May 232009

Take a moment and read this heartbreaking letter from Dodge dealer George C. Joseph in Melbourne, Florida.  Here is an excerpt:

On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them…

Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.



Mark Steyn’s darkly amusing answer in The Corner to this fellow:

Get real, man. If you’re a Yemeni jihadist whose lawyer is now Assistant Deputy Associate Deputy Assistant Attorney-General, you’re entitled to the full protection of the U.S. Constitution. The rest of us have to take our chances. Be thankful your refurbished showroom isn’t being confiscated to re-house Gitmo detainees.

Are you getting it?  Is it sinking in?  The government is taking this dealer’s franchise away from him.  The dealer himself will be stuck with his new car inventory, financed for about $3 million.  The only thing he can do is try to sell them all before June 9, because on June 10 he can’t sell them as new.  Chrysler has not only not offered to buy the vehicles back, but will extend him no factory incentives of any kind beyond the deadline.

Mr. Joseph will have to terminate the employment of 50 people as a direct result of his franchise being confiscated.  Will the Obama regime reduce their absurd “saved job” count by this number?

Anyone care to guess whether he’ll be getting a federal bailout for that renovation loan?

How do you go from being a responsible and respected local leader owning and running a 35-years-and-counting family business to destitute in less than a month?

Change you can believe in, comrades!

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 Posted by at 7:46 am

  14 Responses to “Yeah, this government- and union-owned car company thing is going to work out nicely”

  1. What’s outrageous is that there is no outrage. That’s what happens when you demonize success.

  2. This crap really makes me mad. That and some recent outrageous examples of government seizing private property via eminent domain. Even here in Huntsville we have government buying up luxury apartments, kicking out the residents, and giving them to those on the public dole. We aren’t talking regular apartments but Luxury ones. WTF.

    I used to think we as a nation could survive eight years of Obama as long as the Republicans could keep his programs tied up in legislation. Now I’m not so sure our nation will survive a single Obama term.

  3. I’m experiencing some of this personally. Stocks are my thing. Especially small companies with more tangible assets than liabilities.

    One such company I owned stock in (up until yesterday), despite a strong positive tangible asset to liability ratio, had to file for bankruptcy due to its credit lines being terminated and the resulting cash flow problems. It’s important to add that the company had been losing money for the last year are so as well.

    Typically, during a chapter 11 bankruptcy, a company’s assets are auction off to the highest bidder(s), and the proceeds are used to pay off creditors in order of their legal claim to such assets. Sometimes the company is sold intact and survives, sometimes it is split into bits and pieces. That’s Capitalism.

    In this case, since the primary creditor, Wells Fargo, took TARP money, Democratic members of Congress and the Obama administration put pressure on Wells Fargo and the Bankruptcy Court to accept a lower bid for the assets because that particular bidder would keep the company “whole” and “save” those non-productive non-profitable union jobs. (Chicago area jobs at that!)

    The bottom line is that MY assets are being given away for less than fair value to preserve union jobs. Secured Creditors who by law have first rights on asssets will receive less than those assets would bring at auction and less than they are owed. Unsecured creditors and shareholders will receive nothing. For me that’s a mid 5 figure hit. Thank you Comrade Obama. Way to f**k the middle class.

  4. That guy needs to find a good arsonist…worked for Jimmy’s so I hear.

  5. ‘seester: The grandest irony is that such practices (demonizing successful people) are exactly 180 out. The small business owner is essentially the only person who does matter in our economy. S/he is the engine.

    Bob: I can’t believe we’re only four months in.

    Lee: Thanks for that story. That’s a pointed way to bring it home to everyone, and an excellent (though unfortunate for you) illustration of the extended consequences of this lunacy.

    Dan: I hope some national news outlet takes an interest in Mr. Joseph’s case. There have to be some “interesting” circumstances here, I think.

    One of the most maddening things of all here is that Obama never misrepresented what he intended to do. He told us right to our faces. Not enough people gave a shit.

    How much longer? How much more wealth needs to be redistributed (or destroyed outright) before there is any significant backlash?

  6. Soory to get off the subject for a second, but I went back to the “He told us right to our faces post and noticed the little “disagreement” with Gerry. Just out of curiosity, when was the final straw with him for you?

  7. nhfalcon: This post, particularly this sentence, took the last bit of patience I had:

    “I have long suspected that racism (and, without a doubt, class-ism) was one of the underlying ‘principles’ of the party.”

    I delisted him the next day.

  8. Yeah, I remember that post.

    As I’ve said, it’s so hard to intuit intent or tone-of-voice with the written word, and as you’ve said, Chili insists he’s really not that bad, and I have had a lot of good interactions with him, but GOD does he come across as just a cranky, bitter, humorless, old man sometimes!

    That said, he did challenge me in a good way, so if he deigned to come back to the Eyrie, I’d probably welcome him back – at least until he got pissy again. 🙂

  9. nhfalcon: Yes, I get what you’re saying about intent and tone of voice, but man, even that is only so much of a factor. What do you make of someone who is (reportedly) consistently gentle and easygoing in person, and a belligerent jackass on the net?

    Quite a few people who read WmWms have known me personally for many years, and I don’t think any of them would say I’m a different person here than I am face to face. I have no interest in playing a role when I’m online, and I’m immediately suspicious of someone who does. (‘Course, if said role-playing is up front and center–as with a themed blog or something–that’s different. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on here.)

    Why would someone do that? Can there be an unambiguously innocuous motivation for such?

    When it comes to discussing and disagreeing, I’ve only got what someone gives me. I’m delighted to get into it with a civil opponent. But if someone’s going to hurl baseless epithets and stomp off at the first bump in his polemical road, then fuck him/her. You can’t piss on the table during the soup course and then expect witty repartee during dessert. And if someone can’t remember and live that pretty much all the time, then perhaps s/he needs another pastime.

  10. “You can’t piss on the table during the soup course and then expect witty repartee during dessert.”

    LOL. I’m going to steal that one!

  11. Awful story. Did Joseph sign personally for the debt and not protect his family’s assets with a corporation?

  12. Lee: Delighted. Thanks. 🙂

    Greg: I don’t know. So far as I know we just have the letter (which a quick Googling seems to reveal is going viral) and Steyn’s commentary to this point. As I said, I hope some national outlet or another takes an interest in this story and does some digging–a lot of digging.

    I’m particularly interested in the political activities of Mr. Joseph, as well as those of the dealer to whom his stolen franchise is being given. I’m also curious about the minority-owned status of each dealership.

    But I’m sure I’m just being irrational and paranoid.

  13. Sorry – haven’t read blogs in a few days so I’m late to the game. However, I’m with Lee – that is one of the best lines EVER!!! I only hope to be able to use it someday, fully credited of course. 🙂

  14. Terri: Thanks. No attribution necessary. 🙂

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