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Donít Sell the Hummer ó Scrap It (NYT's morality trumps P&L)
The New York Times ^ | June 8, 2009 | Randy Cohen

Posted on 06/16/2009 9:36:07 AM PDT by presidio9

Last Tuesday, one day after General Motors filed for bankruptcy, the automaker announced the sale of its Hummer line to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company in China. Instead of selling this massive, ecologically destructive gas guzzler, should G.M. have it sent to the scrap heap? Or do the financial needs of the corporation and the prudent use of taxpayer money — thanks to the G.M. bailout, the American public owns 60 percent of the company — trump other considerations?

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The Argument The company must act in the interest of its employees and shareholders — in other words, us — but it must also act honorably, which means not abetting the manufacture of products that do significant societal harm. The way to reconcile these dual obligations is to retire the Hummer. (There can be a dignified ceremony with an oration from the behemoth’s longtime booster, that other behemoth, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When the D.E.A. busts a meth house, it doesn’t sell captured drug-making equipment to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Methamphetamine Company, should that outfit inexplicably exist. Unlike crystal meth, the Hummer is legal, but it is hardly benign. (The “curb weight” of the Hummer H2 is at least 6,600 pounds. Fuel efficiency? About 11 m.p.g. in mixed highway-and-city driving.

Determining what products are too hazardous to market — fen-phen? bite-size toys? Stinger missiles? — should be a matter of public policy, not a series of moral conundrums left to individual companies to resolve. And while it is not the place of government to micromanage a company’s lawful operations, it is appropriate for public officials to promote the general welfare; that’s the rationale for the G.M. bailout. The collapse of G.M. provides an opportunity to reconsider transportation policy, including from a moral perspective. Such an analysis urges not

(Excerpt) Read more at ethicist.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: hummer; newyorktimes; nyt

1 posted on 06/16/2009 9:36:07 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9

I had thought, forgive me for not understanding, but isn’t it the right of the American people to decide what they want to own and drive?


2 posted on 06/16/2009 9:39:19 AM PDT by RC2
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To: presidio9
Let people drive what they want to drive, after that you build the wrong thing and you will be as broke as government motors.
3 posted on 06/16/2009 9:39:41 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: presidio9

Got my “Customer Loyalty” voucher from GM yesterday. Waaa-frikkin-hooo.

It’s in the shredder now. Still employed but the economy is not conducive to adding any debt-burden.


4 posted on 06/16/2009 9:39:51 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (FreepMail me if you want on the Bourbon ping list!)
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To: presidio9

I was out running errands today and saw a real Hum-Vee. Wish I knew where to buy one (along with the money to afford it). The real thing makes a Hummer look ridiculous.


5 posted on 06/16/2009 9:42:23 AM PDT by lafroste (gravity is not a force. See my profile to read my novel absolutely free (I know, beyond shameless))
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To: presidio9

Like our glorious leader, these guys don’t have any busuness sense.

What the company bought was the company name (Hummer is a well known name with a lot of goodwill) and acess to a network of dealers in the US. Who knows what kind of cars they will actually sell, but what they got was an instant foothold in the US market for essentially peanuts.

Don’t be surprised if 10 years from now you see a full range of Hummer vehicles (from subcompacts to SUVs, similar to the line Toyota curretly sells) being sold in the US.


6 posted on 06/16/2009 9:43:00 AM PDT by Brookhaven (Obama hasn't just open Pandora's box, he has thrown us inside and closed the lid.)
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To: presidio9

The average Hummer buyer in the USA would never buy any vehicular from China. Thus GM should have know that this would create no competing in the US market. Other than name the Hummer as sold now has little in common with the military vehicle with the same name.


7 posted on 06/16/2009 9:46:14 AM PDT by ThomasThomas (They don't let you sit anywhere you want even when they have a sign saying so.)
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To: presidio9
"massive, ecologically destructive gas guzzler"

I'd be willing to bet that a lot of Hummer owners get ACTUAL gas mileage that is higher than a lot of loony progressive-types get with their vehicles.

Hints: Vehicle maintenance (tire pressure, alignment, tune-ups, etc) and driving style (lead foot liberal, road rage liberal, speed demon liberal, etc).

PS. In case you're wondering about those stereotypes - which is the party of detail-oriented anal-retentive types, and which is the party of mental illness? Just sayin'.

8 posted on 06/16/2009 9:46:45 AM PDT by ChicagahAl (Don't blame me. I voted for Sarah.)
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To: ChicagahAl

How many trees are killed to make a Hummer that produces the CO2 trees need to grow?

How many trees are killed by the NYT and thus destroy nature’s answer to “greenhouse gas” ?


9 posted on 06/16/2009 9:52:33 AM PDT by spintreebob
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To: RC2

No it is not. Now achtung! Get into zee boxcar!


10 posted on 06/16/2009 9:55:20 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: RC2

No it is not. Now achtung! Get into zee boxcar!


11 posted on 06/16/2009 9:55:24 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: presidio9

So many problems with this guys argument... He is arguing that building and selling large SUV’s is a criminal enterprise like manufacturing and selling meth. Well, last time I checked building and selling SUV’s is not a crime. To suggest that we should ex post facto make it a crime? Absurd. Absurd. Absurd.


12 posted on 06/16/2009 9:56:19 AM PDT by DariusBane (Even the Rocks shall cry out "Hobamma to the Highest")
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To: presidio9

China should put Cummins 12 valve turbo engines in the Hummers, and make a smaller, jeep sized Hummy with a smaller Cummins. That should give the warming kooks at NYT a heart attack.


13 posted on 06/16/2009 9:56:51 AM PDT by pallis
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To: presidio9

since when do they have any problem with the ChiComs trashing the planet?


14 posted on 06/16/2009 9:58:02 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog
ChiComs trashing the planet, that's my beef, green nitwits worry about our super clean exhaust while chicom scum floats around the earth visible from S P A C E ! !
15 posted on 06/16/2009 10:18:40 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: presidio9

This is what happens when you let politicians run corporations. Whining liberals insist that the politicians do their bidding.


16 posted on 06/16/2009 10:22:36 AM PDT by popdonnelly (The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by governments. You've been warned.)
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To: presidio9

Wife wanted a new minivan. I convinced her to test drive some Hummers. She loved them and thought they were the best driving vehicle she had ever driven.

Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough room in them to suit her wants, desires, and needs.

So a Hyuandi minivan it was.


17 posted on 06/16/2009 10:40:14 AM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: presidio9

Sounds like the term shareholders is set to become the newest rallying cry for the Obamanistas march on Detroit.


18 posted on 06/16/2009 10:41:48 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: presidio9
Randy Cohen
When the D.E.A. busts a meth house, it doesn’t sell captured drug-making equipment to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Methamphetamine Company, should that outfit inexplicably exist. Unlike crystal meth, the Hummer is legal, but it is hardly benign. (The “curb weight” of the Hummer H2 is at least 6,600 pounds. Fuel efficiency? About 11 m.p.g. in mixed highway-and-city driving.

Determining what products are too hazardous to market — fen-phen? bite-size toys? Stinger missiles? — should be a matter of public policy, not a series of moral conundrums left to individual companies to resolve.


19 posted on 06/16/2009 10:57:05 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: presidio9
About 11 m.p.g. in mixed highway-and-city driving.

City driving?

This is like saying a 747 gets really lousy mileage on a taxiway.

Put that little pregnant roller skate up against significant snowdrifts, on gravel or dirt somewhere, and we'll see how good the mileage is in one of those.

In some places/situations, some vehicles will just not get the job done.

Why does the left cry for "diversity" out one side of its mouth and demand homogenization and conformity with the other?

20 posted on 06/16/2009 11:29:14 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: presidio9

Let’s start with limosines and personal private jets before we go off on Hummers, hm?


21 posted on 06/16/2009 2:23:45 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: lafroste

http://www.google.com/search?&rls=en&q=hummer+%2B+h1&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8


22 posted on 06/16/2009 6:00:32 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: presidio9

And how much of the rain forest did they deplete to create this issue?


23 posted on 06/16/2009 6:11:08 PM PDT by Godzilla (TEA: Taxed Enough Already)
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To: presidio9
How about not giving the Chinese People's Liberation Army the Hummer manufacturing technology they are after??

Hello? .....Anybody?

24 posted on 06/16/2009 7:39:25 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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