General Motors CEO steps down. (in Off-topic)

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] March 30 2009 4:56 PM EDT

Did you guys hear about Rick Wagoner being forced out of his position? I'm not sure if GM is going to make it. How do you think the new CEO Fritz Henderson is going to do? Do you think pushing Wagoner out of his job will accomplish anything? Finally, do you think Chrysler will merge with Fiat in a month like was demanded of them. Feel free to post if you find any interesting articles.

Little Anthony March 30 2009 4:58 PM EDT

doesn't matter what they do. They are doomed.!

QBRanger March 30 2009 5:00 PM EDT

The Obama administration forced Wagoner to "step down". So they could put their own lackey in place.

Another fine step towards socialism.

And with it, American desire and drive to succeed.

Why be successful when politicans who life in their ivory towers want to take it all away?

My company has already fired 10% of its employees the past month due to the recent budget the annointed one put out.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 30 2009 5:05 PM EDT

His being asked to step down is obviously a ploy by the new world order to control us.

It has NOTHING to do with his being the figure head of a criminally negligent corporate behemoth that spearheaded the decimation of the American auto industry with unconscionable greed and short sightedness.

Cube March 30 2009 5:08 PM EDT

When you ask for a loan, and are lent a lot of money. Expect your lender to have some control over your company, especially if it's not doing well.

chaosal March 30 2009 5:09 PM EDT

why not both? :)

QBsutekh137 March 30 2009 5:21 PM EDT

Who's the "anointed one"?

I already thought we had Ranger?

QBRanger March 30 2009 5:22 PM EDT

Let us see all the CEO's of all the banks, insurance agencies, automobile companies step down.

I do not see it. In fact I see politicans from both sides taking money for their "campaigns".

However, GM is about as American as it gets and is a great start for the socialist revolution.

QBRanger March 30 2009 5:23 PM EDT

I have never been called the "Great Savior" by 200,000 Germans, countless Americans and people worldwide.

Like our great inexperienced presidente.

chaosal March 30 2009 5:24 PM EDT

sadly it won't take a revolution for the country to go socialist.

it will take one to stop it.

Canibus March 30 2009 5:25 PM EDT

Don't worry Ranger, your country are nowhere close to being socialistic, not by a longest possible shot, remember that the great deal of democrats in the US are equalent to to right-wingers in other places.

About the subject, well one thing is certain - a new CEO won't do anything, atleast nothing that will help them short term.

QBsutekh137 March 30 2009 5:49 PM EDT

Then talk to the 200,000 Germans, countless Americans (whatever that means -- could mean...638 people, like the number of bottles on my beer walls. So what?) and people worldwide.

I didn't "anoint" anyone, I voted (and I ain't gonna tell ya for whom).

Stop with the hyperbole. Don't you think the media has that angle covered already? If I even open my eyes at a turned on TV during national news time, my corneas melt over and my retinas get burned with melodrama and false dichotomies. Calgon, take me away!

I ain't saying any kind of gov't "force" feels right to me. It doesn't. But some schiesse is going to get nationalized here (hey, you brought up the Germans!), so if a CEO spot is as much as that entails, we're getting off light. Some folks, including big capitalist names like Donald Trump, have, at the very least, mused about nationalizing some banks, calling it an "interesting time".

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 30 2009 5:54 PM EDT

Future of Hummer, I believe it's because of vehicles like this that only get 5 miles to the gallon. So the only demand they achieve is from people who do not care about how much gas they roll through, which is nowhere close to their supply.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 30 2009 5:55 PM EDT

if ceo changes are socialism does that make the bank bonuses capitalism at its finest? ; )

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 30 2009 7:54 PM EDT

I know my parents will never buy another GM or Chrysler vehicle. Possibly not even a Ford.
So, I'm guessing, American auto industries are doomed whether Obama wants them to be or not.

QBRanger March 30 2009 7:57 PM EDT

I disagree.

I just bought a 09 Buick Enclave.

An outstanding vehicle without any problems.

For the value, it was better than any other in its class.

Other outstanding GM cars include the Cadillac CTS, Impala and G8.

However, it may be too little too late to counter all the years of great cars the Germans and Japanese produced.

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 30 2009 8:00 PM EDT

True, but I doubt anyone will want to buy from a company that could go under, or that needs a bail-out.

ScY March 30 2009 8:26 PM EDT

Still not seeing what is wrong with socialism...

Cube March 30 2009 8:32 PM EDT

How is it imposing Socialism when the companies asked for bailouts?
Any other company investors/financiers would get some say in what goes on.. or else they can pull their money.

I realize politians aren't the best businessmen, but hopefully they can find some people that are. It's no secret that American car companies haven't been doing well for sometime. I know plenty of people that will no longer buy American cars and plenty that say they will never buy American cars. I'm not saying that I know about cars myself, but lots of people have lost trust in American cars.

And as I'm not a car expert I referred to this. What's 1st and what's 4th?
Toyota's on top, 4th the car you recommended.

QBRanger March 30 2009 8:34 PM EDT

Every socialist state/country has failed.

In such a government there is no desire to succeed since all you are doing is giving your profits to the masses.

In essence you do not get to keep any profits you make.

In an Utopian society, where everyone is unselfish and giving, and where EVERYONE contributes, it is a possiblity.

However, in countries such as America where we have masses of lazy people who want the government to give and give, while they do nothing to contribute, such a society is destined to fail.

Especially once the producers get fed up and stop producing, expecting the government to give to them as well.

This is a huge problem with the "bailout" that congress passed.

As someone who was smart and went for a mortgage I could afford, why should I have to bailout those who bought well beyond their means?

Yes, there was a lot, and a whole lot of people pushing people to spend beyond their means, but at some time one has to take responsibility for ones actions.

There are people who certainly need help, however I see plenty of people getting help for their 2nd, or 3rd investment home.

I even see help for those who obviously knew they could not afford the home they purchased and are abusing the legal system now living in it for free while this whole mess happens.

There are times at work most of us, including the technical staff and clerical staff all say at once "where the hell is my bailout".

If the US continues along this path towards socialism and less towards capitalism, there will less incentive to produce. Then less production and less ..... etc..

Of course the financial sector with their unrelenting greed was highly responsible, but at some time people have to own up to their mistakes. Which in American people are very reluctant to do.

Cube March 30 2009 8:34 PM EDT

^The difference in score that caused this

Reliability: 10.0

QBRanger March 30 2009 8:37 PM EDT


Taking price into account, as well as overall interior room, the Enclave beat the Highlander and the MDX for my needs.

And in the most recent JD Powers reliability Buick and Jaguar were first while Toyota was 3rd.

Cube March 30 2009 8:44 PM EDT

It's completely arrogant to blame the homeowner living beyond their means.

The banks KNEW they were living beyond their means, and gave them loans anyway. Then tried to make those loans look like sure fire investments with high returns as best they could to pass off the risk. The risk assessment on everything is now out of whack, and what happens, Credit Default Swaps, also some shady business expected to make easy money, well when they actually do default because of the mal-assessed risk, who just screwed themselves? The entire financial system.

Nothing to do with the people getting the loans living beyond their means.

This is a perfect example. If I lent a NUB 100 Mil CBD, and they lost it all/got banned; I would be the idiot who screwed up.

chaosal March 30 2009 8:45 PM EDT

it's irresponsible to place the blame on either individually; it's the combination of both that screwed everyone. bunch of morons.

kevlar March 30 2009 8:50 PM EDT
"It's been a tough weekend indeed for those who valued winning in the short term over succeeding across the long haul. Just ask GM's ex-chairman Rick Wagoner -- Brought In To Return General Motors To Its Rightful Place Atop The American Motoring Consciousness Without Regard To Cost Or Consequence! -- whose chickens came home to roost late Sunday night.

Rick Wagoner of GM is the latest corporate exec to get the boot.
For years now corporate boards like his and shareholders in companies like General Motors have clung to the instant gratification of the quarterly report without regard to the long-term health of the enterprise in question."

QBsutekh137 March 31 2009 12:00 AM EDT

Every socialist state has failed?

Really? How much socialism means a "socialist state"?

Would the Brits like to weigh in on the varying success (or lack thereof) of the socialist programs in their nation? I mean, my goodness, even the telly is socialist, there! HORROR!

Ranger, do you even read over some of the stuff you write? You do know that Communism (which I am assuming is what you refer to when you refer to "failure", even though China would still disagree with you on that) and Socialism are two very different things, both in philosophy and in practice/history...right? That actually turned out to be a genuine question, since I find it hard to believe that you don't know how deep socialist tenets run in several European nations?

Lochnivar March 31 2009 12:03 AM EDT

or Canada, eh Sut?

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] March 31 2009 9:10 AM EDT

Labelling any countries' economy socialist/capitalist is and has pretty much always been a misleading simplification. Mostly we have mixed systems.

Personally I believe human beings are too important to leave the value of their endeavors entirely up to the market, though given the self interest, inappropriate idealogical zealotry and plain incompetence which often seems to drive the interventions I do sometimes wonder...

As far as successful socialism goes Norway seem to do pretty well, though of course they have a mixed economy but do seem to have some rather sane socialist policies.

Khardin April 1 2009 2:50 AM EDT

I wanted to make a post about how great my opinion is on this subject.
My opinion is the best and only opinion.
Everyone has wasted time posting before I posted because being wrong is something uneducated, lazy people do with their food stamps.
Why do they need to eat when they are eating with my tax money?
I would indirectly prefer their starvation than to accept imperfection.
I mean, I wouldn't actually grab the food from their hands, but I would probably insult them on their inferior choice in food products with words they don't understand.
I have repeated a key phrase and associated negative consequences with it for long enough that everyone should have no question of the inherent evil suckiness involved in attempting the key phrase.

On another note, the OP read to me as something completely benign. Some of the responses though were offensive and I usually stay out of those kind of talks, but really? The current situations were far out of my personal control (and out of the control of an administration that wasn't even elected during the cause of events) and while I have my thoughts on what seemed to clearly go wrong, I believe there were a lot of good people involved and I bet a group of them have the same thoughts I do. To presume motives and bad decisions on everyone elses part is churlish and hostile, as I suppose this post is also.

In the words of Video To Go, Be kind. Rewind.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2009 3:12 AM EDT

Interestingly one of the features of the UK, our welfare state - that is free healthcare for all, unemployment benefits, state pension and a bundle of other things - was partially introduced in order to avoid the revolutions that led to communist countries.

And although it had been put in motion earlier, a huge push on it came after the Second World War, due to the massive amount of injuries and losses suffered during those six years.

The problems in this country come when you try and apply capitalist priniciples to the areas that are public. Most of the nationalised industries right now are just too big and sprawling to work as a profit making business. And any profit that does get made should go straight back into the business, not shareholder's pockets, otherwise it doesn't work.

QBRanger April 1 2009 8:01 AM EDT


The English healthcare system is something America should drive for.

Over 80 and need dialysis, sorry. It is too expensive, time to die.

Wreck your knee playing soccer, sorry. You have to wait 3 months for a MRI. Then another 3 for surgery.


Canada has a similar system as Britain. And the US sees plenty of Canadians who pay cash for access to the American system.

I have plenty of English friends who utterly hate their healthcare system.

But countries in Europe have a different socioeconomic group than we do in America. We have a lot more people who do not contribute to the GNP.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2009 8:16 AM EDT

When it's good it's very good, depends on where you live. Living in London we've got a couple of major teaching hospitals that offer care the equal of anywhere from what I've seen and experienced. Yes there are waiting lists, there are a shortage of beds, but then the UK is about to become on of the most populated countries in Europe. We do have the bonus of plenty of skilled medical staff, doctors, surgeons, nursing staff etc who choose to work in the NHS rather than take huge salaries on the private side.

Our biggest problem was a long time of underfunding by a capitalist right leaning, government. One who kept taking the money from us that should have been invested and sent it elsewhere. Like pushing for a reliance on imported business and killing off our homegrown industries. Setting up trade with other countries to supply our fruit and veg and crops and having to compensate our own farmers so they could stay in business. With money that could have been invested in our health service.

That's the kind of things that a capitalist government get up to.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2009 8:36 AM EDT

And interestingly the UK apparently has a (admittedly marginal) greater life expectancy than the US. Information supplied by your CIA.

But then while we have waiting lists and the like, you have millions of people who can't afford health care. And insurance companies who won't pay out for certain treatments.

I guess these things even themselves out.

Flamey April 1 2009 8:39 AM EDT

Australia seems pretty similar to UK (what a surprise), was it canada with the best healthcare system?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 8:40 AM EDT

Like stopping the free milk we used to give to our School Children to help them grow and develop.

Johnny really has it spot on here.

We have private, paid for healthcare, and I've used it (when we went to have Emma's first scan taken, as we wouldn't be seen as a problem case until after the third miscarriage). We have horror stories from our public healthcare system.

But every time myself or my family have fallen ill, cut ourselves, etc, and all I've had to do is spend a couple of hours in line to be seen and treated (and treated well), I thank, and have nothing but praise for our healthcare system.

I don't have to worry that Emma might fall ill at the end of the month and I'm desperatly waiting for payday and I can't afford her treatment.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 8:44 AM EDT

"Would the Brits like to weigh in on the varying success (or lack thereof) of the socialist programs in their nation? I mean, my goodness, even the telly is socialist, there! HORROR!"

One of the Joys of BBC1 and 2 is they don't have adverts. I know of no one (bar Emma, they hypnotise her) that actively likes wathcing adverts. It's why so many people like Sky+ to records probrams instead of watching them, so they can cut the adverts out. ;)

That being said, I do gripe at having to pay for a Television license, even though I don't watch terrestial TV and get my 'state' channels through a paid sky package.

QBRanger April 1 2009 9:48 AM EDT


In American NO ER can turn away any patient who needs emergant care.

And in American we have a lot more social problems on a greater scale than England. More knife and gun clubs, more drug use, more social decay etc...

Brakke Bres [Ow man] April 1 2009 10:02 AM EDT

Ranger: diehard capitalist, can't be reasoned with, also confusing socialism with communism. Which isn't the same thing.

Further, American capitalists are the direct source of the current crisis which led to countless of job losses.

Further: your government is letting GM go bankrupt because they want, out of the ashes of the old company, a fresh new strong one. What so socialistic about that? Thats cold hard capitalism.
Accepting government bailouts now thats socialism.

No let the company fall on its behind and pick up from there. Don't forget: this crisis won't go on forever. And until then its probably a good idea for the government to support the less fortunate.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2009 10:12 AM EDT

I guess I'd like to get some facts instead of anecdotes, though I suppose a lot of this is unavoidably anecdotal...

For example, no dialysis for 80+ in the UK? Is this true? Is it true across the board, like some kind of rule?

I ask because a doctor friend of mine is a high-level manager in a long-term care ward (here, in the States). Insured, uninsured, she sees everyone. But she still will say things like "time to clear out some beds". And by that, she means talking to families about pulling the plug, shipping people to hospice (most times lesser) care, etc. Because let's face it -- there ARE some 80+ year-olds for whom giving dialysis is a waste of time, energy, and resources. We need to be realistic about recovery possibilities and dying with dignity.

So, it happens here, too, it just gets done differently and often takes more nuance. As far as queues, don't people have to wait in line around here? When I cut my finger and did some nerve damage, I waited at every step of the way (except getting in for surgery -- they got that planned right away because otherwise I might have never gotten that nerve back). Would I have a dead index finger if I were living in the UK? Would my waits for the more administrative portions of my care have been any longer or shorter?

These are all sincere questions -- I have no interest in having a capitalist vs socialist type of discussion, because both systems have strengths and weaknesses (and if someone doesn't see that, it is likely they aren't worth debating with, anyway).

Cube April 1 2009 10:18 AM EDT

Exactly Henk, what is communistic about the entire ordeal is the fact that the government is supporting the industry at all. If you want true capitalism, they should've let the company crash and burn.

I'm not saying at all that I want socialism in America, but you have a really twisted way of looking at this.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2009 10:24 AM EDT

Sut, for emergencies you get seen pretty much straightaway in our A&E (accident and emergency) department, although if you've only got a broken nose say you won't get seen ahead of something more severe.

For certain things, the more complex operations for instance you can find you're waiting for certain periods of time. And sometimes there is a shortage of beds simply because we're an overpopulated island without the facility to care for absolutely everyone all of the time.

It depends on where you live.

For instance where my mum is from in Wales, outside of any of the big cities the smaller local hospitals share doctors between several of them, so if you're in hospital you may only see a doctor once a week.

For other things: my wife's grandfather needed an operation to remove a tumour from his intestines. He is 85, was seen by a specialist on the Monday, was operated on by Wednesday and was recovering nicely by the weekend. They kept him in for two weeks after the operation and then he was at home, right as rain.

On the other hand he does have a heart defect that could be sorted out by an operation. An operation they're not going to carry out: a. because it's not vital and b. because of his age the operation could do more harm than good.

I've got no major horror stories to be honest, although you read them in the papers or hear talk. But I've only experienced good from our system, even when it's been bad.

Ask me again in a couple of months though after I've relied very heavily on it for a while.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 10:46 AM EDT

A&E waiting can get quite long in london. Waiting time is based on severity. I waited 4 hours to be seen for a gash above my eye (caused by a badminton accident) as others who came in after me were prioritised above me.

By the time I was seen, the gash had closed itself. Which I was relived about as I no longer needed stiches for it.

Claire and I took Emma to A&E last year and she was seen right away.

Sorry Sute, I'll see if I can get any facts instead of just more annecdotes for you. ;)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 10:49 AM EDT

There is also the 'Postcode Lottery' to consider.

Some drugs aren't available to you over here, depending on where you live. Live elswhere and you can get them if you need them, but if you're unlucky, even if you need a specific drug, and live in the wrong place and you won't get it.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 10:50 AM EDT

But these are problems based on legacy running, as Johnny mentions above.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2009 10:54 AM EDT


We also get (and this is from reliable sources) visitors from other countries that travel to the UK just to use our health system.

We treat emergencies, and then what should happen is that the NHS traces back and charges the relevant Foreign Health Services for the costs, but in reality it usually too hard an administration task to be viable.

I've spoken to nurses who have delivered babies for mothers who have flown over here specifically to give birth here, for free on our Health Service, and then fly home again.

Lochnivar April 1 2009 11:08 AM EDT

there is an interesting comparison between US and Canadian health care in Wikipedia:

Some tidbits:

"The U.S. spends much more on health care than Canada, both on a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP.[5]In 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was US$6,714; in Canada, US$3,678"

"Through all entities in its public-private system, the U.S. spends more per capita than any other nation in the world,[11] but is the only wealthy industrialized country in the world that lacks some form of universal health care.[12]"

Not to mention the stories of 'health care tourists' from the US who come to Canada for free treatments...
Kind of the flip side of Canadians going to the US to pay for quicker treatments.

The other big impact of the close proximity between the two countries is the fact that doctors and nurses get lured south by higher paying jobs... considering the degree to which we subsidize education up here that one stings.

j'bob April 1 2009 11:52 AM EDT

"Not to mention the stories of 'health care tourists' from the US who come to Canada for free treatments... "

Which makes me think of the woman from mexico who came to the US illegally and procured treatment (for cancer?) illegally through basically a form of Identity Theft. Got some great medical care, for free. I'm sure she's the only one though.

Fatil1ty April 1 2009 12:53 PM EDT

Hey guys I think a couple people here are missing a couple main points. Capitalisim/sociolism or whatever didn't cause ANYTHING and it's honestly pointless to even consider such lunicy.

What caused our problems is quite simple: GREED. People live beyond their means, investors inflate stocks beyond fundamentals, banks loan despite higher risk, and politicians ignore it all because they receive nice hefty donation cheques.

As for the healthcare system: I live in Canada and as a 22 year old I can say I don't neccessarily appreciate the system mainly because my injuries or needs are low priority and thus have high waiting times. However I cannot even imagine dealing with the system in the States where health care at older ages is brutal. Wait till any person in a universal health care system is in their 40's. Then you realize the benefits.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 1 2009 1:12 PM EDT


Cube April 1 2009 3:09 PM EDT

"What caused our problems is quite simple"

You're funny.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2009 3:11 PM EDT

"Wait till any person in a universal health care system is in their 40's."

Is 40s really old then or something? ;)

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