Thursday, December 18, 2008


I sit here typing at the Public Market and look up to see a sky turned black versus the grey that I saw seemingly moments ago.

Another day, and more corporate welfare. I would bet the farm that the concept of an 'orderly' bankruptcy (of the US automakers) would be to shed their pension plans and health care benefits for current and ex-employees. Great, let the taxpayers subsidize these corporations by passing these pensions off to the already overburdened PBGC. )I wonder why there hasn't been much talk about this federal agency recently? They should go broke right around the time Medicare does.)

Basically when a corporation goes bankrupt and reorganizes, things like pensions just disappear off the balance sheets and get absorbed by the government. They continue to produce crappy cars that no on ewnats to buy, and die a slow death. At least management will continue their posh existence for a few more years and will have time cash out their options.

I read where GM has something like $9,000 in HR costs built into each new Volt it projects selling. Some can blame the unions. Some can blame exorbitant health care costs. But it's a fact in today's economy that we can expect less and less from our employers in terms of any security or ongoing commitment. Good or bad, it's a fact of life. We are on our own. I guess that's progress.

My idyllic (albeit somewhat tainted) worldview envisions a world where open source car could each be modified to meet individual tastes and function. Maybe in a capitalist country, but not in the US where taxpayers keep the ailing dinosaurs on life support versus investing in cutting edge (and high growth) emerging technologies in transportation. I can personally tell you that there is no money out there for start-ups. Too bad we weren't a rusting, old, tired company looking for a handout.

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