By Michael Fumento
You don’t need to look for ulterior motives in the government attacks on Toyota, which include not just the current congressional hearings but such things as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s warning that anyone who owns a recalled Toyota should “stop driving it.”
After all, demagoguery is part of the job description. Then there’s H.L. Mencken’s observation that government seeks ever “to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
And yes, there’s talk about more regulations on the auto industry and to the government, especially the Democrats, more regulations are always better.
But beyond this it remains that Toyota sales have already been hit hard, with a 10 percent drop in January compared to the January before, and Americans still need to buy new cars - which is to say they are buying from its competitors. As it happens, the U.S. government has an 8% stake in Chrysler and 61% stake in GM. The UAW, a staunch supporter of the majority Democratic Party, has a 55 percent stake in Chrysler.
There’s nothing a good demagogic congressman likes to point out more than businessmen seeking an unfair advantage. Look in the mirror, guys.