You might think that the election is over -- has been for two weeks now. Not so. There’s another election tomorrow; and then one the day after tomorrow followed by yet another one. Every day is Election Day in America. Every day we cast ballots. Every day when the tens of millions of ballots are added up we find winners and losers. And you’re right in the thick of it. Yeah … you.
This crucial election process is running 24/7 as American consumers cast votes with paper ballots adorned with pictures of presidents. The more votes you get, the longer you get to stay in business. The votes dry up and it’s time to go home or come up with another candidate.
I know I’m a bit obtuse here, so if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m edging up to a little discussion of this idea of bailing out the automobile manufacturers. Now first, let’s get this little fact out of the way. What the political types in Washington are discussing right now is not really a bailout of the automakers. It’s a bailout of the United Auto Workers. It’s a union bailout. It’s payback for the millions of dollars and thousands of hours union volunteers have poured into (almost exclusively Democrat) political campaigns. These politicians are trying to save union jobs at the current inflated rate .. nothing less.
Just why are these U.S. auto makers in trouble? They’re on the ropes because they’ve been losing elections. Automobile buyers have been casting their ballots for the other candidates. They looked at the field, talked to their friends, watched endless campaign (car) commercials on television, and voted. They voted for Toyota and Honda. If they had a pant-full of ballots to cast the vote went to Jaguar, Mercedes and Lexus. True, some voters liked the Big-Three candidates, but not enough. The buyers cast their votes for performance, styling, warranties and value. Somehow they intuitively knew that they would get more value from a manufacturer paying $40 per hour for labor than from one spending almost twice that much. When one automaker spends $17 million on Viagra to enhance worker rather than product performance the product suffers, and the votes go across the aisle.