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Making big businesses smaller via definition
October 13, 2010 10:42 PM   Subscribe

If a car dealership makes less than $30 million per year or has less than 200 employees - help is on the way!
posted by Brent Parker (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey, I make less than $30 million a year and employ fewer than 200 people! I'm set!
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:45 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is great news for local news advertising budgets.
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 PM on October 13, 2010


Pretty disappointing. Why not specify that the only car dealerships that should receive this extra SBA help be required to sell cars that are the most environmentally friendly, within some range defined by the EPA?

Another thing that galls me about this is that automobile dealers overcharge consumers for service, and continue to play "my price, your price" games. Sure, they're large suppliers of revenue to local municipalities, but that's because many municipalities haven't innovated for the last 50 years, because their mostly asleep-at-the-wheel politicians and top bureaucrats have been too busy playing petty power politics. So, here we are, seeding the one of the most retrograde retail sectors in existence? Except for the mechanics, automobile dealers are not known for paying well. And, most of their business practices are legend, in a negative way.

Frankly, I don't think Obama and his folks know what they're doing. Seriously. They're throwing a lot of stuff at the wall in the hope that something will stick. I don't see leadership in many of these initiatives; I see a lot of "hmmmm, maybe this will work" policy activity.

Playing my own devils advocate, a large part of what they're doing may be to try anything that generates hope, so that political constituents have something to hang on to. We're in a structural funk that is going to last for a long time, until we recalibrate the "American Dream" into something like the "Pragmatic American Dream". Certainly its better to have Obama and his folks in there, compared to the alternative; what worries me is that there seems to be no sense of fundamental innovation in so many of the enterprise sectors that public policy really has an opening to change - i.e. health care, transportation, education, R&D, etc. Maybe things will change. Maybe not. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy, but stuff like this makes me wonder why Obama keeps punting when he's on the opponent's 15 yard line. What the heck is going on? Maybe it will change if the Dems don't get killed in November. Maybe Obama's waiting until a second term, and working to finagle just enough change to get re-elected and then hit with both barrels. I'm just guessing. Right now, I'm not impressed.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:31 AM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


stuff like this makes me wonder why Obama keeps punting when he's on the opponent's 15 yard line.

Well, in November they're going to bring out the chains and measure. I wouldn't count on a first down.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:01 AM on October 14, 2010


Frankly, I don't think Obama and his folks know what they're doing. Seriously.

A comment on CSPAN's Washington Journal from Michael Hirsh yesterday was most apt. Basically that almost the entirety of the economic advisor team, save Austan Goolsbee, had Robert Rubin on speed dial. Of course, the same Rubin that was lauded, along with Greenspan, as the greatest economic minds ever to grace the Treasury and Fed. Of course, after the great fall of '08, much of what these brilliant minds advocated was largely discredited in the face of (as so many politicians and pundits like to say) "the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression". Yet the Obama team is stacked with the folks who were essentially mentored by Rubin. Food for thought anyway.

Hirsh was promoting "Capital Offense: How Washington's Wise Men Turned America's Future Over to Wall Street ". Which looked interesting based on the CSPAN
discussion.

Pretty disappointing. Why not specify that the only car dealerships that should receive this extra SBA help be required to sell cars that are the most environmentally friendly, within some range defined by the EPA?

But how many dealerships would this even apply to. Automobiles aren't exactly environmentally friendly, especially American automobiles.
posted by IvoShandor at 4:28 AM on October 14, 2010


I don't get all the hate for car dealers. They sometimes fleece those who aren't informed, but uninformed consumers always pay more for almost everything. At the grocery store, you can use coupons, at electronics retailers, you can haggle. Same with a car dealer.

There certainly exist car dealerships that I would have no problem considering "small business." Until a few years ago this one was still operating in the same storefront they had been since the day they opened back in the 40s.

Anyway, it's not specifically about auto dealers. Let's keep in mind that large businesses in this country have a net worth a hundred times what the new definition of "small business" encompasses. This isn't stupid enough for me to issue a blanket condemnation of the new policy at this time. It may end up funneling SBA money into these larger businesses to the detriment of those who would have qualified under the previous policy, but it may not. That remains to be seen.
posted by wierdo at 7:25 AM on October 14, 2010


Any of you guys noticed that every specific example of our industrial policy (loosely speaking) is just stupid? Stupid on "small businesses;" stupid on "family farms;" stupid on "green jobs;" etc. Shit is endemic and not surprising.
posted by grobstein at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2010


It is actually fairly smart, if your goal is to buy votes.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:50 AM on October 14, 2010


We just bought a car the other week, first time in over a decade, and luckily we knew exactly what we wanted and got a good deal on it, because the overall experience was so unpleasant - last day of the month, they're pushing desperately to get it off the lot, etc, etc - that after four and half hours, our main motivation to sign the papers was just to get the hell out of there.

For what it's worth.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:02 AM on October 14, 2010


Yeah, my SO bought a car a couple of weeks ago. It took three damn hours. The price negotiation took 15 minutes. The F&I person was giving us the hard sell on an extended warranty and a bunch of other BS to try and make more than the $1,000 they were making on the car itself. (They probably bought it for about $2000 less than we paid, but put new tires and some other things on it)

Some dealers are perfectly pleasant, though. A friend of mine bought a car some years back at one of those "no haggle" places and it took under an hour, including the test drive.
posted by wierdo at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2010


Some dealers are perfectly pleasant, though. A friend of mine bought a car some years back at one of those "no haggle" places and it took under an hour, including the test drive.

Costco*.
All done over email with a brief chat on the phone.
First time I met the salesguy in person was to pick up the keys.

* Which more or less just puts you in touch with "fleet" sales for every dealer in your geographic area. Somethine you could do yourself, but why not do it in bulk?
posted by madajb at 12:16 PM on October 14, 2010


4 hours???

If you're waiting more than an hour after settling on the price to close the deal at a dealership, it means you aren't willing to walk away from the deal, and YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. Stand up, say "you guys aren't serious, I'm leaving". Having done this, you won't make it to the door before someone has something to sign in front of you.

FWIW...I bought my last 3 cars at Carmax, one of the "no haggle" places. It took me longer to pick the car (narrowing the pool online) than it did to complete the paperwork. Recommended. Get the extended warranty...the fact that it cost me $75 to replace the defective air conditioner in the Volvo S70 made it worth having that warranty on all 3 cars.
posted by kjs3 at 8:38 PM on October 14, 2010


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