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Dems and Kossacks, we can't let the GOP define the debate on loans to automakers.  If we believe in making a good wage, and changing the way health care is structured in this country... if we believe that Main Street is at least as worthy of help as Wall Street... if we truly believe that this is the moment to solidify the nation's leftward move in this century... we cannot let stand without argument the bias against the worker that I'm hearing in the traditional media and in the blogosphere.  

Detroit is angry... and we're listening.  More and more are seeing the Republicans (like Mitt Romney) for the lying turncoats they are.  We're looking to progressives to help us fight back. Below, excerpts from the local press and some resources for fighting back.

Last night I watched the first skit of Saturday Night Live, unfunnier than usual, lampooning the auto execs as clueless buffoons, begging those honest, selfess politicians to lie to their constituents while slipping them unconditional bail-outs with no expectation of return.

This morning, I watched Meet the Press as once again pundits talked about how the UAW needs to pay their workers less like those wonderful non-union foreign automakers whose workers down south live on moonbeams and rainbows alone.

But Detroit is listening, and while the rest of the country debates whether we should be plunged ever deeper into the state-wide recession we've already been in for years, we want our voices heard.  The Detroit Free Press quoted a "lifelong Republican" dealer who watched the recent Congressional hearings saying "the questions were uninformed and the tone was rude."  He said he had never been more upset with his party.

"I was at the Firestone-Explorer hearings, and those weren't half as contentious as this," the Ford dealer said.  "I think they're spoilsports over losing the election. There's a bias against Detroit."

From a 29-year GM worker:

The lazy, overpaid autoworker stereotype is outdated and tiresome. Just like any other industry, we have our share of slackers, but the overwhelming majority of our workforce "bring it" every day.

You say the UAW needs to accept concessions to help solve this crisis. Apparently you haven't been paying attention for the last 20 years or so. The companies have been asking for and receiving concessions for the last several contracts. The most recent contract allows for a nearly 50% lower wage for the next generation of workers, while also removing health care costs from the company books.

Apparently that's not enough. You want to see us all out of work.

The bottom line is that while the UAW and management have played a part in the past mistakes, both have been working to ensure a solid future for the industry for years.

Over that same time the government has done nothing to help regarding affordable health care, balanced trade and tax incentives that reward companies for keeping jobs here instead of outsourcing. The middle class (led by the unions) tried to sound the alarm years ago. Unfortunately, nobody listened because of their anti-union prejudices.

It's clear that Republicans want to use this issue to kill off the unions once and for all, instead of solving the problem of affording health care, creating green jobs and revitalizing our industrial base.  The facts are, the autoworkers and the rust belt are being asked to take the brunt once more as our economy continues to struggle to compete on a global scale.  Don't fall into the frame of "unions bad" or "domestic cars are lemons" or spread the myth of the $70 autoworker.

As for the issue of quality, Ford's reliability "is now on par with good Japanese automakers," according to Consumer Reports magazine, and has the most 5-star government crash safety ratings of any automaker.  It's certainly true that domestic brands have been uneven in their quality and appeal, and the auto companies have raged against the inevitable for decades, but can anyone say their track record has been any worse than those sterling minds on Wall Street?  Let's face it, short-term, bottom-line greed has been the nemesis of the US economy, enabled in large part by Republican trickle-down ideology.  

Now is not the time to abandon the worker, however.  Check out these UAW talking points and Congressional response form before you let the traditional media and Republican memes win the day.

I'm not Mitch Albom's biggest fan, but here's an excerpt from his excellent column, If I had the floor at the auto rescue talks.

Sen. Shelby. Yes. You. From Alabama. You've been awfully vocal. You called the Detroit Three's leaders "failures." You said loans to them would be "wasted money." You said they should go bankrupt and "let the market work."

Why weren't you equally vocal when your state handed out hundreds of millions in tax breaks to Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda and others to open plants there? Why not "let the market work"? Or is it better for Alabama if the Detroit Three fold so that the foreign companies -- in your state -- can produce more?

Way to think of the nation first, senator.

And you, Sen. Kyl of Arizona. You told reporters: "There's no reason to throw money at a problem that's not going to get solved."

That's funny, coming from such an avid supporter of the Iraq war. You've been gung ho on that for years. So how could you just sit there when, according to the New York Times, an Iraqi former chief investigator told Congress that $13 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds "had been lost to fraud, embezzlement, theft and waste" by the Iraqi government?

That's 13 billion, senator. More than half of what the auto industry is asking for. Thirteen billion? Gone? Wasted?

Where was your "throwing money at a problem that's not going to get solved" speech then?

Originally posted to marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I've Been Bashing Automaker MANAGEMENT... (19+ / 0-)

      The only thing they have done in 20 years is lower the standard of living of autoworkers and living large themselves.

      Management Goes... Money Flows!


      The Bushiter's Iraq 2004 - 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... It's the Bushiter Way, wasting other people's money and lives. And it's worse now.

      by RedMeatDem on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:18:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are wrong... (24+ / 0-)

        Before the meltdown, they were making money every where but north america.  I am sick of the bashing of Detroit, autos, and unions on this site.  While CEOs in the past made some stupid mistakes, they don't deserve the shit they are taking in the blogosphere or on the hill.

        Where the hell is Obama, and WTF is the matter with the Dems?  Why did Obama resign from the Senate just a few days before the autos were scheduled to appear?  Why is he "now" supporting bankruptcy for GM?  Why is he backtracking on renegotiating NAFTA?  Why is he backtracking on repealing tax cuts on the rich?  Why the hypocracy of supporting the EFCA if you are going to bash the UAW for actually having achieved the point of the law?

        I'll guarantee you he didn't campaign on any of this in Michigan and Ohio.   If he had, McCain or Daffy Duck would have beaten him.

        They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

        by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:06:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama lied through his teeth to MI and Ohio (7+ / 0-)

          Obama adviser issues warning to automakers
          11/23/2008, 10:35 a.m. EST
          By JIM KUHNHENN
          The Associated Press    

          WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama's top adviser has a warning for U.S. automakers: Without a plan to retool and restructure, there is very little taxpayers can do to help.

          Congress last week refused to act on a bailout plan for the Detroit Three auto companies. Lawmakers are demanding that company executives first explain how they would reorganize themselves and make the industry viable.

          Obama adviser David Axelrod says Congress is sending the right signal to the industry. He appeared on two Sunday talk show broadcasts.

          They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

          by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:15:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm still waiting for Congress to signal Wall St. (19+ / 0-)

            CEO's about their bonuses, excessive salaries, and criminally incompetent management that brought on this crisis in the first place.  

            Oddly, when the Congress is (rightly) demanding sacrifices and the submission of viable business plans from auto CEO's before forking over money--no one in the press asks Congress members why they didn't that before handing over taxpayer money to the Ponzi scammers on Wall St.  

            Why isn't Congress concerned that AIG hosted a $343,000 Conference Nov. 5-7? I wonder if some of them even took private jets to the conference?

            Days before American International Group received its latest government bailout on Monday, the troubled insurer hosted a $343,000 conference for independent financial planners at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak resort in Phoenix...

            The Phoenix conference was at least the second time since September the company was involved in a six-figure event at a resort..."

            Apparently it's okay to live it up like royalty if you're a Wall St. type getting taxpayer dollars.  But Congress is so outraged by the auto executives (extremely stupid) use of private corporate jets that they would use that as an excuse to deny help that might cost millions of middle class auto and related businesses' workers  to lose their jobs.  

            •  Please don't hold your breath. (10+ / 0-)

              The Dems pushed that boondoggle with a three page plan that said Paulson can do whatever he wants and it is none of your damned business.  

              They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

              by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:53:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wall Street firms made money.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Wall Street has a good argument that they already have a viable business model that just needs some tweaks - they made large profits until very recently.

              There is an alternative argument that they did so by taking on huge but unlikely risks and getting rich, in effect, off of insurance premiums for policies that they could not cover.  But reasonable people can disagree with this.

              Do any reasonable people disagree that the Big 3 auto companies are fundamentally broken?

              •  Viable business model or illusion? (6+ / 0-)

                For years, people like Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission attempted to warn Congress about the dangers of unregulated trading, but they were ignored, as long as the profits kept rolling in.  

                As for the automakers--yes, there is much room for improvement.  There is also a lot of bashing of auto companies and auto workers, without consideration of all the facts that the foreign competition has several advantages the American companies don't have.  For example:

                "Last year, G.M. had medical expenses of $5 billion and Ford $2.8 billion. Drug costs reached $1.4 billion for G.M. and $800 million for Ford."

                "...Both Toyota and Honda declined to provide similar breakdowns of their health costs, but no one disputes that they are far lower..."

                Neither Wall St. or Big Three CEO's are blameless as far as excessive compensation at a time when their organizations are in deep financial trouble.  Neither group is blameless in mismanaging their organizations.  But if the auto companies fail the
                consequences won't be limited to the 3 million middle class Americans that will possibly lose their jobs:

                "...Lost jobs and lower wages means lost tax revenue. Federal, state and local governments would lose more than $156 billion in the three years after a failure of the Big Three in Detroit, the Center for Automotive Research estimates. That's money that other taxpayers -- or their children -- would have to make up.

                "...the loss of domestic auto companies would cut the number of producers, which means less competition. The remaining automakers would raise prices, at least in the short term, predicts David Thomas, a senior editor at "You would be paying a lot more for a Toyota Corolla than you ever thought you would be paying..."

                •  Their health costs are higher because of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  Why didn't they set aside money for retiree health costs out of profits when those retirees were working and generating revenue?

                  You need the pay the full cost of a worker (including retirement costs) out of the money that that worker generates while he works.

                  This is why most modern companies have switched to 401Ks that they may contribute to.

                  •  They did. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, luvmovies2000, chrome327

                    It includes market projects for returns on investments.  If you have such a great crystal ball on what the market is going to do, what are you doing here?  Unlike the airlines bailout where they dumped all of their employee pensions, the big 3 are still trying to honor theirs.  Of course, if you'd like the taxpayers to pick it up instead, I'm sure it can be done.

                    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                    by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:37:54 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Excuse me, but their projections were silly (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      If they made realistic projections then they would just have done a deal with the UAW to buy each retiree a private pension and health insurance plan.

                      After all, AAA rated insurance companies were considered better risks than auto companies.

              •  You're kidding right? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, chrome327

                We've just dumped 780 no strings tax payer dollars into your viable business model.  Tweaks?  If 780 billion is tweaks, I'd sure hate to see corrective action.

                They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:36:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You need to read and think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  There is an alternative argument that they did so by taking on huge but unlikely risks and getting rich, in effect, off of insurance premiums for policies that they could not cover.  But reasonable people can disagree with this.

                  This is my opinion...

                  We've just dumped 780 no strings tax payer dollars into your viable business model.

                  Of course... did you notice how much money the Financial industry gave the Democrats this cycle.  Why do you think that is?  Because they support higher taxes?  At this point both parties are bought and paid for subsidiaries of Wall Street and now they are earning their money.

                  Fact is, all that we really need is Fed loans to healthy banks to let them lend to Main Street and a re-evaluation of risk models to better value unlikely but high consequence events.

          •  I'm sorry, but that sounds reasonable (10+ / 0-)

            No one should get money carte blanche.  Yes, Detroit is in a tough spot.  But they've done nothing in the past decade to make me think they've earned the right to a blank check.  They need a plan for the money because they've shown they are piss poor business managers.

            •  nobody including the autos and unions, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, gdunn

              expect not to retool and do business different.  If you had any idea of what you were talking about, you would know how much work has already been done in that direction.  What we don't expect and don't appreciate is to have to grovel and be abused by people like you and the clueless jerks in Washington. The next time the coast gets hit by a hurricane, we should just like them drown.  Afterall, they shouldn't expect carte blance aide when they've shown that they are piss poor zoning managers.  

              They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

              by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:42:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then when are they going to DO it? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, jay w
                You know what the best selling car in Great Britain is today?

                The Ford Focus 1.6 turbodiesel that returns - wait for it - ~55mpg (US) with CO2 emissions of 115g/km.  That's about the same as a Toyota Prius, for slightly more space, more usable performance, at 2/3 of the price.

                Fuel is a problem?  US Merc drivers have been quietly buying cheap diesel from truck stops for years, and you could be doing it too in a diesel Focus.

                Except you can't, because Ford US won't sell you one. is still - still! showcasing trucks, still trying to drive demand for the wrong vehicles, with the wrong engines.

                Fail.  EPIC FAIL.

                You want money, DSCC? Get it from Lieberman.

                by DemCurious on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:05:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They have been working in that direction for (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marjo, JDPITALIA, gdunn, janew2

                  two years that I am aware of.  As the diarist said, through attrition and other means, new jobs will pay half and the union is going to pick up the benefits.  Unless of course you would rather they just dump the old fucks under a bridge.  

                  Comparisons from the New York Times:

                  *G.M. also has well over $200 billion of debt. Most of this is on the books of its financing arm and is matched by money that buyers of G.M. cars owe the company. But as any banker knows, not all of that money will be paid back.

                  * G.M. has huge pension liabilities while Toyota has much smaller pension obligations because it hasn't been around long enough in the United States to generate a large population of retirees, who consume medical services in greater quantity than younger, healthier workers.  Toyota's U.S. manufacturing operations have fewer than 100 retirees. GM, by contrast, has 422,000 retirees and surviving spouses, compared with 170,000 active employees.

                  * Toyota's medical plans in the United States cover 15,000 manufacturing workers and their dependents.  GM's medical plans in the United States cover 1.1 million workers, retirees and dependents at a cost of $5.2 billion last year.  

                  Last week GM predicted that costs would rise to $5.6 billion this year, almost an 8 percent increase.  GM said that amount added about $1,400 to the cost of each vehicle sold in the United States.


                  As the diarist also points out, GM and Ford quality, as certified by JD Powers, is on a par with the Japanese.  They aren't planning to stop and plan to continue major improvements.  That is why they asked for help to pay for retooling.  Then the financial sector collapsed under their own greed and screwed everybody including the autos.  To lease a mini van (parents, 3 kids and two dogs or family vehicle), the cost is now $700/mo.  To buy is $500/mo.  This is not the autos, this is the banks!!!!!!!!!!!

                  They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                  by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:26:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  DK (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I think the point that the previous poster is one I raise over a year ago at Mich Lib...

                    That Detroit should have seen this coming.

                    The frustration around the nation is one I have tried to convey at Mich Lib, with tone deaf arguments like CAFE standards not helping the situation.

                    Clearly, the bogus argument about unions being the problem is a right wing frame, and any one who calls themselves progressives or liberals should be ashamed for perpetrating it...

                    We should treat this as a political campaign.

                    It is important for the economy of the US that we not allow the major car manufacturers to fail.

                    There is much to discuss about how to make them better (I think the market is doing that, and the government should extend help to other smaller car companies to increase domestic competition for the Big Three, to remove the "Big" and increase the number).

                    Stay away from right wing frames.

                    The reason they are willing to bail out the financial markets is that they see their 401k's and house values going up in smoke.

                    Figure out a way to connect the plight of Detroit to the average American family and you will win.

                    It is as simple as that

          •  im with you (6+ / 0-)

            I am disgusted with Obama's AWOL status on the auto industry loan package as well as with his outright dishonest conduct during the campaign when he outright promised aid to the Detroit automakers.

            Since I was not for Obama from the beginning, ( I was for Edwards) I did not have the emotional investment that most of the Kossacks did in him.  I voted for him, was elated to have a Democrat in the White House again, and held out a lot of hope the days after the election.

            But Obama has been nothing but a regular cynical politician since then.  He has completely lied on his promise to bring change we can believe in.  His Administration is largely Clinton II.  He has broke faith with the people of Michigan and the other manufacturing states.

            Now, he has flip-flopped on his vow to repeal the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy.  I realize it is going to take some time for the Obamatons to face reality and figure out they been sold a pig in a poke, but I see the writing on the wall.

            •  This is patently unfair. (6+ / 0-)

              Obama is not even in office yet.  It's difficult to bring "change you can believe in" when you haven't even been sworn into office.  It's the Republicans you should be angry with - they would be happy to throw the auto companies down the rat hole.

              "Change you can believe in" isn't negated by Obama's choices of Clinton administration people.  Where is a Democratic president supposed to find people who know anything about Washington, dealing with foreign governments, or have the ability to run a White House operation?  It's not like the Democratics have a significantly deep bench.  And the Clinton administration was one helluva lot better than what we've endured the past eight years.

              And why should he spend political capital on fighting for raising taxes on the wealthy the day after he's sworn in?  The grief he would get from the Republicans would be enormous, and their mantra of "don't ever raise taxes during a recession" will have the same effect on those Independents who voted for him as his supposed abandonment of the auto workers has on you.  The tax cuts expire in 2010 anyway, so why expend the effort?

              Grow up.  At least give the man the opportunity to be sworn into office before letting your bile boil over.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:07:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  by their fruits ye shall know them (5+ / 0-)

                Well, I'm sorry, but its not too early to evaluate Obama's actions.  Do you think that he is appointing right of center Cabinet members and key staff officials because he is going to enact a progressive agenda?  I don't believe the line that Obama has no choice but to pick his appointments from members of the Clinton Administration because they have the experience.   If you go by that line of reasoning, then Obama should not have run himself for president because he had so little experience in Washington.

                Now, David Axelrod is adding insult to injury to the Detroit CEO's by threatening them if they don't come up with a plan and fly commercial then there will be "no taxpayer money for them."  I wish Obama would have had the courage to say that before the election while he was, it looks like now, pandering to the Michigan auto industry by promising to come to the rescue.

                Did Obama threaten AIG or Sally Mae to come up with a plan for 700 BILLION DOLLARS ?  Did he have his political director threaten their executives that they better come up with a plan and fly commercial if they wanted taxpayer money?

                Now the fed is talking about bailing out Citibank.  Obama had better step in and condemn the remarks of David Axelrod as well as say if the government plans to bail out Citibank they damn better bail our the Big Three.  

                And don't tell me that there are not plenty of knowledgeable, talented and capable people who could do good jobs in Obama's Administration outside of the Clinton circle.

                You may not like it, but there are those of us who evaluate Obama based on his actions, and not on wishful thinking.  So far, his appointments, and his actions, have been abysmal.

              •  No, Obama certainly can speak out; and (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, luvmovies2000

                the Dems up there are just as bad.  I was Edwards, too so I'm not emotionally involved in Obama.  I was glad a Dem won, too - why I have no clue.  The only difference I can see between the Clintonites and the Republicans is that Dems stay out of our bedrooms.  After that, they work for their cronies and that doesn't include the autos, midwest, or the people.

                They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:45:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Huh ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Completely ? ... ?

              His second major public action was a forceful discussion re need for action on climate change and the Saturday video called, strongly, for a green stimulus program.  

          •  You guys are so cute when you're mad! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Of course Obama lied - he's a politician!

            Actually, Obama probably lied less than most politicians do.  He ran much more on a generic "change" platform than on specific changes.  Somehow (and I'm still in awe of this) he seems to have convinced the vast majority of the Democratic party and 52% of the country that the change he would provide would be whatever change that particular person wanted despite the fact that very few people agree on exactly what changes they want!

            Get used to being disappointed.  

          •  if you want a loan you need goddam business plan (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, GN1927, luvmovies2000, A Siegel, MrSpock

            it's pretty simple really, the CEOs flew into town in their private jets begging for money, but they didn't even show up with a plan on how the money would be spent and how they are going to save their industry.

            The workers are fine and there is nothing wrong with the amount that union workers are getting and the benefits are perfectly reasonable as well, the problem is that the CEOs are a bunch of arrogant, incompetent, and extremely-overpaid fuckheads.

            If I'm going to pay for this as a taxpayer, and I do strongly support help for the auto industry, I just want to know that my money is being well-spent will help the economy and save people's jobs rather than lining the pockets of the robber-barons.

          •  Well not exactly. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            He is calling a plan to retool which is an argument for the 25 billion to be taken out of the first bailout not the 25 billion that would help them re-tool that was passed in the summer.  But is he supporting the bipartisan legislation that would take this money out of the green re-tooling? I hope not.

            A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

            by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:56:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  WTF? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            God forbid he demand a plan to retool and restructure or that lawmakers are demanding co. execs explain HOW they would reorganize themselves to make the industry viable. Are you actually saying this is unreasonable? And what exactly did Obama lie about? I remember hearing about clean energy, fuel efficient vehicles and green jobs. I guess you heard what you wanted to. I also remember him standing up for the unions. Once again you seem a little confused about who caused this situation and who's trying to fix it.

            True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness. Albert Einstein

            by desnyder on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:53:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is not... (8+ / 0-)

          ...the president. G.W.Bush still has the power. Stop railing. Yes the CEO's do need to be taken down several notches. Non of them deserve what they have been raking in for years. The UAW also needs to be taken down a notch or two. On the other hand the union workers and unions in general need to survive and flourish.

          Sounds to me like reality is starting to impact your personal lifestyle.

          Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

          by BMarshall on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:41:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a job. A secure job that probably (6+ / 0-)

            pays more than you earn.  This is about people in this state that voted for these so called Democrats just to get screwed again.   I'm glad you get to decide who deserves and gets come uppance.  Where's the come uppance for the WS bailout and the Dems who did it?  

            They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

            by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:55:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What was their option? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, jayden

              McCain would not have blinked at bankruptcy and union-busting you know it.

              •  So what? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades, marjo

                Would you rather get shot or stabbed?  That appears to be the choice we are being given.  Obama promised to help, not humiliate Detroit.  What he is allowing to happen to them will set their image back another 10 years.  People already think Toyota and Honda walk on water and that domestic autos suck.  They are stuck in the 70s and this isn't going to help.  

                See MB poll on fp?  Look at let them die and good riddance and all similar.  As I said, next time there's a wild fire or hurrican that requires emergency funds, let em sink and good riddance.  Everybody in this country bails these people out over and over because they are allowed to build and rebuild where nature doesn't want them.  Same thing, no?

                They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:30:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  People all over the U.S. voted for the Dems (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              We have an entire country to manage here. The idea that a group from one part of the country voted for the Dems so they now get to pull money from the U.S. ATM with no plan on how they will use it is appalling. I voted for the Dems too and I want whoever wants a massive bailout to have to walk through fire to get it.

              There is something seriously wrong if simply asking for a business plan is controversial.

        •  Obama is now supporting bankruptcy for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, GN1927

          GM???? When and where did he ever indicate that??? Where is the evidence that he's backtracking on NAFTA? And where is the evidence that he is bashing the UAW??

          We must use time creatively... and forever realize that time is always ripe to do right. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Jezreel on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:35:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You got that right... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I don't agree with your assessment of Detroit being treated unfairly; although, I do agree that the Dems pay lip service to the people and then fuck them you-know-where. But is that different than any time before?

          Clinton's greatest legislative achievement was NAFTA. We know what that did for American workers. I am sorry, I think Detroit and Michigan will sink even further before innovation takes hold and it rebuilds itself.

          I think we should retain the polluted mid-west as our industrial center than than build the same concrete jungle in new places like Oregon. But I am not sure that that will happen.

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:02:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where the hell is Obama? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          baffled, marjo

          Apparently you haven't been paying attention. First of all he IS NOT the president yet. Bushit is still in office and we have a lame duck congress. A majority of 1 isn't a majority. Obama is doing more than any other pres. elect by picking a phenomenal economic team now and not waiting until Jan. 20th. He is preparing a plan to initiate as soon as he steps in if not sooner. He's even working with bushit who is a lost cause but at least he's trying. As for the unions, no one here is bashing them. Many are part of them. It's the rethugs who're trying to destroy the unions and take away their voice. The unions are the only hope the workers have.The biggest problem is the CEO's who have robbed the companies and sent jobs overseas in order to receive bigger bonuses and pay raises. They said fuck the standards of making cleaner and fuel efficient cars. Let's make suburbans and hummers because of the high demand. GMAFB Your comment "Where the fuck is Obama?" He's right where he's suppose to be doing as much as he can BEFORE he takes office. Give it a break!

          True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness. Albert Einstein

          by desnyder on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:48:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here, here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        GOP stands for Grand Old Problem.

        by LennyLiberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:03:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm hoping that it's only (48+ / 0-)

      ignorance on the part of those who don't understand the economy of the "rust belt".  I think that many do not comprehend how automobile manufacturing is the back bone of the economy for a large swathe of the country.  

    •  The problem with that was CM did not come (7+ / 0-)

      prepared to his interview to rebut the $74 an hour claim the Right Wing tools were making.

      So damaging misinformation got out to CM's audience.

      •  Bull shit. (11+ / 0-)

        Robert Reich: Nonetheless, Citi is about to be bailed out while GM is allowed to languish. That's because Wall Street's self-serving view of the unique role of financial institutions is mirrored in the two agencies that run the American economy -- the Treasury and the Fed. Their job, as they see it, is to keep the financial economy "sound," by which they mean keeping Wall Street's own investors and creditors happy.

        Show me citi banks plan?  where's obama on this?  He rammed 780 billion down our throats for Wall Street, and he is reneging on his promise to Michigan and Ohio.  

        They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

        by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:56:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not sure you wanted to make this point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, lh114

          to me.  CM in my post stands for Chris Matthews.

        •  This is not a great argument b/c (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun, marjo, lh114

          The whole country is effected by bank failures (through retirement funds) and only 2 (maybe 3) states would hurt if the big 3 go down.  So although people are angry about CEO excesses, everyone feels the threat of a citigroup going down (there are citibanks everywhere, many people own shares through their 401Ks) but most people don't even know a UAW worker.

          There needs to be a better argument.  Like:  if we go to war, who will build the tanks?  We need American manufacturers for national security reasons.  

          Something like that.

          People's finances are too shaky for the public to back a plan that doesn't directly help themselves or someone they know.  

          •  If The Big Three Go Down (6+ / 0-)

            You're going to find out the hard way just how wrong you are.  I hope, for everybody's sake, that doesn't happen.

            The automakers are interwoven into this entire country's economy.  

            You can have your "Under God" back when I get my "Liberty and Justice For All" back.

            by karateexplosions on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:56:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            General Dynamics will continue to build the M1 Abrams tanks. I don't think that's much of an argument. General Dynamics bought Chrysler's defense division in 1982, and GM Defense in 2003.

            If we go to war, neither GM nor Chrysler will be particularly useful for building tanks.


            -7.88 -8,77 Just a wine sipping, brie eating, $6 coffee drinking, Prius driving, over educated, liberal, white, activist, male New Englander for Barack Obama.

            by EquationDoc on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:29:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You forget (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, JDPITALIA, Bluehawk, brentut5, A Siegel

            all the dealerships. And parts suppliers. And warehouses. And national companies that are tied into the big 3 in a big way (security, alarms, landscaping, etc.).

            Even if the local office is not affected, losing a big client like that will effect the company as a whole. I know of one company that employs over 60,000 people exclusively at GM facilities all across the country. If GM goes, the company immediately loses 40% of it's revenue and will most likely shut down (cause they don't lose 40% of their overhead).

            It's more than people think; it's not shutting down a few plants; it's ending 4% of our GDP.

            And it's a bridge loan. It's not like we are buying up toxic cars. Or guaranteeing payment if people default on their car loans. Or buying up paper that was traded on the premise that cars would always appreciate. Cause that would be crazy.


          •  the big 3 make a huge difference (0+ / 0-)

            US Auto Industry I feel deserves some special treatment because I am partial to unions as I believe they are the only way we are going to rebuild the middle class. Also the economy would lose hundreds of billions in earned income and suffer from the lack of tax dollars coming in (200 billion to be precise.) Oh and a total trillion dollar hit to our GDP. We could see cascading effects all around the country.  This is just about the worst time for this to happen.  So not only are there less people to pay taxes but there are more people collecting social welfare benefits that will put an even bigger stress on the government. The stock market recognizes that this will have an impact on commodities and businesses that are funding by the auto industry and workers and tanked last week because there was no bailout.

            A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

            by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 06:06:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Point is Citi doesn't need a plan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Citi is facing, in effect, a bank run.  It's counterparties have lost confidence in it.

          However, it is not at all clear that it is inadequately capitalized.  The problem is that people are scared and are not willing to do business with it because of that.

          So how, exactly, do you think they should change their business model?

    •  It is class warfare, lies, and union busting... (19+ / 0-)

      Despite massive opposition from the people, why did Obama and the Dems whip 780 billion sting free tax payer dollars down our throats and then make the big three grovel and put up with the bloviating coming from the Hill.  

      Those jerks couldn't pass a national health care plan, an energy plan that didn't make Exxon rich, or stop war profiteering, but the autos - kill the fuckers.

      They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

      by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:08:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I sense some righteous wrath here (14+ / 0-)

        Totally justified. I do hope we don't get sold out again.

        I live in the northen LP, but we feel the impact too. If the auto industry goes, it just isn't Detroit folks who will be hurting.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:26:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Righteous wrath ~ I'm livid. (11+ / 0-)

          I wonder who and how much the diarist had to pay to get this on the rec. list.  Most of these go nowhere and are loaded with "you suck, Detoit sucks, unions suck, your cars suck, your mother sucks".  

          Most of all, I am thoroughly pissed at Obama.  I feel like he lied his ass off and totally used Michigan and Ohio.  Maybe that "rumor" about winking at Canada was really true.  All I have to say to Obama is "show me the money".  

          They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

          by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:39:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Between 1972 and 2000, I voted 3rd party (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, dkmich, MichiganGirl, AuroraDawn

            in every presidential election. It became more difficult as the two major parties rewrote the laws to eliminate the competition.

            Obama got my vote and he and the Democrats have their 4 years. They certainly have enough dry powder to work with. At that time I will judge their efforts. If they haven't made efforts to make some serious changes, it's back to the third parties for me.

            Actions are what count.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:10:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had to force myself to vote for him. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I really wanted to vote for Nader, but....
              From day one, Obama reminded me of Elmer Gantry, a con man and a snake oil salesman.  Guess I was right.  The only good news is I never gave him or any of the politician this site support one thin dime.

              They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

              by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:24:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't pick up that up from him (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, GN1927, dkmich, Oscillate Wildly

                He seems to be a typical politician, probably better than most. They all make promises. I voted for Kucinich in our primary, but for all his progressive positions, I even wonder what compromises he would make if the ring were in his grasp. Maybe that's why the ring will never be in the grasp of Kucinich or any other true progressive.

                I probably more sanguine than most around here, but I'm not expecting a huge change. I see Obama as a centrist. But he is going to have to move somewhat in a leftward direction if he wants my vote next time around. We don't eight need more years of triangulation.

                Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

                by slatsg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:32:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  The man (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, highacidity, GN1927

                Has not even been sworn in and you are already spewing such hatred.

                Its disgusting.

                •  Sworn in? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It was the sense I had before he even won.  You see, I don't worship or trust any of them.  If we really had a representative democracy, this country wouldn't be in the mess it is in.  I am sorry if criticism of Obama upsets you; but until he delivers what he promised, I'll keep my cynical opinion of him and all the rest.

                  They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                  by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:52:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  btw, what town? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We have a summer place in Huron Beach, between Cheboygan and Rogers City.

          They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

          by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:42:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not that far north (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, MichiganGirl, jodygirl

            I live in Marion, in a small town just north of 115 about halfway between Clare and Cadillac.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:03:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When you said upper lower, (5+ / 0-)

              I thought you meant it.  Heck, you barely make "up north". :D

              They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

              by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:22:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hey, you're not that far from me! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, jodygirl

              "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

              by MichiganGirl on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:33:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you a west sider? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, MichiganGirl

                I grew up on the east side of the state but moved past the I-75, US-27 divide. About an hour from the most beatiful part of the state along M-22.

                Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

                by slatsg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:40:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I live about 5 minutes from M-22! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I'm in Manistee.

                  If you've got nothing going on November 6th, it's the Manistee Sleighbell Parade, and we open up the Manistee Dems Headquarters on River Street every year, giving out hot chocolate, and various goodies for free to passersby.

                  I always head the sleighbell parade committee for our party, and  I will be there all day, because we're also holding a "Meet your New State Representative Dan Scripps" with hot cider, and hors devours from 2-4.

                  We always love to meet new West Michigan Dems, if you'd like to stop in and visit us... I'll even offer bribes - I'm making 40 pounds of fudge to give away!


                  "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

                  by MichiganGirl on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:59:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  And they also made Gettelfinger beg (6+ / 0-)

        Don't forget they also made the head of the UAW beg.  It wasn't only the big three that Congress saw fit to make bow down and beg before them.

        Congress - elected to lead but reactionary and spineless.

        •  Yeah support the EFCA (6+ / 0-)

          and destroy the UAW.  I expect Republicans to be vile asses.  I resent it from Democrats.

          They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

          by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:43:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear ya. (16+ / 0-)

            For the past few weeks I log on to this site, read the first few diaries, and a few of the comments therein... and then I leave.

            The anti-union, anti-Michigan bullshit is driving me away from a site that I used read all the time, every single day.

            I notice most of these people bitching about Michigan, and our Unions didn't seem to have much of a problem when we were working our asses off to deliver our state for Obama, now did they?

            But now of course the election's over, and we're no longer needed.

            "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

            by MichiganGirl on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:31:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Shame on those Kossacks (15+ / 0-)

              I feel like banging my head against the wall when I read this site and that my screams are unheard.  

              After all the many inspirational pro-Obama diaries I read about someone suffering without health care, working multiple low-paid jobs, working jobs in their 70s because they lost their pensions, or losing their house; it seems incredible that these same Kossacks are willing to joyfully condemn autoworkers, auto suppliers, and all their families to that same horrid fate UNDER an Obama administration.  What were we fighting for in this election!!! Shame on you, Kossacks.

              •  False choice (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You act as if congress gives the money to the auto makers that everything will be fine. The problem is that no one, I repeat no one, can give that assurance. In fact the hang up is that people think that even with the bailout everything you described will still happen.

                What congress wants is a plan laid out that at least has the possibility of success, before handing out the money. That is good management and is exactly what they should be doing.

                Contrary to current wisdom there is a limited amount of money that can be used to solve the economic crisis. Money spent in one area can't be spent in another. Therefore congress has to allocate the money where it has the best chance to do the most good.

                I am not against helping out the automakers. I simply want them to have to present a plan that shows that any money given to them will make a bit of difference in the long term and that money will be more cost effective than spending it elsewhere.

            •  People Need to Realize (8+ / 0-)

              That the downturn in the economy that they are just beginning to feel was in full swing in Michigan in 2001.  

              What's going on right now is kicking Michigan while it's down.

              You can have your "Under God" back when I get my "Liberty and Justice For All" back.

              by karateexplosions on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:59:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  2001? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                This has been going on since all the factories started closing in the late 80's, and haven't stopped closing since.

                During my childhood nearly all of my friend's parents had good Union jobs, decent houses, decent cars, and got to go on vacation every couple of years...

                And by the time I hit Jr. High nearly all of my friend's parents were working in the tourism industry (if they were working at all), their nice houses had been sold off to the those same tourists they waited on day in and day out as vacation homes, and they were living in trailers, driving beat-up junker cars, family vacations a distant memory.

                This has been going on for decades, and it just gets worse every year.

                "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

                by MichiganGirl on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:52:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Honestly ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, MichiganGirl

              We are reading different pages / discussions.

              I have been / am disgusted at how the auto industry leadership has been fighting against sensible moves toward an sensible and sustainable future. And, well, too often the UAW was right with them along the way.

              Even with that disgust, I don't "blame Michigan" and don't want bankruptcy for these companies or worse wages for the union employees.

              I would, however, like to see an accelerated restructuring of the industry toward far more fuel efficient transport and a serious look for paths to use the UAW labor for necessary industrial/manufacturing elements for moving the nation forward.

              •  I think the oil industry should bailout the auto (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                industry, but that ain't gonna happen. I'm all for the auto bailout, just hope it comes with incentives for better green tech.

                "There are some things I don't understand. I don't understand how we ended up invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11." - Next POTUS Obama

                by Cleopatra on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:41:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I believe there should be some very strong (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, thethinveil

                strings attached to any loans made, but I think the loans should be made.

                "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

                by MichiganGirl on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:43:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  the UAW are already on your side (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, A Siegel

                Repair incentives for clean cars
                Let's reward companies that build advanced technologies in America

                by Ron Gettelfinger President of UAW

                Five years ago -- back when you could buy gas for $1.50 a gallon -- our union began advancing proposals for a more fuel-efficient U.S. auto industry.

                Even when gas was less expensive and large-size pickups and SUVs were hot-selling vehicles, UAW members were working with other stakeholders in the auto industry to address long-range concerns about fuel economy and energy security. Consumer preferences and government regulation, after all, were bound to change in reaction to new environmental and economic challenges.

                A brutal case in point is General Motors Corp.'s announcement this week that it will idle four large-vehicle plants, while adding shifts at two car factories. The economic dislocation for workers, families and communities caused by this reaction to shifts in the domestic market could have been ameliorated with better advance planning by industry, government and concerned citizens.

                That's why, in 2003, when our union joined the broad-based Energy Future Coalition, we proposed a "Marshall Plan" for the U.S. auto industry. Our proposal centered around a retooling effort, with incentives for the manufacture of advanced technology vehicles and their key components here in the United States.

                A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 06:20:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  RE UAW ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  1.  There is a reason that I used "was" about UAW.
                  1.  There is a problem that 'national public' is not always reflected in local and private discussions.
                  1.  Thank you for reminder of the Energy Future Coalition, been awhile since I looked at it.
                  •  so its past makes it permanenly condemable (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    A Siegel

                    Environmentalists have succeeded in winning over unionists an instead of working with them you lay the blame at their door in not just this thread but every thread dealing with the auto bailout. Sure its not as radical they are only working with the Sierra Club admittedly a centrists in the Environment Community. They really need to form a coalition with friends of the earth now that will really be saying something.

                    and the energy future coalitions web site is here fool. Do more than check out the first two web sites that come up on Google.

                    A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                    by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:10:04 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Several things ... (0+ / 0-)
                      1.  Troll-rated for "fool".  Uncalled for and rude.  There was a reason for the SourceWatch link, which is a reasonable discussion, imo. The second was an error.
                      1.  Again, I explicitly used the word "was" for a reason.  Did I, in any way, state "permanently condemnable"?
                      •  oh dood please . (0+ / 0-)

                        don't be so sensitive. how old are you? Kids my age use fool for people in general. sorry it came off as offensive.

                        Again you say 'was' but continue to make unions a target.

                        I am sure you haven't appeared on EVERY thread - clearly - hyperbole but ya have been  on a few that I have seen. Not really a comment of much import but it seems that you seriously have a problem with unions, but maybe a false perception - correct me if I am wrong.

                        As I said in response to your source watch link that the Sierra Club and  Business are not a the most Environmentally progressive.  

                        But post a fake link that is clearly not even a site. It looked as if you were claiming that I was posting an article that used FAKE organizations or to suggest that I was the one that hadn't done the research when it was clearly you who hadn't. I took offense at this. Were you trying to make enemies of me?

                        No doubt, it seems that we disagree with each other on our stance on unions. I would love to see higher wages for all workers but if we are losing their voice in exchange it seems that you miss the point of unions.

                        I am totally on your side if you are advocating for higher paid union jobs for displaced workers but it is more work to get those jobs to be offered at higher wages maybe yet another negotiation and then get all the worker unionized.

                        A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                        by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:34:44 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Couple things ... (0+ / 0-)
                          1.  Not 'false' link, but error: typed ".com" rather than ".org" after I'd (re)visited the site.  It wasn't an attack but simply to provide link in thread for others.
                          1.  Unions ... Don't see where I've attacked "unions" and supported activities to get rid of them.  I see great strengths in unions ... and, well, there are some problems. But stating that orgs have "problems" that can be fixed is not an attack that calls for their elimination.  Again, I have no clue where I have ever been writing in a way that states serious problems with unions. This is ascribing belief and statements that I simply don't see.
                          1. Not arguing that 'clean' jobs are aimed as a path to get UAW workers out of union jobs.
                          •  okay (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel

                            When I read it appeared that were doing just that. I was assuming that you were using copy/paste and you were aware that you posted a working false page for the purposes to discredit the org and my post.  I am glad you clarified.

                            Stating that they have problems (that they have recently resolved - which you left out of the conversation) during a time when there needs to be action in support of them  is at the very least unhelpful. Maybe you never did this. And if so,we are glad that we can count on your support of their jobs now in discussions around the bailout and support them moving to more progressive green positions in the future.  

                            Well, there is no guarantee that these new jobs will be union, on the level of union jobs versus not yet in existence non-union job that will have to be organized I err on the side of unions. Offering these as equivalent is somewhat wrong but maybe you are not doing this? remember not everything I say would imply that you hold the opposite belief.

                            So. but really how old are you? Be honest.


                            A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                            by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:04:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I used to the word fool earlier in the day if you (0+ / 0-)

                        do not believe me:

                        info requesst. (0+ / 0-)

                        Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget

                        Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers

                        Who are these fools?

                        A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                        by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:03:18 AM PST

                        [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                        no offense was meant. Did even know who they were at the time.

                        A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                        by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:14:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  In addition .... (0+ / 0-)
                      1.  Do you really want to be making enemies of people who are writing / stating that they support finding paths to keep the UAW workers gainfully employed at good wages?
                      1.  Again, abusive:  "you lay the blame at their door in not just this thread but every thread dealing with the auto bailout".  That "you" can't be referring to me because I'm not in "every thread" by any means.  
                      •  really we agree on a lot. (0+ / 0-)

                        I took a look at your diaries it look like we could agree on a lot.  Clearly we don't agree with Obama the summers pick and we are vocal about it.  On nearly all of your diaries I could get behind.  But ganging up with the Republican to beat down unions  is not something you will see me doing. When I was organizing for the Sierra Club I thought environmentalists urging the the unions to take more green positions seems much more sensible, inclusionary, proactive and positive than any stance against them, NOW would be.

                        A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                        by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:45:08 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  But ... (0+ / 0-)

                          I am not 'ganging up on unions'. It is fact that the UAW in the past 'was often with Big 3 management' in helping to fight sensible action on CAFE standards.  And, this can continue to happen ...

                          But, sustainability also means sustainable society, which will be fostered through good jobs, often union jobs. In addition, the US manufacturing sector has suffered enough job loss -- manufacturing is a critical part of any reasonable path toward a better future (wind turbines, rail, etc ...).  Seriously, I don't that above or elsewhere am I / did I take an anti-union position.

                          By the way, national health care: yeah! Make the Tennessee auto plants pay for health care like Michigan UAW-covered plants do.  Move the retiree health care (mainly, at least) off the books without additional funds.  

                          And ...

                          •  lets make sure together (0+ / 0-)

                            that unions don't act like this and stays on the path that encourages a movement towards a sustainable existence a path I believe they are already on. I can see that they will probably will move to a more progressive part of the environmentalist community as green jobs become a bigger part of the economy.

                            A dream catcher works . . . If your dream is to be gay.

                            by thethinveil on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:17:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By the way ... (0+ / 0-)

                            an example of 'union' problem, imo.  There is much 'electric' work with solar pv installation. But much of this work is not 'wiring', but quite literally about the equivalent of putting a plug into the wall. With 'million roof' and such, there have been strong union constituencies for making this work required to be "electrician" rather than demanding some lesser certification for some portions of the work.  If "electrician license" is required for supervising/signing off (let's say), the lower training 'entry level' positions could be an initial 'union' position that could provide stepping stone into something greater.  In addition, the legitimately lowered prices could help foster more installations, which could mean more employment for both 'tiers' suggested by the above.  

                            That 'criticism' is not an attack calling for dismantling of unions but a point where 'union' activity can act counter-productive to moving toward sensible energy policy ... and, imo, counter to longer term building of unionized labor.

          •  Me too (8+ / 0-)

            I'm appalled by this Congress that I spent so much energy supporting, although not surprised.  I've seen these liberal elite-types many times before.

            I'm saddened that they are so opposed to Michigan that they've even raised the middle finger to Dingell.

            Please write Obama at  There are too many anti-autoworker voices getting through and not enough pro-American worker statements.

            •  If it isn't California, (8+ / 0-)

              it isn't important to dailykos.  

              They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

              by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:39:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're just a throwaway state, (9+ / 0-)

                filled with throwaway Democratic votes, and throwaway people... and the truly amusing part to me about all of it is most of the most anti-Michigan, are the way they are because they're such hardcore environmentalists...

                Don't pollute the air, but throw away as many people as you possibly can.

                "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

                by MichiganGirl on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:50:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You nailed it... (6+ / 0-)

                  With their terminator governor mashing women in his hummer.  

                  They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                  by dkmich on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:58:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You sound like a wingnut. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, GN1927, A Siegel

                    Really. I thought this was Palin's shtick, slipping in the Rovian false "argument" about elitist fake Americans.

                    You are dragging down the discussion with this right-wing talking points that have nothing to do with the matter at hand.

                    Although, as a Californian (a "donor" state, BTW... we do more than our share of supporting the whole of the union) I wholeheartedly approve of the quip about Ahnold, while at the same time ask that you don't slam all of us with supporting the Governator. That would be like slamming all Americans for Bush being put in the White House.

                •  Hardcore short-sighted environmentalists (7+ / 0-)

                  When U.S. manufacturing jobs go, where do they go?  They go to countries like China -- spewing immense pollution with non-enforced or non-existent environmental laws.  Net effect --> increase in global warming.  

                  If you want to decrease pollution, you force higher standards on our industry, make the rescue contingent upon keeping jobs at home, and use the carrot-stick to get exactly what the U.S. wants.

                •  Hold on. (10+ / 0-)

                  I am from NY. I'm probably pro-environment. But if we can't figure out as a nation how to help Michigan - the center of US manufacturing, we are screwed. We might as well give up and decide we will be a different people.
                  I believe some things need to change for the benefit of all, but the problem is not the unions.
                  I read the thread, and I know Obama isn't that popular here, but investing money to change the dynamic, where manufacturing is pitted against environmentalism sounds like at least the start of a plan to me.
                  I think we are all victims of these stupid, fake feuds. Business says environmental demands are hurting industry and others say it is the unions. All these tales are told by management when things don't go well. Blame others and pit them against each other.
                  The situation is complex and, as I said, I don't live in Michigan so maybe I'll get slammed for this. I'm on this site every day and I didn't see Kossacks slamming unions but I don't see everything. I find that stunning.
                  Unions are an endangered species.

                  Paranoia is knowing all the facts.

                  by lh114 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:48:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There are many Kossacks out here (6+ / 0-)

                    who have been on the side of the unions since this drama began on Capitol Hill.  From the unbelievably stupid PR move of the CEO's to ride into town on their private jets to ask for $25 billion; to the CEO's inability to answer simple questions of the committee such as, "How long will this $25 billion last," to defending the unions against the ludicrous $73/hr. lie the Republicans are spreading around, we have been here and been on the union's side through it all.

                    I think some of the comments spring from the very genuine fear that Congress will pull the rug out from under the domestic auto industry.  I'd be frightened too.  I like to think I wouldn't rail against members of a blog who worked hard to elect Democrats to Congress and a Democratic president, but maybe I would.  In such circumstances it would be extremely difficult to be patient enough to let the new administration take office.

                    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

                    by SueDe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:38:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  A couple of the more rabid slammers... (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, GN1927, A Siegel, IwishUwell

                      ... have been spewing that Palinesque "elitist environmentalist" crap here for years.

                      Very short-term thinking. The same short-term thinking that got the big 3 where they are now. The same thinking that put all those workers in economic jeopardy.

                      And I also think that some people are conflating wanting to see the management of the auto companies face the consequences of their abysmal decisions with union-busting.

                      A lot of us want management to pay for this mess, not the unions.

                •  BS should be called BS ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  What is a 'hardcore environmentalist' on this site?  Guess it is those who are working hard to help shift our communities, our nation, and society toward a path that might (MIGHT) prevent catastrophic climate change?

                  You might actually want to read the words and thinking of those evil 'environmental elitists' (to use words down the thread).

                  They / we would love to figure out paths to move Michigan (and other emptying auto factories and their workers around the nation) into high-paying jobs accelerating the move toward a prosperous, climate-friendly society.  Whether building more fuel-efficient personal vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric school buses, cars for trains & subways, more efficient heavy machinery, wind turbines or otherwise, the objectives of fostering stronger middle class (in Michigan and elsewhere) and developing a sustainable future are intertwined.

            •  This is absurd ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              To be against Dingell is, by definition, to be against Michigan?

              To support a progressive, who is strong on energy / environmental issues, is to be against Michigan?

              Sigh ...

  •  tip jar... (189+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randy, exsimo2, canyonrat, fcvaguy, eugene, Buckeye BattleCry, Rayne, No Preference, Geenius at Wrok, tommurphy, Dave B, ChurchofBruce, eeff, TampaProgressive, Matilda, New Sweden, opinionated, JSCram3254, understandinglife, DAVE DIAL, roses, slatsg, jennifree2bme, ctsteve, bustacap, Cedwyn, wader, revsue, suzq, leevank, JDPITALIA, RaulVB, Kidspeak, GN1927, mcolley, Bluehawk, defluxion10, rockhound, lcrp, Liberaljentaps, 313to212, dkmich, djtyg, BigDuck, Josiah Bartlett, pat208, dvx, rapala, vcmvo2, tovan, radarlady, NoMoreLies, SherwoodB, mjd in florida, Bodean, bagman, BTower, panicbean, EJP in Maine, bleeding blue, jimstaro, tjb22, Phil S 33, techno, Tunk, Riff, cschabes, JanL, begone, Paul Ferguson, esquimaux, althea in il, propitious2, Orinoco, tarheelblue, BlueInARedState, VolvoDrivingLiberal, HoundDog, Ellicatt, allmost liberal european, dougymi, ccmask, karateexplosions, arlene, Lefty Coaster, tecampbell, Sagebrush Bob, happy camper, NearlyNormal, CTLiberal, gabriella, MBNYC, Turbonerd, lazybum, rage, va dare, fiddlingnero, MadMs, revgerry, HGM MA, Lurtz, leema, mamabigdog, ColoTim, jds1978, unionboy, terabytes, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Tenn Wisc Dem, Steviey99, gatorbot, gchaucer2, Rosebuddear, bluesweatergirl, mistletoe, rogerdaddy, Devsd, wayoutinthestix, North Country Dem, slowheels2, echatwa, mary13L, dont think, debheadley, sydneyluv, vintagejulie, 1BQ, Dirtandiron, burlingtonexplorer, banjolele, i know, theworksanddays, notrouble, mcfair, jodygirl, XerTeacher, SciVo, Daily Activist, Mercuriousss, csquared, hyper, Losty, elropsych, ck4city, rubthorn, Katie71, Enrika, Super Grover, Cleopatra, Fedallah, lh114, GenXProgress, Mayken, sulthernao, raf, political junquie, shayes, HKPhooey, cindiloohoo, TheWesternSun, on board 47, chrome327, Ant, cgirard, ColoradAnne, wvmom, ItsSimpleSimon, juturna, axel000, fl1972, nycjoc, abrauer, Unenergy, skillet, Anne was here, nosleep4u, mechboots, kerflooey, owilde69, fang88, truesteam, grannyboots, Wolf Of Aquarius, AuroraDawn, soaquarian, soundchaser, firemage, M Hussein H, Faeya Wingmother

    if so inclined.  thanks for listening!

    Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

    by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:32:32 AM PST

  •  There is also a collective (33+ / 0-)

    responsibility....yes, it's easy to bash the automakers now for the SUV's.  I know that many of us here did not buy them, but come on...we all ranted about how many of them were on the road.  When gas was cheap and seemingly available, these were the vehicles people wanted to buy and we heard just about every excuse possible for their need to have them...

    And gee...I'm waiting for the republicans to come to the conclusion that national, universal health care coverage would solve many, if not most of our issues around "competitiveness"...this is the discussion we should be having.  Do we envision our American workers in the future to continue leading middle class life styles, or do we envision the future of the American worker looking more like that of the Chinese sweat shop employees'?

  •  Excellent diary. I am saving a link to it so I (42+ / 0-)

    can throw it back in the faces of tne naysayers on this site who demonstrate such profound ignorance of the industry and its macroeconomic impact by saying "just let em go bankrupt"

    Well done.

    ...from the bright blue sea of Atlanta in the red swamp of Georgia.

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:33:15 AM PST

  •  This is diary is rec list material. Please rec it (20+ / 0-)


    ...from the bright blue sea of Atlanta in the red swamp of Georgia.

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:34:54 AM PST

  •  They have blamed the workers all along. (20+ / 0-)

    There was no hue and cry when my job went south of the border in 1992.
    That was the time to stop the bleeding, but nobody wanted to hear it.
    How will you stop the bleeding when the body is bled out?

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:35:15 AM PST

    •  I don't blame the workers themselves but didn't (8+ / 0-)

      the UAW join management in lobbying against CAFE/increased fuel efficiency standards?

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

      by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:37:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For fear that more jobs would be cut (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, gdunn, Dirtandiron, AuroraDawn
      •  No. They did not. (14+ / 0-)

        The UAW has consistently supported higher CAFE standards but as part of a Marshall Plan for the Auto Industry (they've been talking about this for years) that would ensure automakers wouldn't use the higher standards as an excuse to offshore more jobs.

        Stop spreading anti-union disinformation.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
        Neither is California High Speed Rail

        by eugene on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:01:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry about that (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, gdunn, djtyg, Dirtandiron, AuroraDawn

          I know alot about the UAW i've just not read that talking point. It isn't the most covered thing when i read "Solidarity"

          And note my other comments i'm prounion


        •  Umm, yes they did (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Gettelfinger consistently opposed more stringent CAFE standards on ALL vehicles up to as late as last September. It was all about exempting fuel efficiency standards for SUVs and trucks. He did end up supporting the compromise bill that was signed in December which far less stringent standards for trucks and SUVs. And why? Because trucks and SUVs was what Detroit was producing and making money on.

          In hindsight, Gettelfinger should have supported stricter CAFE standards for ALL vehicles, and several years early.

          Is the UAW and Gettelfinger entirely to blame for this mess? No. That's ridiculous. But, he certainly didn't help.

          •  From 2006 (8+ / 0-)


            # Marshall Plan for U.S. Automotive Industry. To stop the off-shoring of automotive jobs, the federal government should provide assistance to help auto manufacturers and auto parts companies retool and expand existing U.S. facilities to produce flexible fuel and advanced technology (hybrid, diesel, fuel cell) vehicles and their key components. In addition, to make sure there is a level playing field among all automotive companies, both domestically and internationally, this assistance should be structured so that it addresses the retiree health care costs of older automotive and other manufacturing companies. Please urge Representatives and Senators to strongly support legislation to establish this type of Marshall Plan for the U.S. automotive industry. Tell them this will create thousands of jobs for American workers and help protect the pensions and health care benefits that retirees have earned. At the same time, it will enhance our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It will reduce global warming emissions and improve the environment. And it will benefit consumers by lowering the cost of flexible fuel and advanced technology vehicles and by providing them with substantially greater fuel economy.

            What Gettelfinger opposed was CAFE increases that weren't tied to a restructuring plan that would protect jobs.

            Was it the right approach? Perhaps, perhaps not. But do you really believe that the UAW should be broken and 3 million thrown out of work because of that failure?

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
            Neither is California High Speed Rail

            by eugene on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:31:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, tammanycall

              He opposed CAFE standards because:

              1. he wanted to prevent off-shoring
              1. wanted to protect retiree health care and pensions.

              Sorry, to me that sounds like biting off your nose to spite your face.

              He should have been a bit more visionary in seeing that with declining petro resources, the future of his workers depended on a vision which demanded more fuel efficiency and alternative energy vehicles.

              Once again, he opposed more stringent CAFE standards as late as September 2007. That was just a little more than a year ago. He may have had alterior motives for doing so (1 and 2 above), but it was very short-sighted on his part.

              •  I like Ron (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, GN1927, satanicpanic, AuroraDawn

                Gettlefinger because he is representing his membership in this situation twofold and you hit both right on the head.

                He is the President of the UAW.  His job is to protect work for US autoworkers and benefits for active and retired autoworkers.  So, he did his job.

                I work at Ford Motor Company in a laboratory which deals with (to a certain extent) with CAFE standards.  To do what was suggested at the time would have bankrupted the Big 3.

                That is why Ron Gettlefinger requested the Marshall Plan.  So, he should have been a visionary and gave support to proposals that would have bankrupted the Big 3?

                He did his job and I am grateful to him for it.

                •  But you also hit on one of the reasons unions (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marjo, highacidity

                  have a bad rep.

                  Yes, it is the foremost job of the union to protect its workers PRESENT interests.  But when those interests conflict with their future interests -- NOT TO MENTION the public's -- then, we have a problem.

                  And, before I get hit w/ any "anti-union" bs, I am in 3 of them.  

                  We don't have to cheerlead for labor all the time.

                  •  Your response doesn't make sense (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    So, the choice is protecting union workers or promoting something that will kill the Big 3.  Ron Gettlefinger chose to protect union workers and that gives him a bad rep?

                    How does that make any sense?

      •  So did Toyota n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, djtyg, AuroraDawn

        "And when justice is gone, there's always force."

        by soundchaser on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:10:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  CAFE is a joke. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, stormhit

        You don't understand that, do you ?

        CAFE has NEVER helped the consumer,
        it is simply magic bookkeeping
        that has tied the automakers hands
        and prevented them from actually getting cars on the road that YOU want.

        Magical Thinking has been buying votes for politicians,
        funneling money to lobbyists
        and killing any american company that actually made stuff.

  •  And well they should be angry! (32+ / 0-)

    I've got one question for those who say this is all the UAW's fault:

    How do they explain the fact that John Deere, whose hourly employees are represented by the same UAW that represents the hourly employees of GM, Ford, and Chrysler, is a profitable company which in fact had record profits last quarter?

    Could it be that John Deere has better management than the Detroit Big Three, and that its management actually manages to design and produce products that people want to buy, and that have a better reputation for quality than those manufactured by Deere's foreign competition?  I'm sure Deere, like every other company, is going to be hurt by the current worldwide financial turmoil, but their problem will be that people can't afford to buy ANY equipment, not that they don't want to buy Deere's equipmen.

    •  love it when examples are brought out. Thanks. (7+ / 0-)
    •  I am against the bailout, (8+ / 0-)

      and have ready many of the same diaries and don't view them at all as being against the UAW or blaming the UAW.

      I am against all the bailouts and was against the 700 billion bailout.  Does that make me against the mail clerk at AIG or new college grad from Ohio working at Citibank?

      I run the numbers.  There is no way that I see the bailout and additional bailouts as working.  GM has set itself up in a position that it would probably need half of the 700 billion bailout to make it 10 years.  I am sorry, I will try not to inflame by giving examples of its problems, but they are there.

      I am sure there few Republicans here, but just one thing to think about with the Republican blaming:  the economy is bad and the only way for the auto companies to survive is to make a profit.  If 40% of the potential purchasers of automobiles are Republicans I would be a little wary of publicly accusing Republicans of "being the problem."  I have Republican friends who are for the bailout and most of my Democratic friends (myself included) are against it.  I think "for"/ "against" the bailout has far more to do with one's views of "what will work" for the economy then anything to do with unions.  

      •  Quit assuming. (9+ / 0-)

        I hear a lot of "the car companies will never turn around!"  This is just assumption that comes from watching the Bush economic meltdown.  Whose to say they, along with the rest of the economy, can't get better under Obama?

        This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

        by djtyg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:28:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  FACT they where on a turn around pre-crash (7+ / 0-)
        •  I have studied GM numbers (6+ / 0-)

          and I can't find it anywhere.  If GM goes down it will help Ford and Chrysler, and I have always said those two would survive.

          Unfortunately, life sucks.  I don't think that looking at financials and current story data and the economy is wreckless and that is what I have done.  I actually get the sense that those closest to this are acutely unaware as to how bad it really is.

          Yesterday, I read an article about an auto worker retiree.  He was 54 had worked for 33 years and had been retired for 3 years.  I felt bad for him.  But that isn't where my feelings ended.  I said to myself "and that is the stink of it."  This retiree may very well be taking retirement benefits for as long as he worked at the factory.  That is economic mess for a company.  Did the worker do anything wrong?  No.  Was he promised the benefits?  Yes.  Is he in an absolutely terrible situation?  Yes.  But the numbers still don't run.  Someone at the auto companies didn't adjust things (I am not sure exactly what) to put them in a position such that they could pay their retirement obligations.

          But it is not only that.

          The companies have been mismanaged.

          The companies have created a bad image in the mind of the consumers (and that to me is where the private plan fiasco comes in).

          Even when the market was at its high in 2006, GM wasn't making money.

          We, Americans, in general have put ourselves in too much debt.  As such, to be healthy, we need to buy less not more.  Such less buying will be spread around including car purchases.

          I see Ford and Chrysler coming out.  Although I am against the "bailout" I am for governmental aid that is predicated on management agreement of the autos and the government (ie. not just giving money and letting them be managed).  What I see is a one-time loan (really meaning one-time) for companies that have met strict viability standards not to "keep them afloat" but to help them transition into better future-thinking products.

          A union LBO would be great as well.

          •  If GM goes down... (6+ / 0-)

            ...they take down the shared suppliers with them... that's why Ford and Chrysler gets taken down as well, even though they don't need assistance nearly as bad (just today, Ford said it might not take bailout money, 'cos it doesn't want the restrictions associated with it and they can survive without it)...

            WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

            by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:22:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just don't buy that the suppliers will go down (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, tammanycall

              such that Ford and Chrysler get taken down.

              First, my understanding is that alot of the shared suppliers are also suppliers for Toyota and/or Honda.

              Second, although demand is down overall and will remain low for awhile, I don't think GM is guiding sales.  I don't think people will say, "I was going to buy a car but since GM went down, I won't buy."  I believe that Ford, Chrysler and foreigners will see increased sales without GM (from what they would have sold with GM in the market), which means more parts needed by the others.

              I believe that successful GM makes will continue but owned by others.

              And finally and though not of the least importance is basic economics. I don't believe that the suppliers in this industry are so fragile that they have not created contingency plans such that they could not absorb one company going down.  I don't think that most will tell you they have, because it is much better for them for all the companies to succeed, but if they are well managed--they have.  Unfortunately if GM goes down, there will be mass layouts and some will go down, but in true US economics, others will rise and there will be an accomodation of the supply needs of the auto companies.  

              •  Well, the suppliers are ALREADY hurting.... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, Anne was here, AuroraDawn, firemage

                ...'cos they have already lost a ton of orders from the downturn.... that includes Toyota and Honda...  It wouldn't take much to push them over the edge... especially if they don't get paid for the stuff they've already delivered to GM....

                As for "people will take their place"... that certainly won't happen in the rust belt... no one invests here...

                WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:00:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Lord, I was thinking more along (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the lines of consolidation of suppliers.  

                  As far as investors, with as bad as the economy is and as much of a surplus of laborers there are (already), I have a hard time believing that every American would leave a profit potential on the table.

                  One of the problems for the pro-bailout, IMO, is that so much that is for your case is also against it.  If in fact the suppliers are so close to the edge, then isn't it possible to have to bailout the big 3 and then turn right back around and bailout the suppliers?

                  Somebody needs to get on the money tree research--I just don't see it working.

                  •  If you can find a way to bail out the suppliers.. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, gdunn, AuroraDawn

                    ...that would probably save GM... but, there are 35,000 of them... not the easiest thing to do...

                    WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                    by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:08:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How does saving the suppliers (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, LordMike

                      get more people to buy cars, get more people to buy GM cars, or help with GM's high retirement cost which will get worse for the upcoming years?

                      I understand that the suppliers are credit crunched, but I actually think there are very few individuals out there who are not buying automobiles solely because they can't get a loan.

                      I think that GM's decision to reduce output and increase holiday breaks has to do far, far, far more with demand than credit issues.

                      •  People aren't buying any cars... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        marjo, gdunn

                        ...not from GM, not from Toyota... they both have similar sales losses...

                        Whatever the causes, it has effected auto sales as a whole...

                        WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                        by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:27:44 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes, exactly. . . (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marjo, highacidity, tammanycall

                          Over the last several years, GM has been selling less of the industry because the foreigners had better, more future forward products.

                          Now we are having an economic recession, and fewer people are buying cars overall and everyone is down.

                          And GM has higher costs (retirement) and has made poor choices (going into mortgages) that other auto companies aren't faced with.

                          Again, I refuse to believe that the suppliers are so fragile that all automakers are unable to make cars.

                          One thing I have noticed is many of the pro-bailout are adopting the talking points of the big 3.  How in the world do  you have confidence that what they are telling you is correct?

                          Honestly, I kind of feel that those who take the talking points as a basis for their arguments are kind of being used as puppets. If someone had put me in the position that they have put you, I think it would be a cold day in hell before I would believe anything they said.

                          •  The suppliers are fragile (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, AuroraDawn

                            and Ford and GM have been propping up some of them for years--Ford has been propping up Visteon and numerous ACH plants that supply various parts from glass, to headlamps and fenders.  

                            GM has an albatross called Delphi around its neck.  Delphi (which was making profits worldwide at the time) went into bankruptcy court basically to break the union.  They are still in bankruptcy court and have cost GM $12 billion.

                            Delphi makes parts for many automotive manufacturers.

                            To make money the suppliers quite often outsource to second and third tier suppliers.  So, if Ford or GM go down, it will take down Visteon/Delphi and all the second and third tier suppliers that do work for them.

                          •  I can see where you are coming from (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but it is amazing how companies adjust.  It definitely sounds like consolidation of suppliers would help.  

                            Ok, help me on the Delphi issue.  My understanding is that part of Delphi's problems were with pension payments--pension payments for employees that were originally GM employees. In fact Delphi was owned 80+% by GM and GM spun them off.  Delphi couldn't make it on its own, burdened (at least according to Delphi) by the pension payments to the retirees.

                            GM had control of Delphi until 1999.  It seems to me that GM probably felt that by spinning Delphi off, that either both would be better or that Delphi would go down and they were hedging the retirement (we can save some but not others.)  It's hard for me to understand why GM would let control of Delphi go if all was going well.

                          •  It was greed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            It wasn't just GM spinning off Delphi, Ford spun off its internal supplier base and called it Visteon.

                            Basically, it was to do two things--the first was the new supplier base (in their contracts) would get cheaper labor and benefits.  The second (and I think more important) was the spinoff gave a lot of money to GM and Ford stockholders (the bulk of the $$$ went to mutual funds and management types at both companies).

                            The pensions issue is a red herring because GM is still funding the pensions for GM employees (which most Delphi hourly employees currently are as are most Visteon and ACH hourly employees for Ford).

                            The real issue at Delphi is to destroy the union.  Delphi (at the time) was making profits worldwide, but used a US law that basically said, 'if you are not making money in the US, you can file for bankruptcy.'

                            Delphi hired bankruptcy expert, Steve Miller, to come and and do the dirty work.

                •  Any supplier who is delivering to GM on credit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  deserves what he gets.

                  If they're not buying credit insurance, shorting GM bonds as a hedge, or selling receivables to a factor then they are terminally stupid.

      •  LOAN not Bailout (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, gdunn, shayes, AuroraDawn

        Automakers have make returns on Loans before.

        So stop calling it a Bailout like the MSM, leading people to think that they are just being handed money no strings.


    •  Excellent point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  I saw Krauthammer's column (6+ / 0-)

    In last Sunday's Star-Trib perpetuating that myth of the 70 buck an hour auto worker. (Only he said 73 dollars, with absolutely no sourcing to back that up.)

  •  It's not being anti-worker to think that we (16+ / 0-)

    don't need to give money to those auto makers to keep doing the same crap that got them to this point and to keep building cars that people don't want to buy and don't want to drive. I'd be all for supporting a loan to restructure and to start building fuel-efficient, emissions-efficient vehicles that will last as long as a Honda Civic.  But I hear they don't want to make those changes.

    I'm all for the workers, but it would be stupid to give the companies money to keep doing the same stuff that led them to this point.

    •  but these are not normal times (11+ / 0-)

      The economy is great distress (in case you haven't noticed). The workers, both of the automakers and those in supporting industries such as steel and glass and the service workers who support them, will have nowhere else to go if the Big 3 go under. A collapse of the automakers would cause extreme economic distress throughout the Midwest, leading to the suffering of millions of people.  

      I'm all for letting bad companies fail -when we as a country can afford their failure.

      •  Yep, the economy is tanking (8+ / 0-)

        and where are those millions of Americans who should apparently be standing at the end of the assembly line waiting for their new car? They aren't there. This is a vicious cycle, why support the autoworkers when they are all making products that very few of us will be able to afford for several years?

        I don't mean to sound anti-union,I just think that it is unrealistic to believe that all of those jobs can be saved in a contracting economy.

        Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

        by riverlover on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:14:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Much like retail sales are tanking and going to (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, marjo, riverlover, Losty, HKPhooey

          get worse through the holidays.

          If Macy's asks for a bailout, will we give it to them so they don't lay off anyone at the sales counters?

          Detroit is unwilling to change a thing in return for the money (which will only keep them from them tanking for a few months and then they'll be broke again -- it's not like sales are going to pick up that quick).  And GM is planning to use part of the bailout money to open plants if FOREIGN COUNTRIES.  Please explain how that helps people who work for the big three.

          If the unions are so worried about the workers, why aren't they attempting a leveraged buy out so that they own the plants and companies?

          •  Good point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, philboy1, Losty

            Circuit City gone. Starbucks closing stores left and right. Even Home Depot is in trouble. That's what companies do when they're in trouble, they downsize their operations. Is GM willing to do the same?

            •  Well, we may have to bail them out too.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Wonder how many lattes 25 Billion can buy.  Maybe split between Seattle's Best Coffee, Dunkin Donuts and Peet's.

            •  Not a good point.... (6+ / 0-)

              ...retail jobs are a dime a dozen, completely interchangeable, and pay for crap... auto jobs are good paying jobs that you can earn a decent living on...

              WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

              by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:24:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, how elitist of you (7+ / 0-)

                How many people are supporting themselves or their families by working those "interchangeable" jobs.

                Look, I can take your exact words and do this:

                "...manufacturing jobs are a dime a dozen, completely interchangeable."

                Those same GM assembly line workers can work on a windmill blade production line, and ironically, 10 years from now, that is probably where they'll be.

                •  Save me the phony outrage... (5+ / 0-)

                  I worked in retail for many, many years... believe me... an $8 an hour retail job is a lot easier to find than a $28 an hour manufacturing job with benefits...

                  There are tons of retail stores... not so many auto plants... Its much easier to replace a retail job with similar pay and lack of benefits than it is an auto job.

                  They won't be working on a windmill line... no one invests in the rust belt... If windmill companies were coming in to refurbish these plants, we wouldn't even be having this discussion...

                  WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                  by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:44:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So we just keep them open so that we can keep (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fcvaguy, marjo, shann, Justanothernyer

                    paying people...with similar skills to the people in retail and other jobs...the $30 and hour with the $33 and hour benefits package?

                    For what?  Who's going to bail out the retail sales people?  Who's bailing out the contractors who have no work with the housing market in a wreck?  

                    Maybe the workers for the auto companies DO need to readjust their expectations.  We're all struggling with  less money and more expenses and we're figuring it out.  Why can't they?  What's so much more special about these people than rest of us who are likewise barely keeping our heads above water?

                    •  Good point (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, YoloMike, LordMike, Verstand

                      I suppose you could argue that autoworkers already have health care benefits and pension plans. So, why not take the $25B and provide health care and 401Ks for retail workers.

                      Unfortunately, that's an either or argument. I support some type of help to turnaround the Big3. But, it needs to be done in the context of believing there is some probability of success for them. Right now, I'm skeptical.

                      •  These red herrings are getting bothersome.... (5+ / 0-)

                        aren't they, this about the big 3, not about min wage paying retail jobs.

                        To many people don't have good jobs why cause more people to lose theirs?


                        •  Because you, and they, act like they're entitled (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marjo, MyOwnClone, shann, tammanycall

                          to these jobs that pay so well in an unprofitable, failing industry.

                          They seem to think they're entitled to keep doing this, even though they have seen the writing on the wall for a long, long time.  They didn't opt out, or go to college, or train in some other field.  Because they knew that NO ONE ELSE would pay them $30 an hour with a $33 an hour benefits package to do what they do with their skill level and no education.

                          So, they made a choice.  They hung on and hoped and now they're crying for help.

                          Sorry, but they can find jobs making less like everybody else.  Nobody's entitled to anything in this economy...everyone's suffering.  

                          •  Why up the suffering?? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, AuroraDawn
                          •  Why mitigate it for them and not everyone else? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                          •  You have to start somewhere (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, AuroraDawn

                            If we're going to fix this country we have to start at one point, the auto industry is good enough they have great products, and 100 years of creating jobs, and building the middle class in the first place.

                            So Why not just start our rebound with our strongest remaining industry.


                          •  So is this just about resentment for you? (5+ / 0-)

                            Do you think we should screw over The Big Three and UAW workers because we aren’t bailing out people who work at Circuit City? So many of the posts on this issue by the anti-bailout people seem to be filled with resentment toward the unions and I just don't understand why.

                            The shock to this economy that would be caused by millions of American workers suddenly finding themselves unemployed would harm all Americans in the long run. That includes the workers in retail.

                            I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

                            by AuroraDawn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:43:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So we should only help the people in the unions? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, shann, tammanycall

                            No one else is worth helping?  

                            Or are these extremely entitled auto workers somehow just much more special than all of the other Americans who are suffering in this economy and getting laid off and struggling to feed their families?

                            But we should reward the auto workers cause...why again?  I mean, this failure is not some sudden shock.  The industry's been circling the bowl for a long time.  And none of these highly paid people wanted to learn to do anything else or train to do anything else or move or do anything to help themselves even though everyfreakingone saw this coming.  Why?  Cause no one else on earth would pay them what they make now without a lot of education or a lot more skill.

                            So we should reward that entitlement while everyone else suffers.  Cause they're AUW and that makes them so much more special and worthy than anyone else?

                            I'm sick of this sense that these people somehow DESERVE these jobs...that they're OWED this employment by the rest of us...that they should be ENABLED to continue to build these vehicles they cannot sell in this market.  Let the industry fail, as it should.  Let the people figure out their own damn lives like the rest of us have to do every day with no one planning on helping us out or securing our continued employment.

                          •  When you tell the auto industry to fuck off... (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, schnecke21, AuroraDawn

                  're saying the same thing to large sections of the industrialized Midwest, places that already have distressed economies. This isn't just about the auto industry. It's about every industry in these regions. Look at the broader picture.

                            This is an economic disaster of epic proportion for Michigan and Ohio. And at this point, telling people who live in those states that they should have done things differently is like telling people in New Orleans that it was a bad idea to build below sea level in a hurricane zone. Yeah, it's a valid point, but it doesn't alleviate any of the suffering or try to correct the basic problem. You're not doing anything productive. You're just giving a big 'fuck you'.

                            And if nothing is done? If Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio have to fend for themselves? Don't come pounding on our doors next time something bad happens elsewhere in America.

                            Category 4 hurricane plowed through the Gulf Coast? Too bad.
                            Mudslides and wildfires in California? Not my problem.
                            Earthquake? We'll call you.
                            Crazy person flew a plane into a tall building? Whoops.
                            Flooding on the Mississippi? Meh.

                            I don't even think a bailout is the correct solution. But the costs of sitting on our hands and doing nothing are far higher.

                            I don't wanna spend the rest of my life looking down the barrel of an ArmaLite.

                            by Fedallah on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:19:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This isn’t about rewarding anyone... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, schnecke21

                            This is about preventing the collapse of an American industry that employs millions of people. If millions of people become unemployed all at once that will further hurt our very fragile economy.

                            No one is claiming anyone "deserves" a job. What we are suggesting is that you wake up to the fact that if millions of people suddenly lose their jobs overnight there’s a damn good chance the entire economy will tank. That would hurt YOU, too.

                            I don’t work in the auto industry, but I understand that this is about more than just The Big Three - it’s about the entire economy. Everything is interconnected and the economy might not be able to suffer a shock this great right now.

                            Your resentment is both way off the charts and misdirected. The unions didn’t screw you over, buddy. Management screwed you over. If you’ve got a beef with anyone in the auto industry it isn’t with the unions. Your beef should be with the CEOs. They are the only ones living the good life while the rest of us suffer.

                            I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

                            by AuroraDawn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:20:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As far as I can tell, the economy has tanked. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            And supporting this industry that is unwilling to meet the government's requests for restructuring, that is paying its workers well beyond what others of similar skill level earn, that has no hope of boosting sales any time in the near future because people don't want to buy American cars, because people are not buying any cars at all now, because that's not going to change...

                            It would be cheaper for us to pay unemployment to them rather than pay them the grossly inflated salary and benefit packages they currently want us to support indefinitely while we wait for people to start buying cars again (and then hope they buy American cars).

                            Let big oil bail out the companies and the unions...they're totally in bed together and we all know big oil has the money to take care of them.

                          •  Yes, but the economy could get much worse... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            We haven’t hit bottom yet, and it’s really a question of just how far you want to fall.

                            There are anywhere from 3 to 12 million people working in the auto industry and related industries who could very easily be fired within the month if The Big Three are allowed to go under. If you don’t think 3 to 12 million people suddenly finding themselves jobless wouldn’t seriously harm this already craptastic economy, then you’re dreaming. Things could get a hell of a lot worse than they already are, very easily, very quickly, and it won’t just be Detroit and auto workers suffering because of it.

                            Having several million additions in one month to unemployment isn’t going to help this economy, either.

                            I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

                            by AuroraDawn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:33:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, so let's keep paying these people their (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            $30/hr plus their $33/hr gold-standard benefits indefinitely to build crap we don't need or want and that they can't sell (and couldn't when the economy was good).

                            Of course.  That makes so much sense.  That's the answer.  Let us, the taxpayers, keep paying them this outrageous salary because they didn't get the message when we, the taxpayers, for the past decade or two, just didn't buy their vehicles.

                            Because they're auto-workers, and they should be immune from the consequences that the rest of us have to deal with on our damn own every day.

                            I've got it now.

                          •  If you have a problem with your industry (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, schnecke21, nycjoc, AuroraDawn

                            Why not create your own union and fight for higher wages, Drive wages UP not down, work for a better future, not for a worse one.


                          •  Precisely, driving down wages won’t help... (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, rockhound, schnecke21, nycjoc, firemage

                            anyone, in any line of employment – be it white-collar, blue-collar, labor or retail. It’s just foolish to punish one industry because someone feels they are being shortchanged.

                            I don’t understand the absolute rage some posters here seem to feel toward auto-workers. It’s just odd and I feel terrible for anyone in the industry who has to read some of these posts. I can understand the anger toward CEOs, they caused the problem, but the anger toward blue-collar union workers is really uncalled for.

                            I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

                            by AuroraDawn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:18:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not every atuo worker makes $30+ (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            10 years ago my fiance worked at Chrysler. He was IUE. He made $8/hr or about $16,100 a year (before taxes). After taxes (of $4500) he took home $11,600.

                          •  Why are these wages (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LordMike, nycjoc

                            outrageous? I just don't get it. I make 10 dollars an hour as a retail clerk. 30 dollars an hour to work in an industry that is physically, and yes! mentally demanding (try to keep your mind and body on task in this type of work for long stretches for year after year. it requires intelligence and flexibility to be successful at it) doesn't seem outrageous to me.

                          •  This isn't about Entitlement (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, rockhound, nycjoc

                            Everyone is worth helping, and the Industry has DONE EVERYTHING it could bloody do these last years, the cuts the new contracts, they where on the cusp of rebirth and the the oh so worshiped free market in NYC shat on them, why should we be towed down by the greed of this market shit heads who don't do any REAL work, why should they get a bailout while we have to beg for a bloody LOAN.

                            Also don't knock the skills of the American Autoworker, in many ways my father an autoworker who never went to college is smarter than many of my engineering profs.

                            So if you want to move to a 3rd world country, go ahead we're not stopping you but stop trying to reduce us to one.


                          •  I am sick of (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LordMike, schnecke21, nycjoc

                            the underlying assumptions that auto workers are not educated and not skilled and therefore don't deserve good wages. Many auto workers are highly educated and skilled. But you know what? When are we, as progressives, going to bury the whole notion that wages should be connected to 'higher' education? Working people deserve good wages. Period.

                          •  Is it anti-union resentment (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            or pro-union (specifically UAW) entitlement?  Do workers without college educations deserve jobs that pay that well?

                            How much are teachers making again?  They are also in unions.

                          •  I don't think anyone in an about-to-be (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, tammanycall

                            bankrupt industry, that's been failing for years and years and simply, recently hit the wall, that's been overpaying its workers for a very long time, that's done little to help itself or to "get with the program" in term of efficiency and emissions DESERVES a freaking thing from the government or the rest of us.

                            I don't understand the sense of entitlement that these people have.  Businesses fail all of the time, and their employees figure out other ways to earn money and take care of themselves.

                            What's so special about the auto workers, aside from the fact that NO ONE else will pay them that much for what they do?  

                            And yes, teachers are mostly unionized, but they make nowhere near what the auto workers do.

                          •  Yes, in some cases they really do deserve... (8+ / 0-)

                            jobs that pay "that well." First of all, not all union members (even in the UAW) lack a college education. That is an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement. Secondly, many union workers perform highly skilled work, the sort of work that not just any old person can be brought in off the street and perform without training. Do you have any idea what the average union worker is actually paid? I doubt it.

                            The only people involved in the auto industry who to suffer from an entitlement complex are the CEOs. The union workers have made concession after concession for years. Your resent is uncalled for and, frankly, foolish. Try learning about the history of unions in this country before you go insulting union members. They have improved working conditions for all workers – union and non-union, by fighting for better wages and safer working conditions.

                            Most union members work their asses off every day. They’ve fought for those wages standing in picket lines, braving physical threats, threats of being fired. They aren’t freeloaders and they don’t deserve to have BS like this thrown at them. You should be ashamed.

                            So what do people without a college education deserve in your little world? Do you think they should be paid 25 cents an hour? Is that a "fair" wage in your opinion, or would you still insinuate that they feeling entitled to things that people like them don’t deserve?

                            I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

                            by AuroraDawn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:14:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  speaking of feeling entitled (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, schnecke21

                            Re: Do workers without college educations deserve jobs that pay that well?

                            So... a degree entitles you to more money?

                            Do you think you be a little more elitist?  

                          •  The more educated (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            the more indoctrinated.

                          •  That was really uncalled for (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, jay w
                          •  Yes! (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, LordMike, nycjoc

                            Yes workers without college educations deserve wages like that. Teachers do not make enough and should make more. But not because they have college educations. When are we going to, as progressives, disconnect from the elitist meme that 'higher' education makes people better, more deserving than others?

                        •  Split the Difference (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marjo, MyOwnClone, shann, Verstand

                          I'd much rather see national health care and the minimum wage raised to $16 than subsidize the small number of $33/hr assembly-line workers in a destructive and regressive industry.  Let's take care of everyone, not just Detroit.

                    •  Maybe the retail sales people should unionize... (6+ / 0-)

                      ...and get better benefits and wages...

                      The reason that no one is asking for a bailout of Circuit City is that there are tons of other retail stores available to pick up the slack.  The retail sector is not going to fail...

                      If GM fails, not just the auto industry, but the entire manufacturing sector of America could go under...  That's the big difference.  That was the initial idea of a bank bailout as well... the entire financial sector was at risk.

                      But, I guarantee you.... if Wal-Mart asked for a bailout, Republicans would be falling all over themselves to give them the money....

                      WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                      by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:54:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not outraged at all (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, MyOwnClone

                    I'm just flummoxed by the sense of entitlement - that the country needs to buttress GM and turn it into a workfare program, producing vehicles that nobody wants to buy.

                    My parents and grandparents worked the textile mills in New England. Guess what happened to all those mills? They went to the South, and not because they wanted to be closer to the cotton. Some of my relatives went South, following the textile mills, others went into other industries. Its something that has happened over and over again in this country.

                    When Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, the government didn't start subsidizing candlemakers to "save jobs".

                    •  The "nobody wants to buy" talking point... (7+ / 0-)

             also a big lie, debunked above (or below... see the total sales chart... GM alone has over 50% of US market share... apparently half of Americans still buy GM cars...)

                      Did the textile mills all disappear in a day?  That's what would happen to Michigan if GM went chapter 7....

                      The government has subsidized and protected tons of industries over the years, the latest being the banking industry... why manufacturing gets "punished" is beyond me...

                      WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                      by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:57:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'll modify my comment (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        marjo, tammanycall

                        Please don't call  me a liar.

                        That people don't want to buy (I stick by that) and people can't afford to buy (because of the economy).

                        Of the 10 ten selling vehicles in the United States, only one of the is a CAR (not a truck or SUV), produced by the Big3. That is a fact. Americans prefer buying foreign



                        Your 50% number includes trucks and SUVs. While there will always be a market for trucks, do you honestly believe there is a future in SUVs given fuel prices?

                        •  Yep, because there will always be people who (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marjo, LordMike, satanicpanic

                          like that in a car, fyi we call SUVs and trucks cars, because they are personal automobiles that also serve utility functions.

                          Also there will also always be people who have 4+ kids or might be over 6ft tall and can't get into micro compact cars.


                          •  My Mom and Dad (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, highacidity

                            Had 5 kids and we never had an SUV. And I'm six feet tall and last month I sat in a SmartCar, comfortably.

                          •  How long ago? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marjo, firemage

                            Did you have to worry about those massive modern baby seats fitting?  Or not being able to sit one of the kids up front?

                            Seriously... these safety restrictions almost people into big cars...

                            WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                            by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:32:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Admittedly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            This was pre-car seats and pre-seat belts even.

                            But, seriously, if you have a SmartCar dealer near you, you should check it out just for the heck of it. You will be shocked. One thing did spook me though - lean over the steering wheel and you can see your headlights :P.

                            In Northern Virginia, I'm seeing more and more of them - on the highways even.

                          •  My brother's a long-legged 6'4'' (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            And he drives a diesel Volkswagen Beetle. Headroom in the front seat is fine. Back seat  ... not so much.

                        •  Because they're (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marjo, LordMike

                          subsidised.  Japan has HUGE import restrictions.  Of course they can attach more stuff to their cars and still sell them for cheaper- they pay workers less and they have a gigantic market all to themselves.  Not to mention they've had a favorable exchange rate.  Now that the yen is up, we'll see how well they do.  I can't believe how people continually ignore these facts.

                    •  Dude, it's a loan.... (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, LordMike, gdunn, firemage

                      Not an entitlement.  It has to be paid back.

                      They're not the first business to get a government loan, either.

                      This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

                      by djtyg on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:00:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  nobody wants to buy???? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, satanicpanic

                      GM sold more vehicles than any company in the world this year. Do your homework before spouting Fox News talking points.

                      •  Get your facts straight before spewing (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        personal attacks.

                        While GM sold more vehicles, they have exactly one car in the top 10 vehicles sold - the Impala. The rest of the vehilces GM has in the top 10 are trucks and SUVs, and, aside from trucks, the future doesn't look good for gas guzzling SUVs. GM got the double whammy - credit crunch and fuel prices, the latter having a much greater impact on GM than any other brand because of their dominant share of the gas guzzler market.

                        PS. I don't watch Fox and never have.

                  •  Starbucks gives benefits n/t (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, LordMike
                •  How many people ARE supporting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  their families by working at Starbucks? Hardly any, I warrant.

                  I worked briefly as an $11 per hour security guard during the last tech downturn.  Of my colleagues, those who had families had both spouses working two jobs. The singles could choose between having a (crappy) car, or their own (crappy) apartment. They couldn't do both.

                  Is that the kind of future auto workers should anticipate?

      •  The managers don't care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The democrats in congress want to hear from the managers because there is no reason for them to believe that the managers are in trouble. They need to fire those managers and oversee those companies. GM has 14 layers of management which is a waste of money and ridiculous. I'm all for not letting them fail, but I have no sympathy for those managers. They can't just give the managers a blank check and waste money. They need to be careful about this. They already loaned them 25 billion not to long ago and they didn't nothing with it.

        They care about helping the workers and not the managers. They shouldn't care about helping those managers.

    •  no argument here... (7+ / 0-)

      I love Hondas, though my last few cars have been Fords.  I championed Waxman taking over for Dingell last week.  We have a window of opportunity now to make the companies more viable for the future.  I just don't want the workers to take more hits than the management here.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:41:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  FORD has a new (10+ / 0-)

      president who is really a visionary.  I am so sick of people acting like the auto execs are effing child molesters.  They did not get to this point because they made too many SUV's.  Honda got rid of the Honda Accord Hybrid because it wasn't selling enough.  Until the gas prices really hiked up, Americans were still buying trucks and SUV's.  This has a lot to do with the current economic environment and the credit crunch.  It also has to do with what they are paying out in benefits to people who no longer work for the company.  

    •  I agree with that in principle (6+ / 0-)

      But the Repugs and the Big 3 management are trying to blame it all on the UAW, as if getting rid of the union would make them profitable. Especially GM is bad about this. Their management makes terrible decisions. I work for a 3rd party supplier to the auto industry. One of my associates works for a non-US auto company. His joke is, whatever GM is doing, we do the opposite.
      But this is not a reason to let the Big 3 fail and take a lot of jobs with them. This is a reason why any loan must include over-site and/or workable business plans. Not just cuts to workers and possible reduction of the money paid to the upper management.

    •  The "Cars people don't want to buy" lie... (18+ / 0-) also getting a bit tiresome, too...

      The big 3 have over 50% of the U.S. market... apparently half the country does "want to buy" them....

      And no one is buying cares from ANY manufacturer nowadays... GM's recent sales losses are the same as Toyotas...

      So, stop repeating the right wing talking points...

      It profits a PUMA nothing to give their soul for the whole world... but for McCain? --Sir Thomas More (if he were here now)

      by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:46:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a right-wing talking point, it's an (9+ / 0-)

        American talking point.  You hear it everywhere.  Yeah, people buy American trucks. But if you're looking for fuel efficiency or a car that will hold value and run forever, you don't buy American.

        I don't see the point in giving them money to keep building the same vehicles that get 10 miles to the gallon and barely pass our pathetic emissions standards because they are so intimately tied to big oil that won't make any changes.  

        That relationship needs to end, or maybe they should go to the big oil companies looking for money to keep on keeping on.  

        •  My american car (9+ / 0-)

          is goinga be 11 soon and accept for a few minor issues it has no problems, that a day under it wouldn't fix.


        •  who says? (12+ / 0-)

          My young neighbor, a fresh out of college graduate, just bought a brand new car, and it was a Ford Fusion.
          This car gets rave reviews from Consumer Reports.  The quality of it is better than Japanese cars.
          Please stop spreading this bullshit that foreign cars are always better.  We are sick of it.

          •  toyota spent much of the 70's (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, highacidity, qi motuoche, Verstand

            laboring to get rid of the Tin Toy
            stereotype of japanese manufacturing.

            Really, Toyota first came to the US in
            1965 with the toyota Crown, it sucked so
            badly they pulled out, spent 7
            years retooling, came back with tthe
            improved crown, corolla and Corona,
            and established a foothold.

            GM and Ford will have to spend a decade
            laboring under the Suckass legacy
            they established.

            Sorry, i had a cavalier with a defective brake
            cylinder out of the factory and i had to
            have a screaming match with the dealer service
            manager to get it fixed, the SOB was like
            (Well, you know you have 4 brakes).

            and sorry, i had a GM diesel once.

            they don't get a third shot at my ass.

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:55:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  GM fixed diesel problem by buying Isuzu. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, LordMike, nathguy

              Then Isuzu lost its market share to HINO a Toyota company.  Sorry about your ass, my pops had a few of those 1980's GM die-sell vehicles.

              Sorry about your rights, we hope to have them restored shortly.

              by qi motuoche on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:15:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The 80's were bad.. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, qi motuoche

       dad's citation's cooling fan didn't work driving off the lot (car overheated on the first day), and had three engine changes...  Still, he was really happy with it... (liked the storage space in the hatchback) I thought it was a piece of junk... had to floor it just to go 65... and it drove like a truck....

                But, that was over 20 years ago.... things have changed a lot since then!  Some people need to stop holding a grudge...

                WARNING: A donut will be given for the "GM workers should get retraining" garbage without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come

                by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:34:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  My 6 year old Pontiac Grand Am (11+ / 0-)

          was a wonderful car and very reliable.

          I say "was" because it saved my life a few weeks ago when I lost control on an icy road and crashed into a concrete barrier.  Air bags deployed, etc., and it was declared a total loss by the insurance company.

          I got out and walked away without a scratch.

          You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

          by abrauer on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:19:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The products are out there. (7+ / 0-)

          The american manufacturers do make cars people want to buy, they just may not be aware of them.

          I'm sure most Kossacks are familiar with the Honda Fit.  Small car?  Introduced two years ago?  Just redesigned for this year?  

          Chevy's had a car the size of the Fit, the Aveo, for five years now.  The Aveo is cheaper than the Fit and not quite as nice, but then, it's five years older than the current Fit.  Chevrolet didn't market it very well, but it isn't like the car hasn't been out there.  

          Chevy Malibu Hybrid taxis creep quietly past my office every day, and Saturn just debuted a full 2-mode Hybrid Vue.  The basic Hybrid Vue has been around for for years in two generations now.  Saturn also offers a Hybrid version of the Aura sedan, and it offers the Astra - which is one of the nicer European small family cars (though in the U.S., it's consider a small car).

          Ford's had two-mode hybrids for years now, first on the Escape/Mariner, now on the Fusion/Milan and next year on more models.  Next year Ford will debut the European Fiesta, C-max, and Kuga - all smaller, space-efficient, fuel-efficient cars.

          I can't say much for Chrysler, although they have been trying to get a new small car built through China for a couple of years and are now working with Nissan-Renault on that project.  Too little, too late, IMO, but Chrysler is a lead balloon.

          GM and Ford both saw the writing on the wall about SUV's as long ago as 2003, and we're now seeing smaller crossovers from them in response.  Ford's Excursion was dropped well before the fuel crisis, and GM never had any plans to replace the Hummer H2 when it reached the end of it's sales cycle. GM also divested from long-time SUV stalwart Isuzu and no more GM SUV's will be sold through Isuzu.  Small crossovers are coming next year to replace the Saab 9-7 and Cadillac SRX.

          It isn't as if the products aren't out there - it's just that the media only mentions American products when they're huge gas guzzlers.

          It is also true that the American makers did not pay enough attention to things like the Toyota Corolla class of car.  Saturn's Astra is great, but it will never be a volume leader at its price (which owes to its origin in Germany).  

          For the Astra to have a real impact here it would have to be assembled here and replace GM's rather milksop Corolla-fighter, the Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5.  The Cobalt isn't bad, and it's cheap, but it's not as good as a Civic or a Corolla unless you get the SS version, which is really a different bag.  

          The Astra's price, meanwhile, puts it in competition with the Subaru Impreza, which it has a hard time keeping up with because it is only offered with one small engine in the U.S.  European assembly means a higher cost.  

          Ford's Focus isn't very nice, and here you have to call out Ford.  Ford introduced a much nicer, more modern Focus in Europe in 2004 but chose to continue in North America with the previous-generation car, which is now well off the pace.  After much chastising about this, Ford will bring the next gen Focus over in 2010 - it's too late to make the current international Focus compliant and tool up for U.S. sales.  Mazda (3) and Volvo (S40/V50/C30) both sell cars based on this newer platform here in the United States.  Why Ford chose to stick with "grandma focus" for America is anybody's guess.

          It is, however, a fallacy to suggest that Detroit makes nothing but 1978 Buick Electras and jumbo-sized Humvees.  

        •  Nice anecdote n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
        •  You need to look again. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Chevy Cobalt - 37 mpg.  The Malibu has been a universal success.

          Your arguments are tired.

      •  Ford Gained (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, LordMike, gdunn, Dirtandiron, chrome327

        Market share going from 11% to 13-14 up from october last year.

        So it seems that while sales are down some people still want them.

        Not to mention the F-150 is still a top seller.


      •  Sales and Origin (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, gdunn, hyper, firemage


      •  Right, we just dont want to fuel them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        everyone wishes they had a stretch pimpmobile, along with an extra $100/day to fuel it.

        Sorry about your rights, we hope to have them restored shortly.

        by qi motuoche on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:09:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  here here to that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, Verstand, firemage

      regardless of how we feel about displaced workers, collapsing economy we have to determine if this makes sense. can the big three compete with this bailout?

      unless fundamental changes are made then no.

    •  Honda sales are tanking (11+ / 0-)

      just like everyone else's are. People can't get credit to buy new cars. This crisis isn't about choice of cars to buy, the crisis is that people can't get credit and the automakers can't get credit either.

      "Well, I think that - let me say generally that Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility." -- Joe Lieberman

      by GW Chimpzilla on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:49:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  honda is still selling small cars (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, highacidity, GW Chimpzilla

        that they make in Tennessee.

        Yeah, it's tough for them, the pilot and
        minivan sales are down, but they have
        a small car line that is selling.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:47:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, but how long is that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, satanicpanic

          going to last after the holiday shopping season is over, retailer don't make it to the black and have to lay off employees and close stores, and we really enter into the economic disaster we're facing?

        •  I haven't head anything about TN, but . . . (6+ / 0-)

          Not TN specifically. From the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

          Honda Motor Co. is reducing North American vehicle production by another 18,000 units in response to dwindling sales.

          Annual production at its Ohio auto plants is being cut by 6,000 vehicles, while manufacturing at its Lincoln, Ala., facility is dropping by 12,000.

          “The current downturn in customer demand for motor vehicles has created a very serious situation for all automakers, including Honda in North America,” said Ron Lietzke, spokesman for the company’s Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. unit that runs its plants in the U.S.

          Honda sales in the U.S. declined 25 percent in October, following a 24 percent decline in September. Sales through the first 10 months of the year are down 3 percent to 1.27 million vehicles.

          "Well, I think that - let me say generally that Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility." -- Joe Lieberman

          by GW Chimpzilla on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:08:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  honda isn't looking for a bailout. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, highacidity, MyOwnClone

            it's a turndown, they are taking stoppages to improve the plants.

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:37:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They're (were) seeking relief in Tokyo (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              Yet more grim earnings news in Japan today. Toyota, the last of Japan’s automakers to post its half-year results, has slashed its operating profit outlook by over 70% to $6.1 billion for its fiscal year which ends in March. Given it made $5.9 billion in the six months through Sept. 30, that means it will likely make only around $200 million in the second half of the year. Toyota exec Mitsuo Kino****a said things were so bad that Toyota has formed an “Emergency Profit Improvement Committee,” headed by CEO Katsuaki Watanabe.
              . . .
              Speaking at a the launch of the Honda Life, a minicar for the Japanese market, Fukui told reporters the government should step in after the yen’s recent surge against the dollar and other currencies. “Of course (the government) should intervene,” Reuters reported Fukui as saying. Fukui’s comments were before Toyota’s weak forecasts.

              So much for free market fundamentalism, eh?

              "Well, I think that - let me say generally that Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility." -- Joe Lieberman

              by GW Chimpzilla on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:17:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  That's really the crux of the problem. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, LordMike, riverlover

        We can give the Big Three $25 billion dollars, and it's not going to save them so long as the consumer class wages remain stagnant and credit remains in the toilet. If the consumer class can't buy cars, then all the bailout money in the world won't save the Big Three.

    •  Ford have been building (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, LordMike, gdunn, Dirtandiron

      Emission-efficient for years, one engineer told me in the early 90's they got slapped and since they they started to build ahead the curve so while they fight the mpg thing they have been on the ball with the air quality thing.


    •  Just changed the timing belt in my Focus (9+ / 0-)

      If folks could get leave their anti-domestic bias back in the eighties where it belongs, there are good, inexpensive and relatively efficient American cars out there.

  •  I generally agree with your emphasis on attacks (10+ / 0-)

    against the workers as lazy, etc.  Just another less-empowered scapegoat group to be used as an excuse for pushing money elsewhere, in many cases.

    Looking at it soberly, there's alot of folks in trouble who are doing good, honest work.

    But, I have little problem with calling the industry Exec "buffoons", for having resisted moves towards a more future-competitive, product portfolio over the course of decades, their grudgingly slow acceptance of the value in implementing end-to-end quality assurance from early design stages onwards (i.e., instead of accepting actuarial forecasts which indicated that fixing problems in prototypes and in the field would save money - quick buck thinking) AND in their political fights against the very emphases that could have driven their early adoption of greener cars while helping the planet.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:37:12 AM PST

    •  as bad as the execs are... (8+ / 0-)

      they aren't as stupid as portrayed by SNL.  I agree that the management should take the heat, just like the leaders of Wall Street who refused to see the writing on the wall.

      I'm not defending management in any way.  It's just I found the SNL portrayal particularly distasteful and anti-Detroit, and used that as an example of what the media is pushing.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:44:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me, everyone's a target for comedy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, debedb, beth2008

        So, it really didn't make me think beyond the poor decisions (and, rationale behind them) of mgmt, in truth.

        Whether or not it adds to an "anti-Detroit" sentiment might depend on your willingness to buy all the anti-worker PR you documented as being so unfair, I suppose.

        Unfortunately, a company and/or industry dominated by poor decisions from the top will tend to damn wide swaths of folks who don't deserve the blame, IMHO.  Such as Wall Street Executives and the thousands of sincere workers who have already lost their jobs in NYC.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:49:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anti-Detroit stuff is old news (12+ / 0-)

          Going back to the Riots, and the fact that we are one of the largest cities that reports it's crime rate so unlike NYC or some west coast towns we always are the "Most dangerous"

          So dangerous that one movie said we'd need Robot police to deal with all the crime.

          Anti-detroit views also come from our suburbs with 30+ years of racebaiting politics on both sides.


          •  I took Robocop to be (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, qi motuoche

            a generalization of privatizing government, even if Detroit happened to be used as the backdrop.

            Perhaps I'm different than mainstream viewers in seeing the Automotive company Executives as the example in that skit - again, a generalization of the trend towards finally recognizing that protection and growth of private salaries tends to pull all the oxygen from whole industries.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:05:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Comedy is exaggerration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's not the show's job to be sensitive to Detroit's feelings, it's the show's job to try and be funny.  Now, if your argument was that the sketch wasn't funny, then yes, I would agree with you.

        The public is tired of watching rich CEOs ask Congress for money.  That has nothing to with anti-Detroit sentiment, and everything to do with anti-rich guy sentiment.  SNL was attempting to capture that mood.

  •  Excellent diary! (14+ / 0-)

    The GOP is pushing Chapter 11, because it lets the industry drop the current labor contracts entirely.  Even the big 3 don't want that.  Yes, they were stupid with the corporate jets, but this is an important union, and they deserve a hearing.

    Thanks for posting this, marjo.

    •  getting mad about the corporate jets is kind of (10+ / 0-)

      silly anyway.

      GM is losing $2,000,000,000 per month just to keep the doors open.  That works out to $2,777,777 per hour.  Kind of puts the $20,000 jet ride into perspective, doesn't it?

      (I'd agree that it looked lousy from a PR standpoint though)

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

      by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:40:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is silly, but yeah, terrible PR. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, gdunn, debedb, Wolf Of Aquarius

        I'd love to hear more from the workers themselves, like the ones quoted in this diary.  It would be great if someone would interview them on TV.  I guess it's cheaper though just to show footage from the hearing.  

      •  not silly (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, debedb, my pet rock, qi motuoche

        In a situation like that you look for every opportunity to save a penny - and given the scale of the auto industry, the pennies add up rapidly. In exempting the executive level from rigorous cost-cutting, management was being irresponsible.

        •  Corporate Security practices (5+ / 0-)

          at major corporations commonly dictate that key executives not fly together, that corporate jets or equivalent private carriers be used, etc.  It's not just vanity or greed at work.

          Imagine if a plane carrying the CEOs of three of the biggest US corporations crashed.  Imagine if a single plane carrying the executive team of a Fortune 500 Corporation crashed.  From a business continuity perspective it would be disastrous.

          Imagine if Barack Obama flew commercial instead of using private planes as a candidate or Air Force One as President.

          You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

          by abrauer on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:10:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't you think that perhaps (5+ / 0-)

            the Corporate policies require that so that it is an ordinary and necessary business expense pursuant to Sec. 162 so that the expenses are deductible from income.

            Seems to me that if security was really an issue, they would be secluded and never allowed to go out to eat dinner or to a public event.  Seems like it would be far easier to get a sniper to kill you at a restaurant then to sabotage a jetliner so that it crashed and killed you and 300 others.

            •  You overlook my point (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              akeitz, marjo, qi motuoche

              about "business continuity."  Corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to have contingency plans in place AND to minimize unnecessarily risky situations...

              You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

              by abrauer on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:34:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  risk management in most luxurious way possible. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marjo, Justanothernyer

                sounds like crap to me

                Sorry about your rights, we hope to have them restored shortly.

                by qi motuoche on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:40:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Sure and I have seen several (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                with rules related to how many corporate officers can fly in the same plane.  

                But just think about this rule that they fly on private airfare.  What does that do that really helps?

                I don't see how the "private plane" rule does anything for security, especially if then they transport everyone together.  

                I also think the news this week that as of January 2008, GM had 7 leased plans is a little concerning.

          •  Barack Obama is the President-elect of the US (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, dvx

            He's FAR more important than these bozos (and so is any other major elected official/foreign dignitary) so let's leave him out of this.

            Can't they just take different commercial flights?  This seems like luxury disguised as security.

            And, as another commenter stated, it's bad PR.  When Chrysler got the 90's loan, Ioaccoca (sp?) took a $1/year salary.  That is good PR.  

            The CEOs should not be so ostentatious.  

      •  I dont remember (10+ / 0-)

        I don't seem to remember self-righteous congressmen berating the executives of AIG or Sally Mae for using corporate jets.  I don't know if these executives did fly in on corporate jets, but if they did we would never know, because Congress had already opened the spigots of cash for the banks and AIG and Sally Mae, hundreds of billions of dollars, some sources say trillions in dollars.

        But God forbid we give a paltry 25 billion to those awful Big Three executives so they can keep afloat an American manufacturing base that employs directly and indirectly millions of people!

        •  That congressional critter "strawman" (5+ / 0-)

          was ridiculous theatre. (I am sure their contracts would never allow them to fly on the same jet as a shareholder security measure)  If they wanted to attack the "Big Three" executives about something honest, it should have been about their and their management's outrageous salaries, what cuts they were willing to take, demanding oversight of the monies and accountability for its disbursement. Spent in the states and not overseas??  A management overhaul may be needed in the future too!

          Obama/Biden '08 "to represent all Americans"

          by mjd in florida on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:51:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I especially like Albom's column (6+ / 0-)

    which could simply be summarized as

    Hey Shelby and Kyl:

    Petard, yours, hoist by


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:44:07 AM PST

  •  what about the Dealer agreements? (5+ / 0-)

    The big three have to close dealerships, but Statutes and agreements make this a very expensive proposition.  what are the Dealers willing to sacrifice?

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:46:35 AM PST

  •  It's all about the unions (19+ / 0-)

    Republicans hate unions and are willing to sacrifice the economies in three states to kill them off.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by gjohnsit on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:49:09 AM PST

  •  There are two fundamental points that no one (20+ / 0-)

    ever mentions.

    First, the cost of health care, especially retiree health care, is huge.  The foreign manufacturers have these costs subsidized by their governments.  We don't do that.

    Second, other countries tax the hell out of gasoline.  We don't.  This forces those building cars in other countries to build more efficient vehicles.  Our hands off attitude towards the energy companies is the cause, not the workers.

    Bottom line, I agree with the diarist, we need to reframe this debate!

    •  While true, in the immediate term it's irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, marjo

      We cannot change our health care system to the point where retiree health benefits can be remedied any time soon. Likewise, changes in our gasoline tax policy are parts of the long term solution.

      What we need in the interim is either a bailout or, in my preference, to let these companies suffer under a Chapter 11 for a while, with provisions that the workers are accounted for (i.e. given public assistance and the like, if necessary).

  •  Hell yeah we are mad... (21+ / 0-)

    republican leaders have subsidized foreign car companies with tax breaks and incentives to lure them to southern states, (can you say socialism) then they expect us to pay for the infrastructure to support their new economies.  I find it hard to believe that Michigan still pays more in federal taxes that it gets back from the government. But we do.  These are hard working people despite the image that is being portrayed.  If the southern states have so much money to support foreign companies, pay for you own damn roads.  And keep your hands off our water.  It is all we have left.  

  •  We never heard about (18+ / 0-)

    the mode of travel employed by Bear Sterns, AIG, etc., executives.

    We never heard about the hourly rate paid to the white-collar workers at financial services firms.

    This selective self-righteous second-guessing of an industry's internal decision making is apparently only reserved for industries employing union workers.

    And Mitt Romney et al advocate the big 3 walking away from its pension and retiree health promises to their workers without mentioning that this will simply transfer those costs to government, i.e. the taxpayers.

    If Mitt Romney had the capacity for shame, he should be ashamed of himself.

    You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

    by abrauer on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:55:18 AM PST

    •  Daddy Romney (5+ / 0-)

      was gov of MI during the Riots and then fled the coop.


      •  Romney Sr. helped kill Studebaker.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, BerkeyBee

        In 1954, Romney worked for George Mason, then head of Nash-Kelvinator.  Mason set up the merger between N-K and Hudson that brought us Rambler/American Motors.  AMC did, really, bring us some very nice, very good small cars.  However...

        Originally, Mason's dream included bringing Studebaker and Packard into the fold as well, creating a genuine rival for the "bigger three."

        Mason died suddenly and Romney, who did not like Packard chief James Nance, gave Studebaker and Packard the cold shoulder, leading a healthy but withering Packard to merge with a severely ailing Studebaker.  Ultimately Packard was dragged to it's death by Studebaker's debts - most of which really started to mount after being spurned for the merger.  Just a few years earlier, Studebaker had been the strongest of the independents and the most progressive in terms of product (it introduced the first truly great American small car, the Champion, in 1939).  

        Had the merger proceeded as Mason envisionsed, it's likely that the resultant AMC would've been a stronger company and more capable.  And later, when AMC chose to start branching beyond just the Rambler, which was losing steam in the sixties, it might've had the brands, talent, and production capacity to really take on the big three.

  •  How do you ask.... (14+ / 1-)

    ...a $45,000/year teacher with a M.A. and student loans to subsidize a $55,000/year UAW member with 'gold-plated medical insurance and pension benefits?

    ... a $11.00/hour Wal-Mart employee to give up part of their Earned Income Credit to subsidize a UAW employee who spends his days sitting in a "jobs bank" doing crossword puzzles?

    ... a single parent who is working as a waitress, with no vacation or health insurance benefits, to support the "fat cats" in Detroit?

    Sorry, I am not supporting the bailout WHATSOEVER. And, while there is a "mythical" $70/hour floor worker, there ARE folks in the Rust Belt who, quite honestly, are collecting a lot of pay for little work.

    I am a Detroit native with family in Dearborn, Wayne, and Farmington Hills.

    My relatives who are still employed by GM and Ford have a wealth of benefits and a safety net that we "outsiders" should not have to subsidize. Sorry.

  •  thanks (15+ / 0-)

    We already have the union-busting, look down your nose on worker Republicans and media elites to bash the domestic auto industry and its workers.  What I was shocked in the past few days to see the virulence of the bias and hardness of hard coming from so-called

    Thank you for giving us some information to clear up the lies and slanders.

    •  TR abuse, North Country? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, VClib

      Hey, thanks for the donut. It simply points out how, when confronted with ideas you disagree with, you're incapable of a reasoned argument - and just go for the brickbat.

      •  i dont think so (6+ / 0-)

        I don't have a problem with a difference of opinion. I have a problem with your enunciation of that opinion using right-wing hate speech and talking points.  And the utter mean-spiritness of your attacks on my state and its workers.  If I can't troll rate your ugly post, then I wonder what in the hell I am supposed to troll rate.

        •  Well, at last... I discover that you CAN comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, North Country Dem

          instead of simply clicking "Hide" with something you disagree with.

          Hey, I'm a Detroit native with very deep roots in Michigan. I've traveled outside the Rust Belt, however, and learned a bit about how and why Michigan was part of the "One State Recession".

          I would be happy with a debate about the general philosophy of the UAW and the "Big 3" auto industry - and its effect on the economy.

          •  ok (6+ / 0-)

            I was a little quick to jump the gun on the TR.  I am just very frustrated with the rhetoric.  I see the banks and AIG walking about with hundreds of billions of dollars, and the auto industry is raked over the coals and made to justify every business decision in the past 40 years when they are asking for a bridge loan  of 25 billion to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands.  But I will take away the TR's.  

            •  Well, I'm a bit het up, too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, North Country Dem

              because I was born and lived in Detroit for 18 years (leaving for college and never returning) and I can see how they fucked it up in some respects.

              Shit, I'd have loved to go buy a house in Detroit after I graduated from college, get a job there... live within an hour of my uncles, aunts and grandparents. But the economy was beginning its big downward slide in the 1980s, and my job wouldn't have been secure.

              I've got UAW members two generations back who are stiff-necked and incredibly racist... who never, ever would've voted for Obama, and who are living in a deep state of fear now that "That One" got elected (ha!).

              I was also against the AIG bailout. Restoring the flow of credit was vital to America's economy (I especially valued some of the diaries on that here at DK), however.

              •  i know the type (4+ / 0-)

                Yes, there are UAW members who fit that category.  It never ceases to amaze me how people can take advantage of progressive unions and policies and then turn right around and vote against the very people that gave them their prosperity in the first place.

                But that is happening throughout the country.  I made the decision to stay in Michigan to stay close to family.  It has definitely cost me in the career area of my life.  But we can't go back. So I am sort of stuck here in Michigan, and to tell you the truth, it is very very scary for those of us still here.

                •  See? We can agree to disagree (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marjo, North Country Dem

                  without getting down in the basement with TR abuse and profanity.

                  Seems like we are on opposite sides of the same problem here; I chose to get out of Detroit, marry and raise a family in Colorado - and I'm very happy I did.

                  I was recently in Michigan for a funeral, and was shocked at how many storefronts are closed now, at the personal possessions with faded "For Sale" signs at the end of driveways.

                  Detroit is a beautiful place to me, weird as it sounds. But I know that so many of its problems are self-generated: racism, redlining, school segregation, class warfare. There is something about it that seems to bring out the worst in people at times.

                  Good luck, I'm pulling for Detroit - but at a safe distance.

                  •  so true (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marjo, MyOwnClone

                    I have really only experienced life in one other state besides Michigan.  When I was a junior at Michigan State ( more years ago than I care to remember lol), I was frustrated with my major and I took off for San Francisco.  I loved that city, the ocean, the friendly and accepting people, the beautiful views just walking up the city streets, etc.

                    But coming from a close-knit blue-collar Polish Catholic family, the holidays always brought out a huge homesickness that I just could not overcome.  I would watch news where by chance a video of snowy Michigan came on, and I guess Michigan was just in my blood and I returned.  I always wonder what path my life would have taken if I decided to stay in California.

                    But Colorado is gorgeous too!  Just keep pulling for us here in Michigan, we are going to need all the help we can get!  If GM is allowed to go under Michigan in particular will see suffering not seen since the Great Depression.  That is why so many of our nerves are on edge in Michigan.  We have been in a deep recession for 7 years now.  And instead of having hope that things will get better, we can only see even more disaster on the horizon.

                    Our only hope is in President-elect Obama.  But as I have said in other diaries, his early choices for key positions indicate a swing to the right.  I hope his multi-billion dollar economic stimulus program includes something for the hard-hit rustbelt states.  If not, I fear for the people of Michigan.

                    •  by the way (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marjo, MyOwnClone

                      You are so right about the closed stores.  The local mall near me has another store closing it seems every other week.  The mall management seems to be doing a fairly decent job of attracting new businesses, but it seems to take a very long time.  This is the first time in my lifetime that I ever recall seeing vacant and empty stores in a suburban shopping mall.

                      •  LOLOLOL I am Polish-Catholic, blue-collar too! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        marjo, North Country Dem

                        Wow, it's like you are my doppelganger. (it's almost like I TRd myself, ha ha).

                        So, yeah, you understand the whole thing; I went home and saw my elementary school boarded up with gang graffiti on it - no families with kids to justify keeping it open. But the casinos are booming. Go figure.

                        I pull for Michigan, even though I slap the side of my Polish head on occasion, when I see some of the boneheaded thinking that occurs in my native state.

                        BTW, when I started commenting in this diary, the Lions were up 17-0. They ended up losing 38-20 to Tampa. Again - go figure.

                        •  lol (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          I'm laughing so hard!  Put too stubborn Polish Catholics together and watch out !  lol

                          By the way, the Lions grasping defeat from the jaws of victory is an old Detroit tradition!  I'm not that much into football, but I'm sure you and my late father would have hit it off !

  •  Question. (11+ / 0-)

    What if this:

    +  Detroit CEOs and Presidents agree to resign within 30 days.

    +  Incoming CEOs and Presidents agree to salary cap of $500,000.00/year for the next 3 years; no bonuses, no options, no parachutes.

    +  All other officers and managers agree to 30% salary cut from current, and that cut stays frozen for 3 years.

    +  Plan submitted that outlines aggressive R&D and To-Market strategy for electric/hybrid cars to make 25% of all Detroit (F/GM/C) cars produced of such configuration by 2015, 60% by 2020.

    +  Agree to 50 mpg CAFE standard by 2012, 60 by 2015, 100 by 2020.  Pick-ups @ 60% of cars, on same schedule.

    +  Give up opposition to organized labor "Card Check" Bill.

    . . . and . . .

    +  UAW agrees to members taking at 5% pay cut here and now (if, e.g., now receiving $20.00/hr, goes to $19.00) to be frozen for 24 mo; raised 2.5% after 24 mo.; raised another 2.5% 12 mo after that (putting back at current level); raised 3.0% 12 mo after that.

    EVERYBODY takes a "hit", EVERYBODY keeps their jobs (except for the top idiots), and an incredibly AGGRESSIVE plan is put into place to force Detroit to get out of the development/to-market hole it's in right now.

    I can hear the squeals for all quarters right now.


    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:00:37 AM PST

    •  Impossible! They would assuredly screech. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Kind of like how, with a bold and intrepid, "Can Do" spirit President Kennedy said:

      "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this Century is out, of sending a man to an observatory to look at the Moon through a really big telescope and returning him safely to his favorite diner in town for pie.  And a malt!"

      Well, that's how the Auto Execs remember it.


      "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

      by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:16:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You'd have to give more thant just (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, BenGoshi, chrome327

      a little 25 bill to get that deal


    •  I am all for the CAFE standards and R&D (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, rockhound, hyper, chrome327

      Pressure & support should be supplied to speed efficiency changes already in the works and more.

      Some of the top execs now are newer and not necessarily responsible for the mistakes of the past.  I think CEOs et al are overpaid across corporate America anyway.  But I also know that the autos have been cutting pay and benefits steadily over the years.  Are we looking at what financial companies are doing with their salaried employees?  Are AIG managers taking 30% pay cuts?  Why is the level of accountability higher for manufacturing than for the paper-pushers?

      Whatever decisions and concessions are made will ripple across the economy.  But "agressive" definitely needs to be part of the vocabulary, no argument there.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:28:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why in the hell would you want Alan Mulally (7+ / 0-)

      to resign when he's only been on the job for two years and is making enormous strides into remaking Ford into a profitable provider of economical cars?

      Do you have any idea what Ford is about to launch?  A 39MPG city Fusion hybrid, the Euro Fiesta with mpg in high 40s, and about 8 other fuel efficient projects including a new Ecoboost engine that improves gas economy by 20%???

      These broad brush general attacks against the industry without factual basis are just plain wrong.

      ...from the bright blue sea of Atlanta in the red swamp of Georgia.

      by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:51:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I believe they are all -- every one of them -- arrogant fucktards.  Because it would be hugely, and positively, symbolic that a truly new day has arrived in Detroit.  I think that you're "just plain wrong" to so lovingly embrace an asscrank like Mulally.  There.  We disagree.  Ain't democracy cool?


        "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

        by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:06:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. Lets make a broad symbolic gesture and get (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, Rustbelt Dem, firemage

          rid of the one person who is trying to do it right. THAT is a strategy that reeks of arrogance and ignorance.

          ...from the bright blue sea of Atlanta in the red swamp of Georgia.

          by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:09:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One friggin' car. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, tammanycall, bottlerocketheart

            You've got it turned around:  it's Mulally who's doing the bullshit symbolic gesture.  A car. Right.  No basic, fundamental restructuring of his company.  No true alliance with labor to work together.  I'm sorry, I missed the headline where a couple of years ago Mulally and Ford departed with other Detroit Execs and Corps to work with Congressional Democrats to set ambitious CAFE standards/goals.  Please link me to one of those articles.  

            Your passionate about defending this one Executive Cretin.  I wonder why.

            By the way:  

            But for Alan Mulally, humanity's low point came when Washington adopted corporate fuel economy standards for automakers.

            "'CAFE has got to be the stupidest policy ever created in the history of mankind,' Ford's CEO told dealers at a June meeting in Detroit.  During a recent interview with Automotive News, he expanded on his distaste for the policy...."


             Yeh, a real "Green", "Progressive" visonary.  Let the market work!  Let the market work!


            "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

            by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:43:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  up to 47mpg is what their papers say, and my math (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        based on stock tank size for a fusion is 44 city.
        and only 27K msrp, before tax credits......


        •  When a Civic is $15K and gets 40 mpg? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, BenGoshi
          •  A civic is a compact car (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It is going to cost less than a larger mid sized car.

            also the Civic hybrid starts at 23k according to Honda's own web site. The stock civic gets around 24-29 combined. The Domestic Focus gets 27-28 combined (the ranges factor different engine types)

            Information from EPA, Honda, and Ford official sites

            •  I've got a 2008 Civic, non hybrid, that's getting (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marjo, BenGoshi, MyOwnClone

              38 around town and 42 on the highways.  Whatever.  You seem to know everything about everything here, so why even bother?  No one I know with a Civic gets that kind of crap mileage that you quote...that's pretty much the range of American cars, which don't sell much at all.  Without the American trucks that get 8 mi/gal, there would be a whole lot less of the market going to the Big 3.

              •  These are based on the offical 09 EPA window (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                stickers. Which often note that you can get better or worse, but that is the official.

                Right now the lowest MPG according to the EPA is 11 mpg for trucks, and 8 for cars but that is a high end imported sports car. So drop your whole American cars getting 8 mpg babble/bashing and look up the facts.


                •  Not dropping anything no matter what you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  want.  The truth is that anyone driving a late-model big pick up will tell you that they get about 8 miles a gallon.  There's no excuse for that, and there's no earthly reason why we should give this industry more money to produce them.

                  •  My father who's drivin (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Ford pickups as long as I've been alive (or at least can remember) said his old 89 Ranger got 18mpg, and his newer 01 F-150 gets 17mpg.

                    Your talking out yer arse.

                    And you've been ignoring other posting about how Ford for example is converting truck plants to small cars.


    •  None of this matters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, Verstand

      All that matters is that they have a business plan that allows them to make a profit on small, high mileage cars. How much money does it take to get from where they are today to the point where they make profits on small cars? Is the business plan feasable and how certain are the lenders that the loan will be repaid? Trying to dictate specific terms is a waste of time. Making the  business profitable needs to be the focus.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:29:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, all of it matters. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The "plan" would include the things I mention.  Also, it would signal a restructuring, not only of the business model with regard to making "a profit on small, high-mileage cars" (did you even bother to read my outline?), but of the Detroit Attitude.  Furthermore, a reduction in immediate costs, as well as symbolic gestures, is paramount to give the industry a few years of breathing room in order to restructure so as to "make a profit on small, high mileage cars (did you even bother to read my outline?).  Of course, one of, if not the greatest, "sunk cost" is worker health care, which I purposefully did not touch as (a) that's rather a "Third Rail" and (b) Congress and the incoming President will/should be all the more motivated to work with employers and labor to get those costs down over the next 2-3 years.


        "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

        by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:32:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did read your outline (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And as I said the first time none of it matters. The last thing we should be doing is micromanaging the auto companies and making them jump through specific hoops. If we are going to give them a loan we should only be concerned with two things. How and when will they pay it back and will the loan take them to cash flow positive. Let them decide the details.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:41:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Pa paper had article spreading 70 hr myth (10+ / 0-)

    I was furious when I read it in the Patriot News this is the largest central Pa newspaper who also endorsed Obama.  There was nothing in the paper disputing this lie.  The UAW needs to fight back harder with the truth.

    •  _You_ need to write a letter to the editor (7+ / 0-)

      ... to refute the lies.  There have been ample resources on the front page here the past couple of days to put that false meme to rest.  

      If it made you "furious", get to writing.  Seriously.

      i am jack's complete lack of surprise -- fight club

      by bustacap on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Patriot News really sucks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You can read anything worthwhile in that paper in less than 30 seconds.  They rely on AP and usually just reprint whatever garbage comes over the wire.  Their "Letters to the Editor" section would lead one to believe that Central Pennsylvania boasts some of the most neanderthal quarter-wits the human race has ever produced.

      Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

      by Dartagnan on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:15:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thrllled this was posted (9+ / 0-)

    I read all the articles you sited this morning, feeling really frustrated going from Monday to Monday looking for more "HOPE".  GM has a lot of 30 mpg vehicles already and working on many things beside the VOLT, they are also working with a company to produce bio-diesel from non food sources.  It at least feels like there are some people out here that do see the absolute necessity for the survival of the Big 3.

  •  Uggh (10+ / 0-)

    The media seems to have been gobbling up the anti-union spin.  UAW needs to start hitting back hard.

  •  Excellent diary VDL. (6+ / 0-)

    Well done sir.

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:07:08 AM PST

  •  Let the unions do an LBO (6+ / 0-)

    certainly of Ford and GM.  One of the big concerns is over current and future retirement payouts.  The UAW can ensure its retirees and its future by taking over the means of production, by using its retirement plans as collateral against a buyout. The govt. has already guaranteed $25B to help retool, which should help get the CarCos on the right track back.  But handing B$$ over to the management of these companies that have failed miserably is just the wrong way to go.  Better to put that money toward universal health care and the PBGC to cover retirees, along with retraining and retooling of the factories to green tech.  Consumers are voting with their feet -- away from American cars; throwing more $$ at them will not bring consumers back but just help ease the transition for the fat cats.  In the end, the workers get screwed just the same.  It's been 25 years of slow bleed.  If the UAW wants to save the jobs, then buy the companies.

  •  My problem is this (12+ / 0-)

    You'll find few people more pro-union than I am.  In fact, my highest political ideal, extreme left wing radical purist that I am, is a society essentially run by unions, the political philosophy of syndicalism.

    However, my problem with a bailout of the Big Three is this:

    General Motors to invest $1 bn in Brazil plant

    Wed, Nov 19 11:49 AM

    Sao Paulo, Nov 19 (IANS) US automobile giant General Motors (GM) plans to invest $1 billion in Brazil to avoid in their Latin American unit the kind of problems it is facing at home, EFE reported Wednesday.


    According to Jaime Ardila, chief of GM Brazil-Mercosur, the funding will come from the bailout package from the US government and will be used to 'complete the renovation of the line of products up to 2012'.

    GM Opens $300 Million Russian Plant to Boost Sales

    Nov. 7, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., the world's biggest carmaker, opened a $300 million factory in Russia as it looks to compensate for slumping sales in western Europe and North America.

    GM opens second India plant

    The Associated Press
    Published: September 2, 2008


    GM's investment in India, which now tops US$1 billion, pales in comparison with that in China, where the company produces more than 1 million vehicles a year. GM has poured US$5 billion into its China operations and plans to invest US$1 billion a year going forward, company officials said.

    I have a very hard time thinking that my tax dollars might very well be used so that GM could invest in new plants, production and equipment in the "BRIC".  You'll note that in the top quote, the Brazilian GM Exec explicitly says that US taxpayer bailout money will be used to invest in Brazilian manufacturing.  I don't believe too many UAW members hold jobs in Sao Paolo.

    This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:14:01 AM PST

  •  Class warfare (10+ / 0-)

    In this country, it's class warfare when the poor try to take from the rich. Rich taking from the poor and middle class is business as usual. Until we change that ingrained attitude, nothing real will change.

  •  Class warfare from the top down (12+ / 0-)

    That is what is going on.

    The high paid TV "faces" and chattering classes in Washington D.C. want to kill the unions once and for all.

  •  This is a great diary (12+ / 0-)

    Over the past few days, I've been involved in diaries on the same issue which were completely one-sided.

    Your diary acknowledges, especially using the quote from the 29 year auto worker, that there is plenty of blame to go around.

    And, yours is the first diary that clearly points out Shelby's hypocrisy by describing the subsidies his state gave to Hyundai while the Federal government sat idly by knowing it would have a negative impact on Detroit.

    The quality of Detroit cars has definitely improved, but they need to do more in the way of innovation. The UAW has granted significant and necessary concessions, albeit many don't kick in until 2010, and it looks like the Feds are finally poised to do something to help Detroit.

    Personally, I think any help the Feds give to Detroit needs to be tied to stricter CAFE standards that will force innovation, new and more accountable management, and a significant number of shares in the Big 3.

    The Feds also need to make it easier for Shelby's Alabama workers to unionize so that those workers have comparable pay and benefits to Detroit workers.

  •  amen (8+ / 0-)

    This is like a financial Katrina located in Detroit, the Hill is holding back the rescue gear and letting everyone drown & rot in plain sight.

    Thanks alot, f*ckers.

    "What you see isn't necessarily what you'll get."

    by mechboots on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:19:39 AM PST

  •  Even Dmeocratic leadres are joining the bandwagon (10+ / 0-)

    Axelrod had "tough words" for the automakers...

    How come no one has "tough words" for AIG?  The double standard is sickening...

    Not only will the midwest be destroyed economically, but, those affected will blame us, now, instead of Republicans...

    It profits a PUMA nothing to give their soul for the whole world... but for McCain? --Sir Thomas More (if he were here now)

    by LordMike on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:20:14 AM PST

  •  I think we should give a loan to the UAW (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, qi motuoche, Verstand

    So they can buy the Big Three and put them under new management.  Why the hell not?  If the workers are making $70 per hour, they're good for it.  

    Seriously, when an industry becomes so large that an entire state depends on it, it's too big to remain in private hands.  Either break it up into many smaller entities, some of which would make good decisions, or nationalize it.  If the people in Michigan live or die by GM, they should have a say in its management.  

    •  Workers are NOT making $70 p/hr. And it will not (9+ / 0-)

      be just MI that falters if the go down--many people and businesses will fail all over the country.

      According to the Indianapolis Star:
      Base wages average about $28 an hour. GM officials say the average reaches $39.68 an hour, including base pay, cost-of-living adjustments, night-shift premiums, overtime, holiday and vacation pay. Health-care, pension and other benefits average another $33.58 an hour, GM says. - September 26, 2007 UNITED AUTO WORKERS OFF THE JOB,

      •   the $70 means total fringes= wages + benefits (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, qi motuoche, Verstand

        Keep going Barackstars! Act now:,

        by IamtheReason on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:44:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it includes retiree costs (8+ / 0-)

          You can tell it's misleading because if the autos laid off half its workforce, the dollar figure would actually go up because the retiree cost would represent a larger percentage than the percentage based on active workforce.

          Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

          by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:52:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's snark, guys. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marjo, mijita

            I know they don't make that much.  If more of the country than just Michigan will head down the tubes, even more reason to nationalize the "too big to fail" corporations.  

            Canada has Crown Corporations.  Why don't we?  We could call them Federal Corporations.  

            LA runs a water and power and sewage collection and treatment system, we just call it the Department of Water and Power.  Guess what?  LA didn't participate in the Enron energy blackouts that raped the rest of California.  

            Tell me again why socialism is a bad thing...

          •  lol excellent point! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Keep going Barackstars! Act now:,

            by IamtheReason on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:39:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  But, even that number is inaccurate. (5+ / 0-)

          The average UAW worker is making $39/hour.  That number includes OT hours, Wage, Benefits and pension.

          Also, in 2007 the UAW made concessions to the Big 3 to help their workforce stay employed.  They went to a two tier system.  Entry level line workers now make $14.80/hour.  They are capped at a certain point and will never make what the first tier has made, relatively speaking.

          The $70/hour is a number pulled out of the unwashed ass of the Southern Law Makers.  Designed to make you resent the Union worker.  I ask you, have you fallen for it?

      •  While we're busting antiunion talking points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You might take this one on: "the sticker price of an American automobile (it might have just been GM--ed) has $2,000 allocated to paying pensions for long-retired workers".  It's been used as a concern troll point by the Republicans where I work as part of a "hey, nothing against the autoworkers, but we all have to sacrifice" point.  And it's been used with such unanimity, I'm sure it's being set up by Fox, et al, for their minions to use).

        And I'm sure it's bullsh*t.  I just haven't had the time to lay out the economics as to why.  Anybody got that handy?

        But in any event, this is what I've heard from the right in my neck of the woods as to the "bankruptcy would be a good thing, too bad about the unions members" argument--it's not the usual anti-UAW meme per se.

  •  Contract Breaking (7+ / 0-)

    All the media hype and political rumbling is focused on finding ways for carmakers to break their contracts with labor. That's the main "benefit" of bankruptcy: courts can rewrite contracts to pay labor less. Like dissolving pensions that labor accepted instead of higher immediate pay, with leverage to refuse the job now gone, since the job is done and the pension is left to be paid.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:23:12 AM PST

    •  it would be like when the airlines folded (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo, mamabigdog, chrome327

      and defaulted on their retiree obligations, while the executives kept their golden parachutes.  great solution.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:53:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was thinking of exactly the airlines pension defaults when I started hearing people like Romney hustle for automaker bankruptcy. Watching that fascist Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) pretending to be mad at GM, Ford and Chrysler CEOs for honoring labor contracts they committed to without preparing for business to feed them. Without taking into account the vast money wasted on those CEOs, their fellow execs, their strategy and accounting consultancies, their reckless lenders, and all the other people making the terrible, shortsighted decisions all dependent on "too big to fail". Unions are even bigger, but they're not counted as "too big to fail", because they're lower class, not upper class like auto execs.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:00:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We should start a narrative (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, LordMike, Dirtandiron, chrome327

    and fill the inboxes of the lazy media folks -- telling them that GOP, again is trying to blame the workers, the backbone of our economy.

    So, what's wrong with these people who spend hours doing actual work making $70 an hour? Members of Congress spend less time in their offices working for the people, and more time trying to raise money to keep their jobs.

    We can't allow them to get away this hideous argument. This is despicable and unacceptable.

  •  This is setting the stage for the EFCA battle (6+ / 0-)

    Look.  I am pro-employee all the way.  I am pro-Union, as well.

    But continuing to fight these battles along the same old tired battle lines is useless.  The reality is this:

    1. Open boarders means the American business and worker have to make sacrifices to compete or justify the increased cost of American products
    1. Unions need a value proposition for companies that moves the process from the contentious one that exists today to a cooperative/incentive based one.  Companies should WANT a union.  Unions will phase out if they represent little more than another layer of bureaucracy demanding more of an ever decreasing pie.
    1. Companies need incentives to keep business in the US.  Taxes alone are not the end-all.  What's in it for them to produce in the US?  If they can produce cheap abroad and still have unlimited access to the US consumer, why should they pay American wages when Mexico, India and China will do it on the cheap?  

    Consumers need to be as much a part of driving this change as gov't!  When consumers demonstrate that they're willing to pay more for what's made here, then we leverage the strongest collective bargaining unit there is.  

    I'm a bleeding heart Dem but pragmatism is in order.

    Champion Union Labor all you want, but if you don't demand and expect them to change with the times then look for them to become extinct along side the very jobs that are being shipped overseas.

    "To kill one person is murder. To kill thousands is foreign policy." Chinese writer Moh-Tze

    by ILean Left on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:32:09 AM PST

    •  Can't have such open borders. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, Dirtandiron, chrome327

      Currency valuations are one issue. When a taco costs the same in Mexico as it does in the U.S. then we can. One reason workers in Mexico are cheap is that everything is cheap there.

      Second, the difference in environment and labor protections are creating a race to the bottom. Great for people who want to have Latin-American-style feudalism in the U.S., but I prefer having a middle-class society, thank you very much.

      It's time to scrap the WTO right along with Nafta.

  •  It seems that this is a good cause for (7+ / 0-)

    the Teamsters, Iron Workers, UFCW, Plumbers, Electricians, Pipefitters, Writers etc to rally around.  They break this Union the rest will be vulnerable dominoes.

  •  What I don't understand, is how, if the bleed (6+ / 0-)

    rate of cash is correct (something like over $2.3 billion per month per company), is this bailout anything but a Bandaid when the economy is not expected to rev up in the next year or so and all predictions about retail sales (a leading indicator) are beyond dismal for the near future?  

    It's not like there's any expectation that any sales of any sort are going to pick in the near future.  Aren't they just going to keep needing more and more cash to keep limping along indefinitely?  And meanwhile, they're over-producing vehicles that dealerships can't move off of their lots right now?

    •  This is why they call it a Bridge Loan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, chrome327

      They have something that they are getting ready for (ex Ford Fusion 2010 hybrid) but need just a little push to get all the way there.


      •  And that's going to save all 3 of the big (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, VClib

        companies?  At the burn rate of cash they have, they'll need hundreds of billions before some maybe-profitability in 2010.  And what will they be doing in the meantime?  Making more 5 miles/gal Suburbans no one wants to buy now?

        •  The big 3 have cut SUV (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marjo, chrome327

          production, Ford even converting something like half their truck plants into smaller car plants.

          5mpg? what planet are you on even factoring the 08 mpg shift suburbans got 11mpg, sure not much of a defense but still don't go spouting about how they get 5mpg when your wrong, check the epa site for more.

          I feel like a broken record, all the big 3 had plans for 09-10 profit till the market when plop shouldn't they get a hand too since as i've said again and again they make something, rather than just wealth.


  •  Brokaw needs to GET REAL (10+ / 0-)

    Agree with you,I am disgusted with the media pundits like Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press as he dissed the Union and working people by stating that the people who work should "get real" as opposed to him(Brokaw)who does no manual work and does not understand what it is to do manual work for a living but makes his living as a scab on the society of working people. He needs to write another book about people he is not worthy to wipe their .....
    At every contract time in the steel mill the company would publicize how much they paid a typical worker(like a thousand $ an hour) and the union always countered with the facts and the media reported, but now the media takes the companies' position. Why?

  •  Republicans are using this issue in two ways (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, RaulVB, riverlover, crabbytom in md

    (both of which are mentioned here)
    1-Unions kill industries
    2-Any place to keep their foot in the door and cause a stir

    However, this does not mean that the big 3 have not had a horrible horrible track record in terms of keeping up with energy effeciency and reliability. They ran business plans that depended solely on the lucrative SUV market to pad profits such that almost any significant rise in oil prices would destroy their profitability.

    Now, they have not been responsible for the credit crunch which certainly limits the number of new buyers as well as creating incentives for not buying new cars. The issue is just that there was no foresight in the industry as to what they might do if we weren't in a full bore economy.

    Final note: yes, "transplant" factories get tax benefits and incentives... but at the local and state level. Not to mention they create jobs just like the home-grown auto industry, except they didnt make promises they couldn't keep. Their industry operates on the pretense that everything is going against them, rather than the bloated domestic industry where they have significant political clout, a government that doesn't believe in effeciency standards, a sprawl based economy, some of the cheapest gasoline in the world, etc etc. One by one those advantages have evaporated and now we see that our auto industry as it stands now is not smart business.

  •  Out of Touch Media and Government (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, RaulVB, Eloise, chrome327, firemage

    Your post underscores just how out of touch the media and our government is.  And, on top of that is the self-serving greed of people like Shelby who see profit in the destruction of the Midwest even as their states continue to receive more federal money that they have ever shared with the rest of the nation.

    I was especially disappointed in my senator, Dick Durbin, who, even as he was a cheerleader for the unstructured funneling of wealth to Wall Street essentially told the auto workers, and American workers in general, in an interview on NPR last Friday to f### off.

  •  Detroit did not help itself (11+ / 0-)

    I grew up in the Detroit area and lived there until 2006, and believe me, Detroit did not help itself. The actions of the Big 3 are well documented, but what has never been discussed are their enablers: John and Debbie Dingell and the local media.

    John Dingell was to the Big 3 what the drinking buddy is to an alcoholic. He and his wife protected and covered them from fuel efficiency and environmental standards while nothing was done to provide what consumers wanted. It finally costs the Congressman his chairmanship while his actions and inaction cost Detroit dearly. But even worse was the local MSM.

    In 2001, Arrianna Huffington developed and funded an advertising campaign against SUV's, stating the fact that those gas guzzlers helped to fund the terrorists abroad. The local Detroit news media, dependent on auto employees for viewership and dealerships for advertising dollars sprang into action and condemned the commercials, which were pulled. And from that point on, the SUV's kept rolling off the line. Now, nobody wants the behemoths and they sit around the lots. Brilliant.

    "2012; that sounds like years away." - Sarah Palin

    by RandySF on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:55:03 AM PST

  •  this 'debate' if it can be called that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, riverlover

    is only a pre-cursor to the difficulties of passing any meaningful legislation on global warming.

    It will always be the other person's ox that is being gored that will be the bone of contention and who needs to make the greater sacrifice.

    Buckle your seatbelts world folks, we are in for a very lengthy and bumpy ride.  We are ALL going to have to make deep sacrifices and the question is to consume or not to consume.

    Triage, who deserves rescue more, and who gets the only blood transfusions available now is the question of the day. Tomorrow someone esle will need another immediate transfusion.  Sure, fire the management, sell the jets on EBay, will that solve the 'competition' disparities. Shouldn't think so.

    Right now the debate is between bailout or bridge loan, where the money comes from and does anyone really think that 25 billion is enough. The argument is whether Bush gets the blame or Obama is able to get the credit. This is politics as usual.

    To start framing this in terms of a progressive or a regressive debate gets noone nowhere, imo anyway, and as I am not one of the 'deciders' don't matter a damn either way.

    How much of this money trickles down anywhere is a debatable point anyway.  We have to re-frame, re-make, re-train, totally change the way in which we view our survival and the future.

    Progressives take heart, the only way forward for America in a global economy is to subsidise health, pensions and retirement for workers, exactly as Europe does and is lack of which that allows China and India to do the work at much lower wages.

  •  Just the beginning_ the MSM will be spreading the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, libnewsie

    ir anti-american garbage for the next 4 years.  Just like they have the last 28 years..only now they have 24 hour news sad...

    We Must never forget the crimes and atrocities committed by the Bush administration!

    by Freedom Loving American on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:14:46 PM PST

  •  No bailout without equity. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, freakofsociety
  •  Mitch Albom = scab. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, Dirtandiron, chrome327

    I can't believe we're letting them get away with this framing against auto workers. We should be writing letters to the editor pointing out that the failure here is on the management that chose to build cars that no one wanted to buy.

  •  No bailout without an end to lobbying. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, shann

    As it is, a bailout is going to fund people out there lobbying against fuel economy, clean air and safety rules. To say nothing of lobbying against national health insurance. If taxpayers are gong to foot the bill, then when Waxman says jump, I want the CEOs to say, "How high?"

    Otherwise, they will continue to be the same kind of shitty citizens who bought up the Red Cars in L.A. for the sole purpose of shutting them down. I don't give a rat's ass how many jobs are at stake. I am not willing to subsidize that kind of behavior.

    •  How about EVERY job? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, libnewsie, Fedallah, chrome327

      we're in recession what happens if we lose 1/10th of all workers? at once. We'd be in a depression so bad we'd likely never leave it.


      •  Well, then nationalize them. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marjo, slatsg, wonmug, Bronx59, Fedallah

        Have the government just take over the car companies. I've seen all of their "free enterprise" model that I need to.

        There are plenty of smart business people around who could run those companies without private jets and 70-million-dollar salary packages.

        The U.S. has the most highly paid CEOs in the world. Paid more than the Highest-paid European CEO by a factor of at least 10. And the biggest home market. And, you know, I just don't think they are 10 times better at anything except running their companies into the ground.