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John Rich. They’re Shutting Detroit Down

I’m becoming increasingly annoyed by the elitist, condescending liberal response to the teabaggers. Yeah, the teabagger protests were a bit incoherent and some of the participants are loonies. It was the same way in the early days of the antiwar movement (some say it still is.) I know, I helped organize antiwar protests back then. The left ignores the very real grievances of the white working class at its peril. One real good way for progressives to start would be by throwing their too-apparent class biases out the window. Then listen to what the working class they claim to want to organize is actually saying.

This John Rich video “They’re Shutting Detroit Down” features Mickey Rourke and Kris Kristofferson. Rich, judging from his website, is right wing. Kristofferson is a long-time leftie. So this isn’t really about traditional politics at all.

“Shutting Detroit Down” has a chance to be one of the most memorable country songs of its time because it’s about a very real issue – our failing economy. People will look back in 10-20 years and remember the song as a reminder of these difficult times.

It’s very critical of Wall Street people who are living it up while “in the real world, they’re shutting Detroit down.” With Detroit, obviously, meaning the American auto industry and workers everywhere.

Lyrics

Now I see all these big shots cryin’ on my evening news
About how they’re losin’ billions and how it’s up to me and you
To come running to the rescue

Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear ’cause they’re selling make believe
And we don’t buy that here

Cause in the real world they’re shutting Detroit down
While the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets out of town
And DC’s bailing out the bankers as the farmers auction ground
Yeah while they’re living it up on Wall Street in that New York City town
Here in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit down.

Well that old man’s been workin’ in that plant most all of his life
Now his pension plan’s been cut in half and he can’t afford to die
And it’s a crying shame ‘cause he ain’t the one to blame
When I look down and see his calloused hands
Let me tell you friend it gets me fightin’ mad

I’d say the left and the teabaggers have plenty of common ground.

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  • woody

    While I poked a little fun at the “tea baggers”, I do get the general message. The problem I have is that they’re protesting taxation literally within weeks after a bill was passed to reduce taxes on 95% of the population. Most of them don’t even know what they’re protesting, and are just following along like sheep because a talking head on the Fox network told them to show up. And while Fox didn’t “officially sponsor” the events, the DID spend hours of air time promoting and advertising them, and had talking heads show up to do speeches at the largest gathering points, which were still painfully small in number.

    I get that almost everyone dislikes that the banking sector took money (given out under the Bush administration) and used it to line their own pockets. Unfortunately, there’s a limit on how much Obama and the current House & Senate can change the terms of a hand out that was made before they were in power. You can’t make laws that retroactively change the terms any more than you can retroactively be punished for a doing something before a law was passed. They’ve tried to do this by spurring targeted tax code to make most of that money come back, but even that’s only partially effective.

    Blaming the current administration for the (blatantly intentional?) oversight of the previous one is wrong. It’s like how Fox news was calling this the “Obama recession” back in December, weeks before Obama even took office. As if, before even being in power, he was in some way responsible for the recession we were in. Keep in mind, we’re not even yet at the 100 day point for Obama’s presidency, and already the economy is turning around after years of a silent, denied recession. Give the man some time to do his job.

    • It was Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC that ignited the teabagger movement (if you can call it that yet.) Fox immediately tried to jack it and even with that, like you said, their numbers were minuscule. But they have real grievances, made worse I think by being either ignored or ridiculed by much of the media.

      The John Rich song (and the Hank Williams Jr song I posted earlier) are talking about the same thing – jobs going away, foreclosures, serious stuff.

      • UJ

        I think the tea parties came from Ron Paul, not Santelli.

    • woody

      The problem is that most people aren’t complaining that services are being cut, or that they’re getting less per tax dollar then they used to. The complaint is that “tax rates are too high” and “I want to spend MY money.” Most people I know that have this attitude pay less in taxes than I do. One such person I helped with his taxes this year. He has 5 kids, all deductible and wound up getting more back from Federal than he paid in taxes via EIC… But he was at the local teabag rally, whining about taxes all the same.

      In reality, the tax cuts just passed lower the Federal tax burden on 95% of the population. Period. It’s not spin or fluf, it’s a solid verifiable number. 95% of income earners earn less that $X, taxes on AGI under $X is reduced by the new law. You can squeal “The tax on my cigarettes just went up!”, but that doesn’t change the fact that the administration just moved to lower income tax for most people, and less than a month later those exact people are in the street whining about taxes.

      If that’s not their message, they need to clarify it. All the coverage I’ve read and heard (including a 25 minute podcast of unedited speeches from speakers the event), that’s the argument I hear. It’s not about lack of services (in fact they seem very anti-service, or in their words “anti-socialism”), it’s about the tax rate being too high. Most were promoting a flat tax, which most don’t realize would tax them more than they are paying now. Most people earning under $50K AGI don’t pay their share, due to either the progressive tax curve, credits for kids, and or mortgage interest, all of which go away with a flat tax.

      To be clear, I’m not happy with where things are right now, or where they’ve been going for the past 12 years. But I’ve seen positive steps being taken over the past few months, including putting the breaks on the bank give away, and using the big stick of law to fix the problems. They’re being responsive, and changing things that don’t work. And in some cases trying to plug the oversights of previous administrations, like raising the upper tax bracket to 80% on income of bankers from banks that received bailouts.

      Say what you will, but I don’t seem to recall the teabag minions protesting in the streets when we spent billions on an unnecessary war. And I didn’t see it when billions were being funneled to KBR or Haliburton to “rebuild”. I didn’t see it when billions in tax cuts to the wealthiest 5% were being handed out, during all this war spending. Most were even silent when Bush first pushed the plan to throw a trillion at the banking sector to “fix your 401k”. Yet now, because there’s someone with a (D) after his name in the whitehouse, suddenly taxes are too high, government spending is out of control, and the bailouts are too much.

      Sorry if I find it a bit odd that people who were silent or even cheering the past 8 years while the federal debt more than doubled are now suddenly troubled by “the burden we’re putting on a children”. I find irony that they’re protesting taxes and hand outs, after both were JUST adjusted in the direction they want it to go. I’ve been against the bank bail outs, the tax cuts for the rich, and the pointless war expenditures it all along, and still am. But I see this administration trying to turn the ship around. I like what I’m seeing so far, and am willing to give them more than 3 months to fix the mistakes of the past 12+ years.

      • The precipitating event though (along with Obama getting elected) was the subprime debacle which led to collapsing banks and then the bailouts.

        In the song, Rich asks why do they let Detroit collapse while they bail out Wall Street – a fair enough question, seems to me.

        That some are too big to be allowed to fail is true. So let’s prop them up until they’re relatively healthy again, then chop them into little pieces. And yes, we’ll probably have to repeat the process in 30 years…

    • Phil

      Woody,
      FOX News did not jump on the tea party bandwagon until the beginning of April; tea parties had already happened by that time, FOX News and the “talking heads” did not lead the movement.
      We the people; are demonstrating against the same old tax and spend routine that has been coming out of Washington forever. Obama’s administration has pushed the envelope beyond the realm of reality to where his plan is to spend more than we have, our children will make and grandchildren will have.
      His budget proposals exceed all budget deficits created by all Presidents from George Washington to G W Bush combined!
      Obama is reducing our military while Korea is launching rockets to test their nuclear delivery technique, and our safety is at stake.
      He wants to “spread the wealth around” by taxing the people that hire us, the rich small business owner, in case you haven’t heard, he’s taking back the tax cut ($8 a week) that he gave in 2010, about the same time that the Bush Tax cuts expire so we’ll all be paying more
      How do you think his “talks” with tyrannical dictators of repressed nations will set with the people that live in these countries, hoping that some day America may come and free them from this type of degradation
      If not for FOX News, we may have never known of the 9000 pieces of pork stuffed into the Obama budget for 2009 or the spending of Harry Reid and his $8 billion high speed rail train from LA to Las Vegas or Nancy Pelosi’s $30 million to save the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse in her home state
      I don’t believe all that is said on FOX News, but there is a reason Bill O’Reilly is Number One

  • DJ

    Saying that the recent tax cut makes the protests moot is like saying you don’t need a raise because you got a new credit card. The past administration borrowed more money than all the previous presidents combined, and the current administration is on track to do the same, effectively doubling (again) the national debt. Anyone with half a foot on the ground realizes that money has to be paid back– it’s a tax time bomb waiting to happen.

    As I’ve said before, everyone I know, sick of GWB’s free-spending give-it-to-the-rich ways, expected better from Obama.

    • Debt’s No Tax Cut

      You nailed it. The outrage is over “credit card” use – rampant and ramping up! I find it ironic that President Obama is using the same deceitful gimmick that Bush did – tet people supporting each attack the other! But those of us that are really pissed over “the principle” (or none at all, actually) are the ones raising hell and blaming both. Partisans be damned – the house is on fire and blame is a losers game. LET’S ALL PUT OUT THE FIRE! And we can start by ending the Federal Reserve and the monopoly they have over our currency, our banks and the global economy. Return money printing to the US Treasury and print it based on GDP – at no cost to anyone!!! Yeah, I know, it will drive the moneychangers into warring again. I’m willing to take that fight – Congress is not. So…

    • woody

      I never said it make the protests moot! I’m saying it seems silly to me that people who were not protesting the past 8 years as the national deficit doubled are suddenly in the streets whining about taxes AFTER taxes were just lowered. Again, most of those protesting weren’t talking about the problem of borrowing more, they were protesting that taxes are too high.

      I agree that we need to correct borrowing, and I think Obama will do that. Right now though, his hands are tied to some degree. It’s all fine and good to say “balance the budget” when times are good. No president has done it while in a recession, because it’s not a good idea to cut off potential long term solutions to fix a short term problem. Saving a penny now at the cost of a dollar down the road doesn’t make sense.

      It’s been 3 months since Obama took office, in the middle of the largest recession we’ve seen in 50 years. The fact that we’re starting to see things like unemployment numbers slowing down is a good sign. If he’s still borrowing and spending once we’re out of the recession an on the road to recovery, then sure, I’ll complain too. But you can only do so much so quickly. It took 12 years to get us into this mess, I’m willing to give the current folks in charge more than 12 weeks to get us out of it. Likewise, we’re $12T+ in the hole, most of which was racked up in the past 7 years. I’m willing to let them dig a little deeper at first if it means they can pay it back down later, hopefully at a faster rate.

  • KN

    >The left ignores the very real grievances of the white working class at its peril.

    Why “white” working class? Why not just working class?

    The teabaggers carry signs accusing Obama of socialism, while in the “real world” he is forking over billions of working class dollars to the boss man that Rich is singing about.

    The anger might be genuine, but they need to figure out who are their friends, and who is trying the put blinders over their eyes.

    Woody: Obama (and the pretty much the whole Democratic party) supported and voted for the bailouts from the get-go, even while he was still campaigning last Fall.

    • Well, the teabaggers to appear to be overwhelmingly white. Progressives and hard lefties sometimes seem to want to support black / latino working class but then imply the white working class is just a bunch of NASCAR bozos. Big mistake. Not only is that clearly not so, they sure as Hell resent the insult too.

      • KN

        My point, not clearly made, is that it’s fatal mistake to split the working class into various racial/ethnic components.

        This is not just rhetorical. Detroit, the subject of Rich’s song, is overwhelmingly African-American. The concerns he addresses are the same for all working people, black, whilte, latino, asian, or whatever.

        (For an interesting take on the song and on John Rich, see http://wsws.org/articles/2009/apr2009/rich-a22.shtml )

        • Interesting article. Thx.

          In the US especially, I think it’s a mistake to view the working class as a unified whole with common goals. That to me is a Marxist fantasy. Besides, most working class people here don’t want to overthrow the ruling class, they want to somehow become a member themselves. Also, the differences between classes here are so blurred that I’m not even sure what designates class here.

          A MD who works for Kaiser and makes $150k a year doesn’t own the means of production and thus in Marxist terms would be called working class, which is obviously a bit ridiculous. Joe the Plumber owns a small business, is he then petit bourgeoise? Not hardly.

          The left needs to be making songs like Rich and Hank Williams Jr are making about these hard economic times too.

          • KN

            >Besides, most working class people here don’t want to overthrow the ruling class, they want to somehow become a member

            Capitalist fantasy? (I might live in a strange neighborhood, but most people I know are basically just trying to survive, and maybe put away a small nest egg for retirement.)

            The unification you see as lacking will be forged through common struggle. Racial divisions, etc. seem petty when people across the board are being laid off and evicted.

            (Doctors are in fact becoming increasingly proletarianized, for want of a better word, as are most other professionals. At least the HMO doctors that I see. “Working class” means pretty much everyone these days, short of the small parasitic element referred to in Rich’s song.)

          • I was thinking of something Bono said, in Ireland a worker sees a big house on a hill and says I want to punch the guy who lives in it, in the US he says I want to live in that house someday.

            Common struggle means forming genuine coalitions and working across boundaries. And I think Saul Alinsky was right, forget the working class in the US, organize the middle class, because that’s where the power is.

          • KN

            >forget the working class in the US, organize the middle class

            Different names for the same thing, I would think.

            Don’t know many “middle class” people (myself included) who don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck.

          • DJ

            That’s often a matter of choices. Statistically I’m just slightly above the national median income of $31K, and I DON’T live paycheck to paycheck. But I know people well into the top 5% (wage earners all) who do. I chalk that up to rampant consumerism.

            The majority of small businesses (who as Bob notes may own their means of production) don’t make very much money, but they have more financial flexibility than people addicted to a job. Which suggests that the American ideal of buying into business may not be as farfetched as it sounds– it just requires takling a cut in pay.

          • KN

            >Besides, most working class people here don’t want to overthrow the ruling class, they want to somehow become a member [from an earlier comment]

            >I was thinking of something Bono said, in Ireland a worker sees a big house on a hill and says I want to punch the guy who lives in it, in the US he says I want to live in that house someday.

            Bob,

            Either you are implying that the aspiration that you attribute to the working class to some day”live in that house” is actually realizable across the board, or else that the working class as a whole is so thoroughly deluded that the idea of unity in pursuit of common goals is a total pipe dream.

            If the former, I would say you haven’t been paying proper attention recently.

            If the latter: is this really any less condescending than the attitude that you attribute to the “left” in your original article?

          • I think one of the primary delusions is that of doctrinaire Marxists who claim the working class must and should act as a unified entity in accordance with how Marxist theory says it should act.

            It doesn’t. Never has either. Not even in the 30’s in the US when there was major unrest and militant union actions often led by socialists and communists, the working class didn’t function in unity towards common goals.

            We need a new model, and new way of looking at things. The Marxist strictly class-based model isn’t effective and trying to force facts to fit the model often just self-marginalizes the left instead.

          • KN

            Bob,

            Would you say that Obama and the Wall Street crowd are not in fact fundamentally acting out of class interest (their own)?

          • When various factions aren’t trying to rip each other to shreds, sure. Like GM bondholders who sold CDS vs. those who didn’t. Those who sold profit more and faster if there’s a BK. The others lose probably everything.

            They aren’t a monolith always working in concert. Neither is the working class in the US, whatever that might be. And how does one define what the working class is anyway?

          • KN

            >And how does one define what the working class is anyway?

            People who live by selling their labor power (i.e., work for others in exchange for a paycheck)?

            Like those autoworkers in the video.

            > Class interest? They’ve robbed their own class as well as everyone else. Self-interest is about the extent of it.

            Well, of course there are antagonisms within the elite class(es). That’s what competition is all about, and what helps make capitalism so unstable.

            But if you look at Obama’s words and deeds, you can see that he is quite deferential to the rich (borne out by his basically caving on the bonus issue, and his continuing the Bush policy of transferring billions of working class tax dollars to Wall Street with little or no strings attached), while his attitude towards the autoworkers is to demand more and deeper concessions.

            It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that this is exactly of why he received such huge campaign contributions from the financial sector. Payment upfront for later services.

          • So the guys at Goldman Sachs who were packaging mortgages into bond tranches and taking home $5-10 million a year in bonuses are working class then? Must be, because they didn’t own the means of production.

            The class differences that were obvious in Marx’s day (factory owner/ factory worker) are no longer clear, especially in the US. The distinctions are so blurred that I think class has become almost meaningless as a tool for organizing.

            When Lehman Brothers was “allowed” to fail, it took down Iceland with it. Were Goldman, BofA, or Citi to collapse like that, it would probably crater the world banking system. Yes, I think all three have way too much power and are near if not actually criminal. That’s the game as it is now, not as we want it to be. Were the banking system to fail, hundreds of millions would lose jobs, income, and in poorer nations, many might starve. So Obama shouldn’t try to prop up the system and should let it fail instead? As Doug Henwood says, that’s not leftism, that’s nihilism.

            So, what is to be done?

          • DJ

            Bob: “So Obama shouldn’t try to prop up the system and should let it fail instead?”

            It wasn’t an either-or question. The logical approach would have been to save the banks but break them up at the same time. You may ntice that reports today indicate both B of A and Citi failed their stress tests– and are STILL too big to fail. Expect more treasury looting, I mean bailouts, on the horizon.

            KN: “People who live by selling their labor power (i.e., work for others in exchange for a paycheck)”

            I did a tax return for an autoworker last year. It’s nice to know that some members of the poor, exploited working class make three times the income (or more) of my wicked capitalist endeavors. I agree with Bob: it’s not so clear cut anymore. For one thing, there are relatively few poor people in the U.S. Even the “working class” here supports its lifestyle on the exploitation of the poor of other nations.

            While Marxist political analysis still has much to offer, I find the “five market” analysis (http://asymptoticlife.com/2008/10/19/dow-jones-must-die.aspx) much more useful than the black-and-white dualism of Marxist economics.

          • The banks are too powerful. But I don’t think you can prop them up and split them up at the same time. The breakups should come later. But first let’s prevent a world economic collapse.

            Marxists posit a model that has little relevance or practical use in the US. The working class, if you can even define it or find it, does not work together as a unified whole and has no common class interest that I can see. To say that it does but just doesn’t know it yet is, in my opinion, delusion. Or trying to force the facts to match the theoretical construct.

          • DJ

            Class interest? They’ve robbed their own class as well as everyone else. Self-interest is about the extent of it.

          • DJ

            “The unification you see as lacking will be forged through common struggle. Racial divisions, etc. seem petty when people across the board are being laid off and evicted.”

            Sadly, that’s generally not true in practice. Rather, it spawns competition between groups for increasingly limited resources.

            My grandfather came over from Ireland during the NINA (No Irish Need Apply) years and settled in Boston, where the Irish competed with the Italians for jobs and housing. He was a good man, worked manual labor jobs until he was 80, and never had an unkind word for anyone– but he refused to eat spaghetti ’til the day he died. In his final years, when Meals on Wheels brought spaghetti, he went hungry instead.

          • Precisely. Which is something Alinsky managed to get past. When he started organizing in Back of the Yards, it was almost entirely eastern European Catholics from various countries who did not trust each other. They even had separate churches. One primary way he did it was by getting the Catholic church on his side.

  • DJ

    The teabaggers are not just urban working class, either. They represent at least a portion of the rural/small town working class, ignored by the Dems and now virtually abandoned by the GOP. There are a lot of conservative (not neo-conservative) sentiments being expressed. And Wall Street and the bankers are most definitely viewed as urban elites getting bailed out at our expense.

  • KN

    Interesting stuff, but I’m not sure what happened to “Shutting Detroit Down” in this conversation.

    Is there an economic crises, or isn’t there?

    • There’s a huge economic crisis, made worse by Detroit basically left to fend for itself while the banks get massive bailouts, something which obviously causes anger and resentment.

      Yeah, I think the banks are too big to be allowed to fail (without catastrophic results, that is) so we probably have to prop them up – then sooner rather than later, break them into pieces.

      The growing populism can go either left or right. So the left needs to be active and engaged here. But that’s not happening much, as far as I can see.

  • froggy

    ((a bill was passed to reduce taxes on 95% of the population. Most of them don’t even know what they’re protesting, and are just following along like sheep because a talking head on the Fox network told them to show up.))

    B.S.
    How about the taxes on your phone bill? Looked at it lately?
    Tax on gas, tax on cigarettes, tax on your beer. You buy a new car and they tax it.
    When you sell it, they tax it again.
    When you buy tabs on it, they tax you again.
    Every time you buy a sparkplug or change the oil, they tax it again.
    You buy the shirt on your back, they tax it.
    The second hand store sells it again and they tax the next guy on it.
    You have a view property, there is a view tax.
    I remember when gas was 25 cents and cigarettes were 25 cents in the machine in the bar. Oil comes out of the ground for free now, just like it did then. I always heard that when you sell more volume, the price should come down. When technology allows better faster processing, the price should come down. etc, etc.
    The rich and government employees, have taxed us into slavery.
    In Tacoma, they are paying some police and firemen over a hundred grand a year.
    Their defense of that outrageous pay is that some states are paying more.
    In San Jose, it is $250 grand a year.
    Martin Luther King and Ghandi showed us how to bring the establishment around.
    You get into the streets by the millions.
    You won’t vote them out.. the new ones will be just as greedy.
    There need to be firm laws about the amount of money they tax us out of.
    Abolish interest for starters.

    • froggy

      Another thought, is that people are complaining about losing our jobs to overseas.. japan, china, etc.. and yet they are buying products from those countries.
      That is like grousing about drugs coming from Mexico. Who is buying those drugs?
      We need tit for tat agreements about foreign trade. You buy $100 worth of stuff from us, we buy the same amount from you. No exceptions. And jail senteces for any congressman or senator caught indulging in Pork barrel activities. No spending unless it is absolutely necessary. No exceptions.

    • woody

      “What about the taxes on your phone bill?”

      For the most part those taxes are local county and state taxes, not Federal taxes. Federal legislation can’t stop local authorities from leveling taxes.

    • nobody

      I see that you don’t understand what commerce means.

      And abolish interest? I guess you don’t plan to buy a car or house anytime soon.

      • somebody

        john has a very good point poeple are suffering and are just looking out for their asses we need to come together not get greedy

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  • If you believe that myth that 95% of all taxpayers will see their taxes cut you do not understand economics. Sure we all have seen a few dollars shaved off our tax withholding but where does the government get the money from in the first place?

    They get by laying taxes on income and excise taxes on many goods and services. Your tax rate may be cut but to make up for the loss the Congress will need to raise taxes elsewhere. When tax increases are put on businesses they will simply pass on the cost to consumers just like any other overhead expenses such as utilities, transportation, and employee pay and benefits. So any tax cuts you may get will be replaced by much higher prices for goods and services.

    I was at a teabag rally (not teabagger which is a homosexual sex act purposely said that way to mock us) and the politicians had better heed the raising voices of excessive taxation and out-of-control and unjustified government spending or else they will find themselves on the streets alongside laid-off workers.

  • bb

    Great video

  • TJ

    This song speaks to every hard working American in the country; Black, White, Asian, Hispanic or Rainbow. What’s happening to our country has nothing to do with the Republicats; it has everything to do with the elites vs. the working class. They may be able to ignore us now, but what goes around, comes around. In 2010 we are going to remember who voted to bail out the elites on Wall Street. I hold them all in comtempt. I watch this video and just thank God for the talent he has given John Rich, and that he has used his talent to produce such an anthem for the working class. It’s an amazing video for an amazing time. Who in America would have ever thought we would come to this? I’m so glad Kris Krisofferson and Mickey Rourke were in this video. They were amazing. It also speaks to the fact that this is not about left or right; Repubs or Dems….who can tell the difference these days anyway? This is about the absolute sell out and sell off of America to the elite class….

  • Bob Forsberg

    Three letters, UAW. When people who build a product are over payed either in money or benefits for what they do, those who buy the product will eventually find the value of the product lacking and find another.

    The teabaggers are now on strike…. don’t like it UAW?

    Big 3 long term management has also been non-existent for the last 20 years, besides being in bed with the union bosses.

    Its not the workers so much but the union bosses who justified their own existence with over blown undeserved rewards to the workers or convincing the Kool-Aid drinkers a strike was needed.

    Unreasonable expectations have caught up with us all…but its always someone else’s fault.

    • Sounds like the subprime debacle, doesn’t it?

  • Ariel

    I guess I jumped into this a little late. I’ve read everything here and I have to say, tax cuts will always be countered with raising taxes elsewhere. I am by no means a smart man but when blame is thrown around to off-set the screw ups of another, that just stupid. It’s easy to blame someone you will never meet, they can’t defend themselves.

    I was never a fan of John Rich but I love the video. Blame cannot be thrown at the big whigs for a serious lack of quality in the American Auto Industry. I’ve owned Chevys, Jeeps, Fords, Subarus, and Hyundais. The older models were flawless, mostly. My 1998 Chevy gave me more problems than my 1986 Chevy. My 1996 Ford was about useless. My 1989 Jeep had some issues but it still ran. The start of bad times? My 1988 Subaru had one problem, other than it was too small. My 2002 and 2004 Hyundais are like a wet dream.

    Bottom line, quality is lacking in America and because of it, the population is buying foreign. Add to it the insane prices that are being charged for these sub-par products. Make no mistake, I am American all the way, I joined the Army and went overseas, I am a Patriot through and through but America needs to bring it’s A-Game to compete.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong but aren’t people getting foreclosed because they tried to afford way more than they actually could? I see the housing market around where I live and it’s a joke. $500,000 for a four bedroom house. Who does that? I think that people try to live beyond their means to feel better about themselves and it comes back to bite them in butt. Then they turn around and quickly blame someone else for their screw up. It makes no sense to me.

    I am fascinated by economics since my first class in college and would love to hear anything anyone has to say on the matter.

    P.S. That video was good. Mickey Rourke and Kris Kristofferson were perfect for it.

    • The real estate bubble was what Wall Street calls the Greater Fool Theory. I may be a fool for paying so much for something, but you’re a greater fool for buying it from me for more. This is great fun (and profitable) until the bubble pops.

      Calculated Risk is an excellent blog for the current economic problems and discussion, if you don’t know about it.

      http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/

    • DJ

      “Someone correct me if I am wrong but aren’t people getting foreclosed because they tried to afford way more than they actually could? … I think that people try to live beyond their means to feel better about themselves and it comes back to bite them in butt. Then they turn around and quickly blame someone else for their screw up.”

      Yes, that’s true. But it’s become the American way (look at how our government spend money it doesn’t have!), and there are mega-billions being made enabling and promoting the lifestyle of living beyind means– and some of those companies (we now learn) were themselves living beyong their means!

      But the real question is, why do people NEED to feel better about themselves? What’s lacking? My answer: we’ve become a culture of materialists, and materialism is an empty promise that doesn’t fulfill us. It’s an addiction like drugs or alcohol or gambling. And like the alcoholic, it’s always someone else’s fault.

  • jennifer

    WOW Thats what I call a video I could not stop crying I am still crying great song great video just great thats all I can say

  • connie

    BUSH and his Republican senate gave us this, WITH the help of spineless democrats! They got rid of regulations of every kind. The banks and wall street became so powerful, we HAVE to bail them out, OR face a deeper depression than the 1st one. But, we should also help the auto industry…many MILLIONS of jobs depend on them. Not just the “overpayed” union people putting them together, as “some” politicians want you to believe! Many towns will be ghosts town across this country, b/c they make the parts that go into American cars!! It is not just DETROIT!!
    LOBBYISTS also gave us this, with their billions in payola, and all those ELECTED officials in DC FORGOT about you and me. B/c we didn’t pad their pockets for votes! There are many ways to point fingers…and lay blame…and that does what to solve anything?
    It IS going to be painful…very painful in more ways than one. BUT, we have to CHANGE the way we do business…ALL OF US. WE can shoot darts at one another, and we can hold teabags…which accomplishes absolutely nothing!!! OR we can hold our government accountable and stand as THE PEOPLE…TOGETHER…dems, Gop’s and Indies…and DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY! The more we all argue about how we got here…and who is more wrong…the more WE lose!! When THE PEOPLE do not stand together….we become POWERLESS! And that is what happened the past 8 years! With the help of ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WERE IN OFFICE AT THAT TIME!!
    Knock off the name calling…and find a way to come together….FOR US!
    When our voices speak in unison….we are a force to be reckoned with!
    THE PARTY HEADS don’t want us to stand together…we would be more powerful than them!!!
    Wake up people…THIS is more about WHAT Political PARTY YOU BELONG TO.
    BE AN AMERICAN FIRST…b/c ONLY THEN will American rise to the top again!!
    I am so freakin’ sick of partisan BS…and the political pundit/talking heads love nothing more than to see this nations PEOPLE divided, b/c it makes us POWERLESS in the process!

  • Hey there friend, you are right about the left and tea baggers having common ground. You may be interested in Glenn Beck (who most will call looney) who preaches the same thing about getting past party politics and what not.

    John Rich is definitely right wing, he has done other stuff in the past for the Conservative party. I did not know that about Kris, thanks for the info.

    God bless.

  • JT

    This song is amazing and it points out so many true points. if our politics weren’t so damn money greedy our economy might not be so bad. The rich get richer and the poor get more poor. stop thinking about how you can make an extra hundo the next day and leave it for someone else who needs it to make it

  • This song doesn’t really say anything and it was probably written that way intentionally. It’s just inflammatory. If he had mentioned ANY kind of solution to the problem in the song, he would have alienated half fans which gets back to the fact that there’s no easy fix–you can’t make things better by just yelling and screaming about taxes (or losing jobs or whatever). It’s going to take compromise, patience, sacrifice and mental work. The song could’ve been bolder by saying something like we’re tired of getting screwed by the rich man SO we’re not shopping at walmart anymore; we’re not buying from corporate farms anymore; etc.

  • Terri S

    WOW I have always likee this guy, John Rich and I love this new song, ‘They’re closing Detroit Down’. When he sang this song last night, on national TV, he was wearing a Tee Shirt that said, BAIL THIS OUT and I want one too. I say let’s support him – for the working man/woman’s sake!!! He is on the right track and I am behind him all the way.

  • sherry

    i am here to tell u al i have seen people lose there jobs because of all this crap this day in age my mom worked at shop for 8 yrs and now she is laid off because they have no work for them and u all sit and say thing it not the goverment faulth we are where we are at well new flash guys they at fault if they would done something before all this happen maybe we would not be where we are today and all forcloser on home and people cannot make it anymore on what they get at there jobs and stuff like this song says it all look at what is going on at gm and them they are shutting down because they cannot afford to be here in the states he really drives the point home what is going on her and it pretty sad that people have to lose there job just because are learder did not take care of us

  • bcmugger

    Anyone that uses the word “teabaggers” had no credibility. Go back to russia you communist pig.

    • Oh gosh, another whiny anonymous troll without the guts to identify himself. We care deeply what you think. Really.

      • DJ

        He/she has a point: “teabagger” refers to a person who performs a particular sex act, and it’s hard to see how the nickname is not derogatory.

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