Dear Auto Execs: Carpooling is a wonderful way to get to know your colleagues, and save money.

festivaIt’s no news the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in this country has been widening dramatically in the past few years. But nothing drives the point home more than the behavior of corporate executives in failing industries of late. These men are not stupid — they simply live in a different reality than you and I. How else to understand the logic of the AIG executives, who marched off to a luxury conference center on the heels of receiving a $152 billion bailout from us, the taxpayers. Completely ignoring the inappropriateness of discussing federal bailout money over steaks and cocktails, their defense was that most of the cost was picked up by sponsors. (I’d like to contact those “sponsors,” because I have some things I’d like them to “pick up,” as well!)

And the latest installment of “What? I deserve it!” concerns the auto industry executives. Even putting aside the fact that everyone in America — except the auto industry, apparently — has known for years that throwing all your money towards large SUVs was a disastrous long-term plan, the executives have now come to Capitol Hill to beg for help.

But they flew on private luxury jets!

To quote one Congressman,  “There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses.”

Hmmmm. I wonder how else the auto executives could have gotten to Washington? Oh, I don’t know — how about drive!

From CNN:

At Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, pressed the private-jet issue, asking the three CEOs to “raise their hand if they flew here commercial.

Let the record show, no hands went up,” Sherman said. “Second, I’m going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up.”

It’s no wonder that American industries are failing left and right. The people in charge have lost touch with the rest of us, and have not an ounce of concern about that fact.

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16 comments

  1. I did post a posting yesterday saying they could have come to town in one of their fuel efficent cars they made…carpooling would have been even better……..one car instead of three.
    It is my opinion, that the CEO’s are starting to regret their choices of transportation to Washington DC and their choice of words they spoke. For I was one who got really pissed off by all this garbage and I e-mailed two of them this morning and called the other one. I informed all three of the automakers of this. You all said you would cut jobs and workers to save your company some money. Even those these workers, were the ones making your paychecks and bonuses. I wanted to hear you all say…we will sell our line of private jets before cutting anyone’s jobs to keep our company afloat. But, seeing that is not what I heard this is what I am telling you….Go to hell…Go bankrupt…for I will never buy one of your cars or trucks again in my life time…toyoto, vw here I come.
    And keep up with your postings about this as I will too and IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE…
    It seems like AIG is now having second thoughts about their behavior with all the negitive publicity they are getting. Check out my blog site…especially the posting AIG…running scared. It shows they might be..Feel free to leave comments.. Nice Article you have here.

  2. they are pigs. they have been taught- with the repeated bailouts given already by the government- that they will get more if they ask.

    can Obama start now?

    how about now?

  3. SARA, where and hell did that one come from?? What is Obama going to do?? He is one for given these big three ceo’s their money they want….the ones you just called, PIGS. Wake up darling and smell the coffee.

  4. Perhaps the execs could have taken the train from Detroit to DC…
    Whoops.

    Without checking an Amtrak schedule I am going to guess –
    1) there are no direct trains,
    2) they take forever and a day
    and
    3) the fare is high – perhaps almost as much as airfare.

  5. Who do we trust least? The Bush Adminstration for the last eight years or the Big 3 Auto Makers?

    Here I am, a taxpayer among taxpayers grovelling in the miasma of the middle class and hoping like Hell that things will get better with the new Administration.

    Then I listen to the heads of the Big 3 automobile manufacturers on C-Span as it was re-run last night, begging for 28 Billion Dollars from the lame duck Congress – with no plan, no reasonable means of payback and literally no respect for the folks like us who the expect to buy their gas-eating SUVs. And these guys, as was pointed out by just about every television news program, all flew into Washington DC on their individual private jets at a cost that would probably pay the health-care costs for workers at one of their factories.

    Give me a break! Aren’t these the guys who killed GM’s original Electric Car program in 2006, when they had a successful vehicle being driven by 800 2-year testers, most of whom were happy as bunnies in a carrot patch with their cars? Then they were recalled and destroyed ending the program, most likely at the whim of the oil industry.

    And now they’re telling us how they will get us to the new hybrids and electrics and natural gas babies in the near future (but we don’t know how they will do it or what the money will really be spent on) and won’t we pleeez look the other way and give them the money.

    You know, I was suspicious in the last month when Paulson told congress to authorize the $700 Billion for the mortgage bailout because, if we didn’t in 48 hours or so the world would end. So Congress kicked over the first half of that money and…lo and behold… we don’t know how it was spent. Not on bailing out mortgages, because that situation has gotten worse. And Paulson now wants the rest so his banker buddies and AIG won’t miss their Christmas Parties.

    Who do we trust? Who do we believe? I’d feel much better if I knew that Obama has announced the appointment of a new Treasury Secretary that I thought could take all these guys by the scruff of the neck and shake some changes into them. Like sell the private jets. Like put your senior executives (and Chairmen) on the same salaries as Union employees. Like make all financing totally dependent on having plans and keeping promises.

    Why do I fear that this will never happen?

    Under The LobsterScope

  6. hmmm, what do you think one of those corporate jets goes for?

    any chance of selling them off? perhaps using that money as part of the money to help bail?

  7. You nailed it, Sue J. They are quite sure that they deserve every million they make. They don’t have a clue about the real world that most of us live in. They can afford their own reality.

  8. You nailed it
    DCup — Ha ha! good one!

    Lizzygram, honey, pace yourself. I think it’s great that you contacted them directly. Good use of your energy.

    I actually agree with Sara. We need new leadership now. It’s not as simple as “Deal or No Deal.” Not helping the US automakers will have horrific repercussions throughout the our economy. So a sound bit of Obama saying he’s for helping them does not bother me. It’s the lack of oversight and deregulation for the past 8 years that has gotten us to this point.

    Cootamundra W., I think you picked me up at least once at the Richmond Indiana train “station” at least once during college? I don’t think it stops there anymore ….

    btchakir, I think Obama’s thinking long and hard about who can take the reins of this economy. I’m impatient, too, but it needs to be the right person, as you say.

    Laura, I think Alaska tried to sell their state jet on eBay, but couldn’t even unload it there.

  9. THIS IS FOR ALL OF YOU ON THIS SUBJECT OF OBAMA REELING IN THIS ECONOMY CRISIS AND TURNING IT AROUND……DON’T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS UNTIL THEY HATCH.
    PLEASE GO TO MY BLOG SITE AND LOOK AT A VIDEO THAT I POSTED WITH PETER SCHIFF’S OVERVIEW AND PREDICTIONS ON THE ECONOMY WAY BACK ON AUG 28, 2006. HE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD…WAY BACK THEN. THIS IS THE PERSON EVERYONE SHOULD BE LISTENING TOO…ONE VERY SMART INDIVIDUAL…..LISTEN TO WHAT HE SAYS NEEDS TO BE DONE IN ORDER TO REEL THIS ECONOMY IN….AND WHAT IS IN STORE FOR ALL OF US.
    PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS OF IT…

  10. lizzygram, please, no CAPS here.

    If you’re looking to convince me that government is a bad thing, you’re out of luck. I’m not going to get into a discussion on that with you. But thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. I really don’t like to be yelled at.

    As Obama has not ever run a corporation, I don’t think you can group him in the same heap as the auto makers.

    I, too, witnessed a great deal of the signs to come as early as 2006- plenty of money managers warned clients that this was on the horizon. It didn’t take an act of brilliance to do that.

    with that said, it could have been avoided if: bernake didn’t start selling panic at discount prices, and paulson’s industry had been subject to more regulation.

    which the government does. government is not always bad, although the last 8 years have shown us how bad it can be.

    and thank you, I did have my coffee today. A lovely free trade blend.

  12. Peter Schiff… don’t get me started.

    Back on real topic. I think the whole corp jet thing was so wrong in every way. Not only that they did it, but that they seemed surprised that there was a disconnect.

    Deep sigh.

  13. not one nickel until all three of them are gone

    and Nardelli – you mean the man that ran Home Depot into the ground….and walked away with millions

    from Reagan to Bush — the elevation of CEOs to some sort of diety is just nauseating……. the more i think about it, the more i truly find american capitalism disgusting..
    \
    end of rant
    😎

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