Why They Don’t Care

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People ask why the CEOs of major automakers go along with what’s going on; can’t they see it’s killing their business?

Of course. They are not stupid people. But they are extremely wealthy people. So wealthy they don’t have to care – about anything. Certainly not whether the company they head goes under at some point in the future.

It won’t affect them, you see.

Consider GM’s Mary Barra as a case in point. She is paid around $29-30 million every year. It is difficult for the average middle class person who earns a “good living” to appreciate just how much money Barra is paid (I am careful to not say earns) in just one year.

In just one month, for that matter. 

She takes in more in just a couple of weeks than probably 98 percent of the people working for a living will earn in a year, as most working people – including middle class people who earn a “good living” – do not earn seven figures after a year of working.

And Barra is paid that much after just a couple of weeks.

She has been the CEO of GM since 2014, so for the past ten years. Multiply that roughly $30 million times ten and let that percolate for a moment.

Do you suppose Mary Barra has any worries about paying her bills in retirement? Do you suppose Mary Barra gives a damn whether she’s riding GM into the wrecking yard? What personal skin does she have in the game?

The answer, of course, is none.   

For Mary, it does not matter whether car ownership becomes what it was at the dawn of the car age – i.e., a luxury indulgence of the affluent. She is extremely affluent. For Mary, a $50,000 battery powered device is something like what a Snicker’s bar is to people who earn a “good living.” The latter can easily afford a Snicker’s bar; they might buy a whole box just for the heck of it.

A $50,000 battery powered device is another thing.

Assuming the person earning a “good living” wanted one, he’d probably have to finance it. He’d be paying for it each month for the next six-to-seven years (by which time, of course, it would be time to replace the device with a new device). He most definitely would not be able to afford to buy something like a brand-new 1966 Mustang GT just like they used to make ’em, with hairy V8 engines – and without air bags or “advanced driver assistance technology.”

People – working class people – used to be able to buy cars like that. But that was back in ’66.

If you are in Mary’s position, on the other hand, buying a brand-new 1966 Mustang GT or something similar in 2024 is as easy as writing a check for it. Because – for Mary – it as easy to write a check for $266,0095 (the cost of a brand-new ’66 Mustang) as it is for someone who earns a “good living” to buy a Snicker’s bar on a whim while waiting in line to check out at the Dollar General Store.

The point being that people in Mary’s position are utterly disconnected from economic cause and effect. The fact that she is paid what she’d paid to preside over a GM that has less market share today than GM’s Chevrolet division had all by itself 50 years ago is merely an affront.

In 1970, GM’s then CEO – James Roche – was paid about $820,000 annually. Which is – and was – a great deal of money. But it is a pittance compared with Mary’s pay.  It amounts to about $6.6 million in today’s devalued money. Roche was rich. But he was less able to afford to be indifferent.

This is a problem that goes beyond the people running major car companies. It is a characteristic problem of the system that the car companies are now, for the most part, as thoroughly enmeshed with as the government regulatory apparat is enmeshed with the industries it supposedly regulates, the most egregious example being the FDA – which might as well be the marketing division of the pharmaceutical industry. 

The people within this matrix no longer care about economic cause and effect – because they are (or believe themselves to be) immune from the effects they cause. A case in point is the current secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg – who is all-in with Mary as regards the pushing of battery powered devices most people who earn a “good living” cannot afford. Because he can afford it. He is paid – by you, if you pay income taxes – about $20,000 per month. Thus, for him, a $50,000 battery powered device requires just shy of three month’s pay to pay for.

Pete also gets perks, such as having ready use of vehicles he doesn’t have to pay for – including V8-powered SUVs, which you get to pay for via the taxes you’re forced to pay.

Pete does not care whether you can afford it. He may not even realize you can’t, just as (per the story) Marie Antoinette, the wife of the French King Louis XVI, could not understand why the French peasants who were starving due to lack of bread didn’t just eat cake.

The times are different. But the attitude is exactly the same.

. . .

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71 COMMENTS

  1. Now the wolves of Wall Street are breathing down EeeVee Mary’s neck:

    ‘A slowing EV market has analyst Adam Jonas at Morgan Stanley asking one fundamental question: Can the EV Slowdown Trigger an Auto Mergers & Acquisitions Wave?

    “EV sentiment is extremely negative … and will eventually deteriorate further, in our view. Legacy OEMs must find a way to balance EV relevancy with capital discipline. Full OEM mergers are complex, politically sensitive and tough to execute. Could ‘merging’ EV projects be more reasonable?” Jonas wrote.

    ‘Jonas said the dire situation in the EV space reminds him of the scene from Gladiator:

    Whatever comes out of these gates … we’ve got a better chance of surviving if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive.

    “We think partnerships will ultimately be deterministic for legacy OEMs and can come in many forms: working with startups, working with China, working with Tesla, and working with each other.”

    https://archive.ph/RRNnI#selection-907.0-907.193

    Yeah, that’s what Rev Jim Jones told believers as he handed out the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown. Take, drink, Mary — this cup is poured out for you.

    • Indeed, Jim –

      I foresee a consolidation of the business via the elimination of probably half of extant brands. Who needs 20 different brand selling the same devices? An EV is an EV. A handful of companies can sell them. There is market for so many odf them when they’re all the same EV.

  2. That’s right Eric, but this logic applies not just to CEOs but to all the lower level managers too and not just in the auto industry, so it applies to most if not all people actually. Simply put, it’s how this corrupt system corrupts people, too, and ensures their compliance. Once people start working for a big company (or government) and getting paychecks, they become interested in perpetuating the system. Same with education for example – once people are through a university and get their degrees, they no longer care if what they were taught is true, because they are invested now. The more invested they are, the more incentive they have in perpetuating the system. Just look at medical doctors for example, who continue to peddle all these medicines and treatments that are killing people, again and again, even though it is should be obvious to anybody with half a brain what’s going on. This applies to financial investing, too. So it is a huge lunatic asylum, and nobody dares say a word that the emperor is naked, even if they do see it and don’t agree with it. This is a huge problem and is actually a crux of the matter with the whole system. It’s the very basis of it. It’s very hard to get out of the system, but we must do it, otherwise it’s going to end very, very badly one day. That’s why I think that no truer words were written than in Ezekiel 7, which says basically that a day is coming when you all are gonna be screwed, and you deserve it, too.

    • Good morning, Yuri –

      Well-said.

      It calls to mind the character O’Brien in 1984, who told Winston (who was surprised to see him enter his cell in the Ministry of Truth) “they got me a long time ago.” Indeed.

      Here’s a short story for you: They almost got me, too. Circa 1997, I was offered a job as an editorial writer by the Wall Street Journal in NYC. It was my “big break.” Had I taken this job and done well, I might just have become a big time commentator rather than a Libertarian Car Guy. But I’d have been owned by them – and you’d never have heard a peep from what would have been left of me about Face Diapers or Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeev, either.

    • From the Congress Clown who gave us battery plant subsidies and EeeVee tax credits:

      ‘Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., danced around his interest in launching a third-party presidential bid here Thursday, but he endorsed a potential running mate if he does.

      “Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,” Manchin said, identifying the Republican senator from Utah.

      ‘Manchin also said he would consider former Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, as a vice presidential pick.

      “Rob’s a dear friend of mine,” Manchin said. “What a good man.”

      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/rcna138977

      Have you laid back and spread your legs for the Uniparty today, comrade?

      • Munchkin and Mittens. It does have a certain ring to it.
        In a world where we have a homosexual cabinet secretary named Peter Buttgig, many other possibilities no doubt exist. Sky’s the limit, so take it to the limit…one more time.

    • ‘California has doled out $1 billion to EV charger companies thus far, with more billions to come. But the California Energy Commission, which hands out the cash grants for charger installation, has only now decided to collect reliability statistics. It’s also mulling over how to hold the charger companies accountable for performance.

      ‘The charger companies, including Electrify America, ChargePoint, and EV Go, have promised to improve.’ — LA Slimes

      This is what we call a ‘non-market economy’ — a despotic opponent society that is severely sanctioned by America’s external tariffs.

      Why not internal tariffs too? Gavin Newsom, I maintain, is the earthly reincarnation of Albania’s communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. Caveat emptor.

      • >Why not internal tariffs too?
        Meanwhile, closer to home, our far seeing City Council [rolling eyes] is about to let a contract for design services to narrow a section of the main east – west commercial route (the “main drag”) from two lanes each direction, plus turn bays, to a single lane each direction, thus guaranteeing “enhanced” traffic jams and increased air pollution, in an effort to “revitalize” what used to be “Downtown,” back in the 1930s.

        I suppose the next step would be to hire armed highwaymen to demand payment for the “privilege” of passing through Our Fair City. None shall pass, without paying tribute. Slide into Extortion Avenue. You buy something now?

    • ‘In California, EV subsidies were reworked last year. Strict income ceilings were put in place to qualify for help. Poorer buyers will get more incentives; richer buyers, nothing at all. Such an approach addresses equity concerns, but it will take time to assess the affect on EV sales.’ — LA Slimes

      “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (German: ‘Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen’) is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Programme. The principle refers to free access to and distribution of goods, capital and services.

      Free beer; free dope; free love.

      • Hi Jim,

        Hilarious!

        As if poor people – as if middle class people – are in any position to spend even $40k on a vehicle, period. The latter sum – $10k less than the transaction price of the average EV – would require an income of nearly six figures to be other than a recklessly irresponsible purchase. Never mind the cost of adding the necessary electrical upgrades to the single family home with a garage such people probably don’t have, either.

  3. Another reason people like Barra don’t care about running the company into the ground is because she knows that the taxpayers will pay to rescue it. And that is undoubtedly why people like her make so much more money than previous CEOs — zero real risk.

    The only way she’d have to worry about losing her job and all that money is if she said the truth about EVs or DIE or ESG. The cost of which all of us “little” people (aka taxpayers) foot the bill for.

    I think to a great extent, we *are* paying her salary. Maybe not 100% of it — that’s mostly on GM customers — but you can’t deny that the amount she makes and her job security is at our expense.

    This is why I really hope these corporations do completely fail and are closed down. They are parasites. They rob from the poor to enrich the rich.

  4. That bitch has not talent in designing cars and probably can’t drive one any better than the secretary in the accounting department. For the love of Pete

  5. The topnotch mechanic who has a YouTube channel called Vice Grip Garage can get most any old car or small truck going if it can run. Oil change, new plugs, points, belts, cleanup, drives it home 700 miles.

    What does happen is that you learn a lot watching how to revive a 70 year old auto or truck.

    Recommended, you get a good view of a few states and what goes on along the way.

  6. “It is a characteristic problem of the system that the car companies are now, for the most part, as thoroughly enmeshed with as the government regulatory apparat is enmeshed with the industries it supposedly regulates…”

    This is pervasive across industry. US is in a regulatory capture fascism.

  7. Months after Eric put his finger to the wind and proclaimed the demise of EeeVee Fever, the Wall Street Journal finally catches up:

    https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/ev-electric-vehicle-slowdown-ford-gm-tesla-b20a748e

    Every event in the WSJ’s multi-year retrospective has been covered here in real time. Still, the WSJ managed to dig up a poignant anecdote to end its story:

    ‘Some auto retailers say that they are now selling EVs at a loss to clear unwanted inventory.

    ‘Ford dealer Ed Jolliffe, whose car dealership is a 25-minute drive from the Lightning plant, is struggling to understand what happened. On a recent weekday, he peeked out his window at eight Lightnings and four Mach-Es.

    “Nobody’s opening the door” to check them out, he said. “There just seems to be this hesitancy that is hitting hard.”

    ‘Hesitancy’ is Lügenpresse-speak, Ed. Stop playing silly word games. You bought the EeeVee Bubble, big time. And it blew up in your fool face, like a box of Acme explosives blackening the snout of Wile E Coyote. Beep-beep! 🙂

  8. Excellent article Eric, and I hope everyone at GM reads it. These CEOs are scum, just like the political scum that runs the nation, they are all in on it, and don’t give a damn how much harm they cause so long as they have power and money for themselves.

    This model of one person ruling all must be challenged and changed. Many CEO’s hop from one company to the next and have no idea what the current company they represent actually does. The classic example was “Carly” Fiorina who just about ran HP into the ground, then with that success ran for president. She was so hated by everyone at HP not a single employee from janitor to executive staff would give her one penny for her campaign.

    • I used to work with a guy who lost his job at HP because of Fiorina. He’d been there for years. He had NOTHING good to say about her! I don’t reckon he donated to her presidential campaign…

  9. Is it just me, or does it appear that over the past few years, many politicians, bureaucrats, doctors, scientists, Hollywood types, CEOs, etc., have effectively sold their souls in exchange for fame, LOTS of money, and/ or a place in the elite club?

    • Hi John,

      I don’t think it is just public faces, but a lot of people. Sometimes, when cleaning the house or cooking dinner I will put on YT to see what is going on in the world. From what I can see we have lost our moral compass. I realize what is being shown on YT (and their postings of TikTok) are overemphasized for “likes”, but it is still pretty disgusting.

      Just walking around in public is sad, because so many people have their nose in their phone. Personally, I can’t find figure out what is that exciting….all the videos and talking points are the same.

      Don’t get me started on the horrific movies and TV shows being made. I tried watching Netflix last night…three different movies. I couldn’t make it past the first 15 minutes on any of them. I ended up working on a client’s year end bookkeeping at my Dining Room table at 10 PM at night. Pretty pathetic when bookkeeping is more fun than anything on TV.

      • I see this all the time at work, RG. At the grocery store. Hell, everywhere. People cannot get from “Point A” to “Point B” without putting their stupid phone down. I swear, these people are going to going absolutely mental if the grid ever goes down. Much like Linus and his security blanket, that is what I-phones have become for most people. Only unlike Linus, phones nowadays also tell people what to think, how, when, and where. I do not have Netflix or Amazon Prime, but I can only imagine what is being generated today, if the commercials I see on the TV at work before my shift indicate anything. Yeah, I think I will stick with old fashioned book reading. Or going out for a walk. Both are far more stimulating than a phone, and neither needs batteries, either.

        • My family and I observe with a sad sort of humor all of the drones staring a screens wherever we go. It’s absolutely astounding. “Don’t be like them, kids.”

        • Shadow: “I swear, these people are going to going absolutely mental if the grid ever goes down.”

          Not if, when. I also am dismayed at how many people think communications will be a snap during the eventual (true) insurrection. It won’t be like setting up a flash-mob to sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas!” There is no way TPTB will allow Internet or cell phone communication. Many a protest/rebellion has been fueled by pamphlets. If, even worse, the power grid is shutdown, does anybody know where 10,000 scribes can be had in a hurry? There won’t be many printers running. Or even a decent horse? “The British are coming!”

        • Yes am waiting for it. There are several young guys in my office who on the walk across the lobby to the mens room never take their eyes off their phones. I have seen them almost bump into people and they never even look up or acknowledge the person. They are like zombies. For sure they will be wearing the Apple Vision. And gesturing!

  10. $28.6 million dollars/year….good pay to help jam EV’s down the slave’s throats….

    Is she connected to the bloodlines of the slave owners control group?…if not she is a traitor slave helping the slave owners….a useful idiot disposed of later when their usefulness expires…..

    Helping the slave owners commit crimes can pay well……

  11. Here is a chart that keeps EeeVee Mary awake at night. It shows that year after year, hybrids outgrow EeeVees in US market share:

    http://tinyurl.com/3eykync4

    Toyota is a strong player in hybrids. So is Ford. But GM bet the ranch on EeeVees. Bad mistake: the dogs aren’t eating the dog food.

    Cross-eyed Mary finds it hard to get along
    She’s a poor man’s rich girl and she’ll do it for a song
    She’s a rich man stealer but her favor’s good and strong
    She’s the Robin Hood of RenCen
    Helps the poor man get along, hey

    — Jethro Tull, Cross-Eyed Mary

  12. “People ask why the CEOs of major automakers go along with what’s going on; can’t they see it’s killing their business?”

    This question leads to a quandary, and it begs an examination of what exactly is going on here to explain what drives these callous CEOs to do the things they do. Certainly, being rich insulates one from many of life’s hardships, but it’s far from the primary ingredient motivating these scumbags. God knows all the variables involved, but I’m certain their behavior — which infects most humans today — is mostly driven by self interest, greed, avarice & lust.

    This woman is tied at the hip with the leaders of the Sammy Corp and Deep State, and the benefits of those relationships to her are enormous. Naturally, in this modern age of corruption, she will do, say, or act in any way that will please her crime syndicate buddies. Just as Brandon has his handlers and overseers, little Missy has similar outsiders pulling her strings. She too is a deep state stooge. And despite her appearance of being an ignoramus, we can’t quite give her full credit for all the malicious & stoopid actions she takes.

    Which brings up another issue. Does anyone here think that any qualified person with high morals and a libertarian bent could possibly rise to the top of a major corporation today carrying around philosophical baggage like that? No way José. The day of finding another Henry Ford type at the head of a car manufacturer is long gone. And all I can say is, enjoy the decline.

    • Hi Dave,

      The problem is they aren’t killing their business, they are killing ours.

      I have been without an office phone now for three days…no dial tone. Verizon refuses to bury the telephone lines in my area and every time it rains the water gets into the system and my phone is either extremely staticky or it completely goes out until someone from Verizon switches the lines. Usually my local Verizon repairman helps me out, but it seems he is out sick so I have to deal with corporate.

      Contacted corporate this morning and got our mind numbing AI Verizon robot. Yes, you can no longer even talk to a live person. There is no greater joy than yelling into your cell phone repeatedly giving them the phone number with the problem. They couldn’t find it in their records. Then I had to go hunting for the account number to which it took me another 3x before the system correctly read it back to me. When can Verizon fix my phone that runs my entire business (in the midst of tax season)? Late next week. I will be without a business line for ten days. How does a business survive that?

      I see where it is going…they want us to all go wireless, but there are still some parts of this country where wireless is not an option. If I go outside and hold my cell phone somewhere around the direction of Draco during a crescent moon between the hours of 7:32 PM and 8:14 PM it may work, but I can’t run a business this way.

      There is nobody to replace them and they know it and that is why they don’t care. Government has killed competition and the Biden Administration is doing their damnedest to destroy the last of the small and medium sized businesses through inflation, stringent hiring practices, and cut throat regulations. Congress sits back, closes their eyes, and collects donations for their next re-election campaign from the very corporations that will never dissolve no matter how little they care for their clientele.

      • Telcos are evil.

        Forty years ago, the AT&T monopoly was shattered by court decree into seven pieces. But like a liquid metal terminator, the toxic wreckage reassembled itself into two vile, brain-dead behemoths, Verizon and AT&T.

        Telcos, like cockroaches, are very difficult to exterminate. Meanwhile, both of these disgusting pestilences degrade our quality of life.

      • RG,
        Ah feel yore pine.
        Have you considered VOIP?
        I ditched Ma Bell years ago in favor of VOIP provided by Spectrum, which is also my ISP. Service is overhead cable @ power pole, probably fiber optic, dropped underground via coax @ pole, up into detached garage, then coax back underground to house, up into communications closet, where Specrum’s router splits the signal into telephone VOIP and LAN, which uses my LAN router & switch. LAN is mainly ethernet, but also has WiFi. This setup has been very reliable for me.

        With VOIP, you do need your own battery backup for the voice lines, but I have that for the LAN anyhow, so no additional hardware. Maybe RK will weigh in, since he is our resident expert on these topics.

        Aside:
        —————————
        Back in the 1970s, my Dad and I remodeled a Telco office in Las Cruces, NM, and I got to see the Telco battery backup, which consisted of an array of large lead-acid batteries, about the size of two 5 gal Jerry cans placed side by side, the container being clear glass, so the electrodes were visible. All the switch gear was electromagnetic, i.e. relays, the contacts of which had to be kept scrupulously clean using acetone as the cleaning solvent. The relay room had a high ceiling ,and was equipped with a ladder which rolled on rails affixed to the wall, similar to those found in some libraries with tall bookcases, to enable access to all the relays.

        • Spectrum uses a hybrid cable plant that uses fiber optic lines to get from the hub building to a central point in the neighborhood. From there it is converted to copper coaxial cable for delivery to the homes and businesses. This effectively segments out service areas to a few homes, usually about 100-500 but lately even fewer 50 depending on how much traffic and how forward thinking the operator may be.

          “Business class” services are usually run over the same fiber/coax network but the equipment is usually configured for a higher priority if there’s too much traffic and you get other benefits like static IP addresses and it’s usually OK to run small servers. If you require more bandwidth most cable companies can supply fiber to your business at rates that are competitive with telco fiber (but much more expensive than municipal ISPs). The main advantage over muni fiber is well established network and support, better response to outages, and you can get pretty much anything you want from a single 1Gbps line to 100+ Gbps and private peering agreements.

          If you can get it, a muni fiber connection will probably be the best option if they can get you phone service too. You’re probably subsidizing it with your property and business taxes already, so why not use it?

      • VZ has been trying to eliminate their copper plant for decades. They want to install cellular network interface units on every home. Partly because the copper is 100+ years old, mostly because labor costs would drop as they can eliminate line techs.

        Unfortunately for Verizon the state PUCs continue to force them to maintain the copper network. Verizon management never seems to figure things out. They lost billions in the 1990s building out ISDN and ATM networks just in time for the Internet and flat fee billing (and then cable internet). Then they came up with the FIOS fiber network architecture, which was basically cable over fiber, a very expensive and inflexible way to roll out fiber to the home. Right ideas, lousy implementation. Now they’re rolling out wireless to the home just when everyone else is too.

  13. 30 000 000/12=2 500 000 USD per month.

    2 500 000/20=125 000 USD per day.

    The IRS collects income taxes on Mary’s salary, so the IRS is interested in even more money for her.

    Her take home pay will more than likely be about 2/3rds of her gross.

    She pays something like 9 000 000 to the US gov each year, have to have some recognition for her financial obligations to the US gov.

    Mary is netting probably 18 000 000 USD from her salary. Two or three million in miscellaneous costs might be there too.

    Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk both have shit for brains just like Bill Gates.

    Private jets, yachts, mansions, billions in wealth, never ending, at the end of the month, there’s more, not a thing to worry about. Warren Buffet drinks coca cola and eats ice cream, doesn’t need much else these days.

    Jesse Livermore probably would have shorted them all and made a few billion until Bezos, Musk and Gates cried uncle.

    Mary Barra is not in the driver’s seat, she’s the passenger along for the ride.

  14. It’s no mystery why the top brass of these corporations don’t care, but one would think that shareholders – especially those who have a lot of money invested – would care. And not only care, but complain loud and long at shareholder meetings and vote accordingly. They are like rats on a sinking ship. If they can’t stop the ship from sinking, eventually they will have to jump off… The sooner the better, otherwise they will have a lot to lose.

    • Shareholders sure haven’t gotten 30 million a year of value from employing Mary Barra. GM has been hemorrhaging market share under her watch. Chevy once had more market share by itself under the CEO that made 800k a year.

  15. In my what I’ll call very bottom end of upper class neighborhood, I don’t see very many vehicles made by GM, except for 2000s Chevy trucks and Buick LeSabres. Mostly it’s Toyotas, Hondas, and Subarus, with the occasional Benz, Beemer, or Lex here and there. Trucks are mostly Toyota, Nissan, Ford, or Dodge RAM.

    My next door neighbor has an immaculate 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, which he calls “my very last car.”

    So it’s a pretty safe wager to say that GM isn’t the company of choice for what I’ll call thinking people who are wise with their money and who got to be upper middle class/lower upper class by being wise with their money, and who give a hoot about their work and investments.

    Among these folks are small business owners and independent contractors in the trades. They stand to lose their shirts, shoes, and shorts if they make unwise decisions in their businesses—like buying a truck that can’t make it through the drive-thru window at McDonald’s without its engine blowing up.

    Whereas it seems that people like Mary Barra get paid no matter what happens with their companies. And even if GM goes the way of Studebaker and Pierce-Arrow on her watch, there are always opportunities on the lecture circuit for a quarter million a pop.

    As a right-leaning Libertarian, I’m generally against intrusive regulations on businesses. But there were reasons why, for the longest time, there were restrictions on things like stock buybacks and paying executives in stock options. And maybe some of those regulations need to come back, lest we revisit the business climate that led to them in the first place.

    • In my neck of the NW Florida woods, it’s nothing but Chevy Silverados, Dodge Rams and Ford F-150s. If you have an SUV, you’ve got a GM Yukon or Tahoe or a Toyota 4Runner. All four-wheel drives. All of the cars are usually Toyotas too.

      With the exception of some GM trucks, body-on-frame SUVs and some of their sporty offerings, I wouldn’t touch a GM product with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

      • Makes sense: The basic underpinnings of GM’s trucks go back to as early as 1955. So there has been plenty of time to perfect them.

  16. Eric: “Do you suppose Mary Barra gives a damn whether she’s riding GM into the wrecking yard? What personal skin does she have in the game?”

    Details are a bit fuzzy because of the time span. And the situation may have changed in Japan.

    (Probably) William Buckley interviewing (probably) Nixon’s Secretary of The Treasury. One of the major differences in U.S. and Japanese corporations (was?) that in Japan the pensions of executives were based on real-time performance of the company. If the company wasn’t doing well, the pension was adjusted downward, if the company was doing well, upward. That gave the execs the great incentive to plan for the corporation’s future, not for next quarter’s bottom line.

    That still begs the question of why these people can’t just take Uncle Fester’s Million, and be satisfied. For that matter, after a year at $28,600,000 why not put in a couple for $1? It is the old game of “Whoever has the most toys when he dies….” plus an ego that requires constant massage.

    • Mike, your comment (and this article) gets me to wondering: CEO’s are willing to destroy the little people, because they think their wealth insulates them. Are they smart enough to realize that the dollars they hold are basically worthless? For when China, Russia, and other nations have joined together (via the BRICS nations), they are going to develop their own currency (whatever that may be). Once that takes place, all those nations are going to dump their dollar holdings onto U.S. soil. The only one who is going to be able to “buy back” those dollars is the crooked, Federal Reserve that got us into this mess in the first place. The hyperinflation of Weimar, Germany in 1929 is going to be a walk in the park compared to what we face. Never mind the mind numbing amount of debt the U.S. is racking up. I hope these CEO’s are smart enough to hold gold and silver, otherwise they will be just as poor as the rest of us. So yes, perhaps then, the rain will soon fall on them, as well, and just when they thought they were untouchable.

  17. Woke Mary clearly doesn’t care. The big question, however, is why the company that pays Woke Mary’s salary doesn’t care – how is she able to hold on to her job at Government Motors?

  18. “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” -George Carlin.

    I remember when Bill Gates would fly coach. He and his executives thought it was fun to drive themselves to the airport, fly coach and have conversations with fellow passengers. Then one day while walking down the street in Brussels, Noël Godin, a Belgian writer and pie-throwing prankster who had gained a reputation for ‘pieing’ celebrities, hit him in the face with a pie. Bill seemed to take it all in stride, but you know private security firms were all over the story and pitching their services. “Today a pie prank, tomorrow a bullet!”

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Godin was wrong and the “prank” wasn’t funny at all (typical continental humor). But this, along with Reagan’s shooting, probably woke up a lot of the rich to try and stay in their own little circles. That’s expensive and hard to do. Walled houses and gated communities used to be only for celebrities and well-known rich like John D Rockefeller. Now it’s everyone who’s in that sphere.

    Losing that valuable feedback means something. As does the idea of an executive going down on the line and visiting with workers without advanced notice. Just doesn’t happen anymore. Everything is a photo-op, planned event. Supervisors and managers shut down production, call all-hands meetings and hold a cleaning day before the event. The CEO will be shown whatever great new thing happens to be on the line, hoping for positive noises and appropriately happy facial expressions.

    https://youtu.be/_YruT2ROEUc?si=g8xJ7rr5oAmFYmZI&t=130

    • ‘Losing that valuable feedback means something.’ — ReadyKilowatt

      It sure does. Overhearing uncensored conversations in the subway and streets of NYC gives one the same perspective as a pollster. It’s one thing you give up, to flee the urban rat race and crime-ridden DemonRat cities.

      Now plutocrats think they are sounding out public sentiment by scraping X and Facebook. But those are curated, censored spaces, yielding skewed data. They won’t find many of us there.

      So when a ricin-laced pie splats in their jaded face, it will be a total surprise. No one could have seen this coming. *trawls the internet looking for poison pie recipes*

  19. I look at that picture and my only thought is WHY. I just don’t get paying her that amount of money. How can that remotely produce a good return on their investment. Heck if I were her, I would quit after a couple of years because you could just put that money to work producing passive income.

    • Hi RS,

      I feel the same. I don’t “get” these people. I work because I enjoy my work; but if I got a windfall of $1 million from my Uncle Fester, I’d be free from needing to work. That’s a sum sufficient to buy a couple of rental properties that would generate enough passive income to live comfortably for the rest of my life, enjoy my hobbies, spend time reading and writing for the pure fun of it. Barra takes in $1 million every two weeks-ish. Even after taxes, after a month, she has what would be for most people “fuck you” money. After a year, she has so much money her grandkids’ kids will have money.

      I don’t “get” wanting more.

      • Very true. You can’t take it with you, that’s for sure! The only reason to make money like that is to leave it to your children. Otherwise, what’s the point?

        I keep doing my job because I enjoy it and I need the money. Got to admit, if I had a couple of million dollars, I’d probably quite and become a full-time farmer/fisherman/hunter, working on my crops of pecans, vegetables and satsuma oranges.

      • Nah, you know what would happen, Eric. The IRS would see that Uncle Fester gave you all that money. As you are in the lovely (cough, cough) state of Virginia, between that state and the Feds getting “…their fair share of taxes”, because they would claim you did not “earn” that money, you might have enough left for yourself after getting nailed to the wall by both tax agencies. And now that the IRS has hired 85,000 armed agents, they just might shoot any of us for not paying them enough, even after we have paid far more than enough. But hey, it sounds nice….

  20. Many politicians, elitists, and bureaucrats today have this same attitude of indifference to the plight of average Americans. There was a poll recently of elitist types, and IIRC, most of them think Joe Biden is doing a great job as President. They probably also look favorably on “Bidenomics”. However, average Americans have increasingly been unable to afford day to day living expenses to the point they’ve resorted to using credit cards, and as such, there was a story not too long ago that personal credit card debt in this country topped $1 trillion. But the establishment and their propagandists in establishment media want everyone to think that “Bidenomics is good for you!”, and that the economy is doing grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat.

  21. While Marie Antoinette might have not understood the lack of bread she eventually was clued into the side effects of it none the less.

    If that doesn’t work perhaps the next step will be Bribem giving Evs to all the illegal aliens; 10 million free cars should help stimulate the economy. Sounds crazy but I bet these new fangled university trained economists would agree that it’s a good idea.

    On a side note my Mom always said that if people had to pay cash for everything they bought half of the stores would be closed by the next month. If you think about how you can finance the above mentioned Snickers bar and make payments on it (as absurd as that sounds) it makes you wonder when people will live within their means, not any time soon as far as what I can see.

    Luckily as the cost of money increases failed products may be replaced by what people actually need if not exactly want. Think base model minivan and not an Escalade to haul the family around.

    • And this is how they system likes it. Easy credit encourages us to buy what we cannot afford, placing us in hock to the credit card companies & banks.

      $1000 cell phones
      $400,000 houses
      $50,000 cars

  22. Bureaucrats and corportists all attended the same schools and were taught (indoctrinated) the same BS. Both are interchangeable and utterly useless at the same time. Also both know nothing about basic economics or do not care and destroy everything thing they have control over. It’s often said that denim built this country and suit & ties have destroyed it.

    • ‘Bureaucrats and corporatists all attended the same schools and were taught (indoctrinated) the same BS.’ — Allen

      *sigh*

      I wish you wouldn’t talk about Hahhhhhvid that way. /sarc

  23. The entrepenurial era of the automakers died sometime in the 1960’s when Ralph Nader arrived to run them out of business. I don’t particularly care how many “advancements” occurred since the 1970’s. The real safety improvements were implemented because of government safety regulations, the bleatings of former car CEOs (both dead and alive) notwithstanding. In the past, they were trying to justify what had just happened to their industry. (think Henry Ford II)

  24. ‘What personal skin does she have in the game?’ — eric

    This is the quintessential question. Unlike Elon Musk, who owns a substantial minority chunk of Tesla (though not as much as he’d like), Barra’s GM stock options don’t amount to owning even a fraction of a percent of the company.

    Detroit’s entrepreneurial era was five generations ago. What’s left of the auto industry is a mature, low-growth business, run by hired-gun managers. The EeeVee aberration is a slow-motion liquidation of these tottering dinosaurs. Most won’t survive.

    While $28.6 million may sound like a lot to us hewers of wood and drawers of water, put yourself in Mary’s shoes. Really successful CEOs rake in hundreds of millions. Socially, Mary feels like a Cinderella who arrives at the Grosse Pointe yacht club’s cocktail party, rowing a rubber dinghy. It’s humiliating.

    But at her age, running a crap company that’s devoid of vision and hopelessly uncompetitive with its high labor costs, EeeVee Mary is stuck. The best thing she can do is run out the clock, hoping she can make her exit before the whole shitshow collapses onto its own footprint like the World Trade Center, in a foul gray cloud of toxic dust and burning batteries.

    A broom is drearily sweeping
    Up the broken pieces
    Of yesterday’s life
    Somewhere, a queen is weeping
    Somewhere a king has no wife
    And the wind, it cries
    “Mary”

    — Jimi Hendrix, The Wind Cries Mary

      • In an SEC filing last November that Mary Barra probably saw, Disney stated:

        “Generally, our revenues and profitability are adversely impacted when our entertainment offerings and products … do not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance.”

        Disney went on to note that “consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands.”

        Just change ‘entertainment’ to ‘EeeVees,’ Mary. Copy and paste into GM’s next SEC filing. DONE in 10 seconds! Everybody happy. 🙂

    • That problem runs throughout any Fortune 500 company. My former employer uses stock options as bonuses for all layers of management. One of my friends is counting the days (and soon hours) until he can exercise his options and move to a golf cart community in Florida. There’s no loyalty in owning the stock, but there’s also nothing he can do to move the needle on the price either. Company control is far too diluted to make a difference. Even if the CEO were to announce some grand new project, the announcement would likely spook the big institutional shareholders into selling (or just not buying). So instead of innovating and expanding (doesn’t help that marketshare is flat and/or shrinking), there’s just an annual pricing adjustment and some talk of reducing costs. And financial shenanigans like buy-backs and screwing with dividends.

    • Mary is a DIE hire. The average pay at GM is about 20-25 dollars per hour not counting medical and any bonuses. Some MacDs are paying that.

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