Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Still Down

My internet at home is still suffering from the swine flu, so posting will continue to be light. Rest assured we are taking the issue seriously. Your call is important to us and we value you as a customer.

In the meantime, some randomness:

* It's probably just me, but I think there is a building backlash against President Obama's administration. I say this after the latest bailout-related WTF moment, the decision to basically throw out contract law in order to bump the UAW union to the front of the creditor line in the government-"guided" Chrysler bankruptcy.

My admittedly unscientific proof is the comment boards on many of the non-political sites I frequent. Most of these boards are generally left-of-center in their readership as evidenced by the discussions when those sites do veer into political territory. The Consumerist. The Onion. Heck, even Slate. Comments on the Chrysler thing have been going steadily in a "WTF" direction on this one, even from those commenters who wear their conservatism hate on their sleeves. There are still those who say it's all legal, it's the Republicans fault, etc. But those numbers are dwindling.

* In a related note, I'm not in the market for a car right now. If I was, there is no way I would buy a Chrysler. After all, if the government can take over a company and ignore contract law to decide who gets control of the assets, what's to say they can't ignore contract law to tell me they aren't going to honor my warranty? I find it telling that the President felt the need to tell us, "...if you decide to buy a Chrysler, your warranty will be safe." Thanks, but when your words and actions contradict each other, I'll believe the actions.

* There's a lot of complaining about how the Chrysler investors rejected a plan that would have kept the company out of bankruptcy, instead choosing to use default swaps instead of taking pennies on the dollar, thus trying to recoup their losses. The major hangup is that by exercising these default swaps, the investors may get paid out of stimulus funds (i.e., taxpayer money). Here's why I laugh at those complaints:

1. You can't blame investors for wanting to recoup their investments. Just because investment is risk doesn't mean you shouldn't use all the tools available to recoup losses. Default swaps are a legal tool that was available.

2. If you don't want those evil capitalists getting their hands on taxpayer money, then maybe the whole idea of stimulus funds should be rethought. Just an idea.

3. I'd rather no taxpayer money had been used to bailout Chrysler (or anyone else). If the government is going to throw my money around though, I'd much rather it end up in the hands of people who will use it to reinvest back into the economy rather than unions (who will use it to pay themselves, much like politicians) or airports to nowhere.

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