Friday, December 12, 2008

What's Good For General Motors …

15 comments:

Trevor said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/dec/12/republicans-detroit-unions

Retromancer said...

Thanks for the link Trevor. Great article. It focuses on what is ultimately at stake here. It is nothing less than a battle for political power masked as a squabble over the terms of an inevitable bailout of grossly mismanaged companies.

I for one am glad the Senate Republicans blocked passage of what was essentially a bridge loan. The administration will now be forced into tapping into the TARP fund. This will establish a precedent and the administration damn well knows it. There are some hard questions that are sure to be asked as a result, such as:

Why should the wage and benefits of unionized auto workers be given intense scrutiny while the mega compensation of the executives of AIG etc is not?

Interesting times ahead...

Bruce from Accordion Noir said...

If we had health-care, they wouldn't need a bail-out. From the above linked article:

"The union head argued that in the long-run Washington DC had to take on more responsibility for providing pensions and healthcare benefits to workers. Absent that, he predicted, US automakers would ultimately become uncompetitive under the weight of their contract obligations.

"At the time, the owners pooh-poohed this idea, believing it was a step toward European-style social democracy that would undermine American capitalism. Reuther, of course, has been proven right. While Toyota and the other big Japanese companies have flourished, and while many European carmakers are on the rise, Detroit began floundering, as its obligations to retirees began to outstrip its payroll for active-duty workers. Today, part of the reason the Big Three are so decrepit is because of these debts."

Here's another look at why "Right to Work" Republicans killed this bill: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/12/13-0

Good from the NY Times too: about how Detroit might make shitty cars, but does not pay $73/hr.

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