Sunday, 18 December 2016

VW cheating like Obama



Nothing annoys the plunderers more than when the producers try to get away with the tricks that they have reserved to themselves. I pointed out one such instance some time ago (Penzions and Politicians http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2011/01/politicians-and-penzions/) and we have another one before us in the VW scandal.


What VW did was arrange things so that we heard the news we wanted to hear about their diesel cars, that we could have low pollution, good acceleration and low diesel consumption, despite the reality being that these must be traded off against one another. VW promised us that we could have our cake and eat it.
Obama promised the same for medicine. Obama promised that Obamacare would make medicine better, would be provided to 41 million extra people who (he claimed) were not covered by medical insurance,  medical insurance would no longer charge extra for pre-existing conditions, whilst at the same time medicine and medical insurance would get cheaper. He also promised that if you like your health policy you could keep your health policy. The reality is that these must be traded off against one another and it didn’t matter how much you liked your health policy, you couldn’t keep it. British and Canadian politicians have told the same lies and keeps their ill populations subjugated by those deceits, whilst the reality is rationing, delays, queues, denial of treatment and death.

So VW cheated and Obama cheated. The only difference is that when VW was caught, their Chief Executive Officer resigned and the company will have to pay for the deceit. Don’t hold your breath for Obama behaving honourably: remember, plunderers reserve these tricks for themselves. When a producer gets caught attempting them, the plunderers arrange a circus equipped with a variety of entertaining kangaroos on benches before whom the producers star: in doing this plunderers distract us from attending to their own trickery.

I’m not sure why plunderers succeed at this. It may well have something to do with them selling us a compelling vision of what is undeniably desirable and a promise that we can believe what we very strongly want to believe (‘We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who've been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can.’ Obama 5th February  2008). They promise us that goods can be had without costs and that there are no tradeoffs between goods. We can have it all. (‘Yes, we can!’ chanted the crowd at Obama’s speech). Why this contemptible twaddle is not seen as being nothing more than the lowest trick of the car salesman I do not know, but I think the parallel I have drawn here does at least make it clear that that is what it is.

Originally at http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk

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