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I've been thinking about a lot about this today as well.

Since the conflict is inherent, it undermines not only Toyota but confidence in safety recalls generally. There is no way, and most likely never again will be a way, to know why they were issued. Is it really a problem, or were GM sales just low last quarter?

"We're not finished with Toyota..." LaHood 2010-02-02

The Japanese have many barriers of entry to their markets and have used them to keep out competition. It is entirely possible that the UAW and the Dems are exacting revenge especially when they stand to benefit financially. The problem is that the current situation is not conducive to trade wars. We should resist populist efforts to restrict our markets or give domestic producers an advantage for fear of causing a trade war. In the spirit of Transportation Sec. Ray "The" Hood, Bring your malfunctioning politician to the Mises Institute, FEE , Cato, GMU or any Austrian Economics affiliated institution before any further damage done.

I've seen similar thinking on various financial blogs over the past couple days (notably zerohedge dealbreaker). To be honest, I think the argument seems like somewhat of a stretch.

1) yes Toyota is acting out of character
2) yes the government's actions/commentary seem suspicious and biased
3) yes a conflict of interest exists

However, I think good old fashioned protectionism and pandering to US Auto Unions seems a whole lot more likely than the government actually caring about the money they've invested.

i.e. the cruxof the issue isn't that the gov't has a stake in GM, it is that the Unions have a stake in our politicians.

Re: Jasper

I don't think it is the financial stake in GM they are protecting. On a purely financial level I don't imagine anyone involved would care if it lost billions forever. I think it is the political stake of showing that they did "the right thing"; that GM is a thriving concern, if not profitable at least growing/recovering.

I had heard, fwiw, that GM sales are up 14% since the recall was announced, so it does seem to have some effect.

Attacking a non-UAW competitor no doubt had its bonuses as well.

As much as I agree with the fact that it's a conflict of interest, are we ignoring that Toyota itself issued the recall, both in the US and Japan? I'm not saying the politicians aren't loving it, but they didn't just decide to willy nilly "punish their competition through the force of law". At least not in this case.

why waste your time on this crappola. There is nothing you can do, because all you do is talk about it. The gov will do what it wants, whenever it wants because it is the ruling class. Don't you have something more to worry about? How about the deflationary depression heading your way?? How about the looting of the treasury and the assets of the US.

As far as I am concerned, you can keep the japanese vehicles out of our country. i have no problem with isolationism as long as it works for our country.

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