Down With The Big Three

Even though it’s unnecessary now that so many persuasive voices have railed against plans to rescue the crippled U.S. auto industry, I’m jumping on the “no bailout” pile. My hatred of domestic cars has always been intense, and I enjoy stomping once bloated adversaries while they’re on their knees begging.    

Earlier this year I spent two weeks in Los Angeles, where I rented a Ford Mustang. It wasn’t intentional; I believe that Mustang drivers are subhuman – a breed that should be exterminated as soon as we’re done with Larry the Cable Guy fans and bitchy retail clerks.

Anyway; since they didn’t have the car that I reserved – or much of anything else in my price range – I got stuck with the guido express. I won’t lie; I connected with the Mustang for a minute since I’ve never been much of an ethnic Italian, and it was nice to touch my roots. And then I fired up the shitbox and peeled off.

The Mustang had less than 20,000 miles clocked, yet it was looser than your favorite porn star. While I’m aware that people beat rental cars like they do hotel headboards, the condition was unacceptable. If Mustangs are supposed to idle as loudly as mine did, as my friend suggested, then their owners are even dumber than I thought.  

On the interior, the fixtures were insultingly substandard. From what I understand the sticker price on such a ‘Stang is upwards of $25,000, yet the dials, dashboard, and door handles were inferior to those on my $15,000 Toyota Matrix. I always knew that stubborn folks who buy American got ripped off, but I never knew how badly.   

Am I really using one token anecdote to defend my claim that an entire industry should be left to burn? Yes – I am. Well, that and every other example I have of Ford, GMC, and Chrysler taking advantage – from my uncle’s regularly sidelined 2003 Cadillac to my buddy’s Saturn with the devilishly temperamental door locks.  

Oh yeah – for anyone who hasn’t read the other 10,000 op-eds reaming the “Big Three” – these companies aggressively lobbied against increased fuel economy standards while pushing Navigators, Avalanches, Hummers, Escalades, and Grand Cherokees on a willfully ignorant and easily manipulated public. For that alone they should be left to bleed.

I won’t pretend to know what the resulting situation will be with regards to jobs; maybe foreign companies really will increase stateside production as many are projecting. I do, however, find it hilarious that Democrats who sat silently while computer, service industry, and telecommunications jobs were outsourced overseas are suddenly concerned about unemployed Americans.

It’s hard for a self-respecting pragmatist like me to agree with the Bush administration – or with Republicans in general – on any substantial issue. When there is convergence it’s generally because we reached the same conclusion via different paths, like when Bush wanted to open borders to secure cheap labor for his cronies and I simply thought it was hypocritical to keep out brown people.

So while I’m not sure which GMC lobbyist forgot to stuff Bush and Cheney’s coffers, I’m glad that he sided with logic on this one. This proposal could only be more ridiculous if it included plans to bail out the equally pathetic music industry.

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