Thursday, December 11, 2008

Although nothing seems right in cars

(Gary Numan-Cars. I worked on his '83 US tour, was, um, interesting.)

Via email from Sen. Reid (D-NV):
"Given the unhappy choice between a bridge loan and bankruptcy, Democrats have always believed that we must give the Big Three and the millions of Americans they employ every possible chance to succeed.

"By rejecting every good-faith bipartisan compromise – including those from the White House and Senator Bob Corker – it is now abundantly clear that Republicans have no interest in keeping the Big Three from collapsing.

"Because Republicans failed to act, three million Americans are more likely than ever to lose their jobs and our economy is at risk of suffering even greater damage. Our hearts go out to those families who will now have to deal with this burden as the holidays near.

"Republicans may think that rejecting this legislation sent a message to the auto industry. Instead, they sent a message to every single American that they are more interested in settling scores than solving problems."

Look, this same congress gave a bazillion $$ to Wall St. with, by contrast, almost no oversight and discussion. Was there any talk of reducing fund managers' wages? Hell no!

But now the UAW has been painted like the BIG BAD GREEDY union totally repsonsible for the Big Three making crappy decisions and, for a time, inferior cars.

Lies about union wages appear in the traditional media every day, and the silly, vacuous public buys it. Unions are largely reviled these days, never mind that in the 20th century, unions helped in large measure improve working conditions and wages so a guy or woman installing rivets on an assembly line could buy a house. That's all they did, raise the standard of living for millions of working class people.

And they did help out the executives' bottom line, making the Big Three profitable for many years. But now the companies are having trouble, the right-sing bastards in the Senate want to use this as an excuse to bust the unions.

Any wonder that foreign auto makers have plants in Shelby's Alabama:
The United Auto Workers Union boss also hit out at those US States that have welcomed foreign-owned, non-unionised, transplant car factories with generous incentives. "Since 1992, states with transplants have spent over $3 billion in incentives," he said. "In Alabama, Hyundai has received $252.8 million, Toyota has received $29 million, Honda $158 million and Mercedes-Benz $258 million." He also said that Alabama's further incentives, such as training Mercedes workers, agreeing to buy Mercedes vehicles and clearing the proposed factory, amounted to a further subsidy of about $175,000 per worker.

I agree with Jane at FDL:
Funny, none of these bastards demanded wage and benefit cuts for Wall Street workers in the $700 billion bank bailout.

Before the vote, Reid said "I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow" — with a smile.

When I suggested that Reid call their bluff and make the Republicans filibuster and watch as the stock market tanked in their wake, I never thought he'd do it. Gotta hand it to him -- for the time being any way, he's not letting the red state culture warriors railroad the unions.

Indeed. Oh, and what's the answer?

Single-payer health care. Like the home countries of VW, Mercedes, Honda, Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, et al have.

Here's Chris Dodd: