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mbumby
Too much responsibility 
22nd-Aug-2008 07:52 pm
car
I've always been "the responsible one" -- If I don't do it, who will?

But I've now been introduced to the next level, a place where even I have never gone before.

The other day I was parked in Royal Oak (in a residential area -- not Detroit, but not too far) and when I got back to my car there was a sign on it:

Thanks for buying American
You traitor
You caused this Recession
I hope the next job lost will be yours

I thought about it a little, and maybe it really is all my fault... If my last car had been the domestic I'd really wanted (before two (Ford) dealerships convinced me otherwise), I seriously doubt that I would have gone 15 years between cars. I expect I would have had to put more money into it keeping it on the road. And I certainly would have spent more money on fuel.

Then I thought of John Galt.
Comments 
23rd-Aug-2008 12:08 am (UTC)
There's a reason I don't ever want to be anywhere near Detroit, and that note exemplifies it.
23rd-Aug-2008 01:14 am (UTC)
I've been all over Detroit with foreign cars, and have never had anything like that happen. So it isn't actually common.
23rd-Aug-2008 12:13 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that happened in my town.

The idjit who left that sign on your car is obviously unaware of how many "American" cars are built outside the country -- and for the cars that are assembled here, how many parts are shipped in from other countries. And how many "foreign" cars are built right here in the U.S.
23rd-Aug-2008 04:27 am (UTC)
I was about to say exactly that. There's really no such thing as an "American" or "foreign" car any more, the way the manufacturing and assembly processes are jumbled around.

But people who are in trouble have been taught to look for a quick scapegoat to blame -- any obvious scapegoat, whether it's the right one or not -- and that's a much deeper problem than economic issues, and one which will take longer to undo.
25th-Aug-2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
Yep. My last Toy ... well, it was built in Canada, but the one I test drove was California. At that time, I was hearing about a lot of the Fords being built in Mexico.

But for this car -- it IS from Japan, so I can't even stand on a righteous technicality...
23rd-Aug-2008 01:06 am (UTC)
absolute bullshit.

Said moron probably printed the card on a printer built in china with toner from some other country on a PC built everywhere but the US.

What about the lovely union whose work rules made sure that the car cost a bunch extra to make. What about the crowd of "employees" sitting around on the GM factory floor doing nothing all day.

But then it is always easier to blame someone else for your own problems.

Like I am going to have loyalty for some "US" car manufacturer when that same company is working like hell to move my job to India. I have to compete with the world, too bad that moron can't.
23rd-Aug-2008 01:57 am (UTC)
and what about the f-ed up greedy corrupted health care system (where americans pay more for drugs than any other country, and the gov't makes sure we don't run to canada for a discount), which builds $1500+ of health care employee costs into each car?

corporate greedx and government corruption, hand-in-hand, bringing this country to its knees while they hold their hands over their hearts and wave the flag.
25th-Aug-2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
You're probably right about the printer... but they'll never notice the irony.

(I'd have twitched a lot less at the attention if my car hadn't been assaulted 3 times already.)
23rd-Aug-2008 01:38 am (UTC)
Yikes. That's some pretty heavy-duty crap to lay on a car owner. The note-writer might be better off to go straight to Washington DC and discuss the issues with W.

Still, I'm with Maia -- sorry that happened, sweetie. Don't take it personally.
25th-Aug-2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

I'm actually torn between feeling that I _know_ the twit is wrong, and ...

Well, honestly, worrying for my safety. It's not occupying my every waking minute (not even most of them), but it's an added level of ... awareness I've not had since I learned a bunch of words for female body parts while in 6th grade and walking past a construction site.
23rd-Aug-2008 01:54 am (UTC)
what caused this recession is the devaluation of the dollar (caused by the fed just printed more and more dollars to pay for a stupid war) and the consumer culture that lives beyond its means.
it ford and GM would start making cars that people wanted, they wouldn't be in jeopardy. toyota has been kicking their butts for a long time in quality and economy.

my great aunt did not like the fact that my last 4 cars were foreign, but, like you and many others, i can't afford to drive an american car- they break down too often and they get lousy mileage. they make them to break down so you have to come buy parts, then they buy up the junkyards so you can't buy the parts used.

when i screw up, do i get to blame someone else? no, and neither does Ford. or GM. when you act like that, eventually, your customers just leave. it is their own fault.
ridiculous.
23rd-Aug-2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Do they really break down more often? I've talked to plenty of Toyota, Honda, etc owners who have cars that have been in the shop WAY more than any of the Fords I've owned.
US manufacturers have had serious problems in the past, both with horrible design and lousy QC, but I think they build a pretty damn good car these days.
25th-Aug-2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
I think the lines are starting to cross ... Domestics are being a bit more reliable, and will certainly go more miles before they're scrap than they used to, and the Imports seem to be getting a touch sloppier.

But back in '93 my friend with access to Ford warrantee-work data pointed out that I'd made the right choice, and the first n-thousand-mile work done on the (average) Corolla was ... as I recall about half of that done on the (average) Escort-GT.

My 15-year-old was in the shop a bit during the months before she was totaled -- mostly things were just getting old. I think the worst maintenance-thing that ever happened to that car was when I needed to (pay someone else to) replace an axle. But most of the issues were not those that would make the car unsafe (or impossible) to drive.

Other that those, I had it in the shop every 60K so they could replace the timing belt.

But regarding mileage, I think the Focus I drove was saying something like 32 Highway (and I'm not sure they'd adopted the new rules yet) -- and I looked at 2 different years of Corolla, and the Yaris, and the numbers were different on all of them, but I think the one I got claims 35 or 36. And I _have_ gotten over 40 once. There were no new Saturns that even claimed 30 on the highway.
25th-Aug-2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Back in '93 I was IN LUST with the Escort GT (in Cayman Green) -- and a friend who worked for Ford told me it really was better than the Escort Vanilla. He could have gotten me a few thousand dollar discount (otherwise, the E-GT and the Corolla I bought were similarly priced) but 2 different Ford dealerships convinced me not to buy the Ford. The first one got me so angry that I went to test-drive some cars I didn't expect to buy (including the Toy), and the 2nd one I went to (because I'm STUBBORN and I WAS going to buy that car... just not from the first guys) really didn't impress me at all. And honestly, the _car_ didn't impress me much either. They did stupid things in small-but-important places (like the radio)
23rd-Aug-2008 01:59 am (UTC)
oh and if you want to turn it around and forgive the person, realize that anyone who wrote such a thing probably got laid off and they're scared and freaking out and angry, so they need someone to blame and you happened to park nearby.
most people who do unacceptable things, when you look under the surface are just frightened.
25th-Aug-2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah... and they _could_ have done a lot worse. Like the person/people who keyed my car _could_ have scratched bad words in -- or damaged my tires, or ... well, I have enough imagination...

And while I might understand, or feel sorry for them... I'm really not good at forgiving... unless forgiveness is requested. (And sometimes not even then.)
23rd-Aug-2008 02:01 am (UTC)
Personally I can't wait until the remainder of the U.S. auto industry collapses. Then perhaps we won't allow dinosaur-manufacturing jobs in Detroit to skew our fuel economy policies.
23rd-Aug-2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
Geez, I thought we left those kinds of thoughts back in the '80s. I remember visiting the Detroit area then and after looking at the bumper sticker on the Ford next to me, I got back in my Subaru and moving it to a different spot.

As others have pointed out, the badge on the car doesn't have a thing to do with where it's built. I had a Mazda that was built in Flat Rock MI by UAW workers.
25th-Aug-2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I knew that. (My first new Toy was built in Canada, but the one I test drove was from California. And at the same time, as I understand it, Ford was sending a lot of work to Mexico.)
23rd-Aug-2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Someone said that to someone within my range of hearing, a decade or so ago. I intervened and asked, "Why is it better that I'm driving a Kia with a Ford imprint? Where was your car built?" It turns out he owned a Mexican Chevrolet. Oops.

If they built a car in America that I want to buy, I'll buy it. Even Toyota is only building luxury cars here.
25th-Aug-2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
I considered American brands. I drove the Focus. I looked at the Saturns (but the only cars on the lot that even got 30 on the highway were the used ones, and they barely got 30). I've lost touch with where cars are built these days -- I hadn't done a lot of research as I'd not really been planning on replacing my car any time soon. Back in '93 though, there were 3 places the Corolla (which I wouldn't consider luxury) was built, and 2 of them were in North America.
23rd-Aug-2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
They'd be far more effective posting that note on every car in a Wal*Mart parking lot than on the windshields of "foreign" cars, which are barely less likely than "US" cars to be assembled in the US. Wal*mart is a lot bigger problem nationwide than foreign cars are.
23rd-Aug-2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
We got this kind of hassle from the in-laws back in Michigan several years back. What shut them up was when we explained that with our 2003 Honda, we were buying local, buying a vehicle that was made an hour's drive away from our house, from a company that employs several of our friends at church. The only portion of our Element that was imported from Japan was the transmission, and the name.

And it was only after I tried test-driving a Chevy Aveo, that I learned that the real reason that I could no longer order modifications from the factory is that that entry-level model is made in Australia . . .
24th-Aug-2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Why is it that, every time my faith in humanity is in anger of being restored, something like this happens?
24th-Aug-2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
At least you're taking the right attitude. I've had good luck with domestic brand cars myself, getting the better part of 300K miles of my last two, a Ford and a Chevy and hoping to do the same with my current Chevy. That said, the whole domestic/foreign car thing is a ridiculous argument now.

What would be more "domestic", buying a Ford assembled in Mexico or buying a Nissan built in the plant that's all of 10 miles from my home?
25th-Aug-2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
*snort* well, there's the _honest_ answer, and then there's the "make the morons happy" answer...
2nd-Sep-2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
First off, that totally sucks that that happened to you, and I apologize on behalf of the City of Royal Oak, because, yikes. Not good.

Second off - I've got a '99 Ford Escort with 145,000 miles on it, and it still costs me less per year in repairs than payments on even a late-model used car would. So I dunno. Ancedotes aren't data, but I've been very, very happy with my Ford.
2nd-Sep-2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you've been happy with your Ford. I know people who've loved their Fords and people who have sold them in disgust as soon as they could. And I tried them out first the last 2 times I needed ot buy a car (-- and 15 years ago the employees convinced me I didn't want that car, and earlier this year the car did the job for them).
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