Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: December 26, 2009

Open Thread – Day After Christmas Edition

I’ll be traveling today so we’ll leave it up to you to discuss the topics of the day.

Like the Nigerian wanna-be bomber – an al Qaeda plot or a self-actualized terrorist?  The FBI is suspicious of the al Qaeda connection.  And if the latter, doesn’t that lend credence to the Ft. Hood shooting incident being a terrorist act?

The “pregnancy ban” has been lifted in Iraq.  Personally, I had no problem with it.  I thought the commander’s points were correct.  And you?

After all the whining about Wall Street, it looks like Fannie and Freddie will be offering similar compensation payments. It’s one thing for private businesses to do it. What do you think about quasi federal institutions offering those sorts of incentives while backed by your tax dollars?

And finally – starting to think about those resolutions yet? Yeah, me too. What’s your top one?

Feel free to discuss or link to any other topic that interests you as well.



Chavez: Give Us Your Technology, Build The Right Cars, Or Leave!

Hugo Chavez, incompetent manager of the Venezuelan kleptocracy, er, Bolivarian Revolutionary state, has decided outside car makers just aren’t pulling their weight:

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has told car companies they must share their technology with local businesses or leave the country.

Mr Chavez gave the ultimatum to Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Fiat during a public address.

If the demand isn’t met, he said: “I invite you to pack up your belongings and leave. I’ll bring in the Russians, the Belorusians, the Chinese.”

Chavez’s homegrown auto industry is building cars that remind one of the ’50s (you’d think they’d sell well in Cuba – oh, wait, they have no money either). Obviously, the control freak in charge of Venezuela would love to have the technology Ford, Toyota or even Government Motors could offer his industry. So he’s decided they can just “share” their technology or leave.

And one more thing:

Mr Chavez attacked Toyota in particular, saying it was not producing enough four-wheel drive vehicles, which are used for public transport, and ordered an investigation.

Mr. Command Economy has decided that Toyota just doesn’t understand his market.

Of course his own domestic auto industry, the one he “commands” managed all of 135,000 vehicles last year. Why? Because of the bangup job he’s done running the place:

Currency controls in Venezuela mean the industry is struggling to get enough money to import parts and pay off debts.

So if he can’t actually produce them domestically, he’ll threaten and hector the existing one’s to save his rear-end or invite in a bunch of others to do so. Sounds like a typical socialist paradise to me.