As much as GM, Ford and Chrysler claim the recent crisis is the result of nothing more than the short-term credit crunch, that claim is pure spin. The truth is much colder and harder than that.
- Fact: GM market share peaked 40 years ago when they controlled over half of all vehicles sold in the US. They have lost market share nearly every single year since then, to the low 20s today.
- Fact: Despite near unanimous agreement that fossil fuels are causing global warming, and the fact that the US was sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year to repressive middle eastern governments, some of which covertly funneled funds to terrorists, the “big three” automakers steadfastly opposed tighter fuel efficiency standards.
- Fact: If GM, Ford and Chrysler had adopted stricter fuel efficiency standards, they would have a fleet of more competitive cars instead of huge gas-guzzling cars that nobody wants to drive, and they wouldn’t need this bailout.
- Fact: Executives from the big three showed up to congressional hearings on their own private jets. When asked to raise their hands if they would give up their private for the benefit of their company, not one of them raised their hands. This is more symbolic than anything, but it shows how out of touch with public opinion they are.
So while the automakers like to blame unions, the credit crunch, or basically anything except their own mismanagement for the current crisis, the blame lies firmly and directly at the executive management’s feet. After decades of building cars that nobody wanted, the chickens have come home to roost.
Should GM be allowed to go bankrupt?
Yes. GM, Ford and Chrysler all deserve the situation they are in. In fact, in normal economic conditions, they should be allowed to fail completely. But … Read the rest
Let’s say it like it is. Iran’s president – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (try saying that three times quickly) – is radical. He believes that the Jewish Holocaust never occurred and that Israel as a country should be dissolved. He is an active supporter of Iran building nuclear enrichment facilities, despite the fact that his country has some of the richest oil reserves in the world and is in no need of an alternative source of energy. While Iran has repeatedly stated that this program is for “peaceful” purposes only, that claim is improbable at best.
While ultimate power in Iran has rested with the religious fundamentalist Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the fact that the Iranian people popularly elected a radical like Ahmadinejad is disheartening. Though perhaps not as disheartening to re-electing George Bush.
So the knee-jerk conclusion is that Iran is a population of radical Islamists which poses a serious threat to the western way of life. But dig a bit deeper, and you see that this is not the case, and worse, the United States has contributed significantly to the rise of Mr Ahmadinejad.
Failed US Policies in Iran
In fact, the radicalism in Iran has to a significant extent been exacerbated by misguided US policies and meddling.
As I wrote in my article “in support of dictators and tyrants ”,
The United States supported the Shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), the last Shah of 2500 years of continuous monarchy rule. According to Madeleine Albright, “In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Irans popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh… it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.” While the Shah did succeed in modernizing his country and improving the rights of women, … Read the rest