Toyota, Obama, the UAW and Recallgate

9:18:00 AM

The general media has been all over the Toyota "scandal" as it is being called, simply because the company was happy that it had negotiated with the Government about regulations and recalls. What I find most interesting is that no one is screaming about the Government's involvement in allowing the requirements to be delayed and the recalls to be relabeled. These political hacks are all trying to make a name for themselves by being the one to "nail" the big bad automaker. These are the same people that aided in the assent of Toyota by offering massive incentives on Toyota (and others) Hybrids, by buying thousands of Prius Hybrids for Government use and encouraging State and Local Governments to do the same. New York City Alone has over 2,300 Prius Hybrids in the fleet, Cities like Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and many more have all gone "green" as per the Global Warming preachers requests. So why all of the change in Toyota Love? Toyota has been directly creating jobs here in the U.S. for the last 26 years, when you factor in dealerships, suppliers, and Toyota factories they employ over 197,000 people in the USA. But here is where the catch is... they are not Union...

For for much of the 2000's the United Auto Workers (UAW) have been getting little support from the Government as Toyota was creating jobs and the big three were laying off people. But with the election of President Obama the UAW found a sympathetic ear and once GM was "bailed out" (purchased), by the US Government it seemed to seal Toyota's fate. The Examiner's Michael Barone called the actions being taken by the Obama Administrations "gangster government" when the White House threatened Chrysler creditors last spring, who had the temerity to insist that bankruptcy laws be followed during the "bailout". When Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that "we're not finished with Toyota" in regards to the probe about their recalls, the comment came across as a directive. Add into the fray Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif, former National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Administrator Joan Claybrook, and countless others all fighting to be the next Ralph Nader, the media is getting force fed big numbers and "shocking revelations", like the company was happy that it had negotiated with the Government to result in a major cost savings. The assumption is that the Government regulations are automatically a good thing and that Toyota resisting, questioning, or working with the Government to delay or change the regulations is bad.

During the bailout the Obama Administration bent over backwards to take care of the UAW, protecting those "good jobs" was a key part of the bailout and restructuring of GM and Chrysler, it now seems that the only major manufacturer not to kiss the ring of the UAW is being persecuted by the new owners of their competitors. The conflict of interest seems clear. Since the bailout GM had to recall over 1.5 Million vehicles for a slight issue that could cause the engines on many of their popular models to burst into flames, where is the government investigation? From 1990-2010 GM has had to issue recalls for 3,326 different defects across its product lines, while Toyota has issued just 705 including their Lexus and Scion Brands according to MyCarStats.com. Who really has a quality issue?

The press and government inquiries have been working, Toyota sales are down 16% while GM sales have risen 14%, if they can keep the media and American people interested long enough odds are that Toyota's sales will keep falling. I suppose that the only jobs worth "creating or saving" are Union jobs that in turn result in big checks being written to political parties and candidates....

by Michael Satterfield

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