On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:38:40 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
This is the end result of the "bean counter coup" of GM after Al Sloan
left in the early '60s. Car guys will remember that's about the time
that GM's product started going into the crapper as well, as the bean
counters overruled the divisions by instituting a "less car for more
money" strategy that showed up first in the dismal 1971 model lineup.
Now, the bean counters are reaping what they've sown, as has and is
happening all across US industries...the guys that "make the stuff"
and are passionate about that have been shoved aside by a bunch of
"generic manager" MBAs...they don't give a crap at GM about their
product; they're just in it for the money. Al Sloan was a genius at
organizing Durant's messy GM into a powerhouse that gave the divisions
almost complete authority to design and market their own product,
using limited shared materials and parts and central fiscal
management. The bean counters screwed that up by first, taking away
the divisions' ability to meet their own markets and finally,
abolishing the divisions completely, as the MBAs saw their managements
as being a threat to their control.
GM since the '70s has felt that the markets will come to them, and
despite the pleadings of Wagoner that they're being "market
responsive," the opposite is obviously true...they're still trying to
"make markets" for themselves, ceding all the real markets to the
Asians. If Wagoner were serious about meeting new markets, he
would've challenged Toyota's hybrids head on and actually used their
resources to "one up" Toyota with the Volt. Instead, he and his bean
counter pals just laughed at the Prius and Honda's Insight, while the
Japanese quietly ate GM's lunch, and continue to do so, even with
conventional models. Now, it's "too little, too late."
"Laissex faire" is a corner stone of the "Rockefeller wing" of the
Republican Party, to which all the GM and Ford honchos belong.
...and, as anyone knows, American corporate leaders are ANYTHING but
"intellectually curious." A perfect example of such mutton heads was
Bob Allen, who almost single-handedly destroyed the "old" AT&T, which
was gobbled up by one of its estranged scions, the old Southwestern
Bell Telephone Company, which became the power house, SBC. Another
such jerkoff is "Neutron Jack" Welch, held in high esteem by other
MBAs and brainless Wall Street analysts, reviled by just about
anything else. His clone, Jeff Immelt, now presides over a shrinking
and increasingly capital based corporation that really has no real
product lines other than jet engines (which will wind up going to
China soon...bet me) and cheap locomotives for the mismanaged US rail
industry. They've managed to trash their electrical distribution
product line and have almost ceded the whole thing to the Europeans.
Exactly. That was the response of the RayGunites to Carter's loan
guarantees to Chrysler. It was a fait acomplie by the time the
laissez faire crowd got into power, but they did their best to
sabotage Iacocca's plans by dumping Chrysler stock options right when
Chrysler was making an incredible comeback with the K-cars, which gave
Chrysler a big hit to their market capital right at a time they did
NOT need it. The reason? The loan guarantees violated their
"religion" of laissez faire free marketeering, and they were going to
use any method possible to make Iacocca (and, of course, Carter) look
bad. Didn't work, Chrysler paid back all their loans early and went on
to become the lowest cost/fastest to market auto maker in the US. Net
cost to taxpayers: ZERO. Then, the whole works came unglued after a
greedy ex-GM exec, Bob Eaton, sold the whole works down the river to
the maniacal Germans at Daimler-Benz. As Iacocca says now, "He took
the money...and RAN!"
Iacocca was prevented from going in to snatch Chrysler back from the
disaster-bound Germans along with Kirk Kerkorian exactly for that
reason...they knew about Iacocca's "liberal" fiscal ideas, and locked
him out of being able to leverage Kerkorian's worth into a total
"re-buyout" of the company. Now, Chrysler is in the hands of a bunch
of laissez faire Republicans, and is cutting about 40% of its model
line, and getting ready to issue more pink slips as it closes more
plants. Yup...it's another Republican "strip 'n flip" in the making!
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