• Jun 8, 2009
The far right wing of the American political spectrum has begun channeling its displeasure over the federal government's involvement in the restructuring of General Motors into calls for a boycott of the company's products. Reportedly spearheaded by right wing pundits and radio show hosts, the boycott would be a response to the U.S. government taking a 60% stake in GM in exchange for forgiving most of the tens of billions of dollars loaned to the company over the last six months.
The original premise of loaning money to GM (and Chrysler) was certainly open to plenty of healthy debate. But the money was given and now the task has turned to how to best proceed in order for the automaker to recover and the U.S. Treasury to get the best return on its investment. In order for that treasury-held stock to ever regain its value, GM needs to sell vehicles and lots of them.

Therefore, a successful boycott of GM products could have the adverse effect of driving the company into liquidation. This would eliminate any hope of getting reimbursed for the tens of billions in loans that the government has given GM. All that taxpayer money may never be recovered anyway, but it makes sense to at least walk the path that has a chance of success. Fortunately for GM, such boycotts are rarely successful, as Ford learned when it easily weathered a boycott by the American Family Association over its marketing in gay-centric media outlets.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]


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  • 121 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Extreme right? Hardly. How about anyone not socialist. We are prepared to let GM fall, it should have fallen months ago. There should be no "too big to fail". Companies that succeed are quick to claim the credit for their own success. Companies that fail should also be considered to have fallen due to their own failure. We the people should not have to pay for other people's bad business decisions.

      Please do not buy GM.

      Support American UAW workers by buying American-made (not Mexican as one I had was) Fords. Also, support American non-UAW labor by buying American Honda, Toyota, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only a gang of idiots would deliberately undermine an investment they were forced to make in an effort to destroy any possibility/probability of seeing any return on that investment. Kind of defines the term "cutting off your nose to spite your face".
      • 5 Years Ago
      What radio talk show hosts have said this? I listen to all the top-tier hosts and not one of them has said anything about literally boycotting GM... I am so sick and tired of the phrase "reportedly" that is used by the media to suggest FACT... I hope others can see through the ruse!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hmmm... never heard of him. Kind of like saying... "my next door neighbor said we should boycott GM" and then posting it in the national news. Silly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read the linked article (source).

        In this case it is Hugh Hewitt, who is indeed a right wing talk show host and the quote is in there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? Actually, Rush was quoting a Rasmussen pole that stated 26% of Americans will boycott GM. He did not say HE would boycott. The argument lives on. Oh... I heard that Obama and Joe Biden reportedly said GM should be boycotted by the American public... Print that! ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Once again the haters on the Left show their intolerance for any ideas but their own, any leaders but their own. And shame on AB for descending into using hot button political labels in story headlines.

      I worked on the engineering side of the car business for nearly three decades and often reviewed vehicles from other companies. If, under government guidance, GM and Chrysler begin building mediocre cars it will be a huge improvement over what they have been building for the last three decades.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dave,

      I must admit I don't pay a terrible a lot of attention to most social conservatives (that includes Limbaugh), so perhaps I misspoke. What I do know is that the libertarian side of the Republican party definitely was against TARP.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have not read all the comments and won't bother.

      I WAS a GM loyalist for YEARS. Third generation, in fact. The only non GM vehicle my family ever owned didn't stay in the family fleet for 6 months because it was hated so much.

      That said, as long as the Federal Government is controlling GM, I will NEVER buy another GM Product. I am not far right. I am not right. I am not left. I am simply an American who believes in a minimalist government and firmly believes the government has over stepped their boundaries established by our Constitution.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I knew this was coming. The most loyal GM customers are the ones that hate this administration the most.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "A smart Democrat supports " is that anything like a " wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences" ???????
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm Democrat, even being a local party PCP, and am still a GM supporter. A smart Democrat supports companies that believes in middle class wages and building things state side.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I my admittedly hasty estimation, the economy has gotten worse since the government got involved...anyone disagree? Obama deficit spending is (4x) that of Bush’s entire 8 years, no matter what you think of the previous administration.

        Remember when they said we have to spend this money or the economy will fall apart. Well they did spend it and the economy is still falling apart. Like Regan said 2 decades ago. The Government is the problem. Now our treasury is empty and they want to print money, which will devalue the dollar even more.

        Mikhail Gorbachev (former Soviet Union leader) praises Obama's reform and economic policies. Remember Gorbachev had similar policies that led to the destruction of the Soviet Union...think people! Glad I'm living in the future country of Texas, which has the best economy in the nation. I'll get my passport so I'll be able to travel to other states. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Bloke: Why do you think they would have gone into Chapter 7? Chapter 11 occurs all of the time without the intervention of the government. And what is your view of the outcome? They are still in bankruptcy, as they were going to be before; they are liquidating assets, as they were going to before; they are downsizing workforces, as they were going to before. The only difference is, the US government wouldn't be illegally owning a portion of the companies in question, the market would have sorted out support. One of the reasons that the stock market has stayed depressed since the current admin. took office is because of the interventionism that causes the market to be unsure of the outcome of a business.

        And now where are we? Billions in the hole and continuing to grow - I'm sorry, but the results are the same either way for the company, but at least in my plan the taxpayer wasn't shelling out money without a say.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Sea Urchin: Wow, I'm impressed. A Sotomayor joke on AB. ;-).
        • 5 Years Ago
        yep.
        the government is destroying this brand. look at what the govt did to amtrack, postal service, etc.... they do not know how to run a business. they are so out of touch with the actual american public (wealthy campaign donors aside) that it's no wonder the people havent revolted yet. its unbelieveable.

        here's the change you can believe in that everyone want.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Zamafir: Yeah, its penske buying up Saturn ;-).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I imagine these are the same people who want the President and the country to fail. I believe the logic is, if they can't have their way, they hope everyone else fails, including the American economy. It doesn't seem very patriotic to me but whatever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This will have all the teeth, and relevance, of the boycott of Ford for not rejecting gays. Which is to say, not much.

        The far right can continue to wage its culture war and its jihad on anything that doesn't gratify them. Irrelevantly raging and screaming from the peanut gallery seems to be a good place for a group that's defined only by what it can't tolerate. Meanwhile, moderate Republicans like me and centrist Democrats like most of my friends can get on with the business of finding common ground accomplishing something.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What the government did to the postal service? Seriously? The government created the postal service, which used to be highly profitable. It is struggling these days as so much personal and business bulk mail has switched to email instead, depriving it of tons of revenue.

        The private sector GM brought itself to the brink of elimination through its own mismanagement. Nobody loves the idea of the gov. being forced to try to stabilize the situation, as the consequences of massive liquidation and job losses would completely devastate parts of the country, but the plan seems reasonable on the whole. The alternatives are amazingly bleak. Other than minor squawking, the Chrysler situation appears to be going very, very smoothly and according to the stated goals. Hopefully GM will follow suit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @the government is destroying this brand.



        GM destroyed themselves!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why bother with a government if you don't want it to actually govern in the country's best interests? Perhaps you should have just allowed the entire US car industry to simply disappear instead.

        There are many who blame the manufacturers for offering the wrong products at the wrong time. Many who blame the government for allowing "an unfair playing field" (what a joke that is, since many cars built in America are simply unsuitable in many other countries). But ultimately the US buying public can only blame itself - it wants to earn as much money as possible while spending as little money as possible, regardless of the quality of the product. No wonder the Koreans do so well from the US market with that kind of mentality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Flamespoke: sure I disagree -- not with your surface claims, but with your analysis of who's to blame.

        The economy toppled because it was left in a precarious state.

        Government spending increased because nothing was spent on the economy in previous years.

        Simple really.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So the other option was....? Anyone who thinks GM could have skillfully handled CH 11 by themselves? Or sourced the necessary capitol to continue to run their business by themselves? They couldn't. Which is why we are where we are. So our choices are Ch 7 or Ch 11 with government involvement. I don't care for GM, but i would rather not see them gone completely. Unless you all are aware of some super secret Masons backed third option kept out of the public eye for GM’s turnaround.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ""I imagine these are the same people who want the President and the country to fail""



        You have descended from mere "socialism" into truly hard-left "National Socialism."

        Obama is America and America is Obama!

        just like:

        Germany is the Fuhrer and the Fuhrer is Germany!

        Conservatives want America to succeed despite Obama, and want Obama to fail miserably in the slew of genuinely stupid ideas he has proposed.

        As for GM, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee that oversees the TARP funding, has apparently succeeded this week in convincing (strong-arming) GM to keep an assembly plant open in his district that was scheduled to be closed.

        This is going to work so well in getting GM back on its feet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is the same gov't that cannot even figure out how to work a gift card program for TV converter boxes. You expect them to handle something complex like a car company?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hypocrites .. right winger taking "collective" actions. Good grief.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just goes to show that far leaning liberals and conservatives are the bane of american society.

      Al'Queda be damned, it is the idological radicals that impinge more on our rights, freedoms and sense of security than any terrorist group. They might not individually do more damage per "attack" but there are many more of them and they attack more often. People in America frown upon Al'Jazeera for airing Osama Bin Laden's hate speeches, maybe it's time to look on our home shores to the pundits on FoxNews and MSNBC, giving these hate speech filled misogynists a 24/7 platform on which to advocate their hippie or secessionist ways.

      America is a democracy to be governed by the people, the majority, not to be bombarded, brainwashed and influenced by the FUNDAMENTALIST EXTREMISTS.

      When you come down to it, the Taliban, Al'Queda, Hamas, Left and Right wing extremists, they're all the same, trying to impress a set of ideal forcibly on a majority that actually thinks straight.

      I may not agree on the GM takeover, but I'm also not going to take a knee jerk reaction that does nothing but harm what we as a country are working towards. It would be nice to see some of these people actually become educated and learn the issue at hand completely before spewing opinions and numbers from a notecard of worst case scenarios and scare tactics.

      It's time for Americans to wake up and work together. Too much do I see people espewing the virtues of "I", what do I DESERVE, what do I WANT.

      You know what? Screw you. You do not deserve anything, you do not individually matter, you should not always try to further yourself at the expense of others, the spirit of the country was built on "WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America" and dammit, we've strayed too far from what America really is, people working together to create a "more perfect union".

      I did not enlist to defend a country of overdemanding individualists. I do this for America, not some individualist prick, but the country as a whole.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I LOVE the comment about how the government is ruining the GM brand!!! Ha! Ha!
      The company has been making crappy cars for 40 years and THAT is the main reason the company is up s**t's creek with no paddle. Couple that with the stupid pay that the employees get and one doesn't have to wonder why a smart car buyer would opt for a Camry, Corolla, Accord, Civic, BMW 3 series instead of the garbage that Detroit has been putting out for decades.

      No need to start a GM boycott now. I've been boycotting Detroit's products since the mid 60's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please import more cars from China so we can get the unemployment rate below 4%.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "What would have been extraordinary would be if the government, for once in the past 120ish years, didn't do anything at all. Just let it the market sort out the issues. Smaller banks with solvency would have bought up larger ones, GM would have gone bankrupt and liquidated assets to groups that were better equipped to make the divisions profitable, etc. "

      well, don't let facts get in the way of a good polemical rant. that was tried in the late 19th century. perhaps you'd like to look into robber-baron capitalism in more detail, and JP Morgan's frantic efforts to save the US financial system. the result of your suggestion was the creation of the federal reserve system because it was pretty conclusively demonstrated that financial markets don't self-regulate. as was demonstrated once again in this current crisis.

      also, in the modern world of international movements of capital across electronic networks in automated trading, the concept of letting banks solve it for themselves is phyisically impossible. financial networks are capable of such rapid movements that oversight is necessary in order to ensure that traders don't destroy capitalism through their own greed and stupidity.

      the notion that there were buyers for GM who had the ability to purchase assets and make them profitable is pretty silly. it's been noted that the auto industry as a whole has had an over capacity issue for some time. the units which have been sold off are unlikely to be profitable, as is GM.

      the idea that the money should have been spent on retraining is a nice one, but the american voting public is unwilling to accept the idea that their entire economy was unsustainable. they couldn't mentally handle the shift required, and frankly, obama isn't going to take the fall for 30 years of incompetent economic management at all levels of american society. GM exists as a stop gap. to survive as a visible comfort blanket for the average american while the transition occurs behind the scenes.

      it's not nice, but it was necessary. the US economy does need a massive stimulus to survive long enough to restructure. there is pretty broad agreement from economists on that note. the idea that it is a sound idea to just let things fail and let the free market sort out the mess ignores the consistently demonstrated reality that the free market is unable to do that. the banking system alone is so inter-dependent and complex that it was unable to survive the failure of lehman brothers after bears stearns. why would they have been able to solve another industry as well? an outside actor was needed to step into the market, assign winners and losers and force the system to resolve the core issues. that was also necessary at a macroeconomic level. you could try to claim that is socialism, but it would show that you don't really know what the term means, nor do you understand most of the current economic situation.

      "It is just very sad that our country feels a need to rely on career politicians to make decisions for us when they have never been US. This is the exact reason why the Federal Government, per our Constitution, was never supposed to be this powerful - there is not say. Only at the state and local level can your voice be heard, and our founding fathers knew that, when it was only 13 states."

      political solutions acceptable in 1776 are not necessarily suitable in 2009. you also fought a war over states rights and the federal government's role if you recall. the federal government won. you also had an economic crisis when government did nothing and "let the market sort itself out". it was called the great depression. it was concluded that you do need government intervention to prevent those situations occurring again. unless you think that that level of economic hardship and misery is a good thing? perhaps you should try it for yourself?...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read a book called 'The Creature from Jekyll Island' by G. Edward Griffin. Might change your life. Maybe even show you how the banks and politicians caused all of these booms and busts. But wouldn't want common sense to derail your rant against a political rant now would we?
        • 5 Years Ago
        TLDNR
        • 5 Years Ago
        Asuka,

        I highly suggest you take a second crack at it. It's a little dry but it really opens your eyes to what's going on around you. I've loaned it out to about 10 people and they all say that book should be read by everyone. They had no clue that's how it all worked. But that's the whole point of the system, to go along under the radar whilst everything is being blamed for the very workings of that system.
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