July 24, 2014
When people think about the finest cars in the world, German automobiles act as the gold standard. No matter the manufacturer, if they want to claim performance and luxury, they have to compete with the very best that the Germans have to offer. BMW lets buyers know what they're getting through their slogans, "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and "Sheer Driving Pleasure". Porsche's motto is very clear, "Porsche, there is no substitute". Mercedes-Benz tags itself as "The Future of the Automobile". Finally, Audi makes the bold claim that, "Everyone dreams of an Audi".
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Germany produces some of the finest cars in the world. Karl Benz invented the automobile, so they did have a head start on the rest of the world. The four stroke engine and the diesel engine were both created in Germany and remain the basic design in most cars even today. Ferdinand Porsche designed the original Volkswagen which brought the ‘people’s car’ to the masses.
Even at your age, when we go anywhere you say, “Beemer!” with the delight of a 2-year-old car aficionado. Owning a couple of BMWs you know that a ten-year-old ‘Beemer’ is as desirable as a brand new car from about any other manufacturer out there. World class design and engineering combined with top of the line materials leads to a product that stands the test of time. With the high speeds driven on the Autobahn, power and handling combined with the ultimate in comfort are simply an expectation, not a goal.
But at one time, Germany was also known for producing the worst car ever created. The basic car remained unchanged for nearly 30 years with 3,000,000 cars rolling, or more accurately, being pushed off the assembly line. It had enough room for four adults and a 600 cc 2 cycle engine producing a staggering 26 horsepower, allowing it to blast to 60 mph in 21 seconds and achieve a top speed of 70 mph. Despite the engine’s diminutive size, it produced nine times the amount of pollution as an average car, even though the competing engine was ten times more powerful. To fill the gas tank required popping the hood, filling the tank with gas and 2 cycle oil, and then rocking the car to combine the mixture. Much of the car’s body was produced from recycled materials and the waiting list for a new automobile was often 15 years, making used models frequently more expensive than new one’s as they were readily available for sale.
The car was called the Trabant. Although it was produced for 3 decades and with millions of copies built, it may very well have been the single worst car ever to wheeze off an assembly line. What separated the Trabant from the high quality automobiles that Germany is known for? It’s very simple. It was the wall that ran through the middle of Germany. The wall that separated the East from the West, the free from the oppressed.
In West Germany auto manufactures competed on racetracks to outperform the competition, living by the motto, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday.” Quality developed simply because the better the performance and design of their cars, the more cars they would sell.
In East Germany, the situation was quiet different. In the East, there was no need to compete, the options that consumers could choose from totaled one, and you could have it in any color that you wanted, as long as it was pale blue. Without the need to compete, the Trabant had little need to improve through its thirty years of production. The fact that it remained little changed over its lifetime certainly didn’t mean that it started out as the perfect car. In fact, when the “Berlin Wall” fell, the little Trabant carried many of their owners slowly west through the concrete wall that divided the country and were promptly abandoned when the owner finally tasted freedom.
Yet, where does the US find itself heading today? In many ways we’re taking our Hummers and Escalades back through the wall heading east, cashing in our clunkers for a 26 horsepower monstrosity that will be the latest production from Government Motors.
We have given up the right to drill for oil in our own country, instead we send our soldiers to the Middle East to fight wars to insure our oil supplies. Why? Geologist believe we have plenty of reserves within our own borders and the ability to bring it to the surface environmentally safer than any other country in the world. We have coal and natural gas reserves that we can use, and do so in an environmentally friendly manner, but politicians won’t let us touch them. And nuclear, let’s not talk about nuclear. The same politicians say it’s fine for Iran, but not OK for southern Ohio.
We have a healthcare system that is the envy of the world, producing more medical breakthroughs than any other country in the world. We have higher survival rates for cancer than countries with socialized medicine and we have emergency rooms that refuse no one, treating anyone that is dumped at their doors, no matter the person’s ability to pay.
Yet, we’re told that system needs to change.
We were told for the past thirty years that, “Trickle Down” economics didn’t work under Reagan. Instead, we now have to “bail out” businesses because they’re too big to fail. We have to send billions of taxpayer money to banks and big companies so the money will help save our jobs. Apparently, we are now practicing “Trickle Up” poverty on the backs of the people, paying for the mistakes of those that can buy off politicians in either party.
We are in a country where the former Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank claimed everyone should own a house. His proposals of giving homes to anyone with a pulse led to the housing crisis. Having a house isn’t a right, it’s a responsibility. You earn responsibility. Healthcare ISN’t a right, it’s your responsibility. If your job doesn’t offer it, you work hard to find one that does. A company that wants quality employees will have to provide quality healthcare to keep them. Now that healthcare is a government mandate, the quality of the service is bound to suffer, not just in healthcare, but in all businesses as the quality of their workers declines.
The government put together the Cash for Clunkers program, funding it with 1 billion dollars to last 4 months. It ran out of money in a week. How soon till the money runs out for healthcare?
It’s time to turn the SUVs around and start heading west. It’s time to start demanding that our government stop approving laws that they are unwilling to read. It’s time to start drilling here to keep our soldiers and our money from going overseas. And it’s time that we keep our country from providing us with thirty years of Trabant healthcare.
It’s time to stop trying to be like everyone else. We don’t have to make excuses for our country. Why do other countries hate us? Because the US has proven itself to be the best damn country in the world. Those that despise us are often in our own country sharing our freedoms while they try to tear them down. They claim that we’re an imperial government. Really, an imperial government? Tell that to the soldiers that shed their blood in Germany twice, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq twice, and Afghanistan, only to give the land back to the people of that country, only asking for enough land to bury our dead. Imperial, my ass. If we were imperial, Germany would have been a state before Hawaii and if you bought a BMW, Mercedes, VW, Audi, or Porsche you’d be buying an American made car.
Liberty, it’s time for us to return to American exceptionalism. Germany can have their luxury cars, we will be the gold standard in everything else. We quite simply need to return to living by our national motto, “In God we Trust”. (see ) We don’t trust in government. Our was written to protect our God given individual freedoms from an oppressive government. If we don’t turn back to God and take up our responsibility to serve him, we will become more and more dependent on a government that exploits the workers to benefit the wealthy. In the end, your children’s children will only be able to say, “Give me Liberty or give me Debt.”
That’s my two cents,