Bush bails out unions: Will Obama invest in the future?

Sports Utility Vehicles are trucks. They are heavier than cars. They exist under a different fuel economy standard because it is senseless to inflict the same gallons-per-mile criteria on a vehicle designed to carry heavy loads or cross rivers as a car used for transportation.

Senselessly, SUVs do not require a truck drivers license, leading people to use them as luxury vehicles, and making violations of the rules of the road much more likely to end in death.

Even though our current President chose bailing out unions and electric vehicles, startups, solar power, and building electric vehicles that would revolutionize logistics in the army, we get the same GM+UAW team that has hurt us so much.

Hopefully President-Elect Obama will be brave enough to stand up to ignorant and misguided environmentalists, and continue to support both ethanol, biodiesel, and other alternatives to gasoline.

While oil continues to be low, Barack Obama has the benefits of weakened states like Russia and the challenge of keeping the innovation going.

Let’s hope he is up to the job.

11 thoughts on “Bush bails out unions: Will Obama invest in the future?”

  1. When SUVs got popular, one of the big carrots was their alleged safety factor. There was a point where people almost accused you of child abuse if you carted your kids around in one of those “unsafe” sedans.

  2. sonofsamphm1c,

    I have heard the same.

    Part of it is false, as SUVs are much more likely to roll-over than bottom-heavy vehicles.

    Part of it is that SUVs themselves present a sort of bidding war in size, as vehicles that would be safer if they were not so outclassed become more dangerous in the presence of SUVs.

    Part of it is a lack of seriousness in how we enforce safety laws generally: if we were serious about preventing accidents between semis and cars (such as the one my wife experienced), we would use remote sensing technologies to make sure that semis (if not cars as well) are not speeding.

  3. If we cannot have the remote sensing technologies for semis, we can at least have the death penalty for semi-drivers whose speeding can be considered a contributing factor to a fatal crash.

    They are generally well-trained, having to go through a lengthy licensing process which is much more rigorous in most states than car drivers. They have no excuse for speeding except greed and arrogance. When they speed or drive poorly, they put far too many lives at risk to warrant just a ticket or even just a revocation of their license.

  4. I couldn’t find it, but some truck driver has a large number of cameras on his truck. He has a website with videos of the interesting things that have happened on the road – mostly him hitting things, road rage, etc. The videos have won at least one court case for him. All in all, it’s pretty disturbing.

    There is a great documentary about the history of Grand Central Station. In it they tell how Manhattan dealt with the switch from coal/wood burners. I think it’s the only way. Definitely not free market.

  5. “If we cannot have the remote sensing technologies for semis, we can at least have the death penalty for semi-drivers whose speeding can be considered a contributing factor to a fatal crash.”

    I repeat my wisecrack from the Ponzi thread: Why execute them when we can help criminal risk-takers get their fix by sending them to Iraq or Afghanistan?

  6. Thank you all for the thought-provoking comments!

    Michael,

    I repeat my wisecrack from the Ponzi thread: Why execute them when we can help criminal risk-takers get their fix by sending them to Iraq or Afghanistan?

    An ROTC cadet once mentioned to me that he would be strongly against a draft, as he wanted to be sure the men under him were volunteers, and not there against their will. “I do not want to command someone whose lack of interest in my profession gets me killed,” was I think the exact quote.

    On a meta-ethical level, I do not see what about soldiering for a republican government is a punishment. Should we force felons to serve as fire-fighters, or nurses?

    sonofsamphm1c,

    There is a great documentary about the history of Grand Central Station. In it they tell how Manhattan dealt with the switch from coal/wood burners. I think it’s the only way. Definitely not free market.

    Sounds fascinating! Do you remember what the name of the documentary was?

    Eddie,

    If we cannot have the remote sensing technologies for semis, we can at least have the death penalty for semi-drivers whose speeding can be considered a contributing factor to a fatal crash.

    They are generally well-trained, having to go through a lengthy licensing process which is much more rigorous in most states than car drivers. They have no excuse for speeding except greed and arrogance. When they speed or drive poorly, they put far too many lives at risk to warrant just a ticket or even just a revocation of their license.

    For many years, I have been impressed with the old Yugoslav model, which had prison sentences going up to 20 years and the death penalty for everything beyond that.

  7. The ROTC Cadet’s comment is quite valid: chronic risk-takers would need to be segregated into separate units to keep them from putting volunteers at risk.

    Meta-ethical dilemma: There’s another aspect of criminal justice you’re over looking. Spending the rest of one’s working years in highly dangerous occupations can be seen as a process of repaying one’s debt to society, with restrictions on one’s freedom over and above those endured by volunteers as a punishment (and necessary precaution) besides.

  8. Michael,

    The ROTC Cadet’s comment is quite valid: chronic risk-takers would need to be segregated into separate units to keep them from putting volunteers at risk.

    So they’ll only be indirectly responsible for loss of life of American and friendly forces?

    That is an improvement?

    I can’t help but think this is an idea from another generation. It may be great for a large-scale low-quality industrial army like we had in World War II… but what about current trends makes you think we are going back to that model?

    Meta-ethical dilemma: There’s another aspect of criminal justice you’re over looking. Spending the rest of one’s working years in highly dangerous occupations can be seen as a process of repaying one’s debt to society, with restrictions on one’s freedom over and above those endured by volunteers as a punishment (and necessary precaution) besides.

    Why not just skin them alive, and sell the organic material to medical clinics?

    This is a serious idea: given two absurd and intentionally cruel forms of punishment, how to choose between them?

    Bush has bailed out the UAW again [1], by the way.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/12/30/the-third-uaw-bailout-of-2008.html

  9. “So they’ll only be indirectly responsible for loss of life of American and friendly forces?”

    Depends on how well their tasks are chosen and their operations are kept separate from those of the volunteer forces.

    “I can’t help but think this is an idea from another generation. It may be great for a large-scale low-quality industrial army like we had in World War II… but what about current trends makes you think we are going back to that model?”

    How low-scale high-quality are the armies we’re trying to build over there in hopes of allowing ourselves to leave? How low-scale high-quality are the contractors who police our camps for trash and serve food in the mess halls? Heck, how low-scale high-quality are the enemies we’ve been fighting in those countries over the past few years? I fully agree that we need to expand our pool of high-quality recruits, but we also need to make the most of lower-quality recruits.

    “This is a serious idea: given two absurd and intentionally cruel forms of punishment, how to choose between them?”

    You’re a psych major: Can you think of a situation where the process of execution ISN’T cruel, either physically, psychologically or both? At least my idea is poetically just (asking a risk-taker to take his own risks), offers the remote possibility of survival and adds some modicum of dignity to the process.

    ‘Course, you COULD just give up the notion of executing Madoff and Co and settle for lengthy, non-luxurious prison terms . . .

  10. MIchael,

    Depends on how well their tasks are chosen and their operations are kept separate from those of the volunteer forces.

    Well, if your goal is to minimize the harm they can do, why not enslave them on cotton plantations?

    This is a serious question. I don’t see how any random absurd alternative is different from your plan.

    How low-scale high-quality are the armies we’re trying to build over there in hopes of allowing ourselves to leave? How low-scale high-quality are the contractors who police our camps for trash and serve food in the mess halls? Heck, how low-scale high-quality are the enemies we’ve been fighting in those countries over the past few years? I fully agree that we need to expand our pool of high-quality recruits, but we also need to make the most of lower-quality recruits.

    So your proposal is to garrison a colonial force that will settle in, reducing the need for local allies?

    As before, this is a serious question. I don’t see how any random absurd alternative is different from your plan.

    You’re a psych major: Can you think of a situation where the process of execution ISN’T cruel, either physically, psychologically or both?

    You’re a psych major..

    You didn’t answer my question. Please do so: given two absurd and intentionally cruel forms of punishment, how to choose between them?

    At least my idea is poetically just

    Why would anyone care?

    Likeise, why should we sacrifice other concerns (safety, success of our war effort, etc.) to its ends?

    offers the remote possibility of survival and adds some modicum of dignity to the process.

    Why not just give all inmaes on death roles knives, and send them to Anbar province?

    As before, this is a serious question. I don’t see how any random absurd alternative is different from your plan.

    ‘Course, you COULD just give up the notion of executing Madoff and Co and settle for lengthy, non-luxurious prison terms . . .

    Why?

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