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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
    I agree that Tesla and GM are staying alive at the tax payers expense. Corporate welfare to the max. The sub prime auto loans pushed by GM will come around to bite them in the behind.

    For many years the only part of GM that made money was the finance arm. Then they divested that to raise cash and surprise! - they weren't making money making cars. So in a sense GM was another one of the failed banks, too. Riding high on subprime loans to risky borrowers who would pay ultra high interest rates to have that new car.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    edited November 2013
    More like the difference between a tactician vs. a strategist or perhaps studying the string of effects derived from every cause (as best one can).

    crude example: need to get warm, chop down all the trees. And then what?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    SpaceX gets subsidies too. And if they run out of money and another ISS launch is needed I'm sure NASA would bail them out.

    Blast-off! Why SpaceX and Falcon 9 can pull off what NASA won't do alone (Christian Science Monitor)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    This is what always made the US great and what we need to continue to foster to keep the US great.

    The Elon Musks, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ted Turners, Henry Fords etc are what made this country great. I cannot think of a politician that is fit to tie any of the aboves shoes. Entrepreneurs and industrialist built this country in spite of poorly run governments. The less obtrusive the government the easier for real men & women to make the country great. I fear we are no longer capable with the mess in Washington and many of the states governments. The age of worthless WIMPS is upon the USA.

    As far as buying stock. I cashed out almost all my US stocks. GM is not even on a list of possibles. If people think they are a good bet go for it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    I think it is better to pay a US company to supply the ISS than pay the Russians as we are now doing.

    Since the shuttles' retirement, only Russia has the spaceships to ferry station crewmembers, a service that costs NASA more than $60 million per person.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-iss-space-taxis-2013-11
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    edited November 2013
    Yeah, I think it's great, and giving SpaceX a subsidy isn't any different than giving one to GM, except giving a subsidy or "government contract" to an existing entity like the D3 is probably a "safer" bet.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    I am an American retiree. Like many small investors, I am relying on "safe" investments such as bonds backed by America's largest companies to fund my retirement. One of these companies is General Motors.

    First, let's set the record straight about who owns GM's bonds. We are hardworking families, individual investors and retirees who purchased billions of these bonds in $25, $50 and $100 increments. Many bonds were bought directly and others are held in our pension funds, 401(k) plans and other retirement programs.

    I purchased GM bonds in 2005 and own $91,000 worth. These bonds account for a very sizeable portion of my retirement income, and so it is absolutely devastating to watch GM's problems bring the once venerable company to the brink of failure. My standard of living is truly in jeopardy.

    Despite the terrible position my fellow bondholders and I are in, we are being portrayed as the cause of GM's problems and inability to restructure.

    Who is perpetrating this myth? The American government, which is at once encouraging investment in U.S. companies and vilifying those who have already invested. Billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars have been used to stabilize companies to restore investor confidence. But how can investors be confident when they're at risk of ending up on the wrong end of the government's stick?

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124338330278956585
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    Protecting union interests and defrauding bondholders during GM bankruptcy proceedings

    September 15, 2012 by Fred Dardick 4 Comments

    When General Motors went bust following the stock market crash of 2008, the Obama administration stepped in to oversee the restructuring of the company. Obama was concerned that if the company were to go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy the oversized union contracts and pension obligations would be thrown out in court and restructured under the direction of a bankruptcy judge, most likely not to the union’s advantage. Unions had provided Obama’s campaign with $206 million to get him into the White House and he wasn’t about to let them down, at least not when taxpayer money could be used to bail them out.

    New York investor Steven Rattner, who had zero auto industry experience but had raised millions for Democrat campaigns over the years, was given the task of protecting union interests at all costs. The plan he came up with was as unprecedented as it was illegal: defraud GM investors who were owed billions and hand over the newly restructured company free of debt to the United Autoworkers Union and federal government.

    The formula developed by Rattner awarded 40% of GM to the UAW, 50% to the federal government while granting only 10% ownership to bondholders who would collect a measly 5 cents on the dollar on their initial investment. There was no precedence in bankruptcy history to support the wholesale fleecing of GM bondholders who, unlike stockholders, are guaranteed preferential treatment during Chapter 11 reorganization.

    http://conservativespotlight.com/2012/09/15/16-protecting-union-interests-and-de- frauding-bondholders-during-gm-bankruptcy-proceedings/
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
    SpaceX gets subsidies too. And if they run out of money and another ISS launch is needed I'm sure NASA would bail them out.

    I don't believe they get any subsidies - they are being paid for contract services from NASA. And those costs are a fraction of what NASA would spend doing those same things itself, or using Boeing/Lockheed/etc.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
    Yeah, I think it's great, and giving SpaceX a subsidy isn't any different than giving one to GM, except giving a subsidy or "government contract" to an existing entity like the D3 is probably a "safer" bet.

    Totally different. GM was given loans and special treatments, just to survive, after their failures.

    SpaceX is being paid for service to the US government (NASA).
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    Well, the BBC says "The California-based firm developed the vehicle with a large subsidy from Nasa.". (link - this Yahoo link may be of interest too)

    Call it contracting or subsidizing or bailing out or economic development as you wish. Often it doesn't work out (Solyndra) and sometimes you hit a home run (DARPANet). Still a better use of tax dollars that lots of other stuff in the budget.
  • those people didn't make it 'great'. They made it 'rich'. And all of them owe a great debt to our free market (more or less) economic system and our government, which gave them the opportunity to get rich and in some cases, to do quite a bit of good.

    I'm not so sure, however, you'd enjoy what some of these "great" people have to say about global warming or their favorite Nazi.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
    Call it contracting or subsidizing or bailing out or economic development as you wish. Often it doesn't work out (Solyndra) and sometimes you hit a home run (DARPANet). Still a better use of tax dollars that lots of other stuff in the budget.

    In fact, Congress has been lukewarm on SpaceX because diverting money to them for crew transportation (even though a big potential savings for the taxpayer) threatens many jobs in their districts from Boeing, Martin Marietta, etc to develop an "official" NASA crew transport. So the much bigger money keeps getting spent as NASA crawls toward a new space transportation capability, even though SpaceX is cheaper and farther evolved than they are. NASA has become a jobs program unfortunately and the good of the country is secondary.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    edited November 2013
    Congress (at least the house) was also lukewarm because Musk supported Obama and gave more money to Ds than Rs. ;-)

    As of 2010, "SpaceX has 15 lobbyists registered on its behalf, according to disclosure forms. By comparison, space giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin together employ more than 220 lobbyists and spent a combined $16 million on lobbying in the first six months of this year, the data show." (Wash. Post)
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
    As of 2010, "SpaceX has 15 lobbyists registered on its behalf, according to disclosure forms. By comparison, space giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin together employ more than 220 lobbyists and spent a combined $16 million on lobbying in the first six months of this year, the data show." (Wash. Post)

    Unfortunately that's what it all boils down to these days. Who can spend the most money lobbying the Congress? And the individual citizens are left in the dust.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    edited November 2013
    And on that note, don't forget that Ford lobbied on behalf of GM and Chrysler for the bail out.

    Everyone feel free to move on to buying American cars and what that means.
  • The NASA budget is chintzy, miserly, way underfunded. It's .8% of the Federal budget, and is being cut annually (and again for next year).

    When someone lands on Mars, they probably won't be Americans.

    We can't even launch a human into space anymore.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    My daughter went to trade her GMC PU truck in on a Subaru Outback. She was told they are made in USA. Which they are sort of. When she got to looking at all the Subaru models she fell in love with the Forester and bought it. Was not until a month later when we were out to visit I showed her the Forester was 0% US content. By then they had traded their Yaris on an Impreza which is also not made in USA. Seems the top selling models are made in Japan. With the Outback and Legacy being the exceptions with 40% US content down from 55% a couple years ago. Seems we are bleeding US content faster than we are gaining. Does anyone know of any models that are more US content now than before the recession?
  • Aside from domestics the only imports with substantial U.S. content are going to be some models from Toyota and Honda.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    That is what I asking. Do you know of any domestics that are more US content now than say 5 years ago? I can't find any. Toyota and Honda probably build more high US content cars than the Domestics.
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