North Korea's attempts to bolster their war chest have both irritated and amused the western world. The far-eastern nation's slow march to nuclear power suffered a humiliating setback Thursday, as an Unha 3 rocket intended to be launched into space lasted only "about a minute" before falling to pieces. While the mainstream media is busy stoking the schadenfreude over North Korea’s failure, Real News opened Friday taking a look at our fair share of recently failed technology projects in the U.S., including the bailout-bolstered GM experiment with the Chevy Volt .
This week General Motors announced that it is in the process of developing another new hybrid car. The announcement comes following an explosion that injured 5 workers at the Alternative Energy Center in Warren, Michigan, where GM develops batteries for vehicles like the Chevy Volt.
While GM recorded record profits of 7.6 billion dollars last year, its profits have dropped three consecutive quarters (Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2011) and its market share is at a 90 year low. With the government still in control of Treasury-indebted GM, why would they be doubling down on the technology that has actually lost money for the company?
Real News panelist Andrew Wilkow is especially unimpressed by GM's profits when they are still in debt to the Treasury Department under the auspices of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which has recently enacted pay freezes for several GM executives including its CEO Dan Akerson.
Considering the up-and-down success of GM since the bailout, Buck Sexton suggested that if he were in control of the Romney campaign, he may make the case that Obama has engaged in a shoddy restructuring that is not working as well as it should.
"There are cracks in this short term success story" added Matt McCall.
Listen to the "Real News" panel discuss the up-and-downs of TARP-financed GM: