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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Goodbye, Pontiac

With the news of Pontiac being discontinued, a local talk radio had a segment about American car companies and what's happening with them. I couldn't resist -- I had to call in and say to let them fall! It's not that I want people to lose their jobs. However, why support an industry that creates sub-par products?

I've mentioned our ridiculous repairs on an American car that's less than 5 years old. I haven't even mentioned its power window that doesn't work or the CD player that works intermittently -- just the repairs we have done and the $800 repair that we know it needs. Sigh. And this is for a car that is less than 5 years old!!!

Paul wonders why the emphasis on the car companies. We knew plenty of people who were burned during the dot com fallout, and the government let that happen. What was the result? Internet companies smartened up, got decent business plans, and Internet commerce is thriving. I don't believe American car companies would die completely, but I do think they would produce a better car if they were forced to make their own ends meet.

My brother said with the amount the government has given these companies, they could have instead given every American a $10,000 credit to buy an American car. (Don't know if he was being facetious or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't!) If I had a $10,000 credit to buy my piece of junk I would complain about it a lot less. :) And if they're willing to give vouchers for us to be able to continue to watch TV, then why not to buy American cars?

This also makes me wonder -- American cars are less expensive than foreign cars, because you have to pay for quality. So, shouldn't their spreadsheets look pretty similar? I think the problem is even more than lack of quality -- it's lack of good, sound business management. (Sad considering how many business management majors and graduates we seem to have these days!) I've come to learn that many, many companies that fail do so because of bad management -- not because of bad business. Sigh. If only executives had to be a little more accountable, then I think things would be different.

In the meantime we'll continue to drive our American piece of junk and hope and pray we can live with all the broken parts until we can afford a Honda or Toyota.


Lean Bean said...

I have this feeling about all these people who are gonna get help to stay in the big way too expensive house they can't afford to pay for. My sister Keara ended up losing her house last year and I feel really sympethetic towards her because she feels like her safty net, her safe haven got ripped out from underneath her. She doesn't deserve to have to go through the emotionally stressfull thing of this but I dont feel her and her husband made a wise choice when they first got the loan for htat house. They only had 2 little kids and they already lived in a 3 bedroom house that was huge! When their variable interest rate started to get too high for their income they tried to refinance and were turned down so then they decided to fix up theri house and sell it and they were gonna try to buy another house free and clear with the profit they made from the first house. but instead of getting a house that cost that much they went out and got the largest house in the whole housing community! it had 5 bedrooms and was like 3 times larger than their first huge house! They couldn't afford to live there right form the first mortgage payment and they hardly paid anything in the 5 years they lived there. They just kept refinancing and then living on the money that was leftover. They had no business living there! they were too late to get any help from this housing stuff that the president is talking about but AI think it's not fair for people who made stupid choices to get bailed out when here I am living in a studio apartment for 8 years because we know we can't afford to even live in a 1 bedroom apartment, let alone a condo or house. I think that if money is gonna be handed out it should just be given to every american citizen equally. then people whith big houses could use it to fix their situation, and people like me could use it for whatever we need. I'm sad when anybody loses their house, but they almost always couldn't afford to live there in the 1st place. My sister now lives in a 4 bedroom rental house that I think is huge even though it's smaller than her house that she got kicked out of. She hates it and now that she has gotten used to living in that huge one she feels like the rental house is a piece of crap, when it is clearly still bigger than she needs!

So if a company is failing, I feel sorry for the people that will lose their job, and maybe the government can help them find another job somewhere else or something, but I agree that if it is failing there is a reason for it.

Brown Family said...

I am having issues w/the bailouts, too. I have a friend who can't afford to live in their house after her husband was laid off, so they moved in with her mom and are renting out the house. They have an obscenely high interest rate and would LOVE to refinance, but nobody will refinance them with her husband's now lower income. However, if they were late on several payments, they could get help. So they are thinking, "Should we miss a couple of payments so we can refinance? Or do the up-and-up thing and pay the bill even if it eats our shorts?"

Sad situation out there, and I believe it's almost all based on dishonesty and greed by people in high places.

Lizzylou said...

Hi Denise, this is Ryan Jensen I agree with most of your comments on the bailouts, but I wanted to let you know I got the plans and specs, it looks great. I will call you tomorrow about more questions and details. If you get a minute check out my website at jensensclassicwoodworking.com just to give you a visual of some of my work. Thanks so much Ryan