Sunday, April 25, 2010

Astounding Ignorance

Today, the Cavs posted an advertisement to follow them on Twitter for a prize pack to be given away during the Cavs - Bulls game. They tweeted it first, but it also made it to facebook. On the facebook version, a Toyota add was posted along with it.

And sure enough, some of the ignorance that is killing Cleveland rears its ugly head.

To quote:

How about posting this MINUS the Toyota symbol. You have a Ford plant in Cleveland, a Chrysler in Toldeo and a GM one right outside of Youngstown. This is NOT a Toyota friendly area.

Some other ignoramus' proceed to agree with the young lady. One individual tried to post some common sense into the discussion only to be asked:

@Terry...Where do their profits go.?

Bunch of comments like that. And these people wonder why foreign multinationals don't come here. The astounding ignorance.

So many of you know I spent 18 years in Japan and married a Japanese woman. My kids have dual citizenship. So you may think I'm an apologist for Toyota or Japanese companies. There may be an element of truth to such criticism. I'll admit that.

Reality is though, 30 years ago I heard the same thing. In particular, I remember the bumper sticker "If your hungry eat your fucking Toyota". At the time I thought that we live in a capitalist country and the Japanese were making cars that were inexpensive, didn't break down, and had great gas mileage so they were winning in the market. That's exactly why my family bought a Toyota to go along with our Plymouth station wagon. I thought that perhaps rather than complaining about the Japanese we ought to be learning what they're doing right and start implementing some of those things, or even improving on them.

That was one of the driving motivations for me to learn Japanese.

30 years later, as Toyota and Honda and other Japanese and foreign automakers grow, succeed and build multiple factories in the United States, hiring thousands and thousands of Americans, I hear the same boneheaded type of comments. You have noticed that nobody is building new factories here, or even taking over closed factories. Regardless of who they are, they are staying away from Northeast Ohio. They are coming to Ohio, just not NEO. In fact, Ohio happens to be the most preferred destination for foreign businesses in the country. Just not NEO. I should say Cleveland really.

The astounding ignorance of it all.

As these folks loudly proclaim the fact they are multi-generational UAW members, factories continue to close, continue to move out of Cleveland. Go for it guys, shoot yourselves in the foot. Continue to antagonize the folks that are building factories and hiring Americans. As is clear from the migration from out of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County underscores, you'll be moving soon too.

The thing that kills me though is these folks are fans of a team partially owned by the Chinese. The same country that owns a big chunk of our debt. They same people that complain about the Chinese owning part of our national debt, willfully ignore the fact that Dan Gilbert has done the exact same thing - sold part of the ownership stake in the Cavs to Chinese interests. To those fans asking where Toyota's profits go, where do think these folks profits go? Certainly not here to Cleveland.

Secondly, why on earth would you begrudge the Cavs receiving money from Toyota. That's money that stays here! That's somebody here that gets some free goodies. Who cares who its paid for by? You don't want it, I'll take it.


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