Power Corrupts

This CNBC article reports on the second UAW (United Auto Workers) president to be sentenced as part of a multiyear corruption probe into the well-known American labor union. Power corrupts, whether it’s a high-ranking labor union official, CEO of a large company or a high-ranking government official. Of course, I have opined that many/most people seeking these posts are already corrupt and achieving their goal is “positive” reinforcement for their behavior, which worsens their corruption.

In general, I believe it is best for a country, for a society for power to be diffuse and not concentrated. When exceptions should be made is, of course, a very tricky matter, indeed.


From this article titled “How Software Is Eating The Car” comes this estimate from Deloitte Touche: as of 2017, some 40% of the cost of a new car could be attributed to semiconductor-based electronic systems, a cost doubling since 2007. Obviously, a shortage of those semiconductors, like the world has been experiencing, makes it difficult to manufacture cars, whether they are ICE-powered, EVs or hybrids. From the piece is this tidbit:


“Today, high-end cars like the BMW 7-series with advanced technology like advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) may contain 150 ECUs [Electronic Control Units] or more, while pick-up trucks like Ford’s F-150 top 150 million lines of code. Even low-end vehicles are quickly approaching 100 ECUs and 100 million of lines of code as more features that were once considered luxury options, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, are becoming standard.”


One can certainly understand the preference for non-computerized cars by many of those in the hobby. One should also understand that many of these systems are the result of ever increasing government standards. Some of those, of course, result in safer cars, but worse drivers. Much of the explosion in ECUs and lines of code, though, comes from customer expectations regarding comfort and performance. It is the automobile business, after all.


It seems as though inventory is thin right now at the local luxury make complex. Nevertheless, here are some pictures I took yesterday:



I am still hoping for a real-world look at a Maserati MC20, but haven’t seen any, yet. The Maserati dealer in the complex was allocated eight MC20s, all of which were sold within days of availability. From Wallpaper Cave a picture of said vehicle:


See the source image


Can I put this car in Ultimate Garage 3.0? Can I include three different generations of Corvettes? Yes, it’s my blog and I guess I can do what I want. Sometimes, though, what we want to do is not what we should do.

Enjoy the weekend!








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8 thoughts on “Power Corrupts

  1. So I am still waiting for my company car. Before I started in March, I got a call from fleet asking me to confirm my address and if we were in a gated community. I have since received the title, my EZ pass, and my gas card; what I have not received is the actual CAR.
    As a result, my company had to put me in a rental. At the rental agency, they had four cars on the lot. I ended up with a Pacifica, which I didn’t mind since I have to help my youngest move some stuff. The guy told me he has requests for TWENTY-THREE rentals. He said that he was told the order for new vehicles has been canceled, and all the rental car companies are scrambling to buy low mileage used cars. Oh, and they are charging $90/day for subcompacts.
    What is crazy is, other companies in my industry will give employees a car allowance-anywhere from $750-1200/month for car payment/insurance/maintenance. My company could have done the same and for what one week of renting the Pacifica will cost, have covered the cost of a month of personal use. The car business has become wacky.


  2. All of the computerization of cars is going to lead to unintended consequences. All of the complexity will require skilled, trained technicians which are already in short supply. Skilled technician jobs go unfilled with no applicants even before the pandemic induced labor shortages. Not being able to work on their own cars, leads to people with zero skills in using their hands to work on things thus reducing the pool of people who could be trained to be technicians. The deletion of shop classes in high schools has also led to a population without technical skills of any kind.

    Another potential problem is computer code errors in the complex codes needed to run the computers. Coding errors are a difficult problem we have experienced in computers from the advent of personal computers in the 1980s. The potential for accidents caused by coding errors is increased the more we add computers and “features” to our cars.

    In my 1948 project truck there will be one computer and that to run the electronic fuel injection system and the automatic transmission. The wiring for this truck will of necessity be complex as the electrical system loads sheet is already 48 items long and will probably grow a few more. I’m over 40 so I must write things down or my memory will strike me stupid forgetting something.


  3. “safer cars, but worse drivers.”

    As a motorcycle rider for most of my life, I have long been of the opinion that car/truck drivers would be a lot safer driver if the drivers seat was moved out to the front bumper. Not to say that it would cure ALL bad driving, but I bet a lot of bad habits would quickly change.

    As for the rental issue that was mentioned in the previous response by David Banner, I’m dealing with that issue now. Trying to reserve a rental, for 4 weeks, for an upcoming job and the price is eye popping, not even considering the availability of a suitable vehicle. To the point where I’m seriously thinking about sending 1 guy up in my mini van as it will probably work out to be cheaper. But that would mean we would have 2 vehicles going on the trip which is 900+ miles each way.

    Strange times out there at the moment.


  4. Just in time works fine… except when it doesn’t.
    I never saw the rental car thing coming, but in hindsight, I guess it was obvious as agencies sold their cars to keep financially afloat, and now it’s hard to get new cars.


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