Once again, it's time to say thanks to the Entrecard members who have made it over here the most in the past month.
Running a blog is, well, pointless without traffic, isn't it? Entrecard has provided a steady stream of traffic to all the blogs in which I'm involved (this one, the legendary The Natural State Hawg and Straight Shooting Real Estate).
Before listing the top 10 Entrecard droppers for March, I feel compelled to plug my latest blog, Straight Shooting Real Estate. Actually, that was the blog I originally started, but I let it go for awhile. I decided to revamp the thing and start putting content over their again. If you've got a minute, please have a look.
Having made the requisite, self-serving comments that no one gives a damn about, here are the top Entrecard droppers for March:
1. New Dilemma
2. The Way I See It
4. The Natural State Hawg (not entirely fair to list this one, I know)
5. Computer Help and Advice
7. Free Callers Blog
8. Secondary Roads
9. Epicurean Health
More shameless self promotion
Yes, I'm on a mission to get some more reciprocal links. Want to swap links with a blog with a PR3 blog and an Alexa ranking near 90,000? Leave a comment on this post at The Natural State Hawg and let's swap.
What's the point of all this? A higher page rank and Alexa ranking, of course! And, naturally, your stats will go up, too, with a swap.
Folks, this place is starting to look a bit like a ghost town.
In the past week, the only things posted here at the All Arkie Army have been a couple of YouTube videos.
Yes, it's my own fault for not being more active. I've got the cure for that, kids -- a good, old fashioned rant.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that the federal government has effectively taken over Chrysler and General Motors.
President Barack Obama insisted the government has no interest in running the auto industry. Of course, at the same time, he announced that GM CEO Rick Wagoner had been forced out of office by the government, that GM has 60 days to get its act together or receive no more federal funding and that Chrysler had damn well better work out a merger with Fiat in 30 days or else.
Ford, of course, was left out of the discussions. That company wisely refused government cash and the interference that comes with it. Yes, the feds often dangle cash around to try to force themselves in areas where they don't belong -- just ask Chrysler, GM and Wagoner.
Think back to when the federal government decided the drinking age across the nation should be raised to 21-years-old from 18-years-old. Of course, establishing the drinking age is something left up to the states.
Ah, but the feds went ahead and dangled that cash again. "You either raise that drinking age or we'll cut off your federal highway funds."
Most of the states complied. Louisiana refused and had to put up with a rotten highway system until the state complied.
But, back to Chrysler and GM. Those companies went out and begged for federal dollars to save their companies from ruin and they damn well deserve the consequences that always come with federal help. Screw them.
Screw their boards of directors and executive officers who were stupid enough to keep producing and marketing SUVs when gas was about $3 a gallon. Companies that lack the foresight to adapt to changing marketing conditions deserve to fail. Screw the UAW, too, which has made labor so expensive that Japanese car companies with American factories pay their workers about half as much in wages and benefits as their "Big 3" counterparts and turn out a superior product, to boot.
What we're left with are a couple of government-run auto manufacturers that make overpriced junk, have management teams that couldn't pick up on market trends if they were run down in the street with them and are in no position to compete with far superior vehicles manufactured by other companies.
Frankly, I'd buy a damned Peugot before I purchased a Chevrolet and let it rust in my driveway. I'll stick with my Toyotas, thank you, but one can't help but wonder when the feds will used the time-honored, dirty trick of protectionism to strong arm us into buying American vehicles. Things will be heading that way, just hide and watch.
Why? Because GM and Chrysler simply won't be able to compete with companies that produce superior, more affordable vehicles. Yes, B.O. and his lads are going on about forcing GM and Chrysler to produce more fuel efficient vehicles and other things that their international competition has been doing for years. Uh, we're behind the curve on that count, so what makes anyone think we'll surpass the competition?
You'll still have management that believes thinking ahead means figuring out what to have for lunch, labor unions that howl about salary negotiations and have resisted more efficient manufacturing techniques (because they put people out of work) and government interference at a level that is almost unimaginable. In a free market economy, companies like Chrysler and GM fold because of their inability to compete (and, truth be told, one or both of those companies should be out of business).
Ah, but we're not operating in a free market, are we? No, the simple notion of letting consumers decide how to spend their money will be regarded as something that's not in the best interest of the country. That's where protectionism comes in -- if you can't compete, then protect your market from competitors.
The government, in the 1970s, wasn't a bit shy about using protectionism to shield American industries. Just study up on how the feds harassed Volkswagen because the Big Three couldn't come up with an answer to the Beetle (apparently, the technology that gave birth to a car that was designed in Germany while Adolph Hitler was still in charge was baffling to our auto industries).
At the end of the day, we'll lose our ability to choose how to spend our dollar without government interference when (and if) the government rediscovers the joys of protecting industries that don't deserve it. I'd argue that consumers -- free of government meddling -- should be able to purchase a Chevrolet, a Chrysler, a Toyota, a Kia or whatever vehicle they believe fits their needs. The loss of that freedom to choose will be pitiful, but we'll be told it's in the best interest of the nation.
These days, that's about all the government has to say and people will believe it almost every time. That's been true for at least 20 years.
Here's "Bankrobber," one of the best from the mighty, mighty Clash.