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Author Topic: Do we bail out the auto industry?  (Read 13578 times)

Thernlund

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Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2008, 11:57:54 pm »
One word... Solidarity.


-T.
Arizona  Arm yourself because no one else here will save you.  The odds will betray you, and I will replace you...

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    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #26 on: November 14, 2008, 06:52:51 am »
    Give an inch, and they don't take a mile.  They take another inch.  "What does that mean??", he says.

    It means I hear you be be advocating just a tiny little bit of socialism, and saying that if we just keep it limited to this we can make it work.  And what happens when it does work and everything is wonderful?  The powers that implemented this wonderful system will begin looking to apply this model in other areas.  They'll say, "Look!  It works.  And we can make it work with X too!"  Then we'll say, "Ok.  Just this little bit, and we'll keep it limited to this."

    I have been hearing that since the Fifties. The churches are still open and we still don't have any gulags.

    People have short memories.  Case in point: Barack Obama got elected.
    It appears that most people feel a little socialism would be good. Much of Europe is very socialistic and they seem to be very happy. Their health care and transportation systems are decades ahead of ours.

    Before someone tells me I don't know what I am talking about, my wife is from Munich and her mother lives with us. We have family and friends visit every summer, and we visit them as well. I know their system quite well. They are quite happy with it.

    I for one would rather not give them that inch, no matter how insignificant it is.  One day it could be the inch that everyone will say ended it all.


    -T.

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson ;D

    The fact is that the free market is a myth and capitalism, as practiced in the United States, is not working. Many people feel we need a new direction. I was raised like the rest of you and I know how that frightening that sounds. As the Firesign Theater said, "Everything you know is wrong." We can't stop the change. We can get ahead of it and shape it or we can deny it and be overwhelmed. I am tired of targeted bail outs that redistribute millions of dollars of taxpayer money in the pockets of executives while millions of working people still cannot afford health care. Help everyone or no one.  You can bet the people pocketing millions of your tax dollars do not want to see that wealth redistributed in the other direction.

    archerandshooter

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #27 on: November 14, 2008, 10:02:26 am »
    Macadore,

    In all seriousness, I'd like to ask you to describe the German health care regime you like so much.  I know almost nothing about it.

    I'm familiar with the UK and Canadian systems, and aging under either of them would scare me badly.  Tell me how the Germans are different, and better.

    - how do they ration care when resources are scarce?
    - what is their stance on euthanasia?
    - what is the tax burden dedicated to supporting the health system?
    - how do they treat the Turks, Arabs, and North Africans - the gastarbeiter - relative to German citizens?
    - how have they reconciled different treatment standards and availability in the old FDR vs. DDR?

    Plus anything else you'd like to share.

    Thanks
    TWN KALON AGWNA HGWNISMAI

    StevenTing

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #28 on: November 14, 2008, 10:34:34 am »
    Why?
    I'll admit, I know very little about unions. But why can't the industry fire all the union workers, and then offer to hire them again at reasonable rates? As we venture into recession, the unemployment rate is going up. People want to keep their jobs. Why can't the industry just hire anyone who is willing to work for x amount of years at a wage that the industry decides on? If everyone goes on strike and won't come back to work, then hire the unemployed from across the US.

    Just because you fire someone does not mean they leave the union.  Unions are very powerful.  They can instruct their members to not accept jobs unless they use union members. As the assets are not portable, the company will have little option than to hire union workers again.

    It's not an easy task to hire the unemployed from across the country because that involves selling a home or breaking a rental lease, moving, and then finding a new place to live.  In these troubled times, that is going to be more difficult for people.  And, if you're not paying very well, they may not even bother.

    If you're collecting unemployment, you're maybe getting $400 a week.  That will barely be enough to cover food and rent.

    Yes, the new company can hire workers, but if the union members stick together, there may not be enough worker to operate the business.  Think about what happens when they strike.  Yes, they bring in some temporary workers, but they never have enough to be fully staffed.  If they did, they could fire the union workers and be done with them.  But, they always end up negotiating because they need the workers.
    Utah

    Ishpeck

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #29 on: November 14, 2008, 10:57:44 am »
    I think the original post asks the wrong question.  Congress never considered bailing out the auto industry.  The only consideration was to bail out certain corporations in the auto industry.

    I know it seems catastrophically weird, but if GM and Ford were to cease to exist, that doesn't mean cars can't exist anymore.  I would love to see the two giants replaced by many, smaller competing companies that were more free to explore the options that would make cars better, safer, more efficient, and all those other happy things Ogre was referring to.

    So yeah.  The industry doesn't need bailouts.  Only the megacorporations do.
    Ishpeck's Law: As United States political discourse grows longer, the probability of Ronald Reagan being used as a justification for one's argument approaches one.
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    Beamish

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #30 on: November 14, 2008, 11:04:44 am »
    Breaking the UAW just takes time and perseverance.  Shutter the factories and then wait.  When you re-open the new factory you do not work with the Union - you just hire employees.  If they demand to unionize - you close the factory.

    Honda, Toyota and Nissan assemble better vehicles for lower costs within the US and without the unions.

    It can be done.

    springmom

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #31 on: November 14, 2008, 11:09:32 am »
    Breaking the UAW just takes time and perseverance.  Shutter the factories and then wait.  When you re-open the new factory you do not work with the Union - you just hire employees.  If they demand to unionize - you close the factory.

    Honda, Toyota and Nissan assemble better vehicles for lower costs within the US and without the unions.

    It can be done.

    It cannot be done when you are the president-elect and you just sold your soul to the unions in order to get your shiny new job, though.

    Just as a technical point, btw....if a company declares bankruptcy, the union contracts are null and void and must be renegotiated.  THAT is why the governor of Michigan is pushing so hard for this bailout.  The bankruptcy of the big three WOULD kill the unions, and they know it, so they are desperately trying to stave off their own imminent demise.

    I am reminded of that ancient Chinese curse:  "may you live in interesting times".  We certainly do.

    Jan
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    MarshallDodge

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #32 on: November 14, 2008, 11:35:44 am »
    The fact is that the free market is a myth and capitalism, as practiced in the United States, is not working.

    It is working, we just need to keep the government out of healthcare and business.  I was discussing healthcare with a fellow employee recently who is about 50 pounds overweight.  I was floored when he said that he was tired of paying $200 a month for a cholesterol drug.   ::)

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!! 

    The fact is that we keep giving the government more and more control of our daily lives and they keep screwing it up.  We have no idea where most of our tax dollars are being spent and the idea of bailing out corporations is wrong in so many ways.....
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson

    Correia

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #33 on: November 14, 2008, 12:38:58 pm »
    Quote
    The problem is, where is the labor?  The labor still lies with the unions.  Whoever takes over the assets will still have to deal with the unions.

    The labor is right there. The ambitious and smart will dog the unions. Most of the jobs could be easily done by recent college graduates or the guys you pick up from Home Depot.  Having worked in multiple factories, most of the jobs do not require rocket scientists, and they certainly do not require $60 an hour pay. 

    You need engineers? Go hire some. If the pays good, they'll move. 

    If former employees don't want to leave the union? Too friggin' bad.

    Now for Madacore,

    Quote
    The fact is that the free market is a myth and capitalism, as practiced in the United States, is not working.

    Here's the deal. Capitalism works just fine. All of the failures in our US system are a result of government meddling in the free market. 

    If congress hadn't given the auto industry a bunch of absurd rules and then forced them to use crappy union labor, then they wouldn't be falling apart.  If the government hadn't mandated stupid loans, then the banks wouldn't be failing. 

    The free market fails, but then it cuts off the stupid, and smart people learn from the mistakes. We move on. We grow stronger. But every time the government comes in, they protect the stupid, so they can continue to fail, until there is an epic readjustment.

    And Europe is socialist?  Well guess what? If Europe and Canada had had to actually pay for their own military protection for the last three generations, instead of living off of ours (paid for entirely by capitalism) then they wouldn't have been able to afford all of their stupid crap.

    If we yanked all of our interests out of Europe, and said, hey, Putin, knock yourself out man, have fun. I wonder how long the Euros would be able to continue with their socialist paradise.  Somebody has to foot the bill, and since 1939, that's been us.

    As for socialized medicine, I know nothing about Germany. But I'm familiar with England and Canada, and both of them suck beyond all comprehension.

    I hear constant complaining about health care costs here, but I pay for my own health insurance for me, my wife, and three kids, and it is decent coverage, and it really isn't that expensive.  It is less than the cable and cellphone bill of most of the whiners who are complaining about the horrible costs of healthcare.

    Medical care is expensive, but unlike England, I can actually get TREATMENT. And my doctors are not all imported from Bangladesh because all of the native practicioners who were worth a damn retired rather than deal with the government. 

    Quote
    Their health care and transportation systems are decades ahead of ours.
       Public transportation?  That's because Americans actually own our own cars. Under our failed system of capitalism, even poor American families have at least one car, and many have two. Plus, we don't like to ride public transportation, because we're Americans damn it, and I work hard so I don't have to ride the bus.

    Seriously though, I saw a study a little while ago about what US states were developing the best mass commuter systems, and Utah was at the top.  Which is ironic, since we've also got the most efficient state government in the US, and ours is entirely run by Republicans... While all the Democrat run states are busy begging for loans and bailouts.

    My experience with continental Europe is limited, as I've mostly dealt with the English in my career. But honestly? Their system sucks. If European transportation is so awesome, cross London at rush hour.



    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #34 on: November 14, 2008, 12:41:29 pm »
    Macadore,

    In all seriousness, I'd like to ask you to describe the German health care regime you like so much.  I know almost nothing about it.

    I'm familiar with the UK and Canadian systems, and aging under either of them would scare me badly.  Tell me how the Germans are different, and better.

    - how do they ration care when resources are scarce?
    - what is their stance on euthanasia?
    - what is the tax burden dedicated to supporting the health system?
    - how do they treat the Turks, Arabs, and North Africans - the gastarbeiter - relative to German citizens?
    - how have they reconciled different treatment standards and availability in the old FDR vs. DDR?

    Plus anything else you'd like to share.

    Thanks

    The state takes 10% of every workers salary and sends it to the employees designated church. The churches take care of all the health care. This includes hospitals, nursing homes, in home help, pharmaceuticals, and so on. Sending tax dollars to the church probably wouldn't work here, but we could send the money to a government sponsored health care provider.

    As for resources, they had plenty until the wall came down. Not they have to pay a 10 Euro co-pay when they see the doctor. A friend had chemo therapy a few years ago had to pay 25% of the costs.  He did not have to wait for the chemo-therapy and does not have to wait more than one hour to see a doctor. The Germans are frighteningly efficient.

    As for non-citizens, if you paid into the system then you get health care from your church.  If not, you get substantially reduced benefits from the state run health care system. I assume the Turks get Muslim health care at a Muslim hospital, but I don't know any, so I cannot directly address that. I have never heard any of the Germans I know discuss euthanasia so I can't address that either.

    The friend I mentioned is moaning and groaning about what he has to pay, but he is much better off than my mother-in-law who lives with my wife and me. Before anyone accuses her of freeloading, she moved to the U.S. with her G.I. husband in 1960 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Like the rest of us, she has paid her share of taxes. She has osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis so she is in constant pain and is getting feebler every day. Her doctor recommended a new medication that cost $1,000 per month. Her pension is $1500 per month and she frequently spends over $500 per month on medical care. None of us can afford an additional $1,000 per month for the indefinite future so she continues to suffer. Most of us without government health care, or some other form of subsidized health care, will be there if we live long enough.

    President Bush's last budget called for more tax cuts for the rich, more money for Iraq, and less money for Medicare. Consequently, my mother-in-law as seen her premiums and co-pays go up. I disagreed with that.

    I also disagree with letting pharmaceutical companies charge record prices for drugs developed decades ago so they can develop new drugs that none of us can afford. In Mexico you can get penicillin over the counter for the same price as your co-pay would be here. Here you have pay a doctor to get permission to buy penicillin. I also disagree with that. I have heard the pharmaceutical companies' arguments and I don't buy those either.

    Sorry for the rant. I just think we are being exploited by people who own the majority of our politicians. That is the main reason I voted for McCain. Unfortunately, the people who own most of congress won. Get government in this all the way or get it out all the way. I foresee no conditions under which the government will get completely out of this, so the alternative is to get completely in and bring everyone with you. The other alternative is this uncontrollable mess that we have now. That's not acceptable. "If you can't lick um, join um".

    ridata

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #35 on: November 14, 2008, 01:10:41 pm »
    macadore: what sort of income/sales tax do they have in Germany on top of the 10% health care tax?

    The other question is if we think the US has the ability to replicate a well run government health care system.  Considering the way Medicare is currently run, I would doubt it.
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    Thernlund

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #36 on: November 14, 2008, 01:23:52 pm »
    The state... takes??  <shiver>


    -T.
    Arizona  Arm yourself because no one else here will save you.  The odds will betray you, and I will replace you...

    ridata

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #37 on: November 14, 2008, 01:26:47 pm »
    The state... takes??  <shiver>


    -T.

    Nope, they ask for it. And then show up with the crew when you don't follow their wishes.  :neener
    If I saw a guy with a 60cu/ft safe filled to the brim with nothing but Jennings, Lorcins and Hi-Points, I'd look at the guy and say "Right on brother".
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    springmom

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #38 on: November 14, 2008, 02:10:32 pm »
    The state takes 10% of every workers salary and sends it to the employees designated church. The churches take care of all the health care. This includes hospitals, nursing homes, in home help, pharmaceuticals, and so on. Sending tax dollars to the church probably wouldn't work here, but we could send the money to a government sponsored health care provider.

    Now that right there is what I'd call a VERY big difference.  And not just because of the religion issue and separation of church and state.
    Having watched .gov totally screw the pooch on "helping" after Hurricane Ike, I think I have some standing to say that when the government takes money  for a project, that project is FUBAR.  Period.  Katrina.  Rita.  Ike.  Do you REALLY want the idjits that brought  you the "help" after  these events to be in charge of your doctors?  Not me, thanks.

    It's a matter of simple economics.  If I make $1000, then under that system $100 goes to .gov which then goes to the health care provider....right?  NO.  Maybe $75-80 goes to the health care provider....because .gov has its own mouths to feed.  Another bloated burearucracy that can't find it's butt with both hands on a sunny day with mirrors gets that money.  Why on EARTH should it not just go straight from my checking account to the health care provider?  Everybody benefits (except .gov, whose thirst for control and power is curtailed and it tends to dislike that). 

    I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I have Sjogren's, and depending on the doctor you talk to, the underlying monster under the bed is probably lupus.  I also have a host of other stuff, the sum total of which has me no longer able to work.  I have had to choose between paying for my meds and paying our bills before, back when Archerandshooter was a priest.  And I will STILL tell you that it is better for .gov to keep it's cotton pickin' hands OFF my health care. 

    I don't know what the answer is for your mother in law...but now is the time to be shopping around for other providers for Part B.  And those providers want your business, if the sheer number of commercials I hear on radio and TV are any indication.  Shop.  Compare.  Talk to your doctor's office and find out which companies have the best benefits for the least money.  Sign her up at Walmart for the prescription program there.  Those "decades old" drugs go for $4 a month, a lot of 'em.  Check it out.  There are free-market programs becoming available, even the drug companies now have prescription assistance programs.  Check into them.  You might be able to get that $1000 prescription for a fraction of the cost.

    I too look to the future and worry whether my health care needs will be possible to meet financially.  It's not that many years from now for us.  But I will never, ever, EVER support government-run, government-overseen, government-controlled health care.

    Jan
    If a thing looks too good to be true, best to shoot it.  Just in case.

    -----Fionna Glenanne, Burn Notice


    I agree with the Court that the Second Amendment is fully applicable to the States.  I do so because the right to keep and bear a

    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #39 on: November 14, 2008, 05:52:05 pm »
    macadore: what sort of income/sales tax do they have in Germany on top of the 10% health care tax?
    The person I mentioned pays an additional 31% in income tax. The last year I was self employed I paid 34% of my income in state tax, federal tax, and double Social Security. I paid somewhat more than 10% of my income in healthcare costs for my family.

    The other question is if we think the US has the ability to replicate a well run government health care system.  Considering the way Medicare is currently run, I would doubt it.

    The VA would be a better model because it can negotiate costs with the health care providers. However, the problem with both models is that neither of them serves the public at large. Therefore, it is easy under fund them and ignore the problems. If everyone, including congressmen and government employees used the same system, I have to assume it would be run better. In addition, a system that large would have the power to negotiate prices better than any single insurance provider. 

    I realize we are all supposed to cuss Obama, and I did not vote for him. However, I see nothing wrong with his proposal to let everyone participate in the same health care system that government employees use. We're paying for it anyway. We might as well be allowed to participate.

    Thernlund

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #40 on: November 14, 2008, 06:07:47 pm »
    However, I see nothing wrong with his proposal to let everyone participate in the same health care system that government employees use. We're paying for it anyway. We might as well be allowed to participate.

    Sure.  Voluntary participation in the same plan(s) that are offered to government employees (USAA does that, right?).

    But no way should it be mandatory.  For example, if I have a part-time job that doesn't offer insurance, I should not be defaulted into the gov't plan unless I choose to participate.  If I don't want insurance, that's my decision.  And if I opt out, my paycheck should not come up light.

    Government should stay out of my life unless I invite them in.  Period.  No tax, all all, on what I take in.  Tax what I spend, and let me spend it how I see fit.


    -T.
    Arizona  Arm yourself because no one else here will save you.  The odds will betray you, and I will replace you...

    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #41 on: November 14, 2008, 07:41:31 pm »
      springmom,

    To a certain degree I agree with you. However, our government does some things right. Our space program is the best in the world as is our military. Our Intestate Highway System on one of wonders of the modern world. I do not think we should let the perfect stand in the way of the good.

    I do not think you should have to choose between medication and rent. I do not think someone who has worked all of her life should be forced into bankruptcy because of health problems. A lot of people work at brutal low paying job and do not complain. It is unethical to throw them to the wolves when their bodies wear out and they can no longer work. Profit is important, but not to the exclusion of everything else.

    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #42 on: November 14, 2008, 07:51:05 pm »
    Sure.  Voluntary participation in the same plan(s) that are offered to government employees (USAA does that, right?).

    But no way should it be mandatory.  For example, if I have a part-time job that doesn't offer insurance, I should not be defaulted into the gov't plan unless I choose to participate.  If I don't want insurance, that's my decision.  And if I opt out, my paycheck should not come up light.

    Government should stay out of my life unless I invite them in.  Period.  No tax, all all, on what I take in.  Tax what I spend, and let me spend it how I see fit.


    -T.

    I agree. And if you opt out and need healthcare, you're sol. You can't wait until you're 60 to enroll. Fair enough.

    Thernlund

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #43 on: November 14, 2008, 07:56:46 pm »
    You can't wait until you're 60 to enroll.

    Sure you can, at a higher premium, which will still be lower than the private companies are offering (due to being taxpayer supported).

    Operate it just like a normal insurance company.  Only diff is the premiums are much lower. 

    Maybe a nice side-effect:  Private insurers might just start thinking up new ways to improve service and lower premiums instead of ways cut service while raising premiums.

    Competition is a good thing.


    -T.
    Arizona  Arm yourself because no one else here will save you.  The odds will betray you, and I will replace you...

    macadore

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #44 on: November 14, 2008, 08:06:54 pm »
    Sure you can, at a higher premium, which will still be lower than the private companies are offering (due to being taxpayer supported).

    Operate it just like a normal insurance company.  Only diff is the premiums are much lower. 

    Maybe a nice side-effect:  Private insurers might just start thinking up new ways to improve service and lower premiums instead of ways cut service while raising premiums.

    Competition is a good thing.


    -T.

    Fair enough.

    igpoobah

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #45 on: November 14, 2008, 08:52:07 pm »
    No bailouts for anyone. Letting it crash and burn is the only way to wake up this nation and make it great once again. Burn this mother down and let's rebuild.

    Stevie-Ray

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #46 on: November 15, 2008, 12:47:19 am »


    Let me put it this way. When you have a company that is contractually obligated to pay $75 an hour to the guy who SWEEPS THE FLOOR...


    WHERE, pray tell, did you get THAT idea?
    MichiganFolks keep talking about another Civil War.  One side knows how to shoot and has a trillion bullets.  The other side has crying closets and is confused about which bathroom to use.  How do you think that war is going to end?

    Wes S.

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #47 on: November 15, 2008, 01:13:45 am »
    I don't know about floor sweepers, but assembly-line workers employed by the Big Three are making almost that much:

    Quote
    "...Total compensation per hour for the big-three carmakers is $73.20. That's a 52 percent differential from Toyota's (Detroit South) $48 compensation (wages + health and retirement benefits). In fact, the oversized UAW-driven pay package for Detroit is 132 percent higher than that of the entire manufacturing sector of the U.S., which comes in at $31.59.

    I don't care how much money Congress throws at GM. With that kind of oversized comp-package they are not gonna be competitive. It's throwin' bad money after a bad cause. What a way to start the new Obama era..."

    (Source:  http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=111308A)

    Yep...it's no wonder that neither GM, Ford nor Chrysler can produce a decent, affordable economy car and make any money off it under those conditions. As it sits now you've got union assembly-line workers making $35/hr plus benefits building $30,000 cars, SUVs and pickups for people who only make fifteen dollars an hour. Even in a good economy that's ultimately a losing game...and Detroit was already hemorrhaging cash before the economy went south.

    Somebody needs to tell Obama and the Democrats that England already tried this same thing with their domestic auto industry. Back in the 1960s and 1970s the Brits kept bailing out their car manufacturers and finally went ahead and nationalized them...which is the same road we're on now with the auto companies and the credit markets. How did that work out for England? Google "British Leyland."

    And, while you're waiting for the search results to come up, ponder that Mini Coopers are now built by BMW.
    Where am I to go now that I've gone too far?

    Thernlund

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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #48 on: November 15, 2008, 01:18:52 am »
    WHERE, pray tell, did you get THAT idea?

    I don't think he meant it literally.  Rather, the gist of his comment is that the unions are bullies, and pretty much extort the auto makers into paying way more than a given job it worth.

    Which, by the way, I agree with. 


    -T.
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    Re: Do we bail out the auto industry?
    « Reply #49 on: November 15, 2008, 01:07:53 pm »
    Stevie, I lived in Alabama when foreign automakers started building plants in the Birmingham area. The main discussion point was about how they could pay a starting $20 an hour in Birmingham (which ain't bad at all), compared to the union wages of their American competition paying an average of $75 an hour.  There were piles of news articles on the topic at the time.

    It works for the Germans and the Japanese, but we're too stupid. The democrat machine needs the unions in order to win, hence Nancy Pelosi having her panic attack this week for our next round of bailouts.

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