Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Economic Patriotism = Economic Racism/Bigotry

I am going to insist that all of the mayoral appointees buy American-made vehicles when they purchase new vehicles.

~Jim Fouts, Mayor of Warren, Michigan, in today's Detroit Free Press

Both major political parties are infested with protectionists who would discriminate on the basis of national origin no less virulently than David Duke or any other racist would discriminate on the basis of skin color.

~Economist Steven Landsburg

Giving preference to American-made products over German or Japanese products is the same injustice as giving preference to products made by whites over those made by blacks. Economic nationalism, like racism, means judging men and their products by the group from which they come, not by merit.

~Ayn Rand Institute


At 8/26/2008 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, did you read about Detroit's representative John Dingell's plan for a GM bailout. Under the guise of "supporting energy effeciency" the government is lending the automakers $25 billion! This was included in the most recent energy bill.

However, that money has to go towards energy efficiency research. Now, unsurprisingly, the automakers want a $50 billion dollar "loan" and less restrictions on how it is used.

While discussing the political difficulty in passing such a measure, Aaron Bragman, a lobbyist for the auto industry said at a recent event,

"The big problem is that a lot of people in Washington don't see a value in the U.S. auto industry because they have a foreign plant in their district that is doing just fine."

HOW IS THIS A PROBLEM? So foreign plants are doing just fine? Isn't that the EXACT reason the failed U.S. Auto Industry should NOT get $50 Billion in unappropriated loans? How is foreign companies 'outsourcing' manufacturing jobs to the United States a bad thing?

What would be a bad thing is if the US government began to subsidize the auto industry. I find it pathetic, but not unsurprising, that the unions are for this. I would be ashamed to work for a company that is surviving purely because of subsidies. If you work for that company, you are essentially a leech on society. You produce nothing of value, in fact you lose $10 billion every quarter.

I also find the behavior of the people who run the auto companies to be pathetic as well. A lot of these CEOs like to pretend that they are free market capitalists. But as soon as they get in trouble, they come begging for a bailout just like everyone else.

Welcome to USA the Bailout Nation!

At 8/26/2008 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we trust the judgment of a mayor who can’t tell the difference between soft towels and sandpaper? That seems pretty simple to me. What happens when he has to quickly make an important decision?

Even as a UAW worker, I’ve never been much for telling people what they should buy with their hard-earned money. That’s their business. But, don’t expect to pull up in my driveway in a Toyota and expect to do business with me. That’s my business. Even my sister has to park her Toyota Prius out in the street when she visits me.

Machiavelli999: Normally I would agree with you, but the U.S. seems to have enough money to wage useless wars, bail out the mortgage industry, and give free money away with stimulus checks so I don’t see anything wrong with investing in an industry that has provided so much to the U.S. economy in the past. Will this be wasted money, too? We’ll see.

At 8/26/2008 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, after telling the Japanese, Germans, Koreans, and everyone else who makes cars (Canadians, too?!) that they will be shunned, will this Mayor of Michigan wonder what happened to Michigan's global export business?

At 8/26/2008 11:58 AM, Blogger David Foster said...

Suppose that a multidivisional company decided to give preference to its own products in its sourcing decisions...the CEO edicts that (for example) the locomotive business and the dishwasher business must both use motors made by the motor business.

This would very likely be unwise, for several reasons, but not because it is wrong of the CEO to value the success of his own businesses more than those of outside businesses.

At 8/26/2008 12:07 PM, Blogger Mr. Dart said...

My BMW was made here in South Carolina. Does that count with these protectionists? Or does it have to be made in a UAW shop to be made by "real Americans?"

At 8/26/2008 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

walt g,

If you think investing in American auto industry is such a good idea, go ahead and buy GM and Ford stock. And have fun losing money along with the auto companies.

America's other stupid spending decisions does not justify this one.

When the housing bailout bill was passed, some prominent Democratic leader (can't remember who) was asked about its high cost. He/she scoffed and said "it's only 2 month of spending in Iraq". As if that justifies the bill??

And what about a more important point here. Our fiscal deficit is more than 400 BILLION dollars. Where is this extra $50 billion for the auto industry coming from? Printed money? Borrowed from China?

At 8/26/2008 1:36 PM, Blogger bobble said...

racism? LOL! really MP, that's a stretch.

the US is no longer the caucasion nation of the 50's. i'd say its more like economic nationalism:

"the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation . . . devotion and loyalty to one's own nation; patriotism."

At 8/26/2008 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone is determined to throw money away, I don't mind taking it. Obviously, Congress cannot control their spending, and the voters don't care because they keep electing the same people. When asked, most congressmen state that they get re-elected by the amount of dollars they return to their districts and not by fiscal constraint. We are simply getting what we asked for.

Sadly, I have too much money invested in GM stock already. It has not been a good year for any of my investments. I don’t tend to worry about the year-to-year fluctuations, though. I’ve worked two or three jobs all of my life, so I’ll be OK.

At 8/26/2008 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear David,

Analogies are like maps (to use an analogy). Drawing a bad analogy will get you lost just as fast as drawing a bad map.

The map is not the territory. Forget that at your peril.

At 8/26/2008 4:47 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

bobble....economic racism. Is that really that hard to understand? As in, this is as foolish as determining someone's worth based on their skin tone.

At 8/26/2008 6:35 PM, Blogger bobble said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/26/2008 6:41 PM, Blogger bobble said...

shawn:"economic racism. Is that really that hard to understand? As in, this is as foolish as determining someone's worth based on their skin tone"

well, i don't think the mayor is talking about 'worth'

and, just to make it clear, i'm *not* defending the mayor's philosophy here.

but you folks have left mars and are headed for pluto if you think there is something racist here.

do you really think the mayor means:

"I am going to insist that all of the mayoral appointees buy American-made vehicles **because foreign made cars are manufactured by people who don't look like us**"

or, is it more likely he means:

"I am going to insist that all of the mayoral appointees buy American-made vehicles **because buying cars made in michigan will boost employment in michiigan**"

At 8/27/2008 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mayor must have a heck of a lot of appointees to have that kind of effect.

Oh, you mean his gesture was symbolic and will have no measurable effect? I see.

I wonder what David Duke drives.

At 9/05/2008 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Odd. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool ethnic racist and mysogynist. But I'm also a proponent of free global market. What boat does that put me in?

In truth though, playing the racism card is intellectually dishonest. It's a tactic used by the liberals. Don't play their game.

PS. Could your captcha's be any harder to read?


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