Friday, September 16, 2011

Ford ad slams bailouts

    This ad has apparently been out for a few months, but Ford has managed to strike a responsive chord with many Americans. The ad was mentioned in a recent "Washington Whispers" in U.S. News and World Report.
    The series of ads brings Ford owners into a surprise "press conference" to ask them to state spontaneously why they bought a Ford. "Chris" said he bought his Ford because he wanted to buy American and didn't want to do business with a company that had been bailed out by the federal government.
    Everyone seems to think that if GM and Chrysler had been allowed to go under all of their employees would have simply lost their jobs. Not so. There would have been a demand for cars and someone would have stepped in to provide them. Some of the job might have moved -- to places like Mississippi -- but people wouldn't have stopped buying cars and there would have still been jobs making them.
    The American taxpayers are going to lose about $14 billion on the car bailout, most of which went to GM. But in addition the bankruptcy code was abused horribly to put the lavish union pensions and benefits that caused the problem in the first place in front of secured bondholders, cheating them out of more than $20 billion. So essentially GM got more than $30 billion in free money at the expense of taxpayers and people saving for retirement. Ford did not receive a single dime.
    I hear people say almost on a weekly basis that they will never buy a car from Government Motors. Folks are still angry about this scam, and Ford is wise to tap this well of discontent.
    Personally I'd rather buy a Toyota or Nissan. They're made by Mississippians for Mississippians. But in any event Ford has managed to build up a lot of good will from the American public the old-fashioned way: by being honest, self-sufficient American corporate citizens. I salute them.

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