Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Toyota Show Trial
Especially when it finds itself in real trouble (such as a recession it cannot deficit-spend its way out of), it seems that governments love nothing better than a good show trial. Toyota is a case in point. For no actual purpose than I can discern, the CEOs of Toyota have been called to Washington, D.C. to talk to a bunch of people who know nothing about much of anything at all -- especially the automobile industry -- to explain what happened (to a bunch of people who don't actually care what happened, but only want to look like they care and are doing something). Quite frankly, those in Washington couldn't be happier that this happened with Toyota because it allows them to distract everyone from the fact that they have done nothing at all to improve economic conditions (which of course is true, because no government can do anything to improve economic conditions, but can only do things to harm them -- short of building roads, that is). But while this is typical behavior, there is another backdrop that should concern us, and that is the fact that the U.S. government also happens to own to of Toyota's competitors -- GM and Chrysler. Might there be some ulterior motive for those who own two car companies AND regulate the industry to come down hard on their competitors?