideas From the Past:
Mr. Ferrara strikes the correct note in this awful music of liberal economics. Our economy once was based on the logical theory that if the people who work and create wealth keep the majority of their earnings they will spend some and reinvest some and the economy will prosper. This thesis is exemplified in the persons of Edison, Ford, Carnegie and their like. These men were economic dynamos. They used their energy to build and invent. That building and those inventions created employment which increased the size of the economic pie. So in that circumstance there is an increased amount of work for those who wish it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online