Monday, February 22, 2010

Go get 'em, Toyota!

It ain't gonna happen, but I wish the Toyota execs would go into these Congressional hearings on the offensive.

The hoopla over the mechanical problems with some Toyota vehicles is overblown and exploitative. It is a transparent attempt to divert public attention and anger away from the Obama administration's deep incompetence and conscious malpractice at governing what is supposed to be a country of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not to mention that it is an overt effort to help Government Motors at the expense of a Japanese name brand.

If I were running Toyota, I'd tell my execs not to lie down for the Congressional charlatans who will be questioning them with one purpose and only one purpose in mind: camera time.

As Toyota management I'd emphasize the hundreds of thousands of American jobs in manufacturing, distribution, and marketing that Toyota creates through its success in the market here and the incredible amounts of money it spends trying to satisfy government regulations, and trying to fight them off, making all vehicles on the market even more expensive and, no doubt, less safe. And I'd ask how many jobs the Obama administration is "saving or creating" by attacking Toyota. Every time they asked a question.

But they won't. The Obama administration has found the perfect demon to attack in Toyota. Toyota is Asian, so they are assuming that the uninformed public and their UAW supporters will find outlet for their frustrations on the Asian face of Toyota, frustrations which ought really to be focused on China and every administration since Clinton who have done their bidding for campaign contributions.

Toyota cannot stand up to these sick politicians. They are just people trying to run a company well and make a profit. The U.S. Government does not have to make a profit. Toyota cannot win in this game. Anything but lying down for them would be a kamikaze defense. It's a shame.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2010: A Space Odyssey

Actually, the new Alice in Wonderland movie coming out from Tim Burton is the most appropriate analogy for this year. Through the looking glass, everything is backwards and upside down. And business is bad.

It's not jumping off a cliff bad - though it certainly seems liable to turn that way at any moment - but it is absolutely awful compared to two years ago and really no better than a year ago when the market - I'm talking about the whole market, not the stock market - came to a screeching halt.

And the one thing that I can see with absolute clarity from my little perspective trying to keep a business afloat in this mess is that the government is not your friend. Especially this government. The Obama administration is the most insincere, conniving, deceptive I can remember in my lifetime, Nixon's notwithstanding.

Don't believe a word that comes from President Obama's lips about most anything, but most especially when he's been talking lately about "helping" small business and blaming small business difficulties on lack of credit. It is not credit we need, but customers. The market is flat because businesses and consumers alike are scared of their own government as it engages in lunacy like continuing to push for ruinous health care legislation, like stubbornly clinging to the myth of global warming as justification for cap and trade revenue for its upcoming budget, and like engaging in anti-business crusades like the attacks on executive pay and the witch hunt against Toyota.

I cannot decide whether the collective leaders from the President down through his cabinet and agency heads are just collectively stupid or collectively reactionary, but they are most definitely collectively a millstone around the neck of this country.