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GM Is Alive. Drivers Are Dead. Any Questions?

How many lives and billions of taxpayer dollars will it take before the cost of Obama's meddling with the economy becomes prohibitive?

by
Oleg Atbashian

Bio

June 7, 2014 - 11:03 am
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Remember the arrogant 2012 bumper sticker based on Joe Biden’s boast at the DNC? “GM is alive. Bin Laden is dead. Any Questions?”

1-000It now appears that many American civilians with absolutely no connection to al-Qaeda have also become dead or injured while driving a small, fuel-efficient Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, or Saturn Ion.

The Washington Post reports:

An investigation into General Motors’ failure to recall millions of small cars containing a deadly ignition switch defect found a corporate culture in which employees failed to take responsibility for the problem, which has been linked to at least 13 deaths, said GM chief executive Mary T. Barra.

This raises even more questions.

Notice the part about “a corporate culture in which employees failed to take responsibility for the problem.” Was it because the employees knew that they were too big to fail?

How many of them were members of the United Auto Workers? Obama had rewarded this labor union’s political shenanigans and donations to his campaign with 39 percent of General Motors. That alone should have taught the GM employees a lesson that real money comes not from actual labor but from shady political dealings, and that honest work is for suckers.

General Motors waited more than a decade to recall their 2.6 million defective small cars worldwide. Obviously, the problem started long before the Obama administration decided to bail them out, thus rewarding bad behavior and costing Treasury a loss of roughly $10 billion.

That was yet another real-life lesson from which the GM employees could learn that withholding information is better than honest work, and that those who actually do honest work wind up paying for those who don’t. Now GM is going to establish a compensation program for the victims and their families. How much of that cost will be covered by a taxpayer-funded bailout?

And now for the final question. Using the GM chief executive’s own language, who built that “corporate culture in which employees failed to take responsibility for the problem”?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
You are probably right that union workers were not directly responsible. But I worked with this industry - including GM - all through the 70s and 80s and my theory is that union "values" do not stay among the workers in any company. Eventually the spirit of "me first", "don't hold me accountable", "we get to determine what it means to be productive" and "management is the enemy" pervades the entire company. Management themselves took their lack of control over workers as a given and without this, delivering a competitive product within the financial parameters dictated by foreign competition appeared futile. So they drifted to a similar lack of discipline and resorted to all kinds of tricks and flights of fancy to define their role there. Think of Roger Smith and his idiotic foray into the world of IT. Shareholders were helpless while executives just marked time and piled on the perks until the inevitable changing of the guard occurred.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know many people who will never by a GM product again, and I feel the same way. Hurray for Ford, which carried on as a free and independent company.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
My last car purchase had me down to two choices of manufacturers: Ford or a Japanese company. Ford, because they didn't take Obama's blood-money and Japanese because it was just a good car. There were Chevy and GM cars that I liked, but refused to buy. I ended up buying a Japanese car made in Japan. Scr3w your "Too big to fail." government motors and union management.

Frank, Dodd and Clinton's abuse of the economy didn't reach the rotten stage until Bush—who got the blame for it. Bush was no prize, but he did inherit his share of problems. Obama will likely get to avoid being blamed too, though he is worse than Carter and has created an economy rivaling the Great Depression.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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Thirty years ago GM was the biggest employer in the country paying about $50/hr in today's money. Today Walmart is our biggest employer paying an average of $10/hr. Starting wages at GM are $14/hr. How far we've fallen.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
As far as I'm concerned, this government's economic meddling is already far past fair and well into criminal.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's see. G(government) Motors builds cars that kill people, and the wrongful-death attorneys (big Dem contributors) shift into high gear.
Likewise, food stamps and unemployment checks goose the economy.
Business is booming.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bailout was wrong. The best thing for GM would have been to go through bankruptcy.

However, ambulance chasers are driving this.
4 of the 13 killed were impaired, Another with a history of epilepsy was observed slumped over the wheel, and seven of the 13 were unbelted.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I blame government Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations. The money losing Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, and Saturn Ion would never have been built if GM wasn't required to average fuel economy for cars built in the US. Anyone who has ever rented a Cobalt knows that GM cut corners everywhere they could and still couldn't get the price low enough to overcome UAW benefit package costs. The steering column sounds like it was lubricated with sand and the steel and plastics appeared to be sourced from Dollar General suppliers. The weak spring in the ignition switch is accidental while the mass of cheap materials in the rest of the car was intentional.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Drivers, or rather the skill of driving, is indeed dead if a stalled vehicle results in a fatal crash. GM did indeed let a flaw into the wild and took their sweet time recalling it, but we're talking about an ignition switch, not something that causes a wheel to depart a car at speed or a braking system to fail. A significant part of the responsibility for the deaths in those crashes must be placed on the simple fact that those driving said cars could not, in fact, drive to save their lives.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
".. how many lives and billions of taxpayer dollars will it take before the cost of this administration’s meddling with the economy becomes prohibitive?"

I think it already has become prohibitive. We're going to need a decade or more to fully recover, if we ever can.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, we could fix it completely in two seconds. Just repudiate the debt. There will be a whole slew of unhappy people (and Nations), but I won't be one of them.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Without arguing one way or another about the author's thesis, I just want to say his suggestion that UAW members were involved in this seems unlikely. The articles I've read said that the problems involved engineers and management, and that makes sense.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are probably right that union workers were not directly responsible. But I worked with this industry - including GM - all through the 70s and 80s and my theory is that union "values" do not stay among the workers in any company. Eventually the spirit of "me first", "don't hold me accountable", "we get to determine what it means to be productive" and "management is the enemy" pervades the entire company. Management themselves took their lack of control over workers as a given and without this, delivering a competitive product within the financial parameters dictated by foreign competition appeared futile. So they drifted to a similar lack of discipline and resorted to all kinds of tricks and flights of fancy to define their role there. Think of Roger Smith and his idiotic foray into the world of IT. Shareholders were helpless while executives just marked time and piled on the perks until the inevitable changing of the guard occurred.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting. I appreciate your insight.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know many people who will never by a GM product again, and I feel the same way. Hurray for Ford, which carried on as a free and independent company.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will not buy either GM or Chrysler Fiat.
And I loved my Grand Prix GTP.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
GM Is Alive. Drivers Are Dead. Leftist Cronies Are Still Being Paid Off. Res Ipsa Loquitur

It is a feature, not a bug.

Subotai Bahadur
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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