Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Big 3 Stooges

5 key reasons why the Big 3 are faltering.

1. American core business philosophy.

The philosophies of the BIG 3 are all wrong. They are all about making money. Quarterly profits. Big CEO payouts, etc. Japanese don't look at it quite the same way. Sure they like to make money too, but it's not all that drives them. I don't think I even need to go to the trouble of explaining this... most Americans can see the differences between the two cultures very clearly. Yet Americans have failed to react to this for decades, and it has repeatedly left us two steps behind vs Japan. And now that other countries are adopting Japan's business model, we're really in trouble. Especially since Japan has a relatively high standard of living. If you think competing with Japan is tough, imagine competing with a country 10 times as big, with 1/5 of the expected living standards, yet still just as dedicated to long term success!

2. The Rush Limbaugh "there's a pill for everything" culture and it's effect on healthcare and wages.

Our culture is just too decadent to compete anymore. For us it is more important that we sit around on our arses watching tv, sucking down a cornucopia of drugs to combat a set of phantom symptoms that we were brainwashed into believing we have. Advertising and big pharma are cancers to this country. The Big 3 are just the latest and greatest victims of it. You can argue about how wonderful all these drugs are till you're blue in the face (then you can take a pill to fix that too), but I aint buying it. There is no evidence whatsoever that our life expectancy or quality of life has risen over the last 30 years. Clearly there are better, cheaper ways to increase our overall quality of life. Letting these drug companies run our lives will destroy all of us, except perhaps you pathetic little minions that go along with all of it to make a buck.

3. The unwillingness of autoworker unions to adjust to market realities.

It certainly doesn't help that unions are constantly expecting more money than what their labor is worth according to the market. (Even in the US labor market, forget the rest of the world for a minute.) Unions themselves are not bad, and I am so sick of people who look at what some unions do, and then judge them all based on that. The autoworker unions got too greedy and now they expect more than what their labor is worth. They basically brought all of this on themselves.

4. The Chevy Suburban in the land of Suburbia.

This is a problem that affects the Big 3 in particular because of their "anti-efficiency, pro-stupidity" marketing philosophies. If you want to get to the truth of the matter then you really have to take a good hard look at US society and culture as a whole. This suburban nightmare land is going to bankrupt us all. You can be sure of that. And it is the auto companies that are to blame for 80% of this. What in blazes is wrong with mass transit? In the long term it is what saves us money, nearly incomprehensible amounts of money. Everyone knows this, but they obviously don't let it filter into the rest of their brains. (Or something like that. All I know is it's damn peculiar, and damn annoying as well.) Well, if you know what's right, then why don't you do it? Let these auto companies die. They should have died a long time ago, but they were too big of a cash cow. I hate to break it to ya, but it was always a ponzi scheme. Cars vs trains. Trains are better. Cars are bigger money makers. Guess which one America chose? Duh. Sorry but it can't last forever. The idea is 36 years obsolete. (US oil production peaked 36 years ago.) And for 36 years we've been lying to ourselves. That has to stop. The Big 3 have had many many chances to take the industry in a new direction. But instead of pushing a great new idea, like a modular auto/rail integration scheme, they bring us ... a bigger SUV. How [censored] creative of you! To hell with you.

5. Pandemic level of dishonesty.

Like I've been constantly hinting at, people just don't want to face the scope of the problem. It's been said for decades that if GM goes, the country goes with it. Well GM is going. It's not a death by heart attack, it's more like death by cancer... Anyway, it's a pretty serious problem. One that affects the whole country. And obviously there's a whole lot of people who either do not want to deal with it, or could care less. It's the head in the sand mentality combined with the "I don't give a crap about anyone but myself" mentality that has always been the greatest threat to progress. Take a look at any huge blunder we make, and I'm sure you can trace the roots back to some combination of those two mindsets. The leaders of the industry must be willing to admit to some pretty serious mistakes that have been repeated and compounded for over 50 years.


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