crude price has gone down..down... and down . Will it change the destiny of auto market? Will people buy more cars in this recession?
Will people shift to bigger cars again?
I think there is this idea out there that all we need to do is build smaller more fuel efficient cars and that will save the U.S. auto industry, but even Toyota and Honda are losing money now. The only car companies that are making money in the U.S. are Rolls Royce, Jaguar--all the extreme luxury brands. The problem I think is that our entire economy has become so corrupt and stripped of real value that no one has money to buy cars anymore or can get financing to borrow the money. Millions are losing their jobs, and the rest have seen wages erode severely over the past decade. Meanwhile, the very rich Americans, the top 1/2 of 1%, have gotten 400 times richer over the same period.
Even if U.S. auto makers could get a car built and to market TOMORROW that ran on air--no fuel costs at all--what would it matter if no one here can buy them now? No job to go to. No money in the banks. The banks are failing anyway...
We need to change everything about the way our society works, not just build different cars. I don't even President Obama. He has a real mess on his hands. It won't get fixed overnight.
I couldn't agree with you more! Not only do automakers have to make smaller ,efficient cars,but should probably cut the number of models as well.
I can't understand why it took so long to inform Congress of their financial condition? Were they waiting for Bush to leave? I'm suspicious of all these corporations getting bailed out just before Bush leaves office.
Did they decide to get while the getting good ,when AIG,and the rest of the Financials got their handouts?
If left to their own, automakers would have to adapt to the times and become more competitive by dipping into their own pockets. However, due to the support given by governments such as ours, the auto industry can and will continue to operate in a deplorably inefficient manner.
Millions upon billions of subsidies and grants have been made available to these automakers, and as long as this "free money" is available they will have little incentive to change their policies.
Pgrundy and Scott Mandrake,
I do agree with both of you. I am continuously writing about economic crisis for many months. Even before the crisis started. People were mockering to me at that time. No one listened. I am feeling that people are not ready to change even today. They have a hope that President Obama will change everything like an Angel. However, that is not the case.
Thanks for your opinions.
Some were not mocking you - the UK saw an unsustainable rise in house prices, and it was only a matter of time before everything went horribly wrong. People chose not to listen, swayed by greed and the chance to make a quick profit.
The British auto industry went through similar turmoil over twenty years ago. The government threw more money at the companies, but they ultimately failed. Not looking good for the US, and I do feel a lot of sympathy for the workers, the victims of incompetence higher up the scale.
I think most people don't 'get it' as far as how deep the crisis is and how big of a change is necessary, but I think lots of ordinary people saw it coming. The bankers and CEOs had no interest in seeing it coming--they were just making money while they could, as much as they could, and lots of folks cheered them on. But working people saw a darker side--my daughters and I were talking about how bad things were getting two years ago, long before the big subprime crash in November of 2007.
We are going to see a greatly reduced standard of living here in the U.S. and probably violence in the next several years. The best strategy right now for ordinary people is to learn to be as self-sufficient as possible and learn to help each other through what lies ahead. Automobiles are not the problem. Consumer culture is the problem. It's all over now--these bailouts (especially in the financial industry) are just a last ditch attempt to loot the Treasury coffers before that isn't even possible and the whole nation is bankrupt.
We need a new way to live, not better things to buy. Thanks Jyoti Kothari for raising the issue.
Lita, housing prices in big cities got truly insane. There are entire communities in CA with new 6 bedroom 3 car garage homes that are unfinished or foreclosed and vacant.
I have raised similar issues in more than 20 hubs. I never had been in US, however studied the economy in context of human behavior. Consumer culture and ignorance are the main reason. Americans are blaming each other but not looking into their own faults, That is the greatest tragedy.
As you have the similer view I urge you read my hubs and suggest me what do you feel from your point of view.
I kope we together can do something to open the eyes of the world. This may be a very small, however, good attempt to serve the humanity in distress.
Just want to add that most people with common sense around the world saw this problem with the economy. I.E., when I moved out here to AZ, I was astounded at the disconnect between the actual value of houses, and the prices they were commanding (and getting). Obscene.
Obama is not a Christ figure, and most of us know that, but he does represent a change towards a more rational government here in the U.S. and I have every confidence in him and the team he has assembled to make a difference.
It was silly season - in the UK, the traditional mortgage used to be 3 or 3.5x annual income, and that worked well. Before moving out here, we thought about buying in the UK, and they were offering 6x the combined annual income. That is insanity, so we walked away. Many people took mortgages at that rate, and are now paying the price.
I have just been on the phone to one of my friends in the US, an English lady who has lived in Chicago for many years. She managed to wangle a ticket to Obama's election night thing, and was impressed with his demeanour and charisma. The guy has quite possibly the most difficult job on Earth, and he has been left with one hell of a mess.
At the very least, I hope that International Relations will improve. America is not liked or trusted by the rest of the world; maybe a change will heal some wounds.
As long as the lunatic fringe does not derail things
Yes, the California 'refugees' brought much of their speculation with them to the AZ dessert, so there are similar boarded up houses all over Phoenix. Here in the Verde Valley, AZ, there is a significant slow down in building. My boyfriend, as an architect, is feeling it--resorting to landscaping jobs and remodels for work.
Good thing both of us grew up poor, know who we are and are resourceful!
I had a friend once who said that he believed growing up working class gave him an edge others didn't have--I actually believe it to be true.
I totally agree--I used to manage the perennial section in a big garden center, and had to babysit the extremely wealthy wives who came in to day dream. They were so helpless--I liked some of them, but most of them were worse than small children as far as self-reliance and confidence. A sense of entitlement isn't the same thing as knowing how to take care of yourself! LOL!
Seriously, it isn't all wonderful, being rich. Every time I see Cindy McCain on TV or hear her speak I'm glad I came from nothing. The fall is lots shorter from there.
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Can the republicans diminish the significance of this powerful truth ,as the republicans were against both these accomplishments by a democratic president?
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