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sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 12th Dec '08 8:25 PM

THE AUTO BAILOUT

I'm not sure how I feel about this. When I cruised through a couple of small towns last week on my way to Indianapolis, I did notice that most of the businesses were auto related and wondered what would happen to them in the event of a meltdown. It's scary stuff. When I was a youngster, I probably would have said to hell with these nonproductive companies, but now that I'm older, I feel really bad, knowing that folks have built their lives around the expectation of these benefits.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Fri, 12th Dec '08 9:51 PM

Not sure how I feel either as my home is Detroit. I did oppose the financial bailout. Know everyone calls this one a loan but believe that is disputable. I certaiunly could not get a loan with thdee current credentials of the auto companies in Detroit-probably couldn't get a loan anyway. Call it what you will, this too is a bailout that looks like now that man that has been so I believe unfairly demonized will have to set in motion. I have stated before that I belonged to a union all of my working life. That said the UAW leader (I would not spell his name correctly but so I didn't write it) told an outright lie by saying that the Senate was asking them only to bear the burden. The bond holders had to agree and did to accept pennies on the dollar. I too went on strike. Felt bad for the workers when GM announced the closing of so many North American companies-then heard they get "strike pay" which is a considerable percentage of their current wages. The nonunionized companies in the "right to work" states do not get that when they get a lay-off. Most people who work in any jobs like nursing, teaching, computer techs, etc. don't either. Something needs to be allowed to break so it can be fixed. Your turn Al, Steve, TSK, and others Lol Linda

lettermanfan1
Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Fri, 12th Dec '08 10:36 PM

The American auto companies want to be bailed out, but still want to run everything the way they have been, which is why they're in this freaking mess in the first place. If they want help, they need to make some changes, like be competitive with the foreign car market, get rid of their stupid union which has outlived it's usefulness (except to crooks), and get rid of these CEO's who are beyond greedy. This has been going on since the 80s for cryin' out loud! Watch Roger and Me. Nothing different today than when Roger Smith was in charge.
Leah

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 3:52 AM

My point exactly. In keeping with your thought would be interested and am sure someone knows what salary the UAW leader makes? This time the company execs said they would work for $1.00 per year ala the guy who helped out Chtysler years ago. Just is case anyone doesn't belive that "corruption" also abounds within unions would ask them to go back at the time when Hoffa was in jail and the dealings and/or misdealings that went on within the teamsters when hew was in essence trying to lead the union from there even though he had named someone to take his place for that time. That, of course, was before he disappeared after dining with other of the bunch ans seemingly trying to take his job back. -just one example.(Have forgotton many of the details but for all practical purposes that's it-sure someone will call me on the specifics). Try working in a union workplace and attempting to help somerone out with their job to speed up the line or some such thing. In a unionized shop you doi NOTHING that is not in your job description or there is hell to pay-Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 4:38 AM

Unions are looked at as a voting block much as are Hispanics, Blacks, white-collar types ,etc. The auto thing is very difficult because Democrats thought they must back the unions as they for a large part responsible for them getting elected much as the corporate execs and Wall Street folks are considered Republican supporters. Although there are some who deviate-most don't so they in a sense become a huge part of the political machine which must be pandered to as evidenced by the recent auto thing . The UAW leader's voice was actually more heard than any senators was-some suggested he should have been a senate member. There comes a point when they lose all perspective on what is the best route for the American people as a whole and protect the membership as that who gives them their power too. Perhaps you have to come from Detroit to understand this as you certainly have to come from Chicago to understand the "Chicago Way". I am not and don't believe I ever will. You can be elected by that machine and come out of that cess poof "lunscathed" (don't think so)-go figure-Linda

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 5:33 AM

Linda, when you were teaching did you give the non-performers A's for being underachievers?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 6:23 AM

No, but they funny-not really- thing is that if I "failled " too many my teaching abilities were questioned not student lack of attention nor nor lack of abilty were held in questoions. At the time I taught for Detroirt-middle school-a student could not fail any one grade not more than once -big reason I believe kids ended up in in grade 8 still not being ablee to read- something supoosedly learned in grades 1 or 2. They knew if they were failed once they had to do absultely nothing the second time through a grade and would pass to the next grade antyway -then it was wondered why students "graduated" knowing next to nothing-could be deffirent now as one would hope-Linda

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 6:27 AM

Linda, I was the coolest kid in the sixth grade because I had one of the fastest cars in my class.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 7:26 AM

LOl love ya. Felix

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 7:58 AM

But for the labor movement and unions, the wealth inequality in this nation would even be greater -- and it is already at a level that is appalling high, getting worse, and works against social cohesiveness. Unionized labor is not the reason why the domestic auto industry is in such bad shape, and the UAW and unions in general are not "stupid", have not outlived their usefulness, etc. The unions are the last bullwark against the complete economic and political domination of the country by the corporatists, who have been so good for the USA these last 8 years. "Labor" is not a special interest. The UAW, in particular, has a political agenda which advocates for the betterment of all wage earners -- not just UAW members or union members. In any event, the vast number of auto workers labor in non-union shops that supply the car makers, and these jobs will all be lost with the jobs provided by the domestic car makers.

Retiree expenses are a much larger issue for the domestic industry than costs paid to current workers. If you want to deprive the retirees of what they were promised as retirement benefits when they worked, let the industry fail. It has become all too obvious in any event that if you are a corporation, you can lie to your workforce about the terms of the employment and than use the bankruptcy courts to avoid your obligations.

I wish many of the people on this site actually had to be a wage earner before the advent of the labor movement, although if things keep going as they have, there may well be another opportunity for you work post-labor movement. I'm amazed that so many people have anti-union animus to the point where they are willing to take up the line of the corporatists and their political tools that ran the economy into the ground. But lets bailout Wall Street. The glorified shills who we call "stock brokers" aren't unionized -- so we can drop $700 billion to help out Wall Street, but not a penny if it might benefit a union worker. Sick.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 8:10 AM

Where did these workers believe that the money was coming from to pay them not to work and to pay their way the rest of their lives? If I trade my cow for magic beans that's my fault alone.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 8:11 AM

I agree with all except the part about labor not being a special interest. I think it is - and I think it's ok that it's a special interest.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 8:27 AM

Thanks Tsk, an excellent explanation. The loss of so many jobs, in both the US & Canada will have far reaching effects in the small business community.

Two questions
1 - will the price of imports rise when they have no competition?
2 - where will us fools that bought North American gets parts?

My husband & I have owned 3 Ford trucks, all of which have been fine vehicles. One was too small (it's still on the road - 1978) so we bought a crew-cab, which one of the kids totalled so we bought another. We have spent little on repairs & it's a 1998 model.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 8:31 AM

I know the feeling of purchasing a Ford. I once bought a Betamax. Can the government refund me?

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 8:51 AM

Felix:

1. When these promises were made, the companies were making money and could have actually made arrangements for funding their future obligations then. But they didn't.

2. Maybe these companies could stop paying excessive compensation to executives. Hell, for all the whining about insane auto executive compensation -- a point with which I am in general agreement -- it pales next to what is brought down by the masters of Wall Street, who have been given an open checkbook.

3. It is government policy that is in part responsible for competitive disadvantages of American manufacturers. For instance, national health insurance in this country would level the playing field between U.S. manufacturers and those of Japan and most of Europe. Basically, I disagree that the issue is really one of not having enough money; instead, it's an issue of how the pool of money is to be distributed. Since the Reagan administration, there has been an ever growing disparity in incomes between the highest paid and the lowest paid earners. It is interesting that this income gap has grown during the same period that national labor policy has favored corporations over unions.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 9:02 AM

Oldcougar;

1. It would not be unusual for prices to rise in the absence of competition, but I don't really know.

2. On your other question, I suspect that the loss of domestic manufacturing ability -- parts and tools -- is even so unpalatable to even the young Bush, that he will use 2% of the Wall Street bailout money for the domestic auto industry. If not, enjoy your Mexican, Chinese, and Indian replacement parts.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 9:06 AM

Jank:

Since laboring men and women and their dependents make up the overwhelming majority of the citizenry, I cannot characterize labor as a special interest. Labor is, thus, a general interest.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 9:11 AM

Is there any truth to the idea that the reason the auto companies are in a bind now is because of the lack of further drilling for oil? And if we opened up all drilling in Alaska (and also for natural gas and fitting autos to use natural gas as fuel), wouldn't that fix a lot of the auto industry problems as they can sell larger vehicles again? (Since obviously a lot of people stopped driving large vehicles during the $140 a barrel oil mess of the summer).

There are so many 18 wheelers on the road now that small cars are unsafe. I wouldn't want to put my babies in a small vehicle. You tangle with a large truck on the highway, your family inside a tiny car has no chance. The larger the vehicle, the higher the chance of survival in a wreck. To me, that's worth drilling Alaska - which, I remind you, was BOUGHT for the purpose of the US using its resources.



sargon
Sargon  (Level: 112.0 - Posts: 1256)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 9:38 AM

Look at history

1979 Chrysler bailout - paid off by company in 1983, U.S. Treasury $350 million richer

1980s and 90s Saving and Loans crisis - cost the U.S. taxpayers $124 billion



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 9:53 AM

TSK, would not have expected any other response from you thus my reason for kind of baiting you. Since you are an attorney practicing or not your verbal arguing skills are far better than mine Just don't see how you can say that Unions are not a special interest group. It would be equally ludicrous to say that Fundamentalist Christians are not-no offense intended, Jank. My background: My parents married very young and stayed married close to 67 years before my dad's death. They went through the Depression together where my dad took any kind of menial work he could find while my mother stayed home. We lived with her parents-my grandmother worked for a rather wealthy family doing washing and ironing while my grandfather was a gardener for a similar type family. Both of them were only able to come home on weekends. My dad was not eligible to serve in WWII as he had cut off most of his fingers on one hand with a saw making gifts for the family-couldn't afford to buy any. After the war he got a job a t LOF in Toledo, Ohio where they made glass for autos. He was a union member but also paid very close attention to how the factory was run. After several years a firm in Detroit recruited him for a company making auto replacement glass-he had learned by observing the lamanating process for making windshields which that company did not then have. In that position his position switched from labor to management-among his duties helping to negotiate union contracts. That company moved out of the city of Detroit because of the city's taxes on them and the "unrealistic" demands in the face of that placed on them by unions. My guess is they are now defunct. As a result of that I grew up henceforth in a basically management oriented home. Thought my dad was going to disown me when I joined-had no choice-Detroit Federation of Teachers. I have never denied that that union negotiated retirement benefits for me that I would not now have had I not been a member. My dad's sense of investment was not nearly as good as his observation skills so he lost most of the money he invested in stocks. MY mother is still living and sold a nice home here in Florida which was completely paid in full before that market tanked also. After my dad's death she is back in Mi. living in a very nice assisted living place in Chelsea. She will never want for anything for the rest of her life even if the profits from the sale of the home runs out before she does as she is loved by kids and grands equally. I just believe it basically dishonest to say that the legacy costs of the retired workers is not what killed the Detroit auto industry. Trust me-don't feel secure myself as my money comes from the State of Michigan which is in terrible shape. I am not sure if socialized health care is the answer either or the guaranteed income thing that you suggested in another thread. Just know that all my life I was told to work hard, spend within my means, and do the right thing. Tried to raise my kids that way too. These days can find no public official that demonstrates any of these virtues (in my book anyway). Don't tell yet another lie and say that this is a bridge loan any more than the financial thing was which whatever format it was presented I opposed also Linda

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:06 AM

In the early years of WWII our government called on the auto industry to halt domestic production and re-tool for defense. The automakers complied and then proceeded to build for our armed forces weapons, tanks. trucks, Jeeps and bombers in record numbers. We defeated the Japanese and Germans largely because of this joint effort. Now the automakers need the support of our congress and senate to help fend off the assault of these very countries that caused so much suffering and sacrifice on the part of our entire population. I find it disgustingly ironic that our government can turn it's back on the same industry that bailed us out when we needed it most.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:08 AM

Wow! I had always thought the government paid the auto makers for their war time efforts. Thanks for clearing that up.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:11 AM

You are welcome Felix. I figured you wouldn't understand.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:13 AM

Wow! You were able to spell my name correctly as well. I guess I lost that bet!

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:18 AM

HAPPY HOLIDAYS Felix!

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:22 AM

And to You A Merry Christmas!

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:25 AM

No offense, Donden. I hope you don't really believe that any possible future wars would be run by tanks and such which theoretically could only be built by Detroit auto companies. Felix is correct that auto workers were paid for their was efforts. Don't believe any of those "patriots" are still be emplyed there or anywhere else either though Thinkj it is not a matterof turning anyone's back but "baiilout fatigue" throwing good money ater bad financial "rescue" included. Some viable plan must be there in order for any rational person to see the logic-guess according to the UAW guy that makes me unpatriotic or some such thing-Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:42 AM

I stand corrected. The official word the UAw guy used to descrine me is "INSANE!"!! Linda

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sat, 13th Dec '08 10:51 AM

Thanks Linda. The comparison to Larry, Curly and Moe that were on CSPAN crying in no way resembled Lee Iacocca.


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