Monday, March 30, 2009

The Volkswagen GM Connection

The news initially reported yesterday, that the CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, intended to step down effective immediately. Within minutes, the Drudge Report was carrying a banner that declared that Wagoner had been forced to resign from his position as GM CEO by President Obama.

Secret talks on the eve of the pending presentation by the president today, of the federal government's intentions and plans as it concerns the American auto makers and further bailout loans, appeared to have sparked Obama's demand that Wagoner step down from GM immediately. And apparently, as the new chief stake holder in the company, the American government carries the clout to make boardroom decisions concerning both policy and management of the company.

I remember thinking at the time that I was reading all this yesterday, "am I one of the few that finds this bizarre?" Certainly this is not the first time that an American president has interjected himself into the affairs of mega business in this country. Teddy Roosevelt was the first to do that with his supposed square deal of busting monopolies and his support for labor unions in the early 1900's. And I dare say that if this was the direction and intent of our current president? And the circumstances were similar? Then the people might very well embrace this man and give him free rein to implement a more progressive and balance agenda of handling the present economic crisis. But this is not 1901 and Barack Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt.

What is being proposed now and what I am seeing put forth by this administration, is very reminicent to me of another part of the early twentieth century. That part where a newly elected leader of a nation stepped up and took control of national companies and steered them in the fashion that "he" saw fit.

"Adolf Hitler had a keen interest in cars even though he did not like to drive. In 1933, shortly after taking over as leader of Germany, he teamed up with Ferdinand Porsche to make changes to his original 1931 design to make it more suited for the working man, thus founding volkswagen. Hans Ledwinka discussed his ideas with Ferdinand Porsche, who used many Tatra design features in the 1938 "KdF-Wagen", later known as the VW Käfer—or Volkswagen Beetle. On 22 June 1934, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche agreed to create the "People's Car" for Hitler."


Personally, I believe it is a fair question to ask: Is there a Dr. Ferdinand Porsche in the wings of the Obama administration? Because the similarities between national socialist Germany of the 1930's and post modern America of the present are striking to me.

I believe that "The People's Car" is already on the federal government's drawing board and has been since the moment that Barack Obama won election.

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