American Elephants


Climate Change is Dead. Fiat Expands Chrysler SUV Production to Italy. by The Elephant's Child
December 3, 2010, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Europe | Tags: , ,

Auto sales are this year are already ahead of  last year. Light trucks have outsold passenger cars in November, capturing 53.5  percent of the market, while hybrid cars have declined from 2.8 percent of the market to 2.4 percent of the market, in spite of ObamaMedia’s claims that the hybrid world is here. Americans have renewed their love affair with SUVs.

President Green’s handpicked CEO for Chrysler— Sergio Marchionne — who was to educate Americans on the wonders of very compact cars — will now build Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs in Italy to feed the European truck market.  Chrysler’s Detroit plant will start building Maserati SUVs on the Jeep platform. The Jeep Grand Cherokee plant is running 24/7 turning out SUVs on which the company actually makes money.

This is the company to which Obama gave 20 percent of Chrysler— for free — in return for building one 40-mpg teeny car, the Fiat 500, here in the states.  He will use U.S. ‘platforms’ and make as many as 280,000 vehicles a year at the Italian plant.  New Jeep and Alfa models will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.



He Took Over Health Care, Energy, Transportation, Housing, Finance, and Now the Nation’s Food Supply. by The Elephant's Child

Power grab. More regulatory control over the nation’s food supply in all its complexity.  New and sweeping powers to wreak havoc on small farmers. Dangerously broad, one-size-fits-all regulation that includes no checks and balances.

The U.S. Senate passed Tuesday what is called a food-safety modernization bill, S-510, which grants the Food and Drug Administration extensive new powers to recall tainted foods, increase inspections, demand accountability from food companies and oversee farming transportation and storage. The new powers would overlap the jurisdictions of the Dept. of Agriculture and other agencies that oversee food safety.

In 2006, there were 51.2 cases of confirmed food-induced bacterial contamination per 100,000 people.  By 2009 the rate had fallen to 34.8 cases per 100,000 people — 1/3 fewer. It is worth pointing out that food producers care very deeply about keeping their food free of contamination, for a case that makes people sick can destroy their business.  The bill imposes hundreds of millions of dollars of expenses on the private sector, taxpayers would have to shell out an additional $1.4 billion from 2011-2015 to pay for the FDA to do all this new regulation.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates about 25¢ out of every dollar spent in the economy. Unsurprisingly, it does nothing well.  Small farms and local and organic food outfits don’t have the profit margins to comply with the new burdens imposed by all this bureaucratic nonsense.  The House version applied even to farmers markets and roadside stands.  Big Agribusiness has leveraged government to shackle their smaller competitors.

Democrats will look at this bill and see their goals of a safer food supply.  Republicans will see the results — a bloated department forcing many small companies out of business, lots more regulation that may not do anything to improve food safety, overlapping jurisdictions with other government agencies, and no cost-benefit.  But lots more discretionary control and more unnecessary enforcement.



Here’s How it Works Out in the Real World! by The Elephant's Child
December 3, 2010, 11:03 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Taxes | Tags: , ,

U.S. employment barely grew in November, and the jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a seven-month high.  The jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent.  Nonfarm payrolls rose by only 39,000 the Labor Department said today.  Economists had expected payrolls to  increase by 140,000 last month and the unemployment rate to be unchanged.

The experience of small businesses like these folks is being replicated across the country.  Departments of the Obama Administration are continuing to issue regulations — increasing government control of the economy — yet the regulators can’t figure out why the private sector is not creating more jobs.  It’s simply a mystery.




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