GM’s New Geniuses Can’t Live on Half a Million

SEGUIN, Texas (Reuters) — General Motors Co. Chairman Ed Whitacre on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to give the automaker less restrictive pay caps and said it was too early to discuss the timing for the automaker to become a public company again.

Cash salaries for the top executives were cut by 31 percent, and only one unnamed executive besides Henderson will be paid more than $500,000 for 2009.

Whitacre said that $500,000 limit made hiring from outside difficult, and he urged a reconsideration of the limits set by the Treasury Department’s special master Kenneth Feinberg. (Source: Automotive News, November 11, 2009)

whit Whitacre, the fresh-faced rebel shown at left, was, after all paid $61 million in 2006, for his excruciating labors overseeing the AT&T-Bell South merger while also passing along illegally-gathered wiretap information to the NSA.

And what would we all do without glorious breakthroughs like the AT&T-Bell South merger?  Sure, 10,000 people lost their jobs in that process, and it also further entrenched the institutional basis for the world’s highest telecommunications bills.

But, look, those things are good for investors, aren’ t they?  And, just as anybody can sleep under a bridge, soare  we all perfectly free to become major investors.  All you have to do is get yourself $10 or 20 million to get yourself started.

And Ed and his pals probably lost a lot of their $61 million pay packets last year, too, right?  Just like the rest of us, right?  Aren’t you down to your last few dozen millions yourself?  I know I am.

carflipBesides, it’s got to be a rather thankless task, this acting as the funeral director who keeps insisting the guy in the box is still alive…

Not Joking: The Face of the “New” GM

Fresh off its public bailout, the General Motors Corporation is about to launch a massive marketing campaign titled “May the Best Car Win.” The intent of the campaign is to show prospective buyers how new and different the post-bailout GM will be. The spokesperson “face” of this coming blitzkrieg? I shit you not:

whit
ROFLMAO

Script: “They tell me the young whipper-snappers are none too happy with our latest batch of horseless carriages…Well, by gum, this’ll learn ’em…”

Obama Buys Foxes a New Henhouse

foxamong The Reincarnation of Ronald Reagan called President Obama has told us what we will get in return for our public purchase of General Motors:

What we are not doing — what I have no interest in doing — is running GM. GM will be run by a private board of directors and management team with a track record in American manufacturing that reflects a commitment to innovation and quality. They — and not the government — will call the shots and make the decisions about how to turn this company around. The federal government will refrain from exercising its rights as a shareholder in all but the most fundamental corporate decisions. When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new GM, not the United States government, will make that decision.

In short, our goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands-off approach, and get out quickly.

The foxes who ate all the chickens will not be told they are disqualified from running the place, despite the fact that the collective of the chickens just bought it.

Of course, the people who run the chicken collective are rather obviously foxes in feathered garb. The foxes bought them their television commercials and sponsored their rise from the coop.

Obama’s plan here is a guaranteed disaster, too, by the way. The age of the automobile is at its end. The Earth can’t take it any more, and capitalism has sucked all the blood out of the suckers. Unrestrained class-struggle-from-above has reached its own logical end. Offshoring and credit-card wage-substitution have finally finished laying their rotten eggs.

Are You Dumber Than a Toddler?

The automotive-industrial complex is banking on the answer to that question being “Yes,” and it is doing what it takes to make sure it stays that way.

On Sesame Street, they used to do “One of These Things is Not Like the Others.” Well, take a gander at that diagram up there, which comes from the website of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition — i.e., the car corporations and the corporate corn farmers.

See anything missing?

Hint #1: It’s the exact thing that “e85 fuel” is supposedly going to free “us” from.

Hint #2: Do corn plants pop up like weeds, and also spontaneously grow, harvest, transport, mill, and distill themselves?

Hint #3: The masters of our investors-first society are counting on training you to keep flunking this test.

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at the new wave of “from gas-friendly to gas-free” advertising from General Motors (click through to page 2 in the “Chevrolet” sub-section and look at “Chevy Fuel Solutions”) . The anti-schooling, the planned implantation of fundamental ignorance — it’s a classic big business marketing strategy (shift the context + “look over there, not here”), but it has never been more appalling or dangerous to humanity.

Hint #4:

rig

Green Smoke Indeed!

James Howard Kunstler today posts this useful news nugget:

Blowing Green Smoke Up America’s Ass # 23:General Motors – referred to nowadays as “the sub-prime loan company that also makes cars” – has opened a public relations campaign on National Public Radio to convince the public that its heart is in the right place. The centerpiece of the campaign is the Chevy Volt, GM’s venture into hybrid cars. The voice in the radio spot announces that the Volt is an environmentally-friendly electric vehicle assisted by what they call “an on-board range-extending power source.” Wonder what that means? Think gasoline-powered internal combustion engine.

And, of course, the smoke being blown here is much worse than just this.

First of all, the Chevy Volt is a concept car, not a production one. If you could buy one -and you can’t– it would carry a price-tag of $100,000!

Second, even the great General Motors, with its long track record of delivering high-quality, cutting-edge cars (that thud you just heard was people everywhere falling off their chairs in paroxysms of laughter) admits it isn’t planning to sell a Volt until at least 2010 — despite the fact that they are advertising them now! (This tells us something crucial about the role of supposedly “green” vehicles in the car corporations’ plans. Even as they sponsor NPR propaganda campaigns, you can hear the rustle of accumulated capital fleeing somewhere, anywhere, other than into future investments in car-making…UAW take note.)

And, of course, all of this jive talk presumes and promotes public ignorance about the most basic fact of the science of energy — the reality that all supplies of energy for fueling cars are not just finite, but up against the wall of history. Plugging your car into the wall is hardly a viable answer to the arrival of Peak Oil, as explained by Kunstler and others. Nevertheless, talking as if it were underlies everything GM and the other auto-capitalists are now saying.

The extent to which more well-meaning folks, who might otherwise see through the outdated, increasingly murderous capitalist scam behind automobiles-ueber-alles, fail to resist this “green smoke” is the exact extent to which we are all doomed.