Mittwoch, Mai 27, 2009

Further Data Points For The Trend VI ...

First of all, we now see President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, chosen for her gender, ethnicity and, perhaps most importantly, a certain ... contempt for the law.

Put simply, President Obama appears to be espousing the view that personal experience and cultural identity are the key factors in judicial wisdom. Law shouldn't be, as the WSJ puts it, a voyage of personal identity, but rather based on a more fundamental understanding of what laws are and why we have them.

Here is the key quote to understanding what is at stake:

She is a judge steeped in the legal school of identity politics. This is not the same as taking justifiable pride in being the first Puerto Rican-American nominated to the Court, as both she and the President did yesterday. Her personal and family stories are admirable. Italian-Americans also swelled at the achievement of Justice Antonin Scalia, as Jewish-Americans did at the nomination of Benjamin Cardozo.

But these men saw themselves as judges first and ethnic representatives second. Judge Sotomayor's belief is that a "Latina woman" is by definition a superior judge to a "white male" because she has had more "richness" in her struggle. The danger inherent in this judicial view is that the law isn't what the Constitution says but whatever the judge in the "richness" of her experience comes to believe it should be.

In other words, this judicial view means that the judge is free to interpret the laws however she wants to, rather than what the law actually says: this way lies madness.

Not that she won't be approved, as the WSJ notices: she'd have to really screw up not to be. But what I fear is not so much that the Supreme Court will then start to turn to the left, but more importantly that the Supreme Court will start to "change", especially if she brings her contentious practices to the court that is expected to be sober and proper: what I fear is that the Supreme Court will, because of internal squabbling, become ineffective, which would have the effect of removing the final check on the Obama Administration. If the Supreme Court's functioning is damaged, if the Supreme Court is distracted because its newest member doesn't play the game, then it will not be able to pass judgment: that is the real danger.

Also in the WSJ is this, that the Gods of the Copybook Headings are waking up. The stupidity of trying to refinance loans for people who have no business have the loans in the first place is typical of Democrats: having dug themselves the hole of sub-primes, they are amazed that there really is no way that these people can ever pay back their loans, let alone service the interest rates: the default rate of refinanced sub-prime loans is between 65% and 75%. Duh: this has never, ever been anything but politics, and politicians who push this sort of idiocy through deserve the reaction that will come to drive them out of office. This is literally tantamount to calling for explosives to dig deeper when the hole is already so deep that no one can come out, and then being surprised when the detonation maims everyone down there doing the digging. Idiots.

Now, let's take a look at GM and Chrysler, their dealers, and how the decision is being made which dealers to close. In many ways I agree with this: the dealers aren't nearly to blame as much as GM/Chrysler and local politicians who made sure that the laws were set up to make sure that dealers couldn't be closed. No dealer can survive if no one wants to buy the cars (and that is the fundamental problem of both GM and Chrysler!). Hence the "slash & burn" closings round won't bring the solution to the problem: it will, however, leave a much smaller network of dealers that will, in many cases, have monopoly status when restructuring completes.

But how are the dealers being chosen? Duh: we're talking Chicago politics here, and the answer is that they are apparently being chosen based on the political contributions. Not a single dealership is being closed that gave Obama campaign financing money, and all the closed dealerships either gave to Republicans or to Obama's opponents. See here and here for the rest of the story. Hence the goal here is not to "save" GM and Chrysler, but more fundamentally to close down those who financially opposed Obama. As one commenter put it: if the surviving dealers were largely Republican spenders, then Team Obama would be idiots; if the surviving dealers are Democratic spenders, then Team Obama are marxist idiots.

I'd replace "marxist" with "left-wing", but the sentiment remains the same

The inmates are in charge of the asylum...


paulk hat gesagt…

I agree with everything you say except for the part about the problem being that no one wants to buy GM or Chrysler cars. The sales figures contradict that. GM makes 4 of the 20 top selling cars in the US in the first quarter of 2009. No other manufacturer, domestic or foreign, has more than 4 in the top 20. Chrysler makes 2.

The facts are that the best selling cars in the US are not cars, they are light trucks. The Chevy Silverado outsold the Honda Accord and Civic and the Toyota Camry and Corolla. The only foreign pickup to make the top 20 was the Toyota Tacoma with 33,964 units. The Dodge Ram sold nearly double that with 64,522 units; the Chevy Silverado sold 93,720 units and the Ford F series sold 110,336 units.

The problem with GM and Chysler is not that nobody wants to buy their cars, it is that their internal cost structures won't allow them to absorb the 40% decline in sales that the entire industry is experiencing. Chrysler makes one of the only two models in the top 20 that actually has increased sales over the same quarter in 2008. Hyundai makes the other.

Other than that quibble, your blog is great. Keep up the good work!

Derek hat gesagt…

Just a quick thank you for your posts - I read your blog daily for a dose of sanity in an otherwise stupid world.

John F. Opie hat gesagt…

Hi -

Thanks for the comment. :-)

I won't quibble with your numbers: fact remains that the Big 3 have lost significant market share over the last decades and the trend, for them, is not their friend...