Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You’re making interesting product

Bush went to a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria today. They let him play with a tractor.

The Chimpy Word of the Day is “product”:
  • “Caterpillar can employ new people because it makes good product that people want.”
  • “People say, I like what the workers are doing, I like the product that’s being put together, we want to invest”
  • “a lot of the product you make here, you sell to somebody else”
  • “In other words, when I talk about numbers, behind the numbers is people who are providing the service and/or making the product.”
  • “Trade is an important subject here at Caterpillar, and the reason why is because a lot of the product you make here, you sell to somebody else, sell overseas to another country. That’s trade.”
  • “In other words, because we lowered trade barriers, and said, you treat us the way we treat you, it has enabled this company to sell more product than ever before, which means people are working, when you have to make the product.”
  • “And people want Caterpillar product.”
  • “I’m confident in our ability to sell American product and services overseas if the playing field is level.”
  • “When you’re dependent on a product, and you import that product, if somebody were to inflict damage on a energy infrastructure, it could cause the price of your energy to go up. Or if you’re dependent upon product from a hostile regime, it means you’re in a position of vulnerability.”
  • “Fifteen years ago, or 20 years ago, if people stood up here and said a lot of people would be using a corn product to drive their cars, they’d have said, man, what -- the guy has kind of lost it, hasn’t he?”
  • “In other words, you’re not only making Cats, you’re making interesting product”

And what to do with all that product? Trade it! “The temptation is to say, well, trade may not be worth it, let’s isolate ourselves. Let’s protect ourselves. I think it would be -- I know it would be a mistake for Caterpillar workers to do that.” So what you’re saying, if I understand you, is that Caterpillar workers should sell their tractors rather than keep them all for themselves. Interesting. Tell me more. “One way to look at trade is this: We’re 5 percent of the people in the world; that means 95 percent live outside of America, and shouldn’t we try to put ourselves in a position where we can sell goods and services to those 95 percent? I think it makes sense to do so.” And to sum up: “Again, I repeat to you, I strongly believe that if we can compete with people on a level playing field, nobody can compete with us.” So we’re competing, but no one else can, so we win, because it’s a forfeit, right? (Who says I don’t understand sports metaphors?)

He added, “I’m very optimistic about meeting the future, because of new technologies.” And the Rapture, that’ll be neat too.

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