Thursday, February 25, 2010

Conflict of Interest

The show trial that's going on in Congress over Toyota's safety engineering is a definite conflict of interest. Number one, it's unfair competition when the owner of General Motors undermines the major competition.

Number two, the relentlessness of the stories in the media indicate that Congress is catering to the UAW, not to real concerns for safety. Toyota workers have repeatedly refused to join the union which is so desperate for members that they're backing Card Check.

And then there is the sad spectacle of using questionable "experts" to denigrate Toyota. Joan Claybrook is the Carter appointee who forced automakers to install air bags despite vehement warnings that the technology was not yet developed enough. As a result, 65 deaths, mostly infants and children, occurred because of exploding air bags. Clarence Ditlow is notorious for approving the use of rocket igniters to "prove" on NBC that GM pick-ups were unsafe. These two are favorite anti-business expert witnesses. It's time the public remembered their names and protested their testimony.

On the international front, humiliating the head of the world's largest auto manufacturer on television before members of Congress is poor diplomacy. It's bad enough when the hypocritical Congressional Clowns self-righteously attack American CEO's. It's another thing altogether to do it to someone from a culture where saving face is so important that suicide is preferable to public indignity.

After this week we can hardly expect any other foreign companies to build plants in the US and give jobs to our countrymen.

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