November 19, 2008

If I were a less-principled man...

I'd be all for a bailout of the Big 2.5.  My house is in Michigan, and I'm rarin' to get the Hell out of here, so any short-term bump to the state economy would be to my advantage.  In fact, if it does happen I recommend anyone with the opportunity take that same advantage that I plan to take.

The great big things that would actually help the Detroit auto industry aren't even under discussion: loosening of CAFE standards, and busting the UAW with right-to-work (preferably at the national level).  Any outpouring of Fed funds (i.e. money from the pockets of hundreds of millions of Americans that had nothing to do with the crapping out of Ford, GM, and Chrysler*) without impossible alteration of the regulatory environment or the way Detroit does business would be the equivalent of setting the money on fire.

UAW and management walked into this poopstorm hand in hand, with the expectation that the good times for Detroit would never end.  Neither of them has any chance of fixing this now without the binding arbitration of Chaper 11 bankruptcy.  Without UAW holding management's hand in a death grip, we might not have got to this point.  Look around on the blogs right now, and find plenty of UAW astroturf.  Sentiment against them is growing, and they're waging the same sort of PR war that Axelrod waged on behalf of Obama during the election.

If we're very, very lucky, DC democrats will crap on Michigan.  Most of them have nothing to lose by doing so (and plenty to gain in their home states by being "against the bailout"), and there's already a good chance that Dingell will lose his commitee headship.  We'll see how this plays out, I suppose.

*for limited meanings of the word "Chrysler"

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 06:43 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1

They should call it what it is--the UAW bailout.  I'd love to see the UAW out on it's ass!  Wouldn't you just die if one of them came out and said, "If you want us to survive, we have to get rid of the UAW."  Ahhhhh, one can only dream.

It's just like anything else.  When things are artificially inflated (ie. housing market, salaries for unskilled workers), the bubble is bound to burst.  I know it isn't entirely the fault of the UAW, but they play a big part in the auto industry taking a big crap.

I have a friend who took the education buyout from Ford last year.  40K for schooling and kickass health insurance for 4 years.  Did I mention he drove a forklift and made almost 80K a year?  I love the guy, but that kind of pay is RIDICULOUS for driving a forklift!  Not to mention all the other benefits he received from them while he was employed.

Okay, I'm done bitching now...

Posted by: Carrie at November 19, 2008 10:03 PM (yx3ET)

2 I mostly don't blame the UAW rank and file.  They're just taking advantage of the unsustainably sweet deal.  I won't pity them one bit after the companies crash, though.  Glad your friend is getting an education, at least he's putting his deal to good use.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at November 19, 2008 10:34 PM (JSO4h)

3 Having spent almost 30 years of my life in Michigan, the first 21 or so in the Flint area, I have mixed feelings about it, but not enough to stop me from saying "Hell NO!" to a bailout of the auto industry.  As you adeptly point out, there is blame enough for all to share for the current state of affairs, upper management for perpetually having its head up its ass, the union, for foolishly believing that they were entitled to jobs paying rediculous sums of money for both skilled and unskilled labor, as well as believing that there is a right to a job and a right to overtime (which has done a lot to discourage or drive out other employers and potential employers who could not or would not meet the standard set by the Big Three), and finally, the government for believing that it could dictate what the companies produced, rather than letting the market decide.  Sadly, it may make the state an employment wasteland for at least a generation, but it just might save these stalwarts of American industry...if they can fix the wrong-headedness in managment.

Posted by: Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur at November 20, 2008 04:02 PM (311KA)

4 The market is much like nature, it abhors a vacuum.  If the Big 3 are forced to go Chap. 11, it would lower costs of doing business across the board in Detroit.  If the government doesn't interfere too much (yeah, I know), Detroit would experience a renessaince, much as Pittsburgh did when Big Steel went under.

Posted by: Hermit Dave at November 21, 2008 04:19 PM (WhFvm)

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