Thursday, June 18, 2009

Billions better spent

(this was a thingy I wrote a while back but never posted. It's still kinda relevant I think.)

Nothing against the folks at GM, but if we're gonna throw money at something why not throw it at something that actually has a prayer of making both a difference and some scratch? I mean, how much GM stock are you buying up right now? Exactly.

So why is our government loading up on it? This ain't charity. If you're gonna spend my money, spend it on a company that has some hope of changing. Or a company people might buy something from. Or a company we can get our money back from and maybe a little extra.

Perhaps something like this little outfit: Tesla

Based right here in sunny California, USA. They're fully electric and something tells me they wouldn't be $49,000 if their competition wasn't being subsidized by our government.

Of course, if people started buying them they'd need a place to build more of them. Michigan seems like it might be a good place from what I hear. Imagine all the manufacturing facilities you could buy and convert with even just the latest $30 billion we threw at GM. A lot I would think. And maybe this time the unions could make deals that won't bankrupt their employers. Just a thought.

GM was a great company. It was a great 20th century company built to run in a 20th century business climate making cars that ran on 20th century fuels. It's a lot like how the defense department was set up to deal with 20th century threats. And it's why we were caught with our pants down when a gang attacked us and not a country with a flag.

You can't force Rockport to suddenly turn around and become Nike. You'd have to fire the whole place and then magically find 100,000+ new people to replace them. GM is a goner. Mark my words, it'll happen. They're too deeply entrenched to ever be the things their new ad claims they'll: leaner, meaner, greener. No, they, won't.

As an Apple guy, the way I see it is this is like pumping a bunch of money into Microsoft when putting the money into more Apples would in the long run actually solve problems rather just lead to small, incremental changes that really amount to no change at all.

GM will likely make a car (or more likely truck) that might get maybe 20 or 25 mpg and they'll praise themselves as having turned the corner. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda will release plug-in hybrids and other players will no doubt enter the game. GM will then ask for more money to get to the 30 mpg mark before realizing people don't buy gasoline-powered cars anymore. Then we'll be stuck with cars no one wants and be proud 60% shareholders of jack shit.

Let it go. If we're gonna stick with capitalism we can't pick and choose which companies are important.

Or if we do, let's bet on a winner.


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