Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Free Markets At Work


The inimitable Rush Limbaugh:
Now, here in the United States, for a whole host of reasons, chief among them the high price of gasoline - But I also think there's a herd mentality in this, too. People apparently, supposedly, according to Drive-By Media reports, for the last two months, three months, have been showing up at automobile dealerships and trying to trade in their SUVs and other automobiles that are, quote, unquote, gas hogs, 'cause they can't afford 'em anymore with the tipping point price of gasoline now reaching four bucks per gallon. So we here in America, the most prosperous, the most advanced, the freest, greatest potential, the most amazing collection of human beings in the history of collections of human beings, we are getting rid of our SUVs and pickup trucks, and we are in the process of downsizing to driving bubbles with wheels, lawn mowers with wheels, battery powered cars and so for forth, what are they doing in China?

What are the ChiComs doing - while we move ourselves back to the Stone Age - well, at least in that direction. China's most popular car is an SUV. SUV sales in China are exploding. "Nodding his head to the disco music blaring out of his car's nine speakers, Zhang Linsen swings the shiny, black Hummer H2 out of his company's gates and on to the spacious four-lane road. 'In China, size matters,' says Zhang, the 44-year-old founder of a media and graphic design company. 'People want to have a car that shows off their status in society. No one wants to buy small.' Zhang grasps the wheels of his Hummer, also called a fierce horse in Chinese, and hits the accelerator. Car ownership in China is exploding, and it's not only cars but also sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and other gas-guzzling rides."
How can we be living in this horror, where Americans respond to market forces by buying fuel efficient vehicles while China's new elite do not?
Folks, I don't know what the price of gasoline is in China and I don't know to what extent, if any, it is subsidized - okay, it is subsidized. See, the ChiComs need their economy growing. They need people driving around, moving around. They need people to be able to afford fuel, so they're subsidizing fuel. They're not bailing people out of stupid home mortgage messes. They're buying their gasoline for them, because they need an economy.
It defies parody.

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