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  #1  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:19 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Welcome to the Jungle

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  #2  
Old 12-10-2008, 10:25 PM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

I wish Bob wouldn't encourage Megan. Just sayin'.
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2008, 10:38 PM
fredsbreakfast fredsbreakfast is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Megan!!!! Finally!

..... get rid of the new glasses!

Fearless
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2008, 11:17 PM
metacodger metacodger is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

This was informative for me. I especially appreciated Megan's explanation of why Ford was in better shape than GM or Chrysler, as I hadn't previously understood that they had raised a lot of cash against all their hard assets before the crisis hit really hard.

To me, this means that Ford had a plan B, and the others didn't. I also didn't realize that the UAW permitted retired members to vote, and I think she's right that this is unique among labor unions. I'd like to think I'm pro union in many circumstances (I've never been a member of a union however), but I think the UAW has acted in ways that were ultimately against the long term best interests of their members, and even the union movement as a whole. The point about imperial vs. metric measurements was very interesting.

I do disagree with Megan's point about the Local 3 electrician's union in NY. I've been working in IT in NYC for 20 years (kinda senior but still very technical). Local 3 can sometimes offer a decent labor value if you need a large project done right and quickly.
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2008, 12:14 AM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Bob has new fan.

Bob has a great sense of humor. Bob thinks, and Bob is entirely reasonable. Bob has obvious libertarian sensibilities and should try to explore them further. Maybe not come outright out of the closet, but at least be aware of this curious side of his. He doesn't like the auto-bail-out, doesn't approve of corporate welfare based on economic nationalism. Would rather bail-out the individuals directly. So presumably if all the auto-workers had taken out a "transition" or "unemployment" form of insurance, i.e. if the free market had somehow provided coverage for the actual workers then he would be advocating for the government to "do nothing"! Glorious laissez-faire!

Bob is starting to realize that the term libertarian has evolved: it doesn't mean rugged individualism anymore, everyone for himself, these days it mostly means an awareness of the principles of microeconomics. He even brings up the law of the jungle and then argues in a very libertarian way that the current system props up and protect the rich an powerful. Also, hear, hear, the jungle is not as bad as we think! Maybe, just maybe, without a centralized form of coercion, freely interacting hunter-gatherers would actually develop forms of cooperation, norms, even laws, but certainly cultures, that might actually be better then our current system! Pure libertarian utopianism!

Finally on the piracy question he advocates a truly legitimate legal institution which would gradually evolve, possibly starting with a small consortium of willing nations that make agreements with the possibility of defaulting etc...what a Hayekian idea! Go Bob! He even recognizes that there are trade-offs to everything.

You have a new fan.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2008, 12:23 AM
chiropteran chiropteran is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

megan mcardle annoys the heck out of me
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:05 AM
MoodyLoner MoodyLoner is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Is it me, or are Bob's arguments in favor of the ICC quite similar to the ones used to invade Iraq?
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2008, 02:58 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

I'll start taking McArdle seriously when she stops abusing economics for her weird political goals.
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:10 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Is it me, or are Bob's arguments in favor of the ICC quite similar to the ones used to invade Iraq?
Maybe, but without the invasion part.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:18 AM
travis68 travis68 is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Bob has a good point about using the ICC to try cross-border terrorism cases. Countries whose nationals commit cross-border terrorism can save face, so they are more likely to cooperate. We can restrict the charter of ICC to try the type of cases that we want.

It would have been nice to have gotten Bin Laden in that way and we could have avoided the invasion of Afghanistan. Now it's probably unlikely that the Taliban would have cooperated without further inducement, but if the US had said: "cooperate or we eliminate you" -- then there is a decent possibility we would have had cooperation. It would have just taken longer. But we now know that there is no rush to invade countries. They will still be there later to invade.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:37 AM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

It is not established (remotely) that Jesse Jackson Jr. agreed to anything in the Blago tapes. It is alleged that Blagojevic is on tape (have the tapes even been released?) claiming that someone claiming to represent Jackson claimed that Jackson would be able to raise (not pay!) the amount in question. Jackson being Candidate 5 proves nothing. Megan's oh-so-sad proclamation that it's a 'sad day for the Jacksons' is just amazingly premature.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:50 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Megan's oh-so-sad proclamation that it's a 'sad day for the Jacksons' is just amazingly premature.
Yes, the Megan rant on the Jacksons was extremely bizarre, especially since she based her observations wholly on something she had just heard on Fox News.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:56 AM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Megan Contra Megan on Labor Costs

Megan goes to lengths to point out that the UAW's negotiation aims are disporoportionately aimed at satisfying their lagacy memebers, which is hugely on point in many of the debates giong on now (see Leonhardt's Weds Times piece).

However, when she then goes on to make her theoretically sound point (notwithstanding Bob's skepticism) about the effect of total labor costs on the quality of parts used [The argument wouldn't be limited to parts, and I doubt Megan has a deep understanding of how GM structures the burden of its total labor costs, but the basic point is fair.], she uses the misleading phrase 'in order to pay their workers more,' to explain the theoretical skimping on part quality, completely disregarding the important point of the proportion of total labor costs that are legacy payments, even though she herself had pointedly explained that fact herself not seconds earlier!
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2008, 04:05 AM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Re: Megan Contra Megan on Labor Costs

It was "...pay their workers extra," not "more."
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2008, 04:12 AM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

I'm all for two or even more U.S. automakers filing for bankruptcy. They're shells of themselves. But I don't see why not forestall that until the economic light is at the end of the tunnel. That's all this is.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2008, 04:22 AM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

If only the world would just start listening to libertarians, all our problems would be solved! Alas, nothing they advocate has ever been put into practice, nor has any hope ever to be.
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2008, 04:29 AM
timba timba is offline
 
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Default another great pairing

more please - this one really made me think
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2008, 04:54 AM
timba timba is offline
 
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Default Re: another great pairing

seriously - this was like watching a great baseball game where the lead keeps changing hands. There were at least a dozen places where one person had me completely convinced - and the other would convince me the other way with the next point.

Of course, I'm pretty gullible ... but I'd love to hear a lot more of this discussion - both on global governance and on the labor/bailout situation.

It's just not LONG enough! Remember, I've canceled my cable TV and all of my subscriptions. I need BHTV 24/7 and it's only about 1/6.
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2008, 06:30 AM
jstrummer jstrummer is offline
 
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Default Know-Nothing McArdle

I don't know where to begin. Megan McArdle does not know what she's talking about. She doesn't know, definitionally, what it means to be a libertarian. I think she's read Capitalism and Freedom, and that IS IT. And yet she insists on calling herself a libertarian. But she adheres to no particular part of it - not foreign policy, not economic policy, not monetary policy, not social policy, not cultural policy. She claims she's a federalist, but can't actually defend that either, except to say she doesn't like the acretion of federal power post Civil War. Ugh.

Plus, aside from Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, she can't actually cite anyone she's read on this score. This is not someone who understands a political philosophy as anything more than a cartoon caricature.

That also goes for her knowledge about economics in general, which just amounts to pulling out these absurd anecdotes: GM workers earn $75, "my dad is a negotiator for construction workers in NY" (although she can't say which side cause she doesn't know), a friend of a friend once told me about how UAW doesn't like metric. ARE YOU FRIGGIN' KIDDING ME? Bob thankfully calls her on some of these just-so anecdotes, BUT THEY JUST KEEP COMING.

But let's get to this whole international court business. On the question of whether countries can be expected to turn over criminals to the court, she says no because there's no monopoly on force. FOUR RESPONSES: 1) has she never heard of extradition treaties. No one actually things that the U.S. will invade Canada if Canada doesn't turn over a killer who flees to Canada. But Canada turns those people over regularly (except for the odd case where there's some claim to human rights violation because the the potential for death penalty in the U.S., and even then those people are turned over when the U.S. state agrees not to seek the death penalty). So the notion that this court needs to be backed up EVERY SINGLE TIME, or even in 99 percent of the cases, by force is absurd.

2) The EU exists as a multinational governance system, AND THERE IS NO EU ARMY that will march into, say, Germany when Germany fails to comply with this or that directive. That's because various EU countries know that the general benefits of membership outweigh the cost of complying in individual instances. So they better comply.

3) Milosevic isn't a perfect example, but note that it was the Serbian gov't that turned the guy over to UN forces. This was quite apart from the NATO led bombing campaign that preceded it, since there was always some question about whether Serbia would comply with the international tribunal's arrest warrant. Serbia did so because they were looking to future benefits from the EU.

4) Is McCardle NOW going to come out against GATT and TRIPS and WTO, all of which are dispute resolution systems that involve adjudicatory functions which, however imperfect, have generally reduced barriers to trade.

I should also note that EVERY SINGLE TIME SHE UTTERS A FACT, it sounds as if she doesn't know what she's talking about. To the very clear question: how many workers do the Big 3 employ by Bob, we get like a 3 minute response that sufficiently hedges her answer, when it should've been "Bob, I don't know for sure." In fact, neither of her answers, she says 90,000 or 190,000, are correct. I'll just go over to wikipedia to find that: Ford has like 87,700 according to Wikipedia, GM has like 266,000, and Chrysler has 58,000. Megan: You're not even close.

This makes me disbelieve any other particular thing she says, and since she also doesn't have her theory right - the stuff about the gold standard (however much the gold standard is silly) was ludicrously bad - what is the point of having her on?
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  #20  
Old 12-11-2008, 06:38 AM
jstrummer jstrummer is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

This was informative for me. I especially appreciated Megan's explanation of why Ford was in better shape than GM or Chrysler, as I hadn't previously understood that they had raised a lot of cash against all their hard assets before the crisis hit really hard.

Right. Well, color me less impressed. Even her discussion of why Ford is in better shape than GM had the whiff to me of, hey, I just read this in The Economist about how Ford recently mortgaged itself and so doesn't have to borrow in a tight credit market.

I mean, McArdle has not spent any particular time studying the auto industry, she couldn't accurately tell you even how many people it employs, she has all these just-so anecdotes about union featherbedding. Just cause her dad is a lawyer or something that has negotiated with construction workers in NY (although it's never clear she even knows what side he was on), doesn't mean she has the first clue about the Big Three other than what she's picked up from surfing the web.

Get someone on Bloggingheads who knows what she's talking about or, at least, doesn't making stuff up as she goes along.
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  #21  
Old 12-11-2008, 09:26 AM
PaulL PaulL is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
I'll start taking McArdle seriously when she stops abusing economics for her weird political goals.
I suspect the hatred of McArdle by some of the commenters here is due to her previous schooling of Glenn Greenwald.
Or her schooling of John Bowe on Cuba having a lower infant mortality rate than the US.

Quote:
Yes, the Megan rant on the Jacksons was extremely bizarre, especially since she based her observations wholly on something she had just heard on Fox News.
I suspect your high opinion of the Jacksons is due to you getting your News from Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Jon "I can't do my show without writers" Stewart.
BTW did Jesse Jackson ever pay the college tuition of the Duke Lacrosse Rape hoax accuser Ms. Mangum?

Last edited by PaulL; 12-11-2008 at 09:31 AM..
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  #22  
Old 12-11-2008, 09:32 AM
jstrummer jstrummer is offline
 
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Default Know Nothingness II

Ok, one more post just to drive home my point:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/164...7:01&out=29:16

Listen to this discussion here about the UAW and work rules. Ok, it may be true that the UAW has stupid work rules. I'm totally open to hearing about that, and about structural inefficiencies.

But what's McArdle's source? "A friend of mine's brother" who works for not GM, but a supplier. I mean, is this for real? Are you serious? Does this even approach a kind of journalism that ought to be taken seriously, or that is deserving of publication by The Atlantic?

Note that minutes before, her claim about shitty construction material is backed up by "gearheads" she knows! Now, I'm again waiting to be convinced that American cars are made out of shitty material. I would like some evidence more than "gearheads" Megan McArdle knows for the claim that UAW benefits mean GM has scrimped on materials.

Some of McArdle's claims may be backed by evidence - you know, a stopped clock and all that - but where is it? And why isn't Bob laughing?

I have to say, much too much respect is being extended to these obnoxious claims that are backed up by no more "I talked to some guy once", "a brother of a friend", "my dad", "gearheads", "I'm told that..."

Right.
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  #23  
Old 12-11-2008, 09:33 AM
MemeInjector3000 MemeInjector3000 is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstrummer View Post
Get someone on Bloggingheads who knows what she's talking about or, at least, doesn't making stuff up as she goes along.
Agreed. That's a problem in general on BHTV (although it's certainly not exclusive to it): too many journalists and not enough experts. I personally don't care what journalists/writers think. Their role should be to interview people who have informed opinions, not to convey their own anecdotes, off-the-top-of-their-head misunderstandings, and second-hand sound bites. A journalist can become an expert (eg, Bob on evolutionary psychology, Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan), but it's rare.

This problem is especially vivid on "Science Saturday" -- John and George are great (they originally got me into BHTV), but when they interview real scientists, the difference in quality is clear.
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:23 AM
direwolfc direwolfc is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Re: Bob Wright's comment about a 'US-Israel-India' zionist force a la 'clash of civilizations' seems like sloppy thinking. Am I wrong in thinking that India and Israel have historically had a relatively rocky relationship? I was under the impression that India has been less than wholeheartedly in support of Israel, despite their supposed common enemy of Islamic extremists, because its seen Israel as a product of colonial western powers.

I've also never heard of extreme Islamist comments that conflate Hindus with Jews...
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  #25  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:57 AM
DoctorMoney DoctorMoney is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

So, I'll admit it. I feel bad for Jesse Jackson Jr. (even though I almost cackled when I saw Jesse Jackson Sr. crocodile crying on election night in Grant Park) and I 51% believe he's getting a raw deal in this.

I'm not raising a ruckus about it, because I don't want to be a voice on the side of buying senate seats. But when America essentially accepted that Obama would help raise money for Hillary Clinton, buying her out of the race if you will, you might get the idea that we're no longer treating 'raising money for a fellow politician' exactly the same way as handing over a big sack of money in a dark alley. It's mercantile and open.

I couldn't be happier to see Blagojevich roasted for this. But it seems sad that an up and coming politician who had impressed me now gets tarred for playing this the way he thought anyone would have to play it if they were interested in the nomination. Word gets out: Rod wants some fundraising in exchange for his blessing. It seems like people who merely inquired about it aren't tremendously in the wrong. Not flattering, but not totally wrong.

Maybe people here disagree with that? Then again, I'm the type that thinks that drug users (as opposed to dealers) shouldn't get arrested.
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  #26  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:58 AM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

I usually like Megan but her arguments are very weak. Her "libertarianism" appears to be nothing more than a fig leaf for her class based interests. I would have liked more facts and less ideology.

And yes, the auto bailout might fail, but the bailout of Wall Street might fail too, and we've already thrown $700 Billion down that rat hole. Maybe, she should be more concerned about the $150 billion handout to AIG and less about the $15 billion for GM.
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  #27  
Old 12-11-2008, 11:02 AM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

There's a difference between having a "high opinion of the Jacksons" and not condemning Jesse Jr. without any evidence. As Ezekiel says, the son will not bear punishment for the father's sins.
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  #28  
Old 12-11-2008, 11:26 AM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Blago heads

I don't get all the fuss Wright and McArdle made over Blagojevich being able to appoint a senator. Going from governor to senator might be a step up in terms of prestige, but in terms of influence over Illinois it's a huge step down. It's really hard to imagine the public wanting him to run the whole state but not wanting him to partially represent it in a house of Congress.
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  #29  
Old 12-11-2008, 12:08 PM
Markos Markos is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

I thought we had a Constitutional (?) principle of "innocent until proven guilty." Admittedly in situations like the one involving the Illinois governor, this principle verges on the ridiculous. In such cases, does obviousness and ridiculousness allow us to override a Constitutional (?) principle?
Secondly, I'm not so sure that a state governorship is necessarily a lower office than senator. It is chief executive of the state, so what other state authority would be more appropriately positioned to make an interim senate appointment other than the highest political authority in the state? Unless you'd want to subject the choice to a confirmation process in the state legislator.
Plus, governors are generally more electable presidential prospects than senators. Being chief executive of a state is not necessarily less powerful than being one of a hundred senators in a bicameral government.
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  #30  
Old 12-11-2008, 12:13 PM
Markos Markos is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Correction: LegislatURE
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  #31  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:14 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Know Nothingness II

Jstrummer, couldn't agree more. If i have to hear one more MM argument backed up by a late night conversation she had at a bar with her brother's girlfriend's uncle's college roommate, i am going to snap!
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  #32  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:15 PM
Richard from Amherst Richard from Amherst is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Bob:

Your comment about a governor appointing a US Senator being a situation of a lesser government office holder appointing a more powerful government office holder is an artifact of the reversal of the power structure in this Republic.

In the beginning of the Republic, when the states were stronger than the federal government, the power relationship was not so inverted.

In fact the concept of US Senators being popularly elected is a relatively new one. Originally US Senators were appointed by the legislature and the governor and not elected by the citizenry. The US House of Representatives was the populist body and the US Senate was the legislative body of the establishment appointed by and reflecting the interests of the state governments (who were and are administrated (for good or ill) by the state governors).

That being said the concept of the appointment of senators by governors or state legislatures is now totally corrupt. Massachusetts for example being a for all practical purposes a one party large "D" democratic party state changes its method of replacement of a US Senator according to the party affiliation of the Governor.

Selling the office of US Senator on eBay might be a reform measure if the proceeds went into the state general fund and not some pols pocket.
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  #33  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:18 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

the point about jesse jackson jr. is that there is currently ZERO evidence that he did anything even vaguely corrupt.

The sad thing about it is seeing how so many people that should know better are ready to assume guilt.
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  #34  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:19 PM
fredsbreakfast fredsbreakfast is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
I'll start taking McArdle seriously when she stops abusing economics for her weird political goals.
You've got me quite curious --- how exactly do you mean that Megan's "abusing economics" here? And what do you believe might be her "weird political goals"?
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  #35  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:38 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

details, details:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/164...0:03&out=00:13
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  #36  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:40 PM
Anyuser Anyuser is offline
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markos View Post
I thought we had a Constitutional (?) principle of "innocent until proven guilty." Admittedly in situations like the one involving the Illinois governor, this principle verges on the ridiculous. In such cases, does obviousness and ridiculousness allow us to override a Constitutional (?) principle?
"Innocent until proven guilty" is not actually a constitutional principle, at least not directly. It is a rule of evidence pertaining to the government's burden of proof in criminal trials. In my view, employing this evidentiary rule outside the government as a moral precept is often used to foreclose critical thinking and common sense. Compare, for example, the rule against even the appearance of impropriety in certain professional ethics rules.
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  #37  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:43 PM
Salt Salt is offline
 
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Default Re: Welcome to the Jungle

What a month it's been for liberals: Emanuel, Hillary, Gates, Proposition 8, Blagojevich, Reid's "smelly constituents" gaffe, tax-hike backsliding. You must be starting to wonder if this is what chump change feels like. Better pull your heads out and stop dreaming of Bush indictments and other lawyertopia, fantasy-land confections like multi-national courts. No matter how much you detest Megan Mcardle, if Obama changes his mind and follows through on any of his campaign promises you will wish you followed her advice and bought gold. Keep an ear out for the faint but swelling sound of capital flight.
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  #38  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:50 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Know Nothingness II

It must be management bonuses not the cost structure.
Quote:
It was a dead heat. General Motors sold 9.37 million vehicles worldwide in 2007 and lost $38.7 billion. Toyota sold 9.37 million vehicles in 2007 and made $17.1 billion.

That was the second best sales total in GM's 100-year history and the biggest loss ever for any automaker in the world.

For Toyota, that was roughly $1,800 in profit for every vehicle sold. For GM, it was an average loss of $4,100 for every vehicle sold.

Last edited by piscivorous; 12-11-2008 at 01:55 PM..
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  #39  
Old 12-11-2008, 02:00 PM
fredsbreakfast fredsbreakfast is offline
 
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Default Re: Know Nothingness II

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstrummer View Post
Ok, one more post just to drive home my point:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/164...7:01&out=29:16 I would like some evidence more than "gearheads" Megan McArdle knows for the claim that UAW benefits mean GM has scrimped on materials.
Well -- have you been driving their cars? I guess not.
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  #40  
Old 12-11-2008, 02:02 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Know Nothingness II

The proof is in the pudding
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