Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Coming to your Kitchen and Laundry Room

*Stare out Window*

*Shake head*

*Stare at Wall*

*Shake head more*

I have this surreal feel around me. We had not thought of this one last week as we brainstormed ideas on how we can steal more from future generations... [Aug 13: Reader Proposals for New Stimulus Plans]

I suppose it's time to get long General Electric (GE) and Whirpool (WHR) - Americans are about to be handed more of their great grandchildren's money so they shop for products for the kitchen and laundry room. Look, if we had even a whimper of a surplus - or even had a dream of one day dropping our deficit I could at least live with this. But we're bankrupt and just piling on more debt as if money is going out of style.

Via Wall Street Journal
  • Appliance manufacturers are counting on a "cash for clunkers"-type rebate program to revive slumping sales of refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Beginning late this fall, federal rebates will be available for purchasers of high-efficiency household appliances, furnaces and air-conditioning systems. Congress authorized $300 million for the program earlier this year as part of the federal economic-stimulus bill.
  • After seeing the recent surge in new-car orders attributed to the federally funded clunkers program, appliance industry executives are hoping to lure consumers back into appliance store showrooms with rebates that are expected to reach $200 on some types of appliances.
  • "It's a good way for the consumer to get back into the marketplace," said J.B. Hoyt, director of governmental relations for Whirlpool Corp. (WHR), the world's largest producer of household appliances by revenue. "Clearly, anything that boosts business is good for us."
Clearly. By adding to the US debt so that certain corporations can do well... it's certainly a win-win.
  • Whirlpool has been pushing for such a program for years.
I am sure if you talk to Whirpool executives they are all for free market capitalism. With exceptions of course.

General Electric? They don't even pretend that the U.S. has anything to do with capitalism. I can at least respect them for being honest unlike the rest of these cats who fight off any regulation because its not "free market" but are happy to accept gifts from the "not so invisible hand". Direct quote from Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE.

It's never been a free market; it's never gonna be a free market. That's just the way it is. The fact that I'd like GE to work in concert with where government policy is in the U.S. doesn't mean that I'm a traitor or a bad guy, I think it's just being practical that that's gotta happen.

Anyhow buy stocks hand over fist, your great grandchildren are subsidizing corporate America. Literally.

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