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caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 5:24 PM

NOT A GOOD MOMENT

I don't have the answer but something is not right in this picture. Chrysler announced that they are shutting down all of their plants for an entire month. That would seem to be very bad for the workers but not so bad when one hears that they will receive 95% of their wages during this down time. This amount is far greater than the average person is able to collect from unemployment when they are laid off. Bush who has been bashed so badly by the unions is now working on some kind of plan to help them somehow some way-know folks will say it is to avoid the further negative blot on his legacy. It is said that some members of his own party are now not returning his calls. Equally skewed is the biggest financial scam artist in history is out on bail and has a curfew while living comfortably in his penthouse on 5th Ave. while many he scammed including charities are penniless. Sure some of you have te answer as to how this puzzle fits together and makes sense but I don't!! Linda

1mks
1mks  (Level: 210.8 - Posts: 5883)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 5:40 PM

Just for the record, I think it stinks too. If I weren't going to work, I certainly would not be getting paid.

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 5:52 PM

This is typical media distortion. First off, all the companies always shutdown for the holidays. It is a Christmas bonus, of type to have this shutdown. This way everyone gets to be with family...something that could not happen if the plants ran. It is in lieu of a simple payout of money or an arbitrary week of vacation time.

It is not 90% of their pay. It is 90% of their take home pay, which is then taxed as income. Half of that money in Unemployment from the state, which anyone who is laid off from a job is eligible to collect. The company ends up paying them about 38% of a regular 40-hour paycheck, not the 90% the pro-business, anti-union people, and their dutiful minions in the press would have you believe.

Since this can of worms is still open and squirming, I have a rather lengthy post to add about Richard Shelby (R) Alabama...of course he used to be a Democrat, until he sold out for personal gain after the Republican took over Congress. Some people think he is a white knight trying to safeguard America. he is really a weasel who should recuse himself from the debate since he is a tool of the foreign competition that has found a favorable haven in his state. Anyway, read the post that follows, if you are interested.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 5:56 PM

Not being combative, Steve, but the usual shut-down time is 2 weeks not one month right?

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 6:00 PM

Just for the record, if you were involuntarily laid off, you would get unemployment. And I expect that most any full-time job also provide vacation time.

Here’s part of what Karmanos said in a letter to Shelby:

I watched with great interest Meet the Press, during which you and Sen. Carl Levin debated the merits of (or, concerning your position, the folly) providing financial aid to America’s domestic auto industry.

I must admit that I was more than a little taken aback by how out of touch you really are about what Detroit’s Big Three automakers have been doing for some time and continue to do to transform their businesses to both survive in today’s debilitating economic climate and thrive in the future. The steps have been extremely significant and take it from me—someone who lives and works in the Motor City—incredibly painful as well.

… I can only trust that you will take some time and conduct the proper due diligence before continuing to espouse your inaccuracies. At minimum, I believe the domestic auto industry (and its millions of hardworking, tax-paying employees), which helped make America great, deserves as much.


Don’t you?

The intent of this letter, however, is not to take you to task for the inaccuracy of your comments or for the over-simplicity of your views, but rather to point out the hypocrisy of your position as it relates to Alabama’s (the state for which you have served as senator since 1987) recent history of providing subsidies to manufacturing. During the segment on Meet the Press, you stated that:

“We don’t need government — governmental subsidies — for manufacturing in this country. It’s the French model, it’s the wrong road. We will pay for it. The average American taxpayer is going to pay dearly for this, if I’m not wrong.”

I trust it is safe to say that when you refer to “government subsidies,” you are referring to subsidies provided by both federal and state governments. And if this is in fact true, then I am sure you were adamantly against the State of Alabama offering lucrative incentives (in essence, subsidies) to Mercedes Benz in the early 1990s to lure the German automobile manufacturer to the State.

As it turned out, Alabama offered a stunning $253 million incentive package to Mercedes. Additionally, the State also offered to train the workers, clear and improve the site, upgrade utilities, and buy 2,500 Mercedes Benz vehicles. All told, it is estimated that the incentive package totaled anywhere from $153,000 to $220,000 per created job. On top of al l this, the State gave the foreign automaker a large parcel of land worth between $250 and $300 million, which was coincidentally how much the company expected to invest in building the plant.

With all due respect, Senator, where was your outrage when all this was going on? … I certainly don’t recall you going in front of the nation (as you did this past Sunday) to discuss what a big mistake Alabama was making in providing subsidies to Mercedes Benz. If you had, however, you could have talked about how, applying free market principles, Alabama shouldn’t have had to resort to subsidies to land Mercedes Benz. Competitively speaking, if Alabama had been the strongest candidate under consideration (i.e. highest quality infrastructure, workforce, research and development facilities, business climate, etc.), then subsidies shouldn’t have been required. The fact is that Alabama knew that, on a level playing field, it could not compete with the other states under consideration and, thus, to lure the German car builder to the State, it offered the aforementioned unprecedented subsidies. In effect, Alabama — your state — did exactly what you said government should not do: provide subsidies for manufacturing.
It’s no great mystery why Alabama politicians went to such dramatic anti-free-market measures to secure Mercedes Benz — they did it for the betterment of their state through job creation and increased tax revenues. And who coul d blame them? Is that so different than what would occur by providing financial aid to help rescue the domestic auto industry? Such aid would save millions of jobs and millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.
Additionally, unlike the giveaways Alabama bestowed upon the foreign automaker in question, United States tax payers would be reimbursed with interest (as they were when Chrysler received government aid in the early 1980s) for their investment in what is clearly a critically important industry for America’s present and future.

Peter Karmanos, Jr. is Chairman and CEO Compuware Corporation


caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 6:00 PM

Now I'm really confused-thought the press other than hated Fox was labeled as liberal... ;(

alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.1 - Posts: 7560)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 6:46 PM

http://www.blogher.com/oh-bull-dont-belive-everything-you-hear-about-autoworkers

Distortion of the facts is the game plan of those anti-worker radio bloviators and right wing "public servants."

The blog above adds some more insight into the auto industry's challenges for all involved.

A Jobs Bank program was negotiated over 20 years ago when the Big Three automakers were hugely profitable ; their stockholders made out well ; other parts suppliers were healthy and employed hundreds of thousands of workers across the country and the UAW members benefited [and still do] from a strong union.
Being unemployed is no piece of cake; your future is not secure.
I suppose that wishing people into poverty is a laudable goal.? Don't be so quick to judge. It could be you next!

The auto industry is over 100 years old.
There are many industry retirees still living. Some of the money that should ahve set aside to guarantee the promised benefits were used to make questionable purchases along the way. Also, the management wasn't too keen on product research and development and charting consumer buying trends for the coming years.
The union doesn't run the company.

The newer foreign owned auto companies received taxpayer subsidies; have no legacy costs yet; and coincidentally have universal health care systems in place in their homeland. Their CEO's and top management aren't so highly paid also. They believe in engineering and safety as part of their vehicles makeup. I'll give them credit for innovation and long term thinking.


By the way, some of those negotiated benefits , such as the Jobs Bank, were gained in lieu of taking additional wages during their working lives.

Why do people buy life insurance; car insurance; homeowners insurance, etc?
Exactly---to plan ahead and prepare for the future. The UAW was insistent on doing that too.

Don't support Shelby; Corker; McConnell and a few other right wingers in their goals. Foreign ownership - that's American?

Also, when those guys retire or get thrown out of office [good idea] , they will count on collecting their publicly financed lifetime pensions and other perks. They thank you if you voted for them- they will look out for you too down the road, I think?

Finishing my rant- our economic problems aren't caused by "blue collar workers"
Their parachutes have no gold in them.

By the way, the average percentage of a car's price is about 10% due to employees wages. Let's think about the other 90% as part of the equation too.

Keep an open mind and learn more of the facts as this issue is being discussed.

Thank you.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 6:51 PM

Well said!

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 7:31 PM

That was well said, Al. I have stated time and again was a union member all of my working life and am now living in retirement from the benefits they negotiated for me so selfishly I am pro-union. I did, however, participate in multiple strikes against a school system that had no money. The union protected teachers who did not much more than take up space and put in their time as well as those who worked hard in a difficult place to teach-like to consider myself in the latter group. I see the Detroit auto companies much in the same position that the school system was in for a long time. Trust me that the school system had plenty of corruption and waste as did the union to which I belonged. I hate it when any one part of this thing is demonized and the other part personified as akin to sainthood. I will hopefully be able reap the retirement benefits the union negotiated because I am human and inherently selfish but trust me there is a tinge of guilt involved too. The second thing I noted in my original post about the Wall Street scam guy is taking on more drama-seems he made very large donations to political candidates with big names all of whom were Democrats. The fact that he is a crook is not their fault but is proof of the corruption within both of the major political parties and the fact that who has or can raise the most money usually determines who wins or who is picked- go figure-Linda

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 7:39 PM

Isn't there a big difference between incentives to bring in a lucrative, tax-paying, well-run company to your state, rather than bailing out a failing, poorly run company that will fail anyway whether you throw good money after bad or not?

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 9:02 PM

No. It was a bribe...pure and simple.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 9:09 PM

One man's bribe is another man's senatorship.

((((ducking))))

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 9:25 PM

You need to read the article. GM for exact makes more 30+ mpg models than anyone. It's initial quality is higher than almost anyone, and at a par with the best...second to none.

The point was he didn't protest when it was Alabama giving buckets of cash and other gifts to companies that would come there without them, since they had nothing to offer in qualified workers, etc...hence the state paying for training.

You have to consider that the biggest problems are basic economic facts. When a hurricane goes through the gulf and stirs up the Texas oil cartel, what do they do? Raise prices. Why? Because they can. Trouble in the insurance sector, like Katrina. What do they do? raise premiums. Why? Because they can. When trouble hit the banks, what do they do? Raise interest rates. Why? because they can. When gas, insurance and loan interest goes up, what do the car companies do? They have to lower prices. When people can't get a loan, what do car companies do? Your seeing it. And before you talk about Toyota and such, pay attention to the fact Japan and Korea have been subsidizing them to much greater extents than this current situation by many times.

However, at the end of a day, Shelby is still a political prostitute weasel.

sargon
Sargon  (Level: 112.0 - Posts: 1256)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 10:11 PM

From the Financial Times:

"BMW became the first European carmaker publicly to consider tapping Germany’s government- backed banking rescue scheme on Tuesday and said it might also seek US assistance."





lisap369
Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Thu, 18th Dec '08 10:41 PM

This issue is affecting us here in Canada as well. In my community alone, Magna (a major car part manufacturer) announced they will close 2 plants (a total of almost 600,000 sq.ft.) with the loss of 850 jobs. This is just 2 small towns north of Toronto. Frank has no worries though.. he's concentrating on his energy drink now lol

crazy4games
Crazy4games  (Level: 123.0 - Posts: 1020)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 9:23 AM

Yep...I am just one of those folks who lost their job, after 12 years of service. 2 weeks before Christmas.
Happy Holidays, everyone!

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 5314)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 9:35 AM

I'm sorry, Wendy. That really stinks to lose your job right now. I hope things will work out and you can either get your job back or get another one.

Hang in there and let us know how things are going for you.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 9:59 AM

So very sorry, Wendy. When things are put on a personal level my heart cries out. Just believe the figures in these bailouts/loans are mind boggling to the average person like me. President Bush just made a marvelous punt. I have never been much of a football fan but seems he kicked the Detroit auto problem successfully into the next hands of the next administration. That the unions will meet more friendly faces there is very true. Any company which needs that much money now to survive until March 31st will certainly not be viable by then either. The new folks coming to office will not let the Detroit auto industry go down in flames as their workers were a big part of them being elected even if it means continuing to pour money into a bottomless pit. No required enforcements were put on anyone to negotiate anything. I am still not sure who should give what but the fact remains that although their product might even be superior they cannot under current conditions compete with the "transplant" companies. Linda

crazy4games
Crazy4games  (Level: 123.0 - Posts: 1020)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 10:35 AM

Thanks guys! I'm trying to keep a positive attitude. You know, one door closes and another one opens, blah blah blah.
This may be an opportunity for me to upgrade my schooling, and maybe find work in another field.
Or maybe, I'll just take the winter off and hang out on Sploofus all day.
Thanks for your kind words.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 11:42 AM

NPR did a piece on Chrysler and its parent company, Cerberus, a couple of
days ago. This is a bit of the transcript:

"As a private equity firm, Cerberus raises money to invest without selling stocks
or bonds, and without operating under securities regulations, as General Motors
and Ford Motor Co. do. But this fall, when Chrysler came to Washington with a
tin cup, critics noted that the amount it was seeking almost matched the $7.4
billion purchase price for the company in 2007.

This raises the question: Is Cerberus just looking to recoup its investment before
it dumps Chrysler, too? This month on Capitol Hill, Chrysler executives insisted
that wasn't the case, but many lawmakers didn't believe them. At a hearing of the
Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said he had spoken with
someone on the Cerberus board, and "what the board member said to me is that
there's no way they would make additional investments in the automobile industry
at this time."

The full story is at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98409324

Economics and finance is not my thing. Any one willing to translate?



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 11:49 AM

I'm with you, Foogs. Don't believe anyone can explain this tangled web involving huge sums of money and corrupt policies on the part of all involved that I can possibly understand. Certainly know that Corporate America is not a pure entity. Also know that corruption also abounds within unions at both local and national levels- Linda

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 12:51 PM

I always here about this "corruption", but since the days of Jimmy Hoffa and the Longshoreman/Mafia connection, it never seems to materialize, like all the scandals of the big money/business set...from the S&L crisis forward, the only union problems have been with the Teamsters, while business scandals have to take a number to get into the news. This corruption chestnut is just one of the cherished, old fables of Conservative puffery.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 1:04 PM

Again I am not trying to be combative, Steve. Via your pms ou have shared many of your reasons for believing as you do and I certainly appreciate that. Just do not think that the days of big union corruption died with Jimmy Hoffa. Just yesterday a further scandal was emerging involving Blago and the huge union which represents Chicago municipal workers-believe that is who they represent anyway-Linda The Wall Street scam certainly proves that corruption still very much there and thus in big business.

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 133.9 - Posts: 3777)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 2:49 PM

I know Linda. Believe me, I know. Blago is slime. I hope he rots in prison for a long time. It is not the union, but possibly a couple of scumbags that should share a cell with Blago, Meanwhile, anything he was doing is dwarfed by the Ponzi Scheme that is rocking Wall St. That guy should never see the light of day, again. And Wall St. is also well at fault for it because greed is what they are all about and this is only the latest game to be exposed. As this country's economy is tumbling down the stairs, it is Wall St.'s greed and corruption, and it cronies in Congress, that are pushing the economy down further and faster.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21598)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 4:58 PM

I know by posting I bump this thread and many of you don't seem to care or are otherwise occupied perhaps in holiday plans. Perhaps you don't believe it is in any way trivial-agree here-and doesn't belong on this site.

My outrage and wonder on where we are going just keeps growing. Just heard that Congress will receive the COLA which was voted in several years ago to the tune of a $4700 per year unless they vote against getting it. Seems a couple of members-clueless as to their party affiliate-tried to bring up having such a vote but were not heard.

In good conscience which obviously most don't have how can they not vote against in when the taxpayers are asked to come to everyone's rescue and so many folks have lost or are about to lose their jobs?? Linda


jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 5:43 PM

Linda - stop stop stop stop stop. Please please stop worrying about what belongs. We who read this thread are enjoying the views and education and opinions and sharing in the information you give and ask for, and the many responses. You further the thread in a great, facilitative way (the teacher training in you).

Please just enjoy and let enjoy and don't keep feeling like you owe somebody something - apology or explanation or whatever. When we lose interest, the thread will push off the front page and become yet another we have trouble finding! ha . I don't think there's anything that just doesn't belong here - that's why this room has its name and carries to many different topics and is so widely used and read.

We're just friends in a room with a coke (or stronger), discussing the ways of the world. I don't get to do that out in the real world. I like it here - just as it is. Please carry on with abandon!




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