Friday, November 28, 2008

Auto-Industry Jet Stting CEOs & Others Seeking Government Handout & Does Obama Have As Much Courage & Vision As Pres. Evo Morales Of Bolivia

UPDATE: 5:39 Friday Nov. 28, 2008

Ah those poor struggling CEOs & Their Fleets of $ 36 million Private Jets
How the other half live actually the top 5% -
So much for Trickle Down Economics actually the Wealth Continues to Trickle Upward even in bad times as the Governments takes pity on the struggling super-rich.
But being rich we are supposed to accept that they therefore are superiour to the rest of society-A Breed Apart as Ayn Rand & the Neoconservatives & the Mass Media like to remind the Rest of us Everyday; we are mere worms in comparison.

Interior of Private Jet

Interior of Private Jet with Hostesses
serving Champagne & Caviar To The Rich & Powerful

Below customized Smaller Private Jet for the Less Fortunate

Update on auto industry bail-out:
Anyway the saga of the massive Bail-outs in the United States continues.

After being embarrased over their use and ownership of a fleet of private luxury jets one of the auto industry giants GM's response was sell two jets and " has asked the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) not to allow tracking of its private jets." So their solution is to keep the government and the American public in the dark about when and how often the CEOs and their families and friends and croynies use the aircraft for business or pleasure. These CEOs can't imagine why they souldn't fly around in a fleet of luxury jets drinking champagne and munching on caviar while they lay off 50, 000 employees with little if any severance pay or insist that the average worker take a pay cut. In the same way they see nothing wrong with CEOs pulling down salaries between 500,000 to 2.5 million with bonuses of from 5 to 20 million . This is the type of deregulted capitalism which has been promoted since Presient Reagan took power in 1980 in which he and his neoconservative friends claimed would be best for America and tha the wealth would trickle down.

For decades these economic genuises claimed that it would be best for the government not to interfer with Big Business since the CEOs new what they were doing. If they were so capable why is it that suddenly without warning they are now desparate for a 25 billion or more bail-out from the Big Government whom they were always preaching against. In other words Big Government and government interference in the market place is a bad thing except when Big Business itself is in dire straits. If we accept their idea of the free-market place then there should be no bail out at all.

The problem is if they are not bailed-out another 100,000 or so jobs will be lost which would be a blow to all of these workers and also a blow to the US economy. There are several ways to approach a bail-out. One which the industry wants is to be gien 25 billion without any strings. This would be disastrous for the the Obama administration financially and a blow to his prestige since he promised his government would do things differently. The more money that goes into these mega-bail-outs the less money Obama has for his public works projects, fixing up highways, schools , hospitals or towards improving Health Care in the United States so that a mjority of Americans could have a health Care system similar to what we Canadians and most other Western Countries already have.

What Obama and others in the American government seem to forget is that the government is the one in charge when companies come crawling on their hands and knees with their tin cups in hand begging for money. At such a juncture the government has the position of strength which it should use in negotiating these bail-out proposals rather than acting as if the corporations are the ones in control.
But maybe it would be best to cut out the middle man that is the CEO's and the corporations and instead focus on bailing-out the ordinary worker. First you give each autoworker a generous severance pay. Secondly the government would then pay out to each worker a weekly subsidy equivalent to the basic wage auto-workers would normally make. During this period the government could offer early retirement based on a formula of age and number of years employed and for the rest offer re-training or scholarships to attend vocational schools, community colleges and university depending on the individuals interest, aptitude and goals.

This in itself is not a perfect solution but the question is should the government continue to support an industry in America which is just not viable. Other solutions could be selling off these American companies to foreign interests such as Toyota, Nissan and by doing so keep the jobs in America but producing a different product but one that is apt to be more viable and competitive.

from BBC News Nov.28,2008:

GM tries to block corporate jet tracking

General Motors has asked the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) not to allow tracking of its private jets.
The call comes after the company's boss flew to Washington in a jet to ask for $25bn (£16.3bn;19.7bn euros) of public money to bail-out the US car industry.
Chief executive Rick Wagoner was taken to task at a special Senate hearing and pilloried in the worldwide media for such extravagance and poor judgement.
"Couldn't you have downgraded to first class?" said Democrat Gary Ackerman.
GM has subsequently returned two of its fleet - reportedly five strong - of private jets.

also see:BBC NEWS Nov. 17, 2008
Hard-up GM to sell Suzuki stake

General Motors is selling its 3% stake in the Japanese carmaker Suzuki for $230m (£156m) to raise cash.

Suzuki said it would buy back the stake, adding that it understood GM faced a need to secure funding.

GM has reported a net loss of $2.5bn in the third quarter and has been trying to secure an emergency government loan along with its Detroit competitors.
The "Big Three" US car firms Chrysler, Ford and GM are seeking a total $25bn in federal aid.

Suzuki, which specialises in small cars, said the two companies would continue to cooperate in a number of joint projects, including developing new technologies. Their partnership started in 1981.

"We understand full well that GM faces a need to sell its shareholdings to secure funding," Suzuki said.

The US carmaker had already sold a 17% stake in Suzuki, in 2006.

When a Bail-out is not a Bail-out

This attitude on the part of American corporations that the bail-out is not really a bail-out or a subsidy has a long history as Canadians know in our fights with the US over crop subsidies or subsidies in the lumber industry. When the Canadian government helps out some industry the Americans go ape-shit calling it unfair but when their government hands out subsidies in one form or another the Americans have claimed that these are not really subsidies. You see their politicians and lobbyists come up with other ways of giving out subsidies to make them look not so much like subsidies - call them tax relief , or tax rebates or long term loans at low interest rates etc.For instance American federal or state governments even give farmers subsidies not to grow certain crops. So a farmer can make a good living by not planting or harvesting any crops.Its still a subsidy or a handout and a form wealth redistribution and welfare or whatever one wants to call it.

Paris scathing about Detroit bail-out by John Madslien BBC News )ct. 3, 2008

Car industry executives at the Paris motor show have kept their eyes firmly on developments across the pond this week.
President George W Bush signed legislation that gives US carmakers access to $25bn (£14bn) of cheap government-backed loans to help them develop less polluting cars - a huge bonus for the country's struggling car giants.

European protests

European automotive industry executives see the $25bn loan guarantee as a bail-out package that will give American car companies an unfair advantage when it comes to developing less-polluting cars - a point that is not missed by the US authorities.
"German carmakers view this as subsidies violating competition," observes the CIA, the US intelligence agency, in a research note.

But those who see it as a bail-out have got it wrong, insists General Motors' chief operating officer Fritz Henderson.

"It's a loan, actually. It's not a gift," he tells BBC News in an interview.
"It's all about financing projects, which can range anywhere from a Volt [plug in hybrid] to hybrid vehicles to pretty significant forms of advanced propulsion
"It's not a bail-out," he continues.

"If society decides we need more oil, we provide tax credits for drilling. The companies make $10bn a quarter. Is that a bail-out?

"Or let's take defence companies. Governments chose to underwrite R&D associated with defence.

"I am objecting to the characterisation, that this form of government support is a bail-out, whereas this form is something else."

Evo Morales in his own words
The Real News Network-November 20, 2008
Bolivian President Evo Morales, on his first visit to Washington, addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) and a standing-room only audience of diplomats, scholars and students at the American University. Explaining the extraordinary transformations taking place in Bolivia in the past few years, his overall theme, as he himself defined, was visible change. Contrary to the Bush administration, who always antagonized him, and whose ambassador was declared persona non grata in Bolivia by the President, Evo Morales - who was called the Indian President - hoped bilateral relations under Obama - the Black President - will improve.

Will Barack Obama have the courage as Evo Morales has to stand up to the vested interests of Big Business and the over 35,000 Lobbyists to put into effect his so called changes in a way similar to President Evo Morales of Bolivia. So far Obama has not for instance suggested or threatened Big Businesses with Nationalization. If these various corporations want to be balied-out then it should be on the government terms. For instance he could bail-out the auto industry in exchange for part ownership of theses companies of at least a 40 percent share for the government Secondly Obama could insist that there be a moritorium on bonuses or salary hikes of CEOs for let's say three years. Thirdly he could insist that they invest in making making their automobiles more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly.

President Morales of Bolivia has taken steps which other leaders have done for instance Allende in Chile but many of these countries have become the targets ofthe CIA and the Pentagon. The CIA and the Pentagon then enter the scene by first finding a group who are opposed to the government policies. If they can they will try to find people in the government or in the military who are unhappy with the government or who are ambitious or corrupt who can be used to overthrow the governmen in a coup detat . If that is not possible they will find some group to arm which can act as America's proxy in a form of guerilla warfare while also using trrorist tactics killing unarmed civilians using assassination by hit squads or death squads if they have some sympathizers inthe police forces or the military . The US did this in El Salvadore and Chile Gautemala, Iran . In nicaragua for example the Contras as Americans used the Contras in El-Salvadore as their proxies in their attempts to over-throw the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaraugua . The Contras were basically Guerrila terrorists who killed indisriminately . But because they were on America's side they were not branded as terrorists but as Freedom Fighters as they killed, tortured mutilated bodies and pillaged and blundered backed by American guns and cash.

And Obama claims that his choices for those who will be part of his administration does not limit the scope of what he intends to do once in power. He claims he will be setting the actual agenda and not those whom he appoints. They will be there to give their advice and expertise to help better shape those choices so that they are practical and doable.This is explained in part in the following article from

Obama Says Change Is in His Vision - if Not Appointments
Wednesday 26 November 2008 by: Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington - President-elect Barack Obama essentially said Wednesday that he is the change, striving to assure Americans that he'll shake up Washington despite filling his administration with old hands from the Clinton administration and the capital's corridors of power.

"Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost," Obama said. "It comes from me. That's my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure, then, that my team is implementing

The Team Obama Should Have Picked By RAMZI KYSIA

November 27, 2008 "Counterpunch" -- - I feel cheated. I feel betrayed. And I’m not even a Democrat.

Our nation hasn’t yet finished counting all the election returns, but the outlines of a future Obama Administration are already clear: Clinton at State, Geithner at Treasury, Summers to head the National Economic Council, Holder at Justice, Emmanuel as Chief of Staff, General James Jones as the likely National Security Advisor, and Robert Gates likely to stay on at Defense.

There's not a progressive among them. Not even one. If Obama was vague about his personal politics during the primaries and general election it was for a reason: he doesn’t have any.

Obama is as close to a complete outsider as has ever been elected to the White House. His personal history and cultural narrative are unique and compelling. His rhetoric is uplifting. He has been elected by the largest margin of victory in twenty years. His party comfortably controls both houses of Congress. His campaign energized millions and created an incredible network of volunteers across the country who can now be called upon for continued political action. And, beyond these things, our nation now faces economic and foreign policy crises that have even our elites worried, and looking for fresh approaches.

With all these advantages, if Obama can’t find it in him to name even one person from the so-called “Democratic wing” of the Democratic Party, then it isn’t because he’s a coward, and it isn’t because he’s reaching out to conservatives - it's because he doesn’t want to.

and so it goes,

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