Monday, January 28, 2013

1128 Four Wheels and An Engine

1128 Four Wheels and An Engine

Cars are getting better all the time.  Better gas mileage.  Fewer emissions. Better construction.  More sensible and safer interiors.  Better visibility.

And it doesn’t matter whether the maker is one of the majors like Toyota, GM and Ford (the current iteration of the “Big Three”) or one of the margin players like Subaru which has become bigger because college professors and aging hippies no longer can buy Saabs; same with  Chrysler and Germany’s Big Two.  They’re all better than they used to be.

But still:  four wheels and an engine.

What happens when these guys stray from the basic formula?  They go out of business.  Anyone seen a Messerschmitt three wheeler lately?  How about the flying cars and the cars that turn into boats?  Nope.  Four wheels and an engine.

This same principle applies to other large, complex and customer-dependent corporations.

Which brings us to the two major political parties.

But wait, you may be saying:  political parties aren’t industrial companies building durable goods.  They’re representative of ideas, actions, ideals, principles.

Really?

The parties are private corporations with huge government and private subsidies that produce one product and one product only:  elected officials.

Just like Chevy and Fiat.

When they stray from their version of four wheels and an engine, they go out of business.  

The Republican Party has long been thought of as “the party of business.”  But they’ve lost the blueprints and they’re heading for chapter seven.  They are not doing their jobs.  They are not producing winners.

Their showrooms are dingy.  Their production lines are antiquated and so are their body designs.  

They keep pushing niche cars, when their bread and butter is four wheels and an engine.

Ford learned early on there was no market for Mercury.  Chrysler and GM have each shut down two major brands.  The market wasn’t there.

GM knows there’s just so far it can promote Cadillac.  Car buyers know niche when they see it.  The main GM players are Buick and Chevrolet.

What does a car builder or any other large corporation do when sales slump?  Generally, they fire the top brass and start over.  For Republicans, the time to do that is now.

Oh... and efforts to prevent people from shopping the competition don’t work, either.  So trying to block Democratic Party voters with phony i.d. laws or changing the way a state distributes its electoral votes for President isn’t going to work.  You have to make something people want to buy, as all you free marketeers seem to know but do nothing about.

The job of a party is manufacturing winners.  Any other business that has done things any other way has failed or will fail.

The Dems have their niche cars, too.  But they know they’re niche cars.  

So if you don’t want to be the Whigs or the New York Liberal Party or the Greens, throw the bums out.  Start over.

Stop being the party of no.  Stop, as the governor of Louisiana said, being the party of stupid.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2013

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