A Parable...

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At the risk of posting in the wrong section - I recieved this the other day. As it says - it would be funny if it wasn't true. (and as a disclaimer - I do not drive a Toyota) A Modern Parable. A Japanese car company and an American car company decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River . Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters. The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses. The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India . Sadly, the End. Here's something else to think about: GM has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US . The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while GM racked up 9 billion in losses. GM folks are still scratching their heads, collecting bonuses... and accepting bailouts.
 
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That parable has been floating around forever in one form or another. What if the big 3 made canoes that drafted nine inches of water, but a drought came and rivers were only six inches deep? They kept making nine inch canoes and petitioned the government to pump water, at great taxpayer expense, into the headwaters to return the rivers to nine inch levels. Meanwhile the competition came out with efficient, six inch drafting canoes. The competition is not just Japanese names... and quality is not the issue it once was. Yet marketing hasn't figured out how to counteract the perception... they're floundering like any one of the eight non-engineers in the above parable.
 

pbm

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Another example would be the Education bureaucracy. I went to my childs graduation and saw that the school has a Principal, an assistant Principal, a curriculum coordinator, and a business administrator. What do all these positions do except cost the taxpayers money?
 
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 Originally Posted By: pbm
Another example would be the Education bureaucracy. I went to my childs graduation and saw that the school has a Principal, an assistant Principal, a curriculum coordinator, and a business administrator. What do all these positions do except cost the taxpayers money?
You have a problem with this?
 
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I don't know about your parable, but I was born in 1946, one year after the end of WW2. I would never buy a Japanese or German car; 100% American. After rusting Pontiacs and Buicks and transmission problems with Fords and Mercury's, I finally bought a 2007 Toyota and 2008 Hyundai. I keep cars for 10 years so I know that I am comparing old technology with new, but GM and Ford didn't get it right in the 70's, 80's, or 90's, so now they lost me as a customer. I don't know how these foreign cars will hold up, but if they do, I'll be back and so will my adult children.
 
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 Originally Posted By: GROUCHO MARX
 Originally Posted By: pbm
Another example would be the Education bureaucracy. I went to my childs graduation and saw that the school has a Principal, an assistant Principal, a curriculum coordinator, and a business administrator. What do all these positions do except cost the taxpayers money?
You have a problem with this?
I have a problem with it. There is too much fat in the public education system today and all we do is throw money at education and this never fixes the problem. For the record, I did go to private schools from Pre-K thru college yet my parents still paid taxes for the public services that I never used. So adding up all the private shcool kids that paid into the public system yet never used it - that's a lot of free money too! I feel teachers should be paid better (not all, some college professors make too much money for what htey do) but the administration needs thinning out. Then you add in zero tolerance, crime in schools and poor results and for what? My child goes to private school too because the "system" can't keep him safe nor teach him properly.
 
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pbm

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 Originally Posted By: GMBoy
 Originally Posted By: GROUCHO MARX
 Originally Posted By: pbm
Another example would be the Education bureaucracy. I went to my childs graduation and saw that the school has a Principal, an assistant Principal, a curriculum coordinator, and a business administrator. What do all these positions do except cost the taxpayers money?
You have a problem with this?
I have a problem with it. There is too much fat in the public education system today and all we do is throw money at education and this never fixes the problem. For the record, I did go to private schools from Pre-K thru college yet my parents still paid taxes for the public services that I never used. So adding up all the private shcool kids that paid into the public system yet never used it - that's a lot of free money too! I feel teachers should be paid better (not all, some college professors make too much money for what htey do) but the administration needs thinning out. Then you add in zero tolerance, crime in schools and poor results and for what? My child goes to private school too because the "system" can't keep him safe nor teach him properly.
Yes I have a problem with the BLOATED school bureacracy that costs a fortune and gets minimal results. When I went to school in the 1960's all those positions were handled by one person. I agree with GMBoy thats its not neccessarily the teachers but the administration where the FAT needs cutting.
 
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It gets REALLY fun when you put them all on bonuses, and have the KRAs diametrically opposing.
 

pbm

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Parable- 'A simple story told to illustrate a moral truth' The OP's parable illustrates why the domestic car makers have failed. My parable illustrates another moral truth but rather than fail the education bureacracy just hits the taxpayers up for more cash.
 
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Here's an anecdote: I buy several fresh loaves of italian bread per week. Store A had a hard, stale, tasteless loaf in 1998. So I bought from store B. Store A changed the recipe. I discovered this change several months ago. It's an ounce more and 49 cents cheaper than the bread I've bought... hundreds if not thousands of times in the interim. People whine that car brand X is just as reliable as brand Y and should be given reconsideration.... it is way harder to get someone back once you've had them try you and gotten mad... justified or not!! If domestic cars are bought by people who forget to check or change their oil, extra money and engineering has to go in to make pan level sensors and change reminder lights. GM is actually doing this! Many bystanders think the idiots neglecting their cars deserve what's coming... but those same idiots do need to shop for replacements.
 
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 Originally Posted By: TWG1572
...all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.
Don't you mean Korea?
 
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I found myself driving behind an older Jeep Cherokee this afternoon, that had a chrome-plated bumper (that might tell you how old it was). Half of the bumper was rusted away. I've also seen Dodges less than 10 years old with rusted-through rocker panels. Folks would keep these older American cars, would fix them up, and would have a better opinion of American cars, if the manufacturers had put just a little more effort into the prevention of rust. Do any of the Detroit Three offer a 10- or 12-year anticorrosion warranty, like some European manufacturers? Why not?
 
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 Originally Posted By: eljefino
If domestic cars are bought by people who forget to check or change their oil, extra money and engineering has to go in to make pan level sensors and change reminder lights. GM is actually doing this! Many bystanders think the idiots neglecting their cars deserve what's coming... but those same idiots do need to shop for replacements.
This isn't new technology, my 1989 Mustang GT had a oil level sensor. heck, new BMW's only get a sensor, maybe they save a euro or 2 by not having a dipstick? How complex are these sensors anyways? A float and a switch?
 
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