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company CEOs included, for being a country devoid of culture and a capitalist system that lacks social values. "What is surprising, though, is the fact that this CEO heads a company deriving most of its sales and profits from catering... [Read More]

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"Right now 37 million people
in the USA live below the poverty line"

and the life style of American's living below the US government's "Poverty Line" is superior to the "average" European citizen's ;-)

Understanding Poverty in America

Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income one-fifth (or quintile) of households equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.1


The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:


Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier that the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.


Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

What a horrible "nazi past".. Porsche produced tanks for the army. Look around, mitsubishi, renault, skoda, rolls-royce, opel and many many more that are known as car manufacturers did.

Note from David: Porsche worked for Hitler, if you heard the name before, using slave labor. Comparing the intimate relationship of the top Porsche brass to the Nazi dictatorship with the relationship of French, English, American, Czech car manufacturers to their respective governments is outrageous at best and simply idiotic at worst.

"Europe’s culture is decidedly older than that of the USA. The Fuggers were doing business, while hunting was still the order of the day in America."

Notice how quickly the "sophisticated" European elites drop the mask and expose their Eurocentric racism, as well as their ignorance of pre-Columbian America, when they're talking "among themselves."

Just wondering why my comment was deleted. I agree that Porsche's CEO is catering to Germans' anti-American sentiments, by the way. I was merely commenting on the study Dan Kauffman quoted.

Note from David: Occasionally I delete comments when they go astray from the core topic of the posting.

Porsches rule - period. The brand is as holy as German soccer. Seriously, at least with respect automotive economics Americans can ideed learn a thing or two from Wiedeking and his exceedingly profitable company.

By the way, HAPPY OCTOBER 3RD! from a German patriot who while subscribing to about 2/3 of what is represented on this blog, seriously doubts the bona fide patriotism of the ostensibly Germany-loving authors. As such, I was not surprised to see the lack of a blog-post marking the anniversary of probably the most joyful day in modern German history.

Note from David: October 3rd the "most joyful day in modern German history"? Nobody in Germany - with the exception of the President, the Chancellor and a few other top politicians - cares much about the date and the day. October 3, 2006, was just another work-free day for most Germans. Therefore, no need for special celebrations here...

"Europe’s culture is decidedly older than that of the USA. The Fuggers were doing business, while hunting was still the order of the day in America."

HHHhhhmmmm. . . .This is the same thing the Arab are saying about the Europeans. Much to the chagrin of my euro-buddies who proffered this argument from time to time, European history is my history! The part that really chapped their hindquarters was when I added, unfortunately for old Europe, America is the next ascending chapter!

As for Europeans being racists! Quelle horreur!! You should hear what they say about each other when they don't have an American in the room to bash. If America didn't exist Europe will either 1) still be at each other's throats or 2) they would invent us! (transpose their obsession onto some other nation)

My family name is Bavarian, from the Coburg area. Christophe K emigrated with his family to Pennsylvania in the mid 1850s. Between emigration and the ravages of war old Europe is a tired and increasingly bitter shadow of her former self. How I wish more Europeans were more like us, but instead too often they resemble the Arab mindset, mired in their wishful thinking about how the world "ought to be," and how the recent years haven't been kind either. With their current
"enshala" statist mindset they can not find the solution within themselves, nor grab ahold of the models in front of them.
Though I must say recent events in Sweden give hope, and as the insufferable and unapoligetic Ami that I am, I believe "hope springs eternal."

/ Tyranno

What’s your opinion American Porsche owners?

Sorry, everyone in my family owns a Mercedes Benz.

Well, almost everyone. The masochists have Jags.

/imperialist American fat cat

I have two Harley Davidsons in my "stable." I have a small Chevy for the snow and rain. The other $30,000 that I saved by not buying a Porche is invested in my IRA.

The University of New Hampsire, most likely NCAA Division II champions, is hosting a beer tent for bikers during their game against Ball State. How many Porche owners get free beer and discounted tickets at a foot ball game?

"'Europe’s culture is decidedly older than that of the USA. The Fuggers were doing business, while hunting was still the order of the day in America.'

Notice how quickly the 'sophisticated' European elites drop the mask and expose their Eurocentric racism, as well as their ignorance of pre-Columbian America, when they're talking 'among themselves.'"

Should I mention that those pre-Columbian Americans knew of and practiced the health and social benefits of bathing centuries before the Fuggers and their descendents did?

Wiedeking may be right that the German economy has its own strengths. One of them is the production of very sophisticated industrial products such as machines, machine tools... or luxury cars.

But it's pretty arrogant for him to lecture other companies on how they copy the Americans so much. Well, his industry does not exactly involve for Value for Money products. But for Siemens Mobile phones, there has to be a focus on costs. Wiedeking just doesn't admit to it.

"Note from David: October 3rd the "most joyful day in modern German history"? Nobody in Germany - with the exception of the President, the Chancellor and a few other top politicians - cares much about the date and the day. October 3, 2006, was just another work-free day for most Germans. Therefore, no need for special celebrations here..."

--> That's no reason. What with all the fear and loathing over the admittedly crippled Germany economy and pitiful media, one would have expected the hypothetically constructive Blogger to at least have mentioned something positive about such a politically important event (regardless of how/if the guy on the street celebrates it). Don't let the outward German laessigkeit and pessimism fool you, most are pretty proud of the fall of the wall and subsequent unification - notwithstanding the obvious economic issues. True patriots just vocalize it.

Whatever your disposition, I still appreciate the media analysis (somebody's gotta do it) and will continue to read it - with a salt shaker.

I'm sure that it is possible that the guy that cleans my mom's yard can harbor anti-American thoughts, but so what? It would not be the first time that the head of a major corporation showed the political sophistication of the village idiot. Henry Ford's example springs to mind. And I'm sure it won't be the last. I do like my '85 911 though. Plus this is the guy that managed to insult all the Porsche dealers in the US because they, gasp, offered rebates on the slow selling Boxster a few years ago. Maybe Wiedeking can atone by rebuilding my transmission for free. I'll wait by the phone.

I wouldn't own a Porsche, but I saw one the other day. It was a dull silver color, and one of the compact models. I had to see the name "Porsche" on the back as I pulled up to it to know it was a Porsche. I couldn't tell the difference between that car and my cookie-cutter Kia Spectra.

I do not understand the purpose of paying that much money for a car that looks no different from a Kia, which looks no different from a Toyota, etc etc etc.

Quality? I've owned Kia Spectras since 2002 (in April bought a 2006) and have never had a minute of trouble with them. NEVER. They are what my Dad used to call a "creampuff". PS: A Kia has a Benz drive train, with a Benz warranty.

Performance? What "performing" do you do on city streets??? Or, for that matter, even out on the open highway, where the speed limit is 65 mph??? Further, my Kia "performs" in city traffic just fine, thank you ;).

I really don't understand the attraction of a name. And, while I wouldn't put out that kind of money for a "name" in the first place, I'd never buy from a company run by such a snob! ;)


Comparing a Kia(owned by Hyundai) and Porsche is interesting in that both cars have engines and four wheels but not much else in common. I'd rather buy my car from snooty Germans than a company that had construction projects in Saddam's Iraq and whose CEO jumped off of a roof after being investigated for stealing $12 million to give as bribes to the North Koreans.

Pat... sorry... my only interest in the whichness of what in the Kia company is whether or not they build a good car. My Kia has a 5-star safety rating, has all the bells and whistles (CD, cruise, remotes, GPS, etc) and, having owned one Kia or another for several years, I can say that they have never given me a minute of trouble. The only reason I bought a 2006 is because my 2002 was destroyed when my house burned down last March. I couldn't get to my purse where my car keys were, so the car had to stay in the garage. On that car I changed my oil and filters myself, and it did not spend a single day in the shop in the 4 years I had it.

Does Porsche build a good car? Yes. Is it overpriced? Without a doubt. The least they could do is make the compact version LOOK different from a Kia, Toyota, etc.

"...I'd never buy from a company run by such a snob!" The difference would be that one person might find Porsches priced correctly considering how many were sold recently. while that same person would look at a Kia and say that it is wildly overpriced. Sorry about your garage, a Porsche owner would have gladly run into the burning building and pushed his car out. Even if no hair or eyebrows were the result. Also Porsche doesn't make a compact car. It makes the Cayenne, a ridiculously fast refrigerator box masquerading as an SUV and its four door is not due for a few years. Are you sure you're not thinking of an Audi S4 or any BMW 300 series?

Nope. I saw a dull silver car with "Porsche" written across the back in chrome that looked no different from my Kia. Same cookie-cutter profile as Kias, Toyotas, etc.

Pat, it was a Carrera.


Carerra

Kia

The only difference I can see here is in the slope of the rear roof. That is, in my estimation, a minor difference. Not in any way worth $50,000 difference in price.


Hmmm... those links aren't working. One more time...

Carrera

Spectra

BTW, I checked both the Kia and Hyundai web sites. The Hyundai doesn't mention Kia, and the Kia doesn't mention Hyundai in their "about" pages. Where did you hear that Kia is owned by Hyundai? Do you have a link? I'm not being fussy, I'm interested.

BTW, Pat... "Sorry about your garage, a Porsche owner would have gladly run into the burning building and pushed his car out. Even if no hair or eyebrows were the result."

No LIFE would have been the result. I got out of the house about 2 minutes before the burning roof caved in.

Sorry for being overly flippant. However the only similarity I can see between the Carrera and the Spectra is that they both are in that, I agree, same underwhelming silver. Aside from that, the fact that the Carrera is shorter in height and length, has only two doors and the engine being in the rear, it might be remotely possible to see similarities. Only if you squint real hard.

http://www.kia.com/milestones1998.php

For info on Kia's near death experience and rescue by the Hyundai Corporation.

LC - You're so right. What an idiot I was. Sorry about the house.

Pat, why don't we just say that I have no taste in cars and leave it at that?

I can think of worse shortcomings... such as being so overly concerned about cars that I'd spend $75,000 for a name when I can't tell it from a Toyota ;).

I didn't try to imply that there was taste in cars involved rather the ability to differentiate between the different models. One person can assign a value to something and be willing to pay a price another person may not. I think to judge someone else's as lacking is a mistake. And to judge a car by its sometimes idiotic and ill-informed makers is understandable but hardly relevant to that cars value. I simply don't think that what Wiedeking is that important compared to a car found on the side of the road so filled with bribe money that the suspension collapsed before the North Koreans could drive it away. Besides a new Carrera runs $54K.

The CEO of Porsche doesn't know his history. His nation's "social market economy" only began with Bismarck, and its primary purpose was to keep workers docile and obedient--something it achieved all too well. And while Teddy Roosevelt was busy 'trust-busting' here to keep our economy competitive and fair, the German government was actively protecting its industrial cartels. That's not the sort of history one brags about.

I'm busy working on a book on what the marvelous G. K. Chesterton's wrote about war, and I'm suprised how his observations of the German elite of 90 years ago are still 'spot on.' Take, for instance, this one from the October 7, 1916 issue of Illustrated London News:

"What is the matter with the Germans is not that they think German culture is German culture—a platitude after their own hearts which they might have peacefully enjoyed to the end of the world. It is that they think German culture is culture—that it is the highest product of evolution, and is on a higher platform above an ignorant world. In other words, they think something culture which is only custom."

--Michael W. Perry, Editor of the soon-out "Chesterton at War."

I just added it to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendelin_Wiedeking

As a "real" Porsche owner I find Wendelin Wiedeking's comments rather funny. First of all, I state "real" Porsche since I feel Porsche caved due to relatively flat sales in the U.S. in the mid 90's. The last true Porsche was and 911 (993 series - 1995 to 1997 year models) that still incorporated air cooling. "We mustn’t copy one to one everything that works in the Anglo-American realm..." Well if that was the case why do the current crop of Porsche's look a lot like Japan's sleek sports cars. Marketing purely for the American market which has worked wonders on Porsche's bottom line. Would I buy a new Porsche? Hell no! I still get rave compliments on my almost 10 year old Porsche, even from "water cooled" owners. Proof is in the resale value too. Where can you drive a car, any car, and sell it within about 10 grand of where you bought it. Try that with a newer "water cooled" Porsche.

LCmamapajamas, with all due respect, you know nothing about motor vehicles, or at least how they are designed, built and work. I publish automotive websites and cover the auto industry and you are the kind of consumer who wants a Maytag to drive. Fine. The Hyundai/Kia company has done an outstanding job improving its design and production quality to world class standards. They make a nice car. So does every company selling cars on the international market. But there are important differences between Kia's and a Porsche Carrera. To begin with Kia's do not have a "Benz drivetrain". While many automobile companies do indeed provide design and sometimes production services to other companies (GM buys some engines from Honda, for example, and the Harley Davidson "Revolution" engine was initially designed by Porsche engineering), none of the engines used by Kia or Hyundai are based on any DaimlerChrysler engine.

The Porsche Carrera is a high performance sports car. It is not only faster than the Kia, it is capable of cornering at much higher g forces as well as having superior braking abilities, all of which, in the hands of a person who knows how to drive a car, as opposed to run a washing machine, contribute to active safety. BTW, to accelerate safely in traffic, you need
more power/torque than is needed to meet a 65 mph speed limit, that's why most cars can reach 100 mph or more, not just Porsches. In terms of design, the Kia Spectra is a front wheel drive sedan that seats at least 4. It has an inline four cylinder engine mounted transverly in the front of the car. The Carrera is a rear wheel drive coupe that seats 2 plus a too small to be usefull back seat. It has a horizontally opposed "boxer" six cylinder engine, I think with a turbocharger, mounted in the rear of the car behind the back axle. There are significant differences in suspension design as well and the brakes are significantly bigger. Like someone said above, the only similarities are that both of them are cars and have four wheels.

I'm also flabbergasted that you see a similarity in the exterior styling, the Porsche having one of the most aerodynamic shapes of any car. Sure, there are styling trends, fads and ideas borrowed. The Ferrari 360 and 430 have styling motifs on their front ends that I think were borrowed from the Oldsmobile Aurora. But nobody would mistake an Oldsmobile for a Ferrari. That you see little difference between a Kia and a Carrer says more about you than it does about cars.

I cover the major auto shows and the Porsche press conferences are almost always boring, even when they are introducing something as high performace as the $440,000 Carrera GT. It's always some guy droning in a German accent. That one of their executives might say something imperious about the US doesn't surprise me.

“I have two Harley Davidson’s in my "stable.” I have a small Chevy for the snow and rain. The other $30,000 that I saved by not buying a Porsche is invested in my IRA.”

You might have done better Pam, if you just bought Porsche AG. It’s hitting new highs again. Buy the company not the product!!

“I do not understand the purpose of paying that much money for a car”

Pat if you want something 10% better be prepared to pay 45% more.

So a German thinks it worth mentioning how many people in the US live below the US poverty line. Could someone with access to the relevant data determine how may Germans live below the US poverty line, and how many Germans live below the US one?

Porsche is a nice car experience. Although I have to admit to doing more than my part in destroying one. I was at a party and offered to buy a whole mess of pizzas to fuel it and keep it going. We called the local parlor but they weren’t delivering, so a Porsche owner volunteered to drive me. Naturally the pizzas weren’t ready, so we drank a pitcher, or two, of beer. Plus we had had a few before we left. Anyways, I squeezed in the passenger seat with something like twelve large pizza boxes, piled high from my lap to just over my eyes. I couldn’t see where we were going, which was over a large, high, concrete island divider between the two directions of traffic. We weren’t going too fast, maybe forty. Up I fly out of my unbuckled seat crushing the pizzas. I think I invented crumple zones. The bottom of the car was trashed and we limped back to the party. I felt bad for the owner, but he took it well and carried on. The pizzas survived good enough.

Anyways, I like the older air-cooled Porsches. I like that growl, the engine noise they make. I even like the road noise coming up from under the car. Rocks or even slush snow, or slipping tires. Newer sports cars are too prozac-y for me. They’re for Real Estate agents and Dentists who have done well.

Not to let Harley Fairies off too. I remember when a real Harley owner would pull his bike into the living room for the winter to rebuild it, or at least sit there, indoors dripping into a roasting pan, as in those days Harley owners didn’t rent house with garages. I lived on the Massachusetts coast and in the cold wet weather, about four of us would have to pile out of the shop or bar to try to kick start our friends Harley due to the damp cold air. Droping a bike wasn’t too much of a big deal. Now, every soft, light beer sipping, leather chapped like a Village People member is riding, but only on dry sunny Sundays. Ug.

the salient point being that he's an ingrate bastard that spits on his customers because a hypocrite that is doing exactly what he's talking about but justifying it because of his particular area of birth.
this has nothing to do with nationality or cars,this is about hiding while being a dork.
pretty common these days as there are so many confused materialists that have no God in their lives except money and prestige.
The only reasonPorsche exists is because Americans are so rich and generous due to their inherent good looks and gratitue genes. (bet that burns..)
If we had any GERMAN CULTURE we would have killed every one of these dickheads or worked them to death in the freezing cold.
But now we get to sweep all that under the rug and preen in our $400,000 mirror?
This idiot doesnt deserve to live in freedom, he doesnt deserve to be anywhere near a Porsche. This is why they are ruining the company, ruining the brand and turning into such assholes.
wealth/pride/ruin-herotodus

It all came apart with the 924. My pappy had a 75 914 that was the last approachable porsche before they became cars for assholes.
Tell me who can afford a cinnoman or whatever gay ass name they have come up with?
When I went to the auto show here in Detroit and talked to one of their engineers he finally admitted that they had to put a button in them to turn off the all wheel drive and traction control so one could drive it like an actual porsche and not some soul-less contraption.

Its all part of the mosaic of humanity that SOME Germans act like this and maybe its a good thing that motivates them to get up in the morning and do stuff. he can run his mouth all he wants becuase its just so obvious that he's jealous as hell and can't admit that he'd be a terrible soviet.

I really loved our Porsche and it reminds me of the best times I ever had with my Dad so no fat boy wannabe is going to mess with that. Just like so many other things it does take another's eyes to show one how good some of their things can be.

As for comparing a Kia: you have got be to kidding.. isnt there something on Bravo youre supposed to be watching?

Does this blog have anything, I mean , ANYTHING, positive to say about Germans. My cousins, of German background all live in the US, thank god none behave like most of the posters here.

Ok, I'll say something positive Mike.

David, Ray.

Ok?

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