Imagine for a moment that you were the CEO of a major, multi-national corporation. Then imagine that you were making a speech to your shareholders. Your message is this. It is my intention to harm this company, to decrease profits, to focus on providing a product our consumers don’t prefer to buy. All in the interest of political correctness and being “green”.
Do you think you would still have a job today? Would the board demand your resignation? Would the workers protest your stance? Not if you are the CEO of GM or Ford. This exercise in what if is in fact reality. Dan Ackerson, the CEO of GM, has made this statement publicly. Bill Ford Jr., the CEO of Ford, has also done the same.
They are both making the assertion that a forced gas tax hike shoved down the American consumers throats is a good thing. They think it’s a good idea to have government forcibly change your driving habits through financial terrorism, at least that’s what I consider it. Too much, you may say? Similar to Obamacare, enacting punitive legislation designed to change consumer buying habits through artificially imposed high prices goes against the foundation of a free country. It’s an attack on freedom and what else would terrorism be considered?
It’s an absolute outrage! Where the hell are the unions? The autoworkers? Your company heads are on record as supporting actions that will inevitably do harm to your companies. That will cut profits by forcing Americans to purchase smaller vehicles with a much smaller profit margin for your companies. The math isn’t hard here. Less profit per vehicle means fewer jobs. Less profit-sharing. Why would you support this?
Maybe it’s because you actually buy the line of B.S. being fed to us by those CEO’s. They claim that if government is the villain and forcibly changes our buying and driving habits, they can then raise prices on small cars to increase profits in the long run. Please! What would you do? If permanent high gas prices become reality, would you purchase a lower priced foreign-made small car or the higher priced American one? An obvious answer.
Those that support a windfall profits tax on oil companies as a similar strategy also aren’t thinking this through logically. Go ahead and give it a try. Impose that tax on those evil, greedy oil companies. Really stick it to them good for having the gall to make huge profits during our economic woes. Guess what you’ll get in return? Even higher gas prices as they recoup the cost of the tax from us.
This entire concept is really baffling. We demonize successful companies and wish to penalize them, yet we support propping up failed companies like GM and Chrysler. For your efforts, you will be rewarded with Chrysler being owned by a foreign automaker, Fiat. This is loudly proclaimed a success by Obama.
Perhaps you also support imposing a tariff on those foreign automakers to keep their prices in line with our newer, higher priced, higher profit small cars. Wouldn’t that be an easy way to level the playing field? Trump has been traversing the country promoting this idea.
The results would be clear. Establishing isolationist policies such as a tariff would only do one thing. Limit your potential customer base. We have roughly 308 million people in this country. The world has nearly 7 billion. Which market do you want to play in?
These aren’t simplistic issues, to be sure. You would still have other countries imposing tariffs making the cost of our goods more expensive in their countries, for example. There are other ways in which to deal with these matters and I really didn’t wish to get sidetracked into all the side issues with this post. The point is that government meddling in the markets never ends well.
Furthermore, having major company heads support these types of measures is troubling to say the least. The message from the automaker CEO’s is clear. Political correctness trumps profitability. It trumps jobs. These CEO’s should be fired. ASAP. No other option makes sense. You simply can’t have the leader of your company in which your livelihood depends promoting a business climate in which your company will fare worse. Period.