Tuesday, June 3, 2008

GM Plant Closing Makes For Really Bad Talk Radio

Spiking gas prices killed Janesville's GM plant, where big SUV's and gas-guzzling light trucks were made.

The company chased the bigger, short-term profits available in $30,000 SUV's, with bigger engines, while foreign producers invested in smaller cars and hybrid engines.

None of this is news.

The plant, its employes and the community are now paying the price.

Yet, somehow, Charlie Sykes this morning has decided it's Herb Kohl's fault for voting against drilling for oil in the Arctic, where a relatively small amount of crude could be extracted that would flow to the world market.

Then he warned us against electing pro-litigation liberals in the fall.

And now he's going off against cap-and-trade carbon trading, and in favor of nuclear energy.

Free-associating by right-wing ideologues when the marketplace they worship bites back does not make for enlightening radio.


Anonymous said...

I don't think Charlie realizes how very close he is to self-parody. I just heard him rail against all of those people who think profits are evil. (Name just one, Charlie, pretty please.) And now he says we are looking at the most "anti-business" legislature ever. (Whatever that means.) And ... here it comes ... we will have "socialized" medicine in this country "in ten years." (Really, Charlie? And just who has proposed anything close to that?)

Listening to Charlie, you could be forgiven for thinking that WTMJ has hired Mr. Stephen Colbert. In fact, I think that is the best way to view all of WTMJ these days -- as entertainment. I wonder if -- no, when -- he will get around to blaming Bill Clinton for GM's decision to close its Janesville plant.

Jim Bouman said...

We all knew this was coming.

It will, of course, devastate thousands of families in Rock County.

The important thing is to value the disciplined and skilled manufacturing workforce in Janesville, make certain that it does not dissipate into thousands more workers competing for service economy jobs.

The world market for photovoltaic (electricity from sunlight) panels is practically endless. The manufacture of the big components of wind generation equipment is years behind the demand. The world will soon need a huge expansion of the production of railroad locomotives. These are the opportunities that will meet the needs of future generations and require the skilled manufacturing workforce.

And what are we in Wisconsin planning for? We are about to put a nearly $2 billion investment into an insane freeway re-building and expansion scheme in SE Wis.

We must begin to pressure our zombie of a governor, in thrall of the road-builders, to re-think the economic future of Wisconsin.

The money to rebuild the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and the Illinois line doesn't yet exist. Huge borrowings and fingers-crossed wishful thinking about federal support make up most of the road building budget.

If we are going to go in hock for something, let it be sensible production of the equipment and infrastructure of the 21st Century.