Monday, February 6, 2012

Would Clint Eastwood Bail Out Super Bowl Losers, Too?

Bad Product = Low Sales

Did Not Receive A Half Time Bail Out

A Chrysler Super Bowl commerial featuring Clint Eastwood asserts that it is "halftime in America" and that firms like Italian-owned Chrysler are leading an industrial resurgence in the USA.  According to Eastwood:

"Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us. This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines."

Oddly, Eastwood did not mention that American consumers delivered a knock-out blow to Chrysler, because of the poor products the company offered, like the Dodge Dakota pictured above.   Simply put, Americans preferred cars made by Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda, for instance.  (See this article in Forbes, which includes the Dakota and other Chrylser products among "the worst cars on the road.")  Then, American taxpayers bailed the company out, to the tune of $1.3 Billion, according to the Department of the Treasury.  (This does not include another $12 Billion in low-interest loans that the company received.)  During the same period, of course, 400,000 other businesses failed and received no such corporate welfare.  It's much easier to "get right back up again" after someone writes you a check for $1.6 Billion.

By contrast, when the New England Patriots underperformed last evening they lost.   There was no half time bailout for Tom Brady et al.  (Nominally, the Patriots were leading, but they were obviously struggling.)  That's the way competition is supposed to work in a free society.   Eastwood should know better.