Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Labor Secretary Buys a Foreign Vehicle By Mistake, But At Least It Was Built By Foreign Union Workers

Her Chevrolet Equinox Was Not "Made in the USA"


In the video above, President Obama's Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, explains why she recently bought a new Chevy Equinox:

"What better example could I set if I encouraged my staff to go and purchase and seek how we could acquire a vehicle that would for me would send a signal that we're for supporting our American workers, American-made products, fuel efficient as well."

One problem: The Chevy Equinox is not built by American workers, because it's not American-made.  It's built by foreign workers, in a foreign country: Canada.  If Secretary Solis wanted to buy the "most American-made possible" to show her support of American workers, she should have considered the two most "American-made cars" available in America today: the Toyota Camry or the Honda Accord (according to Cars.com).  

The Labor Secretary could have also considered one of the other top 10 "American-made" cars like the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, or the Toyota Tundra.  But we all know why that won't ever happen - those cars are mostly built in "right-to-work" states by non-union American workers.  And so for political purposes to maintain union support, it's more important for the U.S. Labor Secretary to support union workers in a foreign country than to support non-union workers in America.  That just politics as usual in Washington.  Better to support Canadian Auto Workers north of the border than support non-union workers in Texas or Alabama.  

Ms. Solis tried to defend her purchase of a foreign import by saying that "66% of its parts were made in America."  Nice try.  When Cars.com conducts its annual "American-made" list, it doesn't even consider models like the Chevy Equinox with a domestic parts content rating below 75 percent. 

21 Comments:

At 8/31/2011 7:35 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Well, Canada is in America, therefore it is American-made.

Really, she should buy a Chevy Volt. Fantastic vehicle.

 
At 8/31/2011 7:48 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Note: Cars.com's American-Made Index "rates vehicles built and bought in the U.S."

 
At 8/31/2011 9:32 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Transplants aren't American at all, given how far off they are from Detroit-design cars.

Toyotas, Hondas, and the like are re-assembled foreign cars with an un-American mindset towards their design. Either you get a bling-filled 4-cylinder or pay a ton for an under-powered exotic. For both cases, you get less car & block per dollar, as they're not designed with the US in mind beyond regulatory concerns.

The foreign transplant trucks are only a token measure to make something fully US.


Solis would have also gone wrong with the Mexican-built Fords, anything from Buick, the Volt/Cruze (for being a non-US platform), and anything in Chrysler's lineup that has a similar affliction.

 
At 8/31/2011 9:41 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Would it not be more apporpriate for a Democrat Secretary of Labor to be riding union driven public transportation? This administration is getting drowsy.

 
At 8/31/2011 10:37 PM, Blogger Seth said...

"For both cases, you get less car & block per dollar, as they're not designed with the US in mind beyond regulatory concerns."

Apparently folks find some redeeming values as evidenced by their willingness to purchase them in convincing quantities -- and repeat their purchases over and over again.

I know this might be tough for you to believe sethstorm, but not everyone has the same preferences and value drivers as you.

 
At 9/01/2011 12:50 AM, Blogger ladywolf said...

Nothing wrong buying a car made by WORKING Americans. Union or nonunion, who cares, as long as a LEGAL working, tax paying American buil it. we need Americans to WORK to rebuild our economy. As usual, a govt official speaks before putting brain in gear.

 
At 9/01/2011 12:55 AM, Blogger ladywolf said...

Canada is NOT part of America. They are two separate countries. Where did Benjamin get his education?

 
At 9/01/2011 1:34 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Nothing wrong buying a car made by WORKING Americans. Union or nonunion, who cares, as long as a LEGAL working, tax paying American buil it. "

If you're Hilda Solis, or any other dem politician you had better care, because your union masters - I mean supporters - will be outraged if your car wasn't built by UAW workers.

"Canada is NOT part of America."

What? Even the UAW will tell you that union made Canadian cars are OK.

benji? Education? He still hasn't gotten an education, but IIRC he went to school in the People's Republic of Berkeley, at UC Berkeley.

 
At 9/01/2011 9:23 AM, Blogger QT said...

I guess this issue only matters if you believe that a country can only succeed if it manufactures its own goods. I hear this argument a lot.

Many people seem to be afraid of the rise of China, etc. and the decline of manufacturing even though the U.S. remains the world's foremost manufacturer, even though employment from manufacturing has been declining for decades due to increased mechanization, even though the U.S. remains the world's leading innovator, even though the ROE from manufacturing is generally low, and even though it would appear to make perfect sense to have lower return, capital intensive manufacturing done in a lower cost jurisdiction, and even though lower cost consumer goods lower the cost of living for low income Americans.

One cannot however, easily dismiss the issue of wage stagnation among those who lack a high school education. The argument is that these folks used to have good paying jobs in manufacturing(although not all manufacturing jobs were well paid ie. garment manufacturing). Can these folks make the transition to a knowledge based economy without significantly lower earnings?

How does one answer the person who believes that a nation cannot succeed unless it manufactures its own goods?

 
At 9/01/2011 9:52 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Why is it that we never here Democrat politicians, like Obama, affirming that their children are receiving a union education. Oh, that's right, because they are not.

 
At 9/01/2011 12:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

QT

"How does one answer the person who believes that a nation cannot succeed unless it manufactures its own goods?"

I usually counter by asking why national boundaries should matter, but not state, city, or even household.

Here's an interesting post on the subject.

I especially like the following quote:

"This is just another way of saying that the case for free trade is conceded the moment someone eschews self-sufficiency.
After that, we’re just haggling over the size of the trade area. But if free trade (read: division of labor) is good, then the bigger the free-trade area the better."

 
At 9/01/2011 12:35 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

QT: Great insights.

"One cannot however, easily dismiss the issue of wage stagnation among those who lack a high school education."

I think data show the problem for less than a high school education is just finding a job, and the wage stagnation you speak about is for those who have a high school diploma with no post high-school marketable skills.

The answer to those who believe manufacturing is primary to national success? Simple, we still have a lot of manufacturing where it is possible to be profitable, and you cannot live in the past.

We will have to adapt to the current and future situations to be successful, and we will.

 
At 9/01/2011 1:05 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Really, she should buy a Chevy Volt. Fantastic vehicle."

Have you ordered yours yet?

 
At 9/01/2011 1:28 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Heckuva job Hilda!

 
At 9/01/2011 1:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/01/2011 1:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Benji

"Really, she should buy a Chevy Volt. Fantastic vehicle."

Have you ordered yours yet?
"

Oooops!

I can't wait to hear the THIS explanation.

"I meant...I think it's a great car for OTHER people."

 
At 9/01/2011 1:56 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Ron H,

Yeah, that's Benji in a nutshell. For all his claims to be a libertarian, he's just as statist as his boyfriend.

 
At 9/02/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger Dahveed said...

Well, at least she didn't try to claim that "I thought Canada was the 51st state."

I'm not sure what she was concerned about. Our government spends many billions on foreign made products.

At least she purchased a car from a company that was partially owned by the American people (through the government).

 
At 9/02/2011 3:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

""I'm not sure what she was concerned about. Our government spends many billions on foreign made products. "

She wasn't concerned. That's the problem - she was clueless. She bought the Equinox "because of the pride she saw in American auto workers during trips to U.S. car and truck plants."

 
At 9/02/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I know this might be tough for you to believe sethstorm, but not everyone has the same preferences and value drivers as you.


I already recognize that. However, trying to dress up a golfcart doesnt change that it's a car made for another market and mindset - one that is different and incompatible with the larger-car-for-lesser-cost US market.

Detroit fills the middle between the golfcart and the exclusive European exotics. Let them make more car per dollar for the masses.

 
At 9/04/2011 2:09 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I already recognize that. However, trying to dress up a golfcart doesnt change that it's a car made for another market and mindset - one that is different and incompatible with the larger-car-for-lesser-cost US market."

Even though you say you recognize that, you can't seem to admit that so called dressed up golfcarts are sold by the millions in the US, so there must be a market for them in the US, that is neither different nor incompatible with what US buyers want.

 

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