Thank you, Wendy's, for introducing us to the greatest fast-food campaign since Mac & Me.
"3conomics." I love it. Really.
Meanwhile, in the real economy, or lack thereof...
I don't want to hear anyone else refer to Warren Buffett as America's great economic oracle. Not after Bill Watterson nailed the 2008 auto bailout more than 15 years ago. Every panel of this strip is amazingly prescient, to the point that I question whether this is real. Take it away, Calvin and Hobbes:
Jumpstart the economy: Legalize weed! Seriously, the federal and state governments could raise revenue and reduce law enforcement and incarceration costs. It took the Great Depression to end prohibition, so the regulation of marijuana would be timely.
Is China evil? We better hope not -- they own about $2 trillion of our assets now. And that $2 trillion just what's owned by the Chinese government.
Two bits of essential reading on this topic:
1. Forbes' Donald Straszheim opines in "China Buys Wall Street" that we shouldn't worry about Chinese sovereign wealth. It needs to uphold its reputation in the world after all, and if anything it will broaden Wall Street's time horizon. That's a good thing.
Talk to the Chinese! Talk to the Middle Easterners! And pull your troops back! Take the troops back, demobilize many of the troops, so that you can save some money rather than spending $2 billion every day on them. And then tell your people that you need to save, and come out with a long-term, sustainable financial policy.
God, I hate it when foreigners talk sense.
Finally, let's talk about cars again.
With some exceptions, buying a new car is like throwing your current and future savings into a volcano. Instant depreciation is an unforgiving bitch. And many if not most new car purchases are utter luxuries, if the tens of millions of cars that were once purchased new in America and now roam other countries' streets are any indication.
Maybe America is figuring this out. Somehow, we're buying one-third fewer new cars than we were a year ago, and yet we still get our asses to work and Sunday School and Honeyhands Thai Massage out on 12 Mile.
So the car companies are freaking. Their business models are predicated on consumers endlessly hankering for new cars that are priced close to their annual incomes. Throw in extended warranties, "rust protection," and the mother lode, financing, and sometimes these companies earn actual profit (if they're not based in Michigan, that is).
But the buyers aren't showing up now. Who besides Hank Paulson is making $25,000 commitments these days?
Leave it to Hyundai's marketing wizards to come up with the feel-good answer: Hyundai Assurance.
Starting today you can feel good about buying a car, despite these current times. If you find that you cannot make your payment because of a covered life changing event, we'll allow you to return your vehicle and walk away from your loan obligation -- and in most cases we will cover most, if not all of the difference.
This is the equivalent of a 30-day guarantee on a Sham-WOW. It'll seal the deal on a few buying decisions, but hardly anybody will go through the trouble of cashing in. After all, whether or not you get laid off, the city bus doesn't run all the way out to Honeyhands Thai Massage, does it?