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Commentary Last Updated: Nov 13th, 2007 - 10:02:37

GM and US military post record losses
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Nov 13, 2007, 00:20

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When I was a boy riding next to my dad in his 1946 Buick Roadmaster, he�d pat the steering wheel with confidence and say, �As GM goes, Jerry, so goes America.� He�d then explain to me how General Motors was the manufacturing mirror that reflected the strength and growth potential of America. That mystique of GM magic was forever formed in my psyche, especially since my formal name, Gerald Mazza, bore the same initials. Wow!

Ironic that the New York Times tells me that goliath GM has posted its biggest quarterly loss ever. That loss, $39 billion, was after the company took a whopping non-cash charge to write down deferred tax credits. GM shares tumbled almost 5 percent to $34.50 before the NYSE opened last Wednesday. GMAC Financial Services also took a deep dip. GMAC�s lending business lost $1.6 billion this quarter due to trouble in the mortgage and credit markets, that old subprime story creeping up again. So car sales that are down about 3 percent in the US this year are expected to slide further in 2008. Sorry, Pop. I know how much you thought of these guys.

But then Chrysler, which is privately owned, won�t even report their losses, gearing up to slice 11,000 more hourly and salaried jobs, owing in part to the gloomy forecast for auto sales. Yet, I wonder if there are any plans to cut management�s salaries, bonuses, stock options and perks at Chrysler or GM? It would seem neither set of managers can get the formula right for winning American dollars. Yet it seems nobody is loosing pensions or medical care at that end of the corporate spectrum.

Global is good?

Interestingly, globally, GM�s automotive operations earned $122 million, with total revenue a record $43.1 billion. Sales of cars and trucks increased 4 percent worldwide in the third quarter, to a record 2.39 million vehicles. In the first nine months, GM racked up 7.05 million vehicle sales. So now can it go neck to neck with Toyota to call itself the world�s largest automaker, which Toyota called itself in the first half of 2007? Wow, what�s in a slogan?

So it seems those foreign plants, with people working on the cheap, no benefits, are producing smaller, more fuel-efficient cars as well, and turning the trick abroad? But why can�t we get it right here? Is it all the fault of the guys on the line and their dentists? I look at GM�s towers in the Detroit sky and say, wow, feeling like a kid again. But what�s happened to the US brain trusts behind the glory of those towers? Is it all about driving more jobs offshore? Did we win the World War for democracy to lose the battle for auto sales and jobs at home?

In fact, is our economy being looted by imports? Is it like illegal aliens crossing the border for a day�s work on the cheap and some smiling corporate bigwig ready to yank them aboard, pay no Social Security tax, benefits, etcetera, and send them to the ER when they get sick? Has money made us traitors to our fellow citizens? I mean my grandparents came here on the banana boat from Naples, but they waited their turn to set out. They didn�t jump the line to stateside.

Also, and ironically, it was imported gloves after the war, from Italy and Japan via the war-guilt express that put my father�s American glove business out of business. Yet he never left the Republican cause, because he believed in conservatism. He would always stress that part of the word to me, conserrrrve, save. preserve, don�t waste. Hell of a guy, even for a Republican entrepreneur with a ninth-grade education. And what would he think of his lefty son repeating his words, putting him on a pedestal at last?

Analogously, the very same people most likely to be cut from the auto and other manufacturing jobs are those buying everyday in the China-Mart stores. What�s wrong with this picture? We�ve lost our jobs. We�re losing our healthcare, retirement plans. We�re losing our country but gaining a global economy. Isn�t this the Bilderbergers', the elites,� wet dream and the working man�s and middle-class's nightmare?

And speaking of statistics and globalist nightmares, what about the NY Times saying 2007 Is Deadliest Year for US Troops in Iraq? Are we on the losing end again, racking up 852 deaths this deadliest of years, and it�s only November. I mean, who is directing this movie? And who put us in this war buggy, supposedly because someone had weapons of mass destruction and was about to use them and it turns out somebody was lying, there were no WMD, and now VP Dick Cheney has been offered up for Impeachment by Representative Dennis Kucinich. Cheney was the liar, the US VP. And now we�re creeping over 3,800 dead American soldiers and one million dead Iraqi civilians. How do you sleep at night, Dick? Really? How do we sleep, having followed him?

This is not the same as losing share of market. This is losing share of human beings, whether they�re innocent Iraqis or tough young American fighting men and women, fathers and mothers� sons and daughters. This is a matter of breaking families� hearts. Why can�t we get it right and send the troops home today, like now. Yo, let�s go! Out! How pissed off would my old man be if he heard this. He couldn�t blame it on the Democrats like he used to because the Republicans are in power, and have been for seven years.

Let�s turn it around

So, whether it is cars or the human beings who can potentially be driving them, not being blown up by them, we gotta get this country on track again. Mom and Pop, sis and bro, uncles, aunts, we gotta get out there and vote and have honest elections, and pick the right man, stop the loss of blood and dollars, honor, ethics and glory. Let�s start with electing Kucinich as the Democratic candidate for president. And then let�s vote him in as same. He�s got guts. He tells the truth. He can speak the English Language like a pro and not stumble on nuclear. He knows Iran is another Iraq. He sees right through Cheney�s lies.

And don�t give me the name recognition baloney, you pollsters. After today, Kucinich will be a household word, the guy that held Cheney�s feet to the fire, the guy that put Impeachment back on the table, while speaker Pelosi was freshening her lipstick.

Take control, America. Take the power back from these multi-national global thugs. This is your country. Your sweat and blood and tears and labor made it great. Don�t let a bunch of high-priced suits, stuffing their pockets with campaign funds take it away from you. Get out there. Raise a voice, sign a petition. Tell GM to get its act together, although I think the sales reports already told them. Build cars to win the war on global warming. Build cars that don�t suck up gas (so Exxon Mobile can rack up another $39.5 billion in record fleeced dollars this year like in 2006). You�ll see how many you'll sell then, GM, when you do the right thing.

Talk back to power, folks. It�s your country. A seven or eight figure income doesn�t give anyone the power to turn America upside down, which is what�s happened, whether to GM or the USM. And especially, let�s not have our GI�s back home walking the streets homeless. Let�s not leave any of those guys, those kids in the cold. Let�s put the war money to work to win the right appropriations. For people. Seniors. Kids. Families. Jobs. Honesty. Fairness. Truth. Beauty. The frigging American Dream. We can make it mean something again. Just do it. Jump to the hoop and dunk it in the future�s net.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at

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