Category Archives: Globalization

Changes Are Inevitable – Not All is Welcome

Here it is . . No matter how you look at it, this isn’t good news. It’s something the 2008-2009 years were showing us. The aid put forth by the federal government to prop up the inherent weakness in the automotive manufacturers only prolonged the inevitable. Chevrolet_Cruz_ending_production

Ohio GM Assembly Plant Closing

Consumers make their choice and have decidedly moved in the direction of SUV’s, pickup trucks, and foreign over domestics.

Can we set aside the things that don’t matter in the marketplace for the things that do? There’s excessive manufacturing capacity of automotive products available, dating back to the 20th century. That’s not where the problem ends, because companies like Toyota, Kia, and Honda, unfortunately not Nissan, have been at the forefront of reliability and lower cost of ownership, by a lot.

I don’t care if you follow Edmunds, J. D. Powers, or Consumer Reports, if you talk to enough ‘car people’, the American competition has slipped off their proverbial cracker. Even the once lauded reliability leaders at GM, Cadillac & Buick, are losers in this game of attrition. With millions of cars made, and this much competition, you would think the price would go down, like TV’s and appliances.

This doesn’t apply, because the manufacturers have this policy of trying to keep production levels steady. Every time they make adjustments in labor force, the political machinations impact their business model. Ever since Michael Moore began his own personal fame & fortune with his Roger & Me film, the press has been increasingly critical of the auto industry. As background information, Moore portrays the regional economic impact of General Motors CEO Roger Smith‘s action of closing several auto plants in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, reducing GM’s employees in that area from 80,000 in 1978 to about 50,000 in 1992. As of 2015, they’re employing about 1/10th of that level, in Flint.

New car sales expected to slump in 2019.

Crime became so prevalent in Flint that when the ABC News program Nightline tried to do a live story on the plant closings, someone stole the network’s van (along with the cables), abruptly stopping the broadcast. The county jail also filled to its maximum capacity of inmates and a second jail is built. Living in Flint became so desperate that Money magazine ranks the city as the worst place to live in America.

When the recession hit, no one at the top of the political food chain wanted to be seen as doing nothing. Congress and the President were in lock step on propping up “banks too big to fail”, as well as the “Big Three” automotive manufacturers. GM was given a bailout, where it famously trotted out the loan(s) were paid back ahead of schedule. None the less, the factors which determine the success or failure of most business, wasn’t altered by any real measure.

Despite the gesticulations and prognostications, the American automotive industry has been protected through various loans, as well as tax incentives.

Michael Moore blames the leadership of these companies. To a degree, he’s right. The overriding facts of the market place; the need to keep the price high on each vehicle, as well as the many years of product complacency, and the killing of the fattened cow by the failed regional politics, have contributed to the demise.

Ford is also making adjustments to their line-up. They’ve opted to also go after the more profitable truck and SUV market. They gave up on their ‘premier luxury’ line in the first decade of the 21st century.

Chrysler is owned by Fiat, after spending some time under the German Daimler banner. Fiat Chrysler Home Page

In 2014, the Italian automotive maker, Fiat, merged with the American company, Chrysler, and formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram are under the American subsidiary, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC which has its headquarters in Michigan, USA.

General Motors (GM), is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and sells financial services, with global headquarters in Detroit Michigan in the Renaissance Center. its twelve brands, General Motors also holds a 20% stake in IMM, and a 77% stake in GM Korea. It also has a number of joint-ventures, including Shanghai GM, SAIC-GM-Wuling and FAW-GM in China, GM-AvtoVAZ in Russia, GM Uzbekistan, General Motors India, General Motors Egypt, and Isuzu Truck South Africa. General Motors employs 212,000 people and does business in more than 140 countries.

General Motors manufactures vehicles in 37 countries; its core automobile brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac. It also owns or holds controlling interest in foreign brands such as Holden, Wuling, Baojun, and Jiefang. General Motors USA

Ford Motor Company is a multinational automaker which has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors. It also has joint-ventures in China (Changan Ford), Taiwan (Ford Lio Ho), Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), Turkey (Ford Otosan), and Russia (Ford Sollers). The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker (behind General Motors) and the fifth-largest in the world (behind Toyota, VW, Hyundai-Kia and General Motors). It’s also the fifth-largest automotive manufacturer in Europe.

Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion. Ford Motors USA

When dealerships find too much inventory, big discounts are offered to move them out of their inventory. Sometimes dealers will promote them to get them sold. A dealer may send a car to a dealer auction to get rid of them quickly. Another dealer may buy them if they think the price is right and they can sell it.

new_car_sales_worldwide

 

 

Influencing People Through Fear

People who wish to influence or control others have long since understood one of our prime motivators is the use of fear. It drives our instinct to survive, fight or flight. No normal person wants to sign up for pain & suffering. Secondary control factors include, financial incentives (reward), social status & peer pressure (ego).

torture-devicesGovernments, especially those who have unlimited power to do what they want, have used fear to motivate or control the populace. Torture was part of their tool kit, and the thought of ending up humiliated in shackles, or placed on a rack, was enough to instil fear in most people.

burn_in_hell_graphic

Christianity found their tool with the word, “hell”. You don’t behave, or do what the group thinks, you’re going to end up in a highly undesirable zip code, for eternity.

We see it’s more than peer pressure to influence predictions of climate change, we have government grants for educational and research institutions which measure and computer model predictions. The arsenal of control and scaremongering is reinforced through sympathetic media on “global warming“. If the latest trends don’t follow “scientific prediction”, than it’s called “climate change”. You places your bets, then change the predictions based on latest trends.

Which ever way the thermometer and weather, especially severe weather patterns change, it’s always based on “climate change”. Therefore if you have a drought, a flood, a grouping of tornadoes, it’s attributed to climate change.

Who Decides?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states the largest contributor to global warming is the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) since 1750, particularly from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and land use changes such as deforestation.

Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence has grown since AR4. It is extremely likely (95–100%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.IPCC AR5 WG1 Summary for Policymakers

We’ve been here before – More Lies

In November 2009, hackers gained access to a server used by the CRU and stole a large quantity of data, anonymously posting online more than 1,000 emails and more than 2,000 other documents.

A series of independent public investigations of the allegations found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The Muir Russell report exonerated the scientists, but found “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA”. The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged.

In 2011, an analysis of temperature data by the independent Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group, of whom some had stated they thought it was possible the CRU had manipulated the data, however concluded that “these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change sceptics did not seriously affect their conclusions”.

So, the hacked emails supposedly didn’t reveal anything that pointed out a bias or a skewing of results. Here’s what some of the email said, you decide. See
University of East Anglia emails: the most contentious quotes.

From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t… Our observing system is inadequate

You can click on the above link to see more of these emails.

More critical background and science history of Michael E. Mann found here.

Here we go again!

How can we trust global warming scientists if they keep twisting the truth?
| DailyMail February 11, 2017 | The following is an excerpt from their post.

The contentious paper at the heart of this furore – with the less than accessible title of Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus – was published just six months before the Paris conference by the influential journal Science.

It made a sensational claim: that contrary to what scientists have been saying for years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the early 21st Century.
Indeed, this ‘Pausebuster’ paper as it has become known, claimed the rate of warming was even higher than before, making ‘urgent action’ imperative.

The ongoing battle between a radio host and author vs. the scientist.  | Michael E. Mann v. Mark Steyn

ipcc_2001_tar_figure


We had an Election – What Happened?

The 2016 election in the United States is over. Perhaps what may be more important, are your local election results. If you don’t know what happened locally, I suggest you find out before you read this blog. Property and sales taxes, school and city leadership, judges & sheriffs may have changed. The local elections are going to affect you more than this national election.

OK, that’s not why you’re here. You’re probably finding this Presidential election a little hard to believe. Confused? Angry? Frustrated? Happy? Sad? Joyful? Well you’ve come to the right place. I summarize why this election ended up this way.

Who are the two major candidates?

donald_trump_head

Donald Trump

  • Chairman and president, The Trump Organization
  • Host, The Apprentice, The Celebrity Apprentice
  • Entrepreneur Initiative – University name dropped per New York Education Department demand
  • Owns hotels, casinos, entertainment resorts
  • Political experience – considered running for president in 1987, 2000, 2008, & 2012 (never ran or held public office)
  • Education: High school: New York Military Academy, class of 1964
  • Fordham University: 1964–1966 dropped out – resumed studies ~
  • University of Pennsylvania: The Wharton School 1968 graduate
hillary_clinton_head

Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary of state, 2009–13
  • Senator from New York 2001-2009
  • First lady of United States
  • Education: BA, Wellesley College, 1969
  • JD, Yale Law School, 1973. Postgraduate study at the Yale Child Study Center

 


Trump
290 Electoral Votes
61,201,031 – 47.0% of the total vote

Clinton
232 Electoral Votes
62,523,126 – 48.0% of the total vote

You’ve heard many explanations as to why Donald Trump won over Hillary Clinton. Most of them are people trying to find explanations for their predisposed choice. Online newspapers, various well known news organizations tried to avoid covering much of the negative publicity about Hillary Clinton.

She lost to Barrack Obama, but after he had his eight year tenure, many Democrats felt it was her time. They also wanted to set another precedent, getting the first female in the Whitehouse. I call it the beginning of the “selfie vote”.

The strategy by many in the media was to help Donald Trump become the winner of the Republican primary paired against Hillary Clinton. He wouldn’t be too harshly criticized or scrutinized unless and until he became the nominee. It was to be a slam dunk for her. In addition to the generally positive spin, the polls reinforced the idea of how far ahead she was of Trump, many of them decided to shame those in the electorate who might consider voting for him.

Here’s a summary of what the media and critics were saying about Trump

  • He’s a racist ~ There are not be enough white men in America to elect Trump.
  • Trump voters are uneducated ~ They aren’t college educated & they don’t believe government should try to control the climate
  • Ignorant Bible thumpers ~ They see him as someone chosen by God
  • He hates women ~ Anyone that votes for Trump is a misogynist
  • They don’t think they have a voice ~ Waging a war against outsiders

So what happened? Maybe, just maybe, the media and many Democrats got it wrong. The problem with the polls became obvious after he won. The overtly critical news media hurt their own cause. The weakness with Hillary Clinton as a candidate was superseded by the choice many wanted to claim was historical.

There have been far too many investigations into both her and her husband. The saying, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Well there’s so much smoke surrounding her, along with the most obvious public lies she’s made, that many voters believed there was a forest fire in her life.

Her candidacy, even though it would be a first for women, was a lot like business as usual. She had courted and was paid by many large corporations. This placed her in the common group of backroom wheeler dealers who have managed to help destroy the credibility of those in office. She already had credibility problems, this magnified it. Whenever under pressure, she would obfuscate or lie, only to be found out and have to backtrack.

Donald Trump had his own problems with his Trump University, his comments on women, and allusions to having a large male organ, in what has to be one of the most adolescent debate points in political theater. Nonetheless, he was seen as an outsider. Someone who would shake things up in Washington. The same tactic of Hope & Change by Barack Obama, once again reimagined by someone who knew how to sell himself to the public.

Trump supporters viewed their man as someone who gets things done, and willing to ‘break a few eggs to make an omelette’. They saw him as a person they could identify with, including personal faults, which many people recognized in themselves.

The Cult of Hillary Clinton, lead by a coalition of social justice activists, celebrities, and well monied financiers, was above criticism, more of an idea, which supports the notion, we must elect someone who mouths the words we want to hear, such as empowerment, fairness, equality, breaking glass ceilings.

I believe  Hillary Clinton fell to the damages of a thousand cuts. The artificial support by many in the media seemed to aide Donald Trump, more than harm him. His messages were always simple, to the point, and he didn’t dodge the criticism levied about his checkered past. She was defended and supported by people yelling, anyone supporting Trump was a racist and or a misogynist, ignoring the voter mix required for Barack Obama to have won in the past two elections

In the end, many voters thought he was less of a risk to the office, even with all of his baggage. Someone who voiced their concerns over jobs, spending, illegal immigration & potential increase of terrorism through the intake of middle east refugees. Clinton continued the idea of business as usual with expanded government programs & the associated spending, which has gotten us into unprecedented levels of national debt.