Warren Buffett is probably the U.S. overclass’s last and best claim to still possessing some measure of sanity and, therefore, legitimacy. Buffett, after all, is observant and honest enough not only to admit that his class conducts war on it subordinates, but that it tends to win that war.
Ah, but this is corporate capitalism, and, as such, only certain things are thinkable and doable. Building a genuinely sustainable transportation system, as DbC readers know, is not among such things — meaning the system is doomed, not too far hence, to crash on its own contradictions.
Can the great and powerful Wizard of Omaha see and plan for such a fact?
Apparently not. Not only has his Berkshire Hathaway investment empire just completed the biggest take-over of a car dealership conglomerate in American history, but here is how Buffett gushes about this transaction:
Cecil and Larry [Van Tuyl, the now-former owners of the selling enterprise] have given us the ideal platform with which to build an auto dealership business that will be thriving and growing 50 and 100 years from now. The fun has just started. [Source: Automotive News, March 10, 2015]
There is very close to a zero percent chance that anybody will be selling automobiles to ordinary households 100 years from now. The reasons for this inhere in the extreme mismatch between the automobile as a devourer of resources and planet Earth’s limited supply of resources. Obviously, this mismatch does not register on even the sharpest of corporate capitalist minds.
To amplify Upton Sinclair, it is impossible to persuade somebody to understand something, when that somebody’s fortune depends upon not understanding it.
At the upcoming Washington Auto Show, Automotive News will be presenting its Lifetime Achievement Award to none other than Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of the spectacularly over-estimated Henry Ford, who, contrary to ruling mythology, invented neither the automobile nor the assembly line and who did not want to make sure workers’ incomes kept up with capitalists’.
At a time when the car corporations are hyping their alleged “innovation” harder than ever, this award provides yet another angle from which to comprehend the profound decrepitude of this, corporate capitalism’s beating heart.
What has Edsel B. Ford II done to merit anybody’s lifetime achievement award, other than squarely occupy his inherited overclass perquisites? Nothing whatsoever, rather obviously.
Interestingly, it seems that our friend Ralph Nader accepted the 2010 version of this award. Would any hen accept a Henhouse Management Award from the fox journalists cheering vulpine henhouse raids?
In any event, Ralph apparently showed up and repeated his fealty to the misleading (and apparently Nader-ego-boosting) deaths-per-mile statistic.