Tuesday, September 27, 2005

  • Chrysler Group is ignoring the supply/demand dynamics of higher gas prices and is betting on SUVs, preparing five new models for launch over the next few years. But then again, the SUVs have a big non-free-market advantage: favorable tax treatment. You'd think in their infinite wisdom that this administration and the GOP-controlled Congress would rescind any tax breaks for purchasing huge, gas-inefficient vehicles at a time when gas should be conserved and tax revenue is needed to help fund hurricane relief efforts?

  • A Saudi prince just bought over 5% of Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corp. Well, that's one way to garner favorable reporting. What are the odds we'll now see Hannity or O'Reilly blaring anti-Saudi rants? Nil.

  • From AP, "Blind trusts are designed to keep an arm's-length distance between federal officials and their investments, to avoid conflicts of interest. But documents show that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist knew quite a bit about his accounts from nearly two dozen letters from the trust administrators." But Frist is a God-fearing, righteous do-gooder -- it's not possible that he would choose dishonesty and greed over doing what's right!

  • Regarding the Katrina relief efforts, the NY Times reports, "More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition." Favoritism and rewarding cronies continues. It's good to see the free-market Republicans crying foul about this -- not.

  • From Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley, "In the US, the worker compensation share fell to a 30-year low of 65% in 2005 whereas 'economic corporate profits' currently stand at a near-record 11% share of GDP." Just wonderful. Wages at a three-decade low to GDP and yet corporate profits at a new high. Where's the trickle down to employees? Basically sums up the Bush/Cheney economic plan.
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