Promoted from diaries – Moe Lane
- First they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out—because Christians are judgmental;
- Then they came for the oil companies, and I did not speak out—because oil companies want to kill baby seals;
- Then they came for Walmart, and I did not speak out—because only rednecks shop there;
- Then they came for the “rich”, and I did not speak out—because it’s not fair for achievers to make more than I do;
- Then they came for my health care, and I did not speak out—because clearly the government does everything private industry can do — only better;
- Then they came for Toyota, and I did not speak out—because Priuses are sissy anyway;
- Then they came with Card Check for all non-unionized businesses, and I did not speak out—because, you know, no company should ever make a profit, and unions can assure that;
- Then they came for all the carbon emitters [except in China and India], and I did not speak out—because the UN and Al Gore said “the science is settled”;
- Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
[apologies to Martin Niemöller, and dedicated to all you Libertarians, who can collectively stick it in your ear]
Did you hear about Toyota?
It is impossible these days to hear a newscast or read a front page without mention of yet another recall, damaging revelation, or charge against Toyota. Holy mackerel. Never, ever, has a passenger vehicle issue become such a matter of such public high dudgeon. Obama’s trained talking monkey Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, announced, “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it.” He further beclowned himself by speaking of “holding their feet to the fire”, exclaiming “we will not sleep until every Toyota is safe to drive.” [Would that he showed such concern for the safety of drivers of union-manufactured and government-owned GM and Chrysler cars.] Democrat senators are making “that noise”, and now at least one congressional committee is set to hold hearings.
Now the media breathlessly reports that instead of 19, the number of deaths now being attributed to the nebulous “rapid acceleration” defect is 37 [since the Prius model is a prominent offender, am I the only one that sees irony here? Just me? OK, sorry, my mistake] over the last 10 years, and will continue to grow, according to the LA Times.
37 deaths (or maybe 100) in 10 years due to a manufacturing defect? Seriously, more people have died from hyperventilating during an Obama speech (mostly women but at least one FBI guy). And for this, we have non-stop front page and air media coverage, and the Transportation Secretary telling Americans not to drive Toyotas? What are we to make of this? Is this the worst vehicle defect ever?
Not even close.
Exploding GM trucks killed 1800* people from 1973-2000
As in, burned to death due to ruptured gas tanks in side-impact collisions.
Just saying. And while the 1800 number is fanciful (400-700 is more likely), it is a fact that they settled over 300 lawsuits averaging $1.6 million each, as of 2000.
What else is a fact is that GM was asked to recall the vehicles in 1993, and refused. I guess some companies are too big to fail. [Oh wait….. ] Interestingly, no headlines. You can count for yourself the deaths attributed to fires in 1993-2008 C/K truck collisions, after the recall refusal.
Not that you’d know it, but there are dozens of recalls every year (mostly GM, Chrysler, and Ford, in my observation), and in case you missed it, there is currently a recall of Chrysler Jeep vehicles in which the vehicle is in danger of “the wheel assembly separating from the vehicle”. Did you miss the headlines on that one? I know I did.
Why go after Toyota?
Not only is it perfectly logical, but evidence is lying around, out in the open, as to why Obama’s government is jumping all over Toyota. The national partisan media, as reliable as the tides, is as always carrying the water of big-government anti-market Democrats. But anyway, much of following is drawn or inspired from Johnson’s article. Just follow the bouncing ball.
- GM now stands for Government Motors, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party. It serves no substantial purpose beyond converting taxpayer money into union money.
- Democrats and unions go together like Democrats and corruption. Or unions and corruption. Unions provide legwork, volunteers, stuffed ballot boxes, and billions of dollars in campaign funds to Democrats. Democrats funnel billions in taxpayer money back to unions through earmarks and front groups like ACORN. Democrats also pass extremely union-friendly (aka anti-freedom, anti-business) laws, and fill bureaucracies with union-friendly people who generate and enforce union-friendly policies of all sorts.
- GM can convert more money to union money if it actually sells cars.
- Toyota is the biggest automaker in the world, and currently runs a close second to GM as the biggest seller in the United States.
- Toyota’s superior quality of vehicles is undisputed by any serious industry professional, and by most Americans. GM merits at best a ho-hum in quality. Chrysler stinks.
- Many Americans reflexively revolted against GM when they became Government Motors.
- Toyota has factories in 8 states with 35,000 employees. They are not unionized.
You see where this is going, right?
- GM, and therefore the United States government in Democrat hands, sees to benefit greatly if Toyota were to take a serious hit in market share.
- The United States government is in charge of all sorts of machinery, including recalls but also including public pronouncements by the trained talking monkey Transportation Secretary, who can greatly raise the profile of Toyota problems.
- There really is no such thing as mass manufacturing modern, extraordinarily complex vehicles, governed by thousands upon thousands of regulations, without defects. Even Toyota, whose quality is legendary (and rivaled only by Honda in the mass market), cannot build perfect cars. So recalls will happen. And this one did.
- The American national media,the Democrat Party house organ, dutifully ran with this. Just as they did with Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter, and before that, George Allen’s “macaca” moment, and in October 2004 (just before the election) the since-forgotten Al Qaqaa story (look it up).
And there you have it! Instantly increased market share for GM, less for Toyota (not to mention those stock prices). Hearings that will keep it in headlines for months. More cash in union pockets, and less in the pockets of free market companies with non-union employees. And with any luck, we can expect to see increased regulation of Japanese manufacturers, because clearly they need government’s delicate touch. We’ll see government pushes to unionize employees, most likely by nefarious, intimidating, and outright illegal means. Yes, the government doing something illegal. Is that a surprise to you?
Today it’s Toyota. Tomorrow it’s you.
And like my crudely constructed poem at the top suggests, don’t be obtuse. The “they” is the Democrat Party, with their other vile partners, union and media. They have an agenda, and it has nothing to do with increasing your freedom, your prosperity, or your quality of life. It has everything to do with controlling you, and rewarding their friends.
*In truth, the reports vary from 155 to 725 to 1800, depending on who you are reading (the 1800 coming from a Ralph Nader group, YMMV). But I find it amusing to use the most damning numbers possible when targeting a government-owned union spit-bucket. Just like they do to everybody else.