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Thread: Detroit bailout

  1. #11
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    Regardless, here we are now and the easiest and most readily available people to scapegoat are workers who had the temerity to demand that their labors be recompensed to the greatest extent possible.
    Who's using unions as a scapegoat? Sure those contracts have been detrimental in the long run, but government created the environment that allowed for such excess in the past.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #12
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Who's using unions as a scapegoat? Sure those contracts have been detrimental in the long run, but government created the environment that allowed for such excess in the past.
    The unions share plenty of the blame too - they used their collective market power to force the company into a no-win situation. The government did want to keep the voting block and put pressure, but it is difficult to lay the blame all in one area.

    In this case, I blame unions more than anyone else and blame them for a lot of the issues now. They are now simply using their collective bargaining power to take tax dollars. And I blame government for buying votes. Supply and demand, heh.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Kollin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    Auto workers build cars. That is it. They do not do market research, development or make decisions about the products the consumer wants or gets. The simply build them as directed. They benefit from being productive and responsible. Should they get as much as they can? Go work in the factory for a few weeks and see what you think.

    My family bought our first foreign car around 1973; a Honda Civic. My granfather worked for GM and all our neighbors were involved with domestic automobile production. Too say the least it was not an easy purchase to defend in our area of south-east Michigan. Eventually as we have all witnessed, the market came around.

    Auto company executives, boards, marketers have had more than ample time to consider and respond effectively to market conditions. This is part of the implicit understanding of the hard fought labor agreements; workers build designs to the very best of their ability and management employs the most advanced far thinking design and market considerations thereby insuring mutual prosperity and survival in an increasingly competitive world. The workers and factories have been there producing and providing as agreed. The world has changed and market demands have grown, technologies have advanced, and who are the people who did not (for whatever reason) respond effectively to this? Who was complacent? Well there is some guy sitting on Capitol Hill today who makes 22 million dollars a year at Ford and says that he's okay with that, despite an inexcusable lack of foresight.

    I have, to my shame and anger seen Union members who shirk their responsibility to each other and ultimately the country. In any group of humans you'll have a few bad eggs, and as the union became a big business itself, divorced from it's history and just as monetarily oriented as management it evolved into a sort of arms race to see who could get this biggest piece of the pie. The eyes of each group were not on the ball and the few in each camp who were and protested were shoved aside in the race after easier profit. Regardless, here we are now and the easiest and most readily available people to scapegoat are workers who had the temerity to demand that their labors be recompensed to the greatest extent possible. Management all the time remained above pecuniary motivations, altruistically providing the public with the very best designs and technologies available, thereby insuring the continued success of our industrial infrastructure without reference to what they might gain in the process....yeah, right...

    Reality struck me working as a courier in Michigan during the 1980's. As I drove hundreds of miles around the state delivering electronic supplies and injection molds, I discovered just how far the automotive industry permeates every level and aspect of the economy. Business' exist in places and sizes I had never anticipated that were wholly dependent on the industry. Large colleges also extensively involoved with automotive research likewise had many satellite concerns, great webs of interdependent business that gave me a profound appreciation for the reach of our automotive concerns.

    Do I want them bailed out? Do I want them to be rewarded for their shortsighted,irresponsible and really immoral conduct? No. But it really, really (I must stress) is not just them who deserve it who is gonna get it in the ass. The inter-dependencies are profound and extensive.
    Yeah, we're in deep here. to use a trite experession. There's gonna be hell to pay.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Kollin's Avatar
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    it doesn't seem like they are even considering this option that I have heard of...that kind of bothers me...
    AKA: Choss

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  5. #15
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The unions share plenty of the blame too - they used their collective market power to force the company into a no-win situation. The government did want to keep the voting block and put pressure, but it is difficult to lay the blame all in one area.

    In this case, I blame unions more than anyone else and blame them for a lot of the issues now. They are now simply using their collective bargaining power to take tax dollars. And I blame government for buying votes. Supply and demand, heh.
    I don't necessarily disagree with any of this. My stance is that government shouldn't have the power to give the unions what they want, so I still blame government for the usurpation of what is unconstitutional.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #16
    Senior Member creativeRhino's Avatar
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    One of the biggest killers of the big 3 is their "doing what they've always done" on the product end of the business. Ford and GM are struggling downunder, and Toyota is just not quite meeting their profit projections!!!

    Various companies have considered purchasing Ford/GM/Chrysler but have all walked away after initial considerations and a bit of due-diligence research.

    The big problem is the retiree benefits. One analyst down here suggested that this part of the business could be nationalised
    In 1962, GM had 464,000 US employees and was paying benefits to 40,000 retirees and their spouses, for a dependency ratio of one pensioner to 11.6 employees. Last year, it had a 141,000 workers and paid benefits to 453,000 retirees, for a dependency ratio of 3.2 to 1."

    If Reuther's advice had been followed, and healthcare and company pensions had, for example, been effectively nationalised, fluctuations in the fortunes of any single company would not affect a worker's access to benefits. Even better, companies would be better able to compete in a global marketplace.

    So, how do we ensure that workers and retirees don't get crushed by the implosion of the Big Three? Simple. Any bailout, restructuring or government-overseen bankruptcy should be accompanied by comprehensive healthcare reform for all workers, along with substantial improvements in the safety net such as wage insurance, extended unemployment benefits, training and education subsidies.
    Business Spectator - GM's pension pain

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