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Cars GM Executives Defend Controversial ELR Commercial

Published on March 11th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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GM Executives Defend Controversial ELR Commercial

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March 11th, 2014 by  

Editor’s Note: An important thing to know is that this ad was designed for another Cadillac (it’s a brand ad, not a model ad). From what I read, the new CMO (Uwe Ellinghaus, coming from BMW in Germany) had the idea of using the ELR instead after he came on board (and essentially inherited the ad). He seems to be a fan of EVs and the ELR. So, while the commercial didn’t really show off the ELR, it used this electrified luxury car as the somewhat shocking point car in a brand commercial aimed at conservative rich people. Interesting choice, imho. And as I’ve written before, while I am ideologically opposed to the attitude and most of the views of the character in the commercial, I realize that people who align themselves with those exist in fairly large numbers and that we need them to also go electric, not just “my folk.”

Originally published on Gas 2.

After airing a commercial for the Cadillac ELR during the Olympics, Cadillac executives have come out defending the ad to clear up any “misconceptions.” Is GM already in damage control mode over the Cadillac ELR?

The advertisement is called “Poolside” and stars Neal McDonough as an all-American business guy decrying the useless of material things or month-long vacations. All that matters is work… and the Cadillac ELR, apparently. The advertisement definitely provoked conversation in the car world, and I lambasted the piece for wasting a minute of my time without telling me one damn thing about the car itself.

But according to Cadillac, reaction to the advertisement was three times more positive than negative. Cadillac’s advertising chief Craig Bierly says the ad spot is meant to serve as brand “provocation,” to get customers talking about the luxury car maker. In that regard, the commercial seems to have succeeded. Pundits on the left are crying over stagnant wages and the rise of poor-paying part-time jobs, while right-wingers celebrate the workaholic attitude that they say drives people to the top.

Blah blah blah blah. It’s a car commercial people, and I only wrote about it because, to me at least, it’s yet another stumbling block for the launch of an otherwise great car. The commercial doesn’t introduce the car in the least, and the high MSRP puts it in direct competition with cars like the Tesla Model S, which most people agree is the superior vehicle.

In fairness to Mr. Bierly, he says the ad is simply about saying that working hard is about making your own luck. I agree with that sentiment to an extent, and I really don’t expect a $76,000 vehicle to be marketed to the Average Joe. My only problem with the ad is that it tells me absolutely nothing about the car itself, and instead only divides people over the “message” of a freakin’ car commercial. “What we’re saying is that hard work has its payoffs.” Fair enough.

But instead of being a provocative vehicle, the Cadillac ELR and its first commercial appearance make the brand seem out-of-touch unwilling to admit what the car really is; a hybrid. To some people in the top tax bracket, hybrid is a dirty word. Early sales seem to indicate that GM has seriously overestimated the value of a luxury Volt, even though the car has managed to convert a few haters into hybrid drivers because despite all this, it’s still a very good car.

Please though, let us all take in the delicious irony that right-wing pundits are defending an even-more-expensive Chevy Volt. Should I laugh, or should I cry?

Source: Ad Age

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Drh

    DKB123, I was going to comment on the ad and subsequent posts but after reading your comments decided you had already said it all and much better than I probably could have.

  • Harry Callahan

    This bull $hit is all Liberal anti-working Americans. Cadillac shows a hard working successful American that can afford a Cadillac and the media goes into a frenzy. Let’s face it, the liberals won’t be happy until we are all riding jack a$$es.

    • Bob_Wallace

      When are you going in for your saddle fitting?

  • DKB123

    The European attitude of sitting back and relaxing is not more enlightened or cultured … it’s just the attitude of a society that is old and tired. They approach most of their lives like my retired parents …

    Europeans aren’t getting married much any more … they aren’t having enough children … they aren’t working very hard … they aren’t very dynamic or ambitious. They have chronic high unemployment and unsustainable entitlement burdens. They are basically living off their parents’ hard work which will only last for a time.

    Spain is going to lose half it’s indigenous population in the next 20 years … but the dwindling crowd will have a lot of nice naps while it happens I suppose. What did I read the other day … unemployment of the young in spain 57% … italy 42% … 26% in all of europe?

    What this ad is … is a response to the constant “continental” refrain that the “anglo” work ethic is insane at that we should all just sit back and write poetry.

    I’ve heard this my entire life. Just heard it from Nancy Pelosi the other day as a matter of fact …

    It’s pretty simple … Cadillac needs hard working/driven people to buy this rather expensive electric car. They can’t simply rely on hollywood stars and wealthy liberals with trust funds.

    • Bob_Wallace

      What a twisted view of European culture.

      Far too many of us in the US are stressed out gerbils running hard on our wheels just to keep our bosses from throwing us out the door. We have no lives of our own.

      The jerk in the ad is one of those bosses. He gets his upscale toys by other’s hard work.

      • DKB123

        What part was twisted … the impending bankruptcy … the rapidly aging population … the 57% unemployment?

        I love to work … I love to accomplish things … I love to build things. Excuse me … but I’ll take a nap and try my hand at poetry when Im too old to do anything else.

        You can relax if you want just dont ask me to subsidize it …

        • Bob_Wallace

          Back on the wheel!!!

          • DKB123

            What’s twisted is laziness portrayed as virtue ….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Enjoying the better things in life is a virtue.

            Being a cog in the wheel, not so much….

          • DKB123

            Hard work LEADS to the finer things in life.

            (unless you can get the government to take from someone else and hand it to you)

          • Bob_Wallace

            It doesn’t take hard work to smell the roses.

          • DKB123

            Ummmm. I’m assuming you must be saying that you can work just barely enough to put some food on the table and live in a shack … but you’ll have more time to smell someone else’s flowers in a garden they’ve worked hard to plant?

            I’m always amazed at how liberals have absolutely no idea how the electricity gets to the light switch when they flip it … or how the gas gets to the pump or how the battery in their prius gets built.

            We are truly witnessing Well’s eloi all around us every day.

            You sit atop the hard work of millions who have gone before you … take it all for granted and just assume it can be maintained while you write poetry …

          • A Real Libertarian

            “We are truly witnessing Well’s eloi all around us every day.”

            Guess who’s a socialist.

          • DKB123

            yes … wells was a socialist … and an early supporter of fascism.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Naw. Actually after working in my profession for a few years I started a business, grew it up, sold it, and retired at 44.

            Since then I’ve spent a few years sailing around the world, I’ve traveled extensively, and I live in a fairly nice house on 60 acres surrounded by federal forest lands and with an ocean view.

            I could have continued to work more years and gone the private jet route, but I decided that there was more to life than work.

          • DKB123

            I’m struggling to understand Bob, how your personal story of hard work and achievement argues against … hard work and achievement?

            Perhaps (unlike the others on this thread) you understand the concept between the two … but you think people should “smell the roses” along the way. I certainly don’t disagree with that.

            It’s been my experience that for every successful person like you that sells their business and sails the world … there are 10 more that simply love to work. I love hard work.

            I had a customer who built an aircraft component business. He absolutely loved it. Loved the product … loved his customers … loved his plant … loved the people he worked with and the little town. He is still working and in his eighties.

            Who am I to tell this guy that he needs to stop working and achieving? He has a place in Charleston .. flies himself back and forth (ex navy pilot) …. .but he loves building things.

            Personally, I love a great meal and a nice trip and a week away skiing or fishing. But virtually everything in my life of any worth requires hard work.

            Staying in good shape – hard work
            Learning a new skill – hard work
            Learning a new language – hard work
            Getting another flying rating – hard work
            Clearing out a new pasture – hard work
            A healthy marriage – hard work
            Happy, well adjusted kids – hard work

            Ridiculing hard work is disastrous.

            My nephew is a freshman at George Washington … he worked all through high school and works in the evening now to help pay the way.

            Hard work.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The point is, one should recognize when enough is enough and seek a balance between work and the rest of life.

            I’ve spent some time in France. People seem to have a better handle on working to live rather than living to work.

          • DKB123

            Well … that leads to an entirely different conversation that veers dangerously close to politics.

            I guess I’d make two points:

            1. why do you feel compelled to tell others how they should live their lives? Isn’t it enough for you to sail the world? Why does it make you uncomfortable if I’m still working and enjoying it (for example)?

            2. The people of France are enjoying a long slow twilight slide into oblivion (one of the reasons they are so hyper sensitive about protecting their culture is because they sense it is slipping away).

            There’s no doubt that that twilight can be affluent and enjoyable but I would suggest that is what you are observing. Their population is rapidly aging … they aren’t having enough children. Europe as we have known it will be entirely different in a generation. France (Europe) is old. Literally and figuratively. They look at a young, dynamic, vibrant US and think it’s too hectic … too much work … too much running around. (It’s the tension you see between southern and northern europe as well)

            The French complaining about the “anglo” approach to work reminds me of an old retired woman on the porch irritated with all the kids running around in the yard.

            I prefer to work and build …. I’ll save the rocking chair for when I’m really old …

          • Bob_Wallace

            What France and other European countries is experiencing in the way of changing culture has nothing to do with the numbers of hours they work. They are experiencing exactly what we are experiencing in the US, migration. A very natural phenomenon which was not happening as much is previous years but now that people are more mobile they are moving to places where they believe they will have a better future.

            Hope you live long enough to enjoy some life before you check out.

          • DKB123

            They are not “experiencing” immigration … like it’s something that is just happening to them LOL. They are actively importing workers because they are not producing enough on their own. They desperately need people to pay for the entitlement state they’ve created.

            The native French population is stagnant and dying off. They are too busy enjoying themselves to let having children/families get in the way of the wonderful lifestyle you so admire.

            Living requires working and building. What you’re describing is called dying ….

            I appreciate your concern about my life … I’ll think about it while I’m in Rome in a few weeks :)

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Hard work LEADS to the finer things in life.”

            You really have no clue how the economy functions, do you?

          • DKB123

            No … I don’t.

            Been operating my own business for 30 years … but I’m sure you could teach me a thing or two. Demonstrate how all my hard work has had nothing to do with the life I lead today.

            Fire away …

          • Bob_Wallace

            30 years in business and you’re still having to work nose to the grindstone to make a living?

            Too bad….

            Hope you manage to find a little time to enjoy life before you kick the bucket.

          • DKB123

            Well let’s see:

            I learned how to fly and pilot my own aircraft all over the country for fun.

            I have a farm I operate for fun … some grain and some angus and some maple syrup (lots of hard work)

            I usually can get out to Aspen skiing at least once a season …

            My wife and I are going back to Italy next month. We love wandering around Rome … the cappucinos, the food, the museums …

            All made possible by working my butt off ….

            I have no interest in dictating anyone’s life decisions to them … but I do get sick of people telling me how stupid I am for working hard.

          • GGS

            You are right and we bought the ELR instead of the Telsa, we could afford both. Really enjoying owning it!

          • DKB123

            Awesome!

          • David Martin

            Interesting comment regarding work. Would you say that hard work leads more freedom?

          • DKB123

            Depends on what kind of freedom you mean. I think it leads to you being more in charge of your own life … less susceptible to the whims of fate certainly.

            To me it’s an essential part of the American character. It leads to the airplane … to the moon … it leads to the iphone … leads to great things. It’s what you do when you’re young and full of energy and optimism and excited about life. I love work. It’s why the cadillac ad resonated with me … :)

            I think it’s sad to see people who hate their work and spend 30 years waiting until they can quit.

            As an aside i’ve run into a guy at my breakfast place recently … he retired from Ford at 50 with a full pension. He’s now 60. Looks very young and capable and full of life. I asked him what he’s doing …. “not much. I volunteer at the senior center a bit.”

            Sad …

          • David Martin

            “It leads to you being more in control of your life.” Do you think that’s always true? Do you think it’s true for everyone?

            I’m just wondering because it seems clear that you firmly believe in what you are saying – the way you state it as if it’s a universal moral principle.

          • DKB123

            this entire conversation is very strange. Not you necessarily, but the whole topic.

            I’m defending working. Why don’t you defend the alternative? Which I assume is not working … and therefore living off someone else …

            When Nancy Pelosi said that Obamacare frees us from “job-lock” and allows us the freedom to sit at home and write poetry if we want to. I found that offensive.

            So someone else who isn’t freed from job-lock will be working even harder to provide “free” healthcare for someone else so they can write poetry. Things must be paid for … and that means someone has to work. Who is this last poor sucker who will still be working to pay for everyone else’s lifestyle?

            It’s like you have to explain to people that money doesn’t grow on trees … people are increasingly detached from reality.

            I just read today that the mayor of Chicago is thinking about doubling property taxes in order to try and close the gap in the public employee pension liabilities.

            So tens of thousands of public workers are retiring in their early fifties expecting to get full salary and benefits for the last 40 years of their lives … paid for by other people who will have to work longer and hard to pay for it.

            Hard work is how we enjoy our incredible lifestyle. You can choose to not work … but that means a reduction in your lifestyle. Fair enough if you choose that.

            But if you want to not work hard … and maintain your lifestyle by forcing someone else to pay for it … that’s called slavery.

          • David Martin

            I don’t defend laziness but neither do I think that hard work necessarily leads to flying as a hobby or trips to Italy. There are lots of people doing very important and difficult work who don’t get a fair wage for it, healthcare workers in nursing homes is just one example. In fact, I can think of a whole group of people for which “Arbeit macht frei” didn’t work out so well. There are lots of examples of hard working individuals and groups of people who struggle.

            The ‘hard work’, ‘personal responsibility’ line has become a distasteful canard, in my opinion.

            I’m glad to hear that you are saddened by the plight of those who might have ‘to work 30 years at a job they hate, just waiting to quit.’

          • DKB123

            I think you are falling afoul of a logical fallacy. Hard work doesn’t always lead to riches … but it almost always leads to something better than where you started.

            My nephew worked hard to get himself into a good college. While others he knew did not. Now he’s working hard to help pay for it … and working hard to do well. I’m sure that will lead to good job opportunities where he will work hard.

            What is your alternative suggestion for my nephew, to use him as an example?

          • David Martin

            Your nephew seems to be doing quite well. I hope the best for him.
            I don’t have an alternative prescription for him, nor do I understand why you would ask for one.

            I would hope that he’d have a measure of humility and gratitude, recognizing that he has been given many opportunities that he did not work to earn. For example, with some assumptions here, being born healthy, male, white, a US citizen, into a stable middle class family with decent healthcare, housing, education, food, water, and sanitation are all things he had no control over but that give him a tremendous advantage over millions in the US and billions worldwide who don’t have those things.

            His success will be measured by the love he shows toward friends and family, neighbors and strangers. Money, possessions, job, status — are temporary things, signifying little.

            You’re sure he will get a good job after school? I hope he does but I wouldn’t be so sure. Lots of people getting advanced degrees graduate with tons of debt and few job prospects. Additionally, the global financial system is a house of cards waiting to collapse, as it nearly did in 2008.

            All the best to you, good neighbor

          • DKB123

            “I don’t have an alternative prescription for him, nor do I understand why you would ask for one.”

            David – your premise is that hard work doesn’t lead to a better life. That leads inexorably to what is the alternative? Not working hard? Working sort of hard?

            So, I gave you the example of my nephew who is working hard and asked you what you would suggest as an alternative for him. Should he stop studying so hard … stop the extra jobs to pay for classes? Should he not endeavor to get good grades so he can get a better job once he gets out? Not work to get ahead at the firm where he is hired?

            What is your alternative lifestyle to working hard?

            I have a good college friend who has never liked the idea of the corporate rat race. Fair enough. He moved to California … worked in odd jobs and has spent most of his time biking. He’s a bike fanatic …. mountain, road, cross … etc.

            He loves his life. Now as it turns out his WIFE is in the corporate rat-race and is paying the bills now that they have two kids and he’s mr. mom.

            Again … that is his choice. But notice that someone in his family is having to work hard … (his first wife was an accountant and worked her ass off … and I think got sick of doing that while he was biking :))

            My point is … I have a certain respect for people who say to hell with the corporate job and I’ll just indulge my personal hobbies … but that respect ends when they reach a point in life when all those indulgences result in them needing me (or the government) to take care of them. (My buddy just started at UPS btw as his kids are finally in school all day … )

            It’s the difference between adulthood and childhood.

            Bob in this thread was one of those rare guys who evidently built a business and sold it for enough money in his early forties that he could afford to take years off sailing the world and bought a beautiful place by the sea. That’s awesome.

            But it’s a little strange for a guy like that to be preaching to others that they need to sit back and smell the roses …. don’t you think?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “David – your premise is that hard work doesn’t lead to a better life.”

            My premise is that buying a lottery ticket leads to wealth.

            If you disagree I’ll point to all the lottery winners and ignore the losers.

          • David Martin

            That’s a fitting analogy. I’d extend it to say that the rules of the game are rigged. The winners are not chosen at random, contrary to popular belief. They are the children of the previous round of winners, which is known by the administrators.

            There’s very little social mobility in the US, a situation made worse by tax cuts that favor the rich, including those that began under Bush and extended by Obama. They’re on the same team. Their difference is truly only skin deep, despite their different labels.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “They’re on the same team. Their difference is truly only skin deep, despite their different labels.”

            Of the difference is that the Democratic insurgents are people like Elizabeth Warren and the Republican insurgents are people like Ted Cruz.

          • DKB123

            and I think I agree with ARL on this one too !!!!!!

          • A Real Libertarian

            You are aware that Ted is one of our sleeper agents, right?

            Just like Chester A. Arthur.

          • DKB123

            I love this angle. You wouldn’t believe (maybe you would) the sheer number of liberal trolls on conservative websites “imploring” everyone … PLEASE nominate Ted Cruz …. he will be your DOOM.”

            It’s funny to watch …

            (and they think they’re being clever.)

          • A Real Libertarian

            Yes, Canuck Cruz 2016!

            And this time we won’t have assassinate the previous guy.

          • DKB123

            YES … and you threw in the Canadian angle now as well. One more and you have the Kook hat trick.

            Keep going!

          • A Real Libertarian

            It’s adorable that you haven’t figured it out.

            Even after we sicced Nickelback, Bieber and Celine Dion on you.

            Why do you think we gave Dion the highest rank in the Order of Canada?

          • Bob_Wallace

            David, do you truly see no difference between George Bush and Barrack Obama?

          • DKB123

            I agree with Bob!!!!!!!

            :)

          • David Martin

            Other than skin color? No. Not really. Not on issues that matter. War, torture, surveillance, drone attacks, kill lists, deportations, tax cuts for the rich, healthcare, etc. He’s outdone Bush in many respects.

            I find it humorous to watch right wingers attack him when he extends their programs. Just one example Obamacare = Romneycare, a Heritage Foundation program as another commenter mentioned.

            There’s so much consistency. Watch what CIA – Feinstein thing.

            All the arguing is over the color of paint, underneath it’s the same building.

          • DKB123

            I agree with a lot of this … I know … shocking.

            There is a permanent governing class in washington that largely agrees on this kind of stuff and what they say publicly to the contrary is posturing for their various constituencies …

            Immigration … surveillance/drones/wars … increasing and expanding government … the bailouts and stimulus … borrowing and spending.

            The Republican party in Washington is at war with conservatives around the country. I’m not so sure there is an insurgency against the Dem party in Washington …

          • Bob_Wallace

            There are none so blind as those who will not see.

          • DKB123

            hopeless ….

          • David Martin

            Thanks for telling me what I think about hard work. What other magic tricks you got? You’re doing great with the mind reading thing.

          • DKB123

            You’re an idiot … I’m done

          • DKB123

            I’ll try another angle David ..

            All progress is the result of someone’s hard work. Everything.

            The switch you flip to provide you with light rather than matches and a candle was the result of someone else’s hard work. The heater where you’re sitting that keeps you warm instead of hovering around a fire. The airplane that takes you across the country in 3 hours instead of in a conestoga ….

            So our civilization is based on encouraging and rewarding hard work … in order to get more progress …

            This is why our civilization has progressed farther and faster than any in history.

            LIberals (as seen amply in this thread) have a problem with this. They don’t like that people are rewarded for hard work. They want people who work hard to transfer the results of that work to people who don’t (Obama want’s to “spread it around”). They denigrate the entire concept of hard work (Elizabeth Warren “You didn’t build that”).

          • A Real Libertarian

            “They don’t like that people are rewarded for hard work.”

            Speaking as a communist, I’m disgusted that people are rewarded for hard work, they should only be rewarded for their own hard work.

            But thieving is the capitalist way.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Finding a balance between work and the other parts of life is not “living off someone else”.

            Do you not understand that some people have continued to work past the point they needed to? They have the money to retire and the desire to retire but couldn’t because of the problem of obtaining health insurance.
            Pensions are a benefit people are promised when they accept employment. Your attitude seems to be that employers are free to renege on a contract if that contract is made with employees. I’d bet you would scream loudly if someone decided they wouldn’t pay you something you were owed.

            Are you the guy in the ad?

          • DKB123

            This started as an argument about hard work. The ad celebrates it. A lot of liberals are genetically alergic to that message for a variety of reasons.

            I was simply defending hard work. We’ve evidently reached the point where that is controversial.

            You made the giant leap into the proposition that you can’t work hard and enjoy yourself at the same time. I disagree.

            Then you mentioned that the French seem to enjoy the good life while not working very hard. I pointed out that anywhere you find people living well and not working for it you’ll find someone else paying for it. In the case of Europe it’s the famously hard-working Germans and other Northern Europeans paying for the Greeks and the Spaniards and the Italians (and to a lesser degree the French) to lay about with healthy pensions and early retirement. The Germans are tiring of that by the way … WWII guilt only goes so far.

            – my friend at the diner who retired from Ford at 50 with a full boat is the reason that the big three went bankrupt … requiring the feds to step in and guarantee their union pensions. So other hard working Americans with much less wealth are now supporting this guy for the last 40 years of his life to sit and do nothing.

            – in Chicago they are discussing doubling property taxes to cover the pensions of the public employee unions. These are the bus drivers who make six figures and retire at 50 with full salary and benefits. Chicago is trying to avoid being the next Detroit … and if they double taxes there will be accellerated flight of the middle class out of Chicago.

            – Obama’s “free” healthcare is predicated on talking younger, poorer, healthier Americans into buying very expensive plans they don’t need in order to subsidize millions of much wealthier, older Americans.

            I observed this at my own business … the younger guys I’d hire right out of school were paying big premiums subsidizing the older guys near retirement who were 10x wealthier with nice big 401ks to look forward to.

            There is no free lunch Bob. Eventually the chickens come home to roost (to quote Obama’s pastor) …

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germans average 24 vacation days per year. Only 6 less than the French.
            Germans don’t send welfare payments to France.

            “in Chicago they are discussing doubling property taxes to cover the pensions of the public employee unions. ”

            When those public employees were hired part of their compensation was their pension. In hindsight perhaps offering the pensions might have been a bad idea, but it was not the workers who made the offer. How would you react if one of your customers decided that it would be in their best interest if they didn’t owe you the money you were supposed to receive? You’d have your attorney on the line in seconds, I suspect.

            ” Obama’s “free” healthcare is predicated on talking younger, poorer, healthier Americans into buying very expensive plans they don’t need in order to subsidize millions of much wealthier, older Americans.”

            Well, that’s how insurance works. Money is collected from everyone and if someone is unfortunate enough to need help then they receive it.

            Those younger Americans, did they build the hospitals they were born in? Pay for their doctor’s education? Build the roads they rode home on? Pay for the schools they attended. Pay for the police, fire fighters, military and health services that kept them safe?

            Given that those younger Americans have spent their first couple of decades being free riders why do you have a problem asking them to pay a little back?

            BTW, do you not realize that Obamacare has already started lower insurance premiums and slowing the growth of medical care? You liked Reagancare better when you paid for the uninsured to be treated in emergency rooms? Or are you one of those guys who believes the uninsured should just quietly die?

          • DKB123

            Bob – Spain, Italy and Greece have been in and out of bankruptcy and collapse for years now. They keep electing governments and they keep falling. Italy just elected ANOTHER one last week. The city of Rome is reportedly close to bankruptcy and collapse as we speak.

            All these countries are being bankrolled by the EU which means Germany. There’s a reason that Angela Merkel has a veto on any more loans to Greece and Italy. She wants them to reign in their ridiculous public employee pensions which are unsustainable. They have shrinking demographics and unsustainable entitlements. Germany has been bankrolling the socialist disaster of east germany for a few decades now as well. They have their hands full.

            Germans are famous for their hard work. There is a reason they are the wealthiest country in Europe and are being asked to bankroll everything. Hard work is part of their culture. Hard work is NOT a part of the culture of Greece or Italy or Spain. These national characteristics are not new … the British have been making fun of the spanish and french for centuries. There’s also a reason that former British colonies are all economically healthy and former Spanish ones are all basket cases. Maybe next time you visit France you should go to Paris in the summer and visit some of their burgeoning muslim slums …. the ones that erupt in riots every summer.

            26 days of vacation isn’t a problem (my folks get that after a few years) … it’s not starting work until you’re 30 … retiring at 50 and taking 3 months off. (see another posters comments about their European friends in this thread)

            In regard to pensions … what part of unsustainable do you not understand? Democrat politicians agreed to these pensions in exchange for campaign cash and votes. Now the bill is coming due.

            There’s no reason to argue about Obamacare. It’s a disaster on all fronts but the true-believers will go down with that ship still claiming it’s wonderful as millions are kicked off and premiums go through the roof and young people don’t sign up and quality doctors and hospitals opt out.

            Obamacare is NOT insurance … it is a wealth redistribution scheme. As soon as you cover people with pre-existing it stops being insurance. Insurance would cover catostrophic … not teeth cleaning and birth control.

            But that is all scope creep.

            I was simply saying hard work is a good thing. But that makes liberals really uncomfortable … sorry.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It really makes no sense to continue talking with you about Obamacare. You either know little or are dishonest.

            People worked for their pensions. That was a contract into which they entered. You seem to think that promises to employees are things you can opt out of.

            We get it.

          • DKB123

            So the guy driving the bus in chicago that retired at 50 with a six figure income. That guy “paid” for another 30-40 years of income to sit around?

            You live in a universe divorced from reality.

            The problem Bob is that the universe is going to enforce it’s reality ON you … it has a nasty way of doing that.

            They will re-negotiate those contracts or go bankrupt.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The guy was offered that deal. He took it. He fulfilled his end of the bargain.

            The offering party might have made a mistake making the offer, but that’s on them and not on the person who took the offer.

            Now, will the bus driver get screwed because the city made an unwise decision in offering the pension (or failing to pay into the pension fund)? Perhaps. Workers just don’t get golden parachutes.

          • DKB123

            All those auto workers have quite amazing golden parachutes. They retired early, often with 120% of salary pensions … full cadillac health plans. They actually drove those companies into bankruptcy. The private investors who held those preferred bonds lost billions as obama told them not to try and collect “I’m the only thing standing between you and my rent-a-mob coming to burn your house.”

            Obama borrowed more money from china to pay for it all … then gave ownership to the unions and the rest to the Italians.

            Seems perfect to me?

          • Bob_Wallace

            US car companies put themselves in danger by failing to produce the cars that buyers wanted. They lost market share and did not have cash reserves to carry them through a prolonged recession.

            Ford and GM (not sure about Chrysler) were bringing new efficient models to the market when the recession hit and would likely have fared well had the economy not gone south.

            When the under regulated financial industry crashed (thank you Ronnie Reagan and libertarians) it destroyed the economy which meant that car sales essentially stopped.

            Now, I think I’ve learned all I care to about you. I really find greedy “I got mine, to hell with everyone else” type people quite distasteful.

            I’m going on to things more pleasant. You have a nice day….

          • DKB123

            I love the “ronnie” reagan. What is it about liberals and the snark? It’s like they think that will subsititute for a real argument?

            (speaking of greed … what brought on the collapse of Chrysler and GM was unsustainable entitlements. That’s where our tax dollars went. Ring a bell ….. Detroit … California … Illinois … Chicago … Beuhler? All their money was going to support pensioners. They ceased being car companies years ago …)

            A nice way to round out our conversation!

            btw – I think if you really want to end it on the right note you need to call me a racist out of the blue … just a suggestion … nothing provides more satisfaction to a liberal than a false sense of moral superiority … and it is Friday after all ..

          • A Real Libertarian

            “speaking of greed … what brought on the collapse of Chrysler and GM was unsustainable entitlements.”

            So greed is bad now?

            Or greed only bad when the workers are “greedily” demanding the executives live up to their end of the bargain?

          • DKB123

            What part of bankruptcy do you have difficulty comprehending?

            Detroit is bankrupt and a bombed out ghost town.

            But no one can be called greedy. The public employee unions negotiated sweetheart contracts that the city coudn’t afford … the city went bankrupt … now they’re all losing their jobs and their pensions and the city is desolate.

            But you’ll evidently sleep sweet because you weren’t “greedy.”

          • A Real Libertarian

            “But no one can be called greedy.”

            So you admit that the people demanding they be given what they had worked for aren’t greedy?

          • DKB123

            No … I don’t. That is called “sarcasm” …. look it up moron.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So the people demanding the contract be honored are greedy?

          • DKB123

            Yes. Demanding a city/company go bankrupt to pay you full salary/benefits for 40 years of retirement is greedy. Can’t think of a better example of it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So the incompetent executives are blameless and the “greedy” workers who expect their contracts to be honored before the investors get a payday are at fault?

          • DKB123

            Yes. Demanding a city/company go bankrupt to pay you full salary/benefits for 40 years of retirement is greedy. Can’t think of a better example of it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Just like I said.

            Capitalists are thieving parasites.

            The company is going bankrupt, so who is first in line for money?

            Is it the companies creditors?

            No, it’s the investors who make a bad bet.

            “Sorry people I own money, but I blew it all at Wall Street USA!”

          • DKB123

            You’re adorable. You demand the benefit of my labor and then call me a parasite.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You are a parasite.

            You make a bad investment and demand you get a bailout and those who are owed debts can take a hike.

          • DKB123

            Unions demand retirement at 50 with salary and pensions for life. Management says it will be unsustainable and eventually bankrupt the companies. Unions say who cares … we want a 40 year vacation paid by someone else. Companies go bankrupt as predicted. Liberals blame greedy managment.

            Government unions demand massive pension and benefit increases. Experts warn it will bankrupt state/municipal budgets and be unsustainable. Unions say who cares … we want a 40 year vacation paid by someone else. Governments go bankrupt (see Wisconsin, Detroit, Illinois, California, Chicago and on and on). Liberals blame greedy tax payers.

            Meanwhile on cleantechnica.com … posters are arguing that hard work is a crock …

          • A Real Libertarian
          • A Real Libertarian

            “As soon as you cover people with pre-existing it stops being insurance.”

            So Obamacare is health care not heath insurance?

            That’s a bad thing how?

          • DKB123

            Obamacare is neither insurance nor care. It’s income redistribution.

            Care will go down. Cost will go up. Washington will hire tens of thousands of bureucrats to dole out the meagre table scraps that are left over after they’ve skimmed 40% for overhead.

            Government programs are ponzi schemes.

            If liberals were really about helping people they could have taken a fraction of the money they spent on obamacare and simply purchased healthcare plans for the uninsured .. .whether you believe that is 10,000,000 or 40,000,000. It would have been a fraction of the cost and people would be instantly covered.

            But that would not require hiring 10,000 new IRS agents nor setting up new government offices in every state …

            Liberals spend more and more on education … the schools get worse and worse but teacher’s unions get rich.

            Liberals spend more and more on the poor … the poor never get any better … but government gets rich.

            Liberals now are spending more and more on healthcare but our care won’t get any better … government is going to make a mint.

            Your goal is to feel morally superior … not to actually help people … otherwise you would analyze your failures and consider other options ..

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Care will go down. Cost will go up. Washington will hire tens of thousands of bureucrats to dole out the meagre table scraps that are left over after they’ve skimmed 40% for overhead.”

            Do you even understand that government heath insurance is more efficient?

            Compare the 3% for Medicare to 10%-33% for private.

            http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-10/the-reason-health-care-is-so-expensive-insurance-companies

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/21/why-does-us-health-care-cost-so-much-part-ii-indefensible-administrative-costs/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

            “If liberals were really about helping people they could have taken a fraction of the money they spent on obamacare and simply purchased healthcare plans for the uninsured .. .whether you believe that is 10,000,000 or 40,000,000. It would have been a fraction of the cost and people would be instantly covered.”

            Single-Payer was taken off the table because Obama is wishy-washy center-right moderate.

            The fact you think he’s an ultra-left-wing Marxist is hilarious.

            “Your goal is to feel morally superior … not to actually help people … otherwise you would analyze your failures and consider other options ..”

            Your goal is to feel morally superior while harming people.

            Luckily the delusions that make you type that idiocy are making everyone else sick of you.

            So enjoy your feelings of power, from now on it’s just a long slide down the garbage chute for you.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “If liberals were really about helping people they could have taken a fraction of the money they spent on obamacare and simply purchased healthcare plans for the uninsured”

            You might want to point out to the silly goose that most of the cost of Obamacare is helping people purchase healthcare plans from private insurance companies. The rest goes to helping cut the cost of medical care by training more health care workers and encouraging best practices.

          • A Real Libertarian

            True.

            Thanks Bob.

          • DKB123

            Oh what a silly goose … thanks Bob!

          • DKB123

            Talking with liberals about anything any more is increasingly like arguing with the shop owner in Python’s dead parrot sketch. “You sold me a dead parrot. No I didn’t. Yes you did .. he’s dead. No he isn’t … he’s just resting.” Etc etc

            Obamacare was supposed to cost less than a trillion (no it wasn’t!) … now they estimate over 2 trillion (no they don’t) … we were promised we could keep our plans (no you weren’t) … we were told we could keep our doctors and hospitals (no you weren’t) and now we are losing them (no you aren’t) … we were told our premiums would go down and now they’re going up (no they aren’t) …. we were told the government wouldn’t be rationing care and approving procedures (no you werent and they aren’t)

            This is why you read bills before you pass them.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Ah-Hem:

          • wckedgreengirl

            All insurance is “income distribution” We all pay into the pot, the healthy ones subsidize the sick ones. My family insurance costs over $16,000 and we use, maybe, $1000 a year? As someone who has worked for insurance companies that are publicly and privately funded, they all work the same way. Obamacare is not free healthcare insurance. It’s a private healthcare insurance marketplace that is regulated and subsidized, just like the Heritage Foundation recommended. If you don’t want income redistribution then we should get rid of all healthcare insurance. Period. Sick people pay their own way. Your kid gets cancer and needs $60,000 in treatment, sell your house…not my problem. RIght?

          • DKB123

            Ah … classic.

            So the only option is obamacare or my kid dies of cancer. Makes sense.

            There’s a difference between insurance and welfare. Once you add people with preconditions and people who can’t pay … it’s no longer insurance.

            The way to handle people who have pre-conditions and people who can’t pay is called medicare and medicaid. If you’d like to expand those or create another welfare plan .. fine.

            In addition, mandating dental plans and transgender surgeries and birth control is not insurance. That is welfare at best or politics at worst.

            I buy home insurance to pool the risk of my house burning down … I don’t do it to get someone else to pay for my roof maintenance or my lawn service.

            The reality is that you could simply hand the outliers CASH for a fraction of the cost of this giant new government leviathan …

            Again … there are multiple ways to help people … but don’t indulge yourself that this monstrosity was based on that. It’s about hiring 50,000 new government workers. Period.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “So the only option is obamacare or my kid dies of cancer. Makes sense.”

            The options are:

            1. Insurance.

            2. Your kid dies.

            3. You have enough to pay out of pocket.

          • DKB123

            So there are other options than Obamacare … glad to agree on something …

            Actually there’s welfare too .. .government programs. And there’s charity (my brother in law is a doc … tons of care just goes unpaid but not intensive cancer care that’s for sure)

          • A Real Libertarian

            “So there are other options than Obamacare … glad to agree on something …

            Actually there’s welfare too .. .government programs. And there’s charity (my brother in law is a doc … tons of care just goes unpaid but not intensive cancer care that’s for sure)”

          • DKB123

            How old are you?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “How old are you?”

            Old enough to realize “Obamacare is worthless government welfare that inevitably results in laziness, a much better solution is government welfare programs” sounds really, really stupid.

          • DKB123

            you’re becoming incoherent ….

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Then you mentioned that the French seem to enjoy the good life while not working very hard. I pointed out that anywhere you find people living well and not working for it you’ll find someone else paying for it. In the case of Europe it’s the famously hard-working Germans and other Northern Europeans paying for the Greeks and the Spaniards and the Italians (and to a lesser degree the French) to lay about with healthy pensions and early retirement. The Germans are tiring of that by the way … WWII guilt only goes so far.”

            Germans work less then the French:

            http://www.businessinsider.com/average-annual-hours-worked-for-americans-vs-the-rest-of-the-world-2013-8

            Denmark and Norway work less then Germans:

            http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2013/07/10/worlds-shortest-work-weeks/

            Greeks work more then anyone in Europe:

            http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours

          • DKB123

            Hmmm … I wonder what happens to the hours worked average when tens of millions aren’t working at all? When almost 50% of young people are unemployed do they count to bring the average down? Or are they only counting the hours of the dwindling number of people who DO have full time employment?

            I’m betting they don’t count the people out of work? So as they lose millions more to the unemployment rolls in Greece/Italy/Spain … their hours worked are going to look better and better! Problem solved!

            It’s like here … the unemployment percentage goes DOWN because people stop looking for work entirely and aren’t counted as “workers” at all. A record 90,000,000 Americans who could work aren’t … but we’re told the employment picture is bright!

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Hmmm … I wonder what happens to the hours worked average when tens of millions aren’t working at all? When almost 50% of young people are unemployed do they count to bring the average down? Or are they only counting the hours of the dwindling number of people who DO have full
            time employment?”

            See pic.

            “I’m betting they don’t count the people out of work? So as they lose millions more to the unemployment rolls in Greece/Italy/Spain … their hours worked are going to look better and better! Problem solved!”

            http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours

            EU working hours, All in employment:

            Germany = 35.6
            France = 38
            Italy = 37.6
            Spain = 38.4
            Greece = 42.2

            I have trouble believing you own your own business when your research consists of assuming something convenient and then defending it to the death when reality intrudes.

            “It’s like here … the unemployment percentage goes DOWN because people stop looking for work entirely and aren’t counted as “workers” at all. A record 90,000,000 Americans who could work aren’t … but we’re told the employment picture is bright!”

            See pic.

          • DKB123

            I’m sure you’ll be busy pasting together rosy clippings about the EU right up to the moment it collapses. PERHAPS EVEN AFTER!

            Like Bob above … insisting the Obamacare is working wonderfully. Nothing to see here … move along … move along …

            (nice tobasco pic … btw)

            :)

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I’m sure you’ll be busy pasting together rosy clippings about the EU right up to the moment it collapses. PERHAPS EVEN AFTER!

            Like Bob above … insisting the Obamacare is working wonderfully. Nothing to see here … move along … move along …

            (nice tobasco pic … btw)

            :)”

            So you admit you have no source, no evidence and no logic beside that of “I don’t want it to be true therefore it isn’t”?

          • DKB123

            - My employees premiums are going up. Not down.

            – People are getting kicked off their plans by the millions.

            – Young people are not signing up.

            – No one knows if the small number that have signed up have actually paid for it.

            – Felons are being hired as navigators.

            – Personal data is being placed incompetently inside systems that are not secure.

            – the government hired incompetent and corrupt vendors (politically connected of course) and paid them 10x more than they should and got a mess. What a surprise.

            Doctors and hospitals are dropping out … while we’re adding millions of new people to the plans and expanding the services.

            Only an idiot believes you can add 40,000,000 to insurance rolls, expand the coverage levels of the plans and expect cost to go down (unless you plan to massively ration the care provided … hmmm?)

            Obamacare is about liberals hiring tens of thousands of new government workers … it has nothing to do with improving care.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You’re lying.

            If you weren’t, you’d have a source.

            “Only an idiot believes you can add 40,000,000 to insurance rolls, expand the coverage levels of the plans and expect cost to go down”.

            Only a Super-Genius thinks making 40,000,000 go to the emergency room every time they need a doctor is cheap.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “When Nancy Pelosi said that Obamacare frees us from “job-lock” and allows us the freedom to sit at home and write poetry if we want to. I found that offensive.”

            Most of these people are quitting so they can start their own business.

            Does that offend you?

          • DKB123

            Hmmm … I think I understand the plan. We start a new multi-trillion entitlement so that people can escape job-lock and write poetry or start a new business?

            Do I have that right?

            It’s a great plan too .. because that way millions of younger, poorer Americans will now be subsidizing these people writing poetry and “starting new businesses.”

            Everything in this life must be paid for … by someone who is working.

            Government creates no wealth. It simply takes from one and gives to another … (while skimming off a cool 40% in overhead in washington in the process for the politicians and the lawyers.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s it Jack. All those people stuck in a job working for a jerk of a boss because they can’t get insured due to an existing health problem are going to be able to escape.

            That’s going to be hard on bosses who treat their employees like serfs.
            BTW, how are the internet, GPS and all those other government spinoff industries doing with wealth creation?

          • DKB123

            Well JACK … why didn’t you take that trillion … and just HAND IT OUT to people.

            With the level of money you’re spending you could literally buy every single one of these people a Harvard education and a gold-plated insurance plan for life. Take the high estimate of the uninsured of 40 million divide the current 2 trillion estimate of obamacare … that’s like $50,000 for every one of them ….

            Seems like there’s some overhead somewhere? Hmmmmm.

            I read the other day that when you guys declared a war on poverty in the sixties the poverty rate was something like 25%. Now 50 years later and about $50 trillion in spending later the poverty rate is … wait for it …. 27%!

            You guys have wonderful intentions … it’s being held accountable for results in the real world where it all falls apart

    • Jim

      Um, well I live in the United Kingdom, which in case you didn’t know is in Europe and our economy is growing faster than any other OECD country, including the USA. I work hard, earn far more than the average Yank, and I get to enjoy 26 days paid leave plus 8 days of public holiday. Oh and then thrown in the free healthcare… So what is your point exactly?

      • DKB123

        Yes … quite aware of the UK’s relationship to Europe. Thank you.

        Well … um …. I have absolutely no complaint about you whatsoever? I was responding to all the folks arguing that working hard is stupid. Obviously that’s not you …

        (I do have to chuckle at the “free” healthcare bit … but that’s an entirely different issue :))

    • E Monk

      The ad comes across, to this non-American at least, as a slightly aggressive way of defending a way of life that has the whiff of insecurity. I’d rather not buy a product that leans so heavily on a political philosophy, but that’s just me.
      It’s like saying you can only appreciate the qualities of an Alfa-Romeo if you’re actually an Italian, whereas what it might be better saying is; ‘driving this car makes you feel more…Italian/American etc”
      Whatever, it looks like something designed using the origami book of cars so it’s a ‘no’ from me.

  • Benjamin Nead

    The preachy flag-waiving vibe of this commercial is a complete turn-off for me. Maybe “Mr. Poolside” takes two-weeks off in August instead of the “lazy” Europeans who take four. But millions of hard-working Americans get no paid vacation, maternity leave or even sick days. “Mr. Poolside” seems oblivious to that fact.

    He’s only fleetingly correct that “we got bored” in regards to our 1960s/70s Lunar ambitions, but the whole business of an American public weary of a protracted Vietnam War as a more fundamental reason is conveniently overlooked here. One would guess “Mr. Poolside” would have supported that ill-fated conflict in an unabashed “my country, right or wrong” sort of way back then . . . and, like so many fiscal conservatives of the day, might have also looked at Kennedy’s declaration for going to the Moon as little more than wasteful government spending. Our reasons for halting the Apollo Program are complex and varied. “Boredom” incompletely sums it up.

    Oh yeah, we also aren’t “the only ones going back,” as the Chinese recently made a successful unmanned Moon mission (maybe “Mr. Poolside” wasn’t watching his Korean-made wide screen TV the night Fox News reported that tidbit.) We also now have to use Russian Soyuz capsules on Korolev-designed boosters, launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to get our Astronauts up to the International Space Station. When humans finally do go back to the Moon, economics will probably dictate that it will be an effort of international cooperation (much like the ISS) and, hopefully, devoid of the Cold War style trappings that first got us into space.

    And . . . that vehicle “we left the keys in” up there? That was a pure battery-powered EV. Other than sheepishly offering a handful of California/Oregon-only Spark EVs, what is GM hawking here? It’s a drastically overpriced Volt PHEV. The Lunar Rovers (there were 3 of them, actually) performed their mission over 40 years ago exclusively on battery power.

    If indeed, GM, you “believe anything is possible,” then please market a pure EV that can be purchased ANYWHERE IN THE US for a price point remotely approaching what the Japanese can offer on one of their pure EVs. You could do that TODAY.

    If “anything is possible,” then please put your Voltec drivetrain into something that can move a real world soccer mom and her over-sized human cargo around town or a city away for a fraction of the amount of petroleum required in an ICE-only one (I count a wife and two kids in Mr. Poolside’s family during the quick stroll through the house . . . maximum capacity for the ELR, but I guess there isn’t much “socialistic” carpooling going on here.) That’s another thing that you could do right now, GM, if you only “believed” . . . make a PHEV minvan.

    In the mean time, we have to put up with a minute of “Mr. Poolside’s” Regeaneque era braying, which I find far from uplifting or inspiring.

  • Jim Seko

    Google search trends shows a spike in searches for “Cadillac ELR” after the ad aired on TV.

  • john

    I disagree. I liked the commercial. People in this country have become so lazy and expect to have things handed to them. Making reference to working for something is not a bad thing.

  • Bob_Wallace

    The World (PRI) did a short piece on the Cadillac ad yesterday. Here’s the transcript from their site…

    “By now, you may have seen the TV ad for Cadillac that’s gone viral. It’s the one where an American guy starts out questioning how hard he works, then indirectly thumbs his nose at Europeans and their short work weeks and long summer vacations.

    His conclusion: that America is just the best, and the best buy Caddies.

    But my French in-laws don’t buy the bluster.

    I live in Spain, but my house is more like a French enclave. When Francine and Bob, my in-laws, arrived from France this week, they pulled out their French cheeses, gourmet olive oils and pates.

    They come about every two months and stay for a week. Because they can. Bob’s retired. And Francine, a public sector employee, has so many days off she doesn’t know what to do with them.

    So when I told them about this Cadillac ad, where an American guy waxes philosophical about work, they were interested.

    “Why do we work so hard? For what? For this? For stuff?” asks the man in the ad. “In other countries they work. They stroll home and stop at the café. They take August off. Off. Why aren’t you like that? Why aren’t we like that?”

    He’s pretty much talking about Francine. Francine works 195 days a year. Between French holidays and vacation days, she has more than 12 weeks off each year. In other words, a week off every month.

    Again, Mr. Cadillac (actor Neal McDonough): “Why aren’t we like that? Because we’re crazy-driven, hard-working believers, that’s why. Those other countries think we’re nuts. Whatever. Were the Wright brothers insane? Bill Gates? Les Paul? Ali?”

    “It’s pretty simple. You work hard. You create your own luck. And you gotta believe anything is possible. As for all the stuff, that’s the upside of only taking two weeks off in August, n’est-ce pas?”

    Bob, my father-in-law, is shaking his head.

    “This way of life is so materialistic,” he says. “The only important thing are the things you own.”

    “What a shame,” Francine says. “What a shame; If that’s his way of thinking and his purpose in life.”

    “He doesn’t talk about art,” Bob says, “or culture or anything else.”

    And, Francine chimes in, “I couldn’t give a you-know-what about owning a pool. I prefer walking on the beach. And as for the car, it just needs to run well. To get me to a place where I can park it, and go for a walk.”

    So there you have it. A little European spunk to even the score.”

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-03-10/cadillacs-viral-ad-glorifies-americas-crazy-work-ethic-my-french-laws-dont-buy-it

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      The ad is ridiculous.

      But it’s for Cadillac, so…

      • sambar

        Some of the fattest, laziest people I know drive Caddies.

    • SirSparks

      Oh Boy! how I miss coarse ground French pate with wine direct from the vineyard by the gallon jug.

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