Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear Santa

These are a few of  the things I'd like to see this year. I've been pretty good most of the time and kinda bad once in a while.

CEOs that run banks which receive federal bailout money need to go to prison. It wasn't complex derivatives that led to the worldwide financial collapse, it was greed. Lenders gave money to uneducated customers for short-term gains. They gave lines of credit to people that would have been turned down for video rental cards, "Sure, buy the bigger house, you have five years to figure out how you'll make the payments described in the fine print on page seventeen of our agreement. Besides, we're going to sell your mortgage tomorrow so it won't be our problem."

Give money to the auto industry? Maybe but only if the folks in charge resign. It isn't enough for them to agree to work for lowered wages. Capitalism, which they believe in, is about survival of the fittest. A three-legged crippled deer doesn't deserve protection from the wolves because its survival would weaken the whole herd. Clearly these people lack the ability to run these corporations without help.

Raise the standard of behavior expected of professional athletes. Shoot yourself in a club, choke a dog to death, or spout off about the flaws of your exes, and lose the privilege of making millions of dollars to chase a ball or puck around. Make it clear that if you are a less than stellar member of your community in college, you will not be eligible for future consideration at the professional level.

Let anyone marry anybody, once. You can marry a man, a woman, a man that used to be a woman, a woman that used to be a man or a man that wants to be a man but thinks he's a woman. Do what ever you want but it really means till death do us part. Get a divorce if you need, but realize that you will be ineligible to try again. No more practice marriages. Everyone deserves a chance to be as miserable as the straights. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Free the free market

It's great that the Big Three auto execs drove to Washington instead of flying in corporate jets the second time around. But they still didn't carpool and they still don't get it.

Working for a dollar a year is a nice gesture, but if they really want to take the companies in a new direction(toward profitability, which they've been veering away from for decades) then the folks in charge need to go. Not just the top dogs, I say everybody with an office gets his or her walking papers. Some of those trapped in the cubicles will step forward with fresh thinking.

The bailout package needs to come with severe oversight from the folks writing the check. You don't like the idea of oversight? Tough titty, little kitty, you asked for the money because you can't stay afloat in the free market you've been so fond of. 

Put the EPA in charge of the whole thing. Insist that the way to save the US auto industry is not through raising the CAFE standards. The Big Three have said that Obama's mpg goal of 40 by 2020 is impossible. Other companies around the world already reach that "impossible" goal.

Our auto industry has been passed  by the rest of the world. Instead of playing catchup on mileage, we need to become the next fuel leaders.

Ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, solar, whatever. The internal combustion engine powered on gasoline has run its course. Let's use government oversight of the bailout to bring us back to the forefront of the auto industry.