Friday, December 12, 2008

It's gonna rain.

They've gone and done it now. It is Thursday night, and news came in a few hours ago that the car company bailout, or "brigde loan," has failed to reach cloture, or quick conclusion. The Senators that are responsible for this did what they did in order to attract foreign companies to their states with cheap, unorganized labor. They want to kill off labor-union power and turn the US into a third-world, cheap-labor, coolie shit-hole. And, man, was that a mistake.

The American work force has gotten wind of what is going on, and these lawmakers are going to pay for their complacency in front of labor. The mood in the country has become increasingly frustrated over the last 4-5 months, ever since the crash, and especially after average Americans witnessed the perverse $700 billion bailout for gamblers in expensive suits with white powder around their nostrils. Now they are being asked to believe that in spite of all that money that materialized out of nowhere, a measely $15 billion isn't being made available to the car companies that hire millions of them. The contrast between white-collar treatment and blue-collar treatment is too stark for them to ignore.

And it is--not--the so-called "liberals" that are going to do something about this discrepancy. It has always been the case that the liberals are urban, educated white collar types who kind of, sort of know "what is really going on," i.e. knew that there was no connection between Iraq and AlQaida and that sort of thing, but they don't have what it takes to really do something about it. It is true that liberals will talk the talk over a latte, but when it comes down to walking the walk, in the street, with a raised fist, they would much rather retreat to whatever comfortable, television-show-imitating "life" that their superiors have bestowed upon them in exchange for their loyalty.

No, it isn't the liberals that are "waking up," it is the red-state, blue-collar workers that are feeling that righteous anger in their bellies right about now. Now they are looking at the same familiar faces on television making the same retarded wise-cracks, but they don't sound funny anymore. The talking heads look like liars, the politicians' utter corruption is out in the open, and the utter indifference of government to the people it is supposed to serve feels like cold steel rod where their spinal cord is supposed to be--the illusion is over. They are starting to think that maybe it is time to do somehting. After all, it is beginning to look like they have no choice. Now, if they do mobilize, and I think that they are getting ready to, they are going to jam their manual-labor-hardened collective fist so far up the right-wing's ass, they'll be able to tickle the right's pituitary gland.

Tomorrow, it will be Friday, December the 12th. Keep your ears open for the first cracks of thunder.


nazarian said...

The main objective is to break up the unions, in this case the UAW. All the blame is being assigned to them.

It's like when all the blame of the financial collapse was being assigned to working class black homeowners a couple of months ago. But it was so ridiculous that even Fox stopped promoting that idea.

I highly doubt that we will see a blue collar protest. First, the US is no Greece and people don't care much about their liberties and corrupt government. Second, the working class is powerless and disorganized.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

A guy can hope, can't he?

In any case, it feels like something has changed. It is a change in the atmosphere similar to the one that happened right before the 2006 congressional elections, when the Dems took over, more or less. Nothing happened, of course, what with Nancy Pelosi with her Fancy Baloni disguising her servile agenda as "caution," but these things happen slowly, or at least one can hope.

nazarian said...

They will have mandate to kick ass in January. Let's see if they start rebuilding the country.

haik said...

rain of bullets on people if they come out to streets. In America the state will roll in the army to restrain the "anarchists" as they like calling anybody who opposes the brutality of the State, as they always have done in the past.

As for American car makers they lost the idea of producing cars. maybe it is the time to leave them to be self-destroyed with the hope that they will get their act together. Who needs a car that is as huge as a tank, or rolls over, or goes to flames, or needs its radiator to be removed for an oil filter change.
American cars were mostly crap, lets admit it.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

For 10-20 years after Roosevelt, American cars were the best in the world; today, yes, they're crap. They call it "planned obsolesence": They're built to break down in 5 years so that people buy new ones. During the housing boom, even the houses were built, or, more accurately, re-habbed, like that.

Once the car manufacturers go, America is going to have virtually no manufacturing base aside from small-town factories making stuff like sugar, cheese, and other small-scale, local products. And that is the problem, as we all know: It's hard to get an economy going when there is nothing--real--being produced.

Obama is promising 2-3 million new jobs. Great. What about the other 130 million people? The shit is still about to hit the fan, and there is precious little that he can do about it. What is he going to do? Bring back all the manufacturing? He can't. Ergo, at some point, things are going to get violent. It's pretty much unavoidable, I think.

Garen said...

How come none of my comments are ever published on this blog?

I remember I submitted quite a few and rather long comments posted on various items on this blog. And none of them are to be seen.

Are you deleting them?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

That's Garen from Khosq, right?

I've published everything you've posted. Hell, you are on my recommended blogs list and you have been ever since came online. Why wouldn't I publish your posts? If I missed something, it was by accident. In any case, send whatever you'd like, and I'll put it up.

nazarian said...

A few years ago I visited an NGO chairwoman in one of the small towns in Armenia. In the yard, there was an old Chevrolet from the WW2 era. It had, apparently, been sitting there for a few decades. The owner had wanted to restore the car since the 50-s or 60-s but had never had the chance.

I was interested so I opened the door to look inside. The door opened nicely, and when I closed it, it closed like a brand new car. On our way back, we had a Lada 2107. The doors had to be slammed in order to be closed properly. That's when I realized how good the American manufacturing was and still is and have not bashed the GM or Ford since then. I even invested money in them (which was a stupid move in the hindsight).

Garen said...

Hi Armen, thanks. Sorry to bring this up in the comments, which makes it look offbeat. I just remember posting a few comments on Samantha Power's haunting photo, Barack and other posts, and those are nowhere to be seen. Oh, well - not to worry... probably blogspot/blogger playing up again.

Getting back to the main topic:
I've never been to US to know whether the folks are as political as back in Greece, but America is generally famous for it's intollarence of any forms of protests that sound even remotely "Left" (unless you're in Vermont or Oregon or something).
The way that I see it what happened in Armenia was not a one-ff incident isolated from broader economic processes of Global Capital flows. People all over the world are protesting, it's not just Greece or Russia. And it will spread to America sooner or later too. But the question is, how it will be met?
There was disturbing article and video posted on Khosq a couple of months back which claimed that the US government was already preparing for a widespread unrests.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
BTW, the now that Dec 12 has come and gone, what has been the reaction in the US?

At the same time, I've been observing another bubble that has been hyping up in the Bay Area, SF, CA. I call it the Bubble2.0. You've got tens of thousands of Web2.0 start-up companies each with millions of VC invested, each with dosens of employees and (frankly) unsustainable business models, while the whole hype seems like a giant race for world' most useless services. I mean it's okey if you get a relatively useful web-based application that 2-3 (max 5) persons work on and make it profitable within 2-3 years. But when you get a whole multi-billion industry full of one-trick ponnies each with dosens of employees and depending on regular angel rounds for survival (some seriously hyped up company valuations that run in Billions), while not planning to make a profit anytime soon ... well that's a bubble. Those companies need their VCs and angel rounds just to continue existing. All that money comes from banks and real-industries, and you can imagine what happens when the latter are in trouble. Silicone bubble is more volatile than any other bubbles: the moment that one bursts, it sends waves of panic to VCs and soon creates a domino effect and 99% of them will go pup-pup-pup.

Here's a funny video that illustrates my point

Ani said...

The American cars used to be the best--that WWII model probably still works just fine. But in the 1970s or so, the business model changed to planned obsolescence, so everybody would buy new cars every five years.

It's not that they don't know how to make them well, and they do it for foreign markets. Had a Ford Escort in London once that was tons better-made than the U.S. version. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Viggo Volvo is doing just fine, thanks for asking, though I hear the Ford/Volvos aren't nearly as good.

nazarian said...

Ford is considering dropping the Volvo brand and GM is considering dropping the Sab brand. Talk about stupidity. Maybe they sucked all the technological knowledge out of these companies that's why... Even then it would be a stupid decision to divest these brands.