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Raging Pencils by Mike "Kobayashi Maru" Stanfill

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Raging Pencils is a minor personal conceit of:

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Today's mystery web comic is:

start rant

Our Own Worst enemy

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

gimme de moneyDo the auto companies really need the money they're demanding? Will GM really go down the tubes if they don't get a massive hand-out?

I'm not convinced. Personally I think they're simply trying to take advantage of an opportunity.

First of all, GM is a global company, with divisions in Europe and Asia, even Australia. I doubt a worldwide organization like that could crumble overnight.

Second, I'm suspicious of their rationale because their entire message is one based on fear. It's all "what if" but no solid evidence. It's clear that even in this crappy economy people are still buying American cars.

If the problem is that consumers aren't buying enough cars then the answer for GM is to simply ax the redundant divisions, Buick, Pontiac, etc, and focus entirely on one marque, like Chevrolet. By simplifying the product line they can reduce prices and remain competitive with foreign car-makers until this economic storm blows over. Duh.

When Chrysler went to the feds with hat in hand back in the 80s they offered a business plan that actually worked. Lee Iocacca himself worked for a dollar a year until the company was again in the black. The Big Three are offering, from all I can discern, nothing but a hand full of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged.

If the Big Three shut their doors tomorrow there will still be a market for parts these cars for years to come. Cuba manages to get along just fine and they haven't seen new cars in decades. Foreign manufacturers, Honda and Toyota specifically, will take up the slack and would no doubt increase production to meet the new demand. The only thing we'd lose would be our national pride. That and a dime, folks...

The funny thing is that the root problem is you and me, the buying public. Charmed by automobile ads that convince us that cars are imbued with magical powers that will make us happy and beloved by all, we've come to expect cars that are huge, overpowered and stupid. The ideal vehicle is now one that's massive, powerful and soundprooof enough that you don't have to pay attention to all those other massive, powerful, living-rooms-on- wheels out there.

We need to begin thinking of cars again as pure transportation, not as a cure for sexual inadequacy. We need to quash this idea that speed is paramount among features. It's insane, for instance, for speedometers to go all the way up to 120 (or higher) in a country where the fastest you can drive is 70mph.

So let's do this... immediately impose new limits on the size of engines to 2 liters, impose a ban on advertising that includes raw horsepower or "0-60" information. Once you've taken speed out of the equation consumers will begin to make their car-buying decisions more rationally and car makers could start focusing on quality and efficiency.

We'll still needs trucks of course and, therefore, a way to keep people from using them as basic transportation. That solution is easy, too. Make all trucks use diesel engines. High-torque, low horsepower, diesel engines. And quit making them attractive, you fucking Detroit morons. No chrome, no leather seats and olive drab paint jobs only. It's a truck, for god's sake. It's meant for abuse, not to seduce.

Without doubt, Congress will cave and give Detroit all the dough it wants. It's still possible the Big Three might still fold but it will be as a result of a worldwide economic catastrophe, not from a blip in domestic sales.


end rant

This is a fabulous visual interpretation of "just desserts".
BTW, George didn't even know what the G20 was until very recently.
I am not kidding.

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