18 October 2008

2AM - and seething mad

It's 2AM, Sunday, October 19th. I can't sleep because I am seething mad, over what I had heard in the evening from a relative, who runs a manufacturing plant supplying various larger corporations, including Samsung. He had done a round of golf with a Samsung executive and other suppliers.

It looks like the Samsung executive said that it'll be in everyone's best interest to pray for a long Kim Jong-il reign in North Korea, because if/when he dies, four factions will vie for power, and there is a 30% chance of war. He also advised suppliers to hold off on capital investments due to the war threat. He finally asked them to pressure the leftist opposition parties into dropping their proposal for a defense budget cut.

Honestly, I don't know who's a patriot, and who's a leftist Communist puppet, around here anymore. The fact is that the four rival North Korean factions are no more, and no less, likely to consider going to war than the current Kim Jong-il regime, given the international conditions. One thing that they will certainly not have is Kim's totalitarian control and personality cult, and this is extremely important. The personality cult is the most important tool enabling North Korea to exert total control over its people, with very willing compliance; take the cult away, and North Korea will have to change, open up, and start working closely with South Korea and the rest of the world. The North Koreans will not dare speak up against a deity (the Kim family), but WILL speak up against a government that they don't consider divine. Asking for a long, prosperous Kim Jong-il reign is asking for the continued status quo, which will benefit nobody but maybe defense contractors. To me, this is the true treason.

This, combined with Samsung's total support and practice of neoliberal economics, has me seething mad. Samsung would rather offshore overseas than invest in its home market, workforce, society, and consumers. Samsung would rather re-write laws, and re-shape the government, in its favor, than comply with common-sense regulations. Samsung is practicing the same economics and policies that have brought the US down to its knees over the past three decades, slowly but surely. If the economy were sound, those leftist-proposed defense budget cuts may not even be necessary anyway.

The money that I recently spent at Everland will be the last bit of money Samsung will ever see from me. Samsung has done to the electronics industry, and to South Korea, what Toyota has done to the automotive industry, and to Japan and the US. Toyota has pretty much determined the current Supreme Court Chief Justice for the US, and has weakened US labor laws in its favor, while funding its evil deeds by selling the Prius to well-intentioned progressives. And it would be Samsung's wet dream to add to those Toyota accomplishments in the US. Just as I refuse to drive the Prius, I refuse to use the PAVV TVs and other Samsung products from now on.

My first order of business, when I return to the US, will be to immediately throw away my last Samsung product - a 20" TV set with a dead speaker. It'll especially be the case, if the South Korean neoliberal government succeeds in its goals of either a John McCain presidency or the passage of California's teen abortion ban and/or gay marriage ban. The TV has caused me tons of grief, like my former car Ford Contour. And honestly, I would rather buy another Ford piece of scrap metal than another Samsung product. When I am trying to support policies in the US that encourage domestic job creation and discourage further offshoring (therefore restoring the American workers' spending power and the economy as a whole), it makes no sense to continue using products from the world's most eager offshorer - Samsung.

Turning back to the automotive world, Toyota is not the only evil one. BMW, which funded Bill O'Reilly's terrorist threats on San Francisco and progressive politicians, must be taught a lesson. My intention for the past several months has been to keep my South African-built 3-series running as long as possible, but if I get fed up enough, I will again consider selling it. The current Hyundai vehicles, such as the Sonata, the Veracruz, and the Genesis, are tempting, though given that President Lee Myung-bak is a former Hyundai executive, I will think twice before jumping in. At least, if I do end up in a Hyundai, I will be able to claim that I have more appreciation for South Korea's economy, industries, and workers than its own elites, who would rather buy overrated Lexus pieces of scrap metal (especially the RX, which is just a jacked-up Camry wagon) just to "teach the unions a lesson." Now, who's really guilty of treason? (Especially considering that Japan is in a high-stakes territorial dispute with South Korea?)

At least it's a good thing that Samsung is not, and never was, in mass transit vehicle business, and that I don't have to ride Samsung buses and Samsung subway trains around Seoul.