Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Depression It Is...

The Republicans have no soul. The culture war is more important to them than avoiding another depression. That's what their refusal to support Detroit means.
We can expect, then, to lose most of the three million jobs related to the auto industry if the Big 2 1/2 go under. To put this in perspective, in the last year the US has lost 2.7 million jobs. This would be more than the job losses for an entire (lousy) year. The US lost half a million jobs last month, and almost every economic forecaster expects the US to lose even more jobs in January, when retailers go fish-belly up due to an abysmal Christmas retail season.
And no one give me any kind of crap Republican spin. The fact is that

A) Current GM union employees earn only $4 more an hour than Toyota factory owners in Alabama - and that's with increased expenses in Detroit and the fact that their employee base is older.

B) The fringe-right $78 whacko spin number only exists if you take into account all of GM's retired employees and ignore the fact that Toyota and Honda's American plants haven't existed long enough to have a bulk of retirees. Let me reiterate that: the Big 3's increased costs are largely due to the fact that they've existed longer and thus have retirees.

C) There were almost no strings attached to the $700 billion bank bailout, or an of the other $100s of billions we've given to banks and AIG. The GM/Ford/Chrysler bailout, on the other hand, saw the Democrats give into almost every Bush admin demand to the point where part of me would be glad this thing went down in flames if not for the fact that it likely means a 2nd Great Depression should these companies fail.

The Democrats shouldn't pass a single Republican-favored bill until the Big 3 are bailed out. Our entire freaking economy is at stake; this is no time for us to be playing games. If the Republicans think so, then we must inflict upon them great pain.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The chickens are coming home to roost, corporate and union greed over many years made our industries uncompetitive. Michigan (and surrounding states) legislators made our automakers immune from growing world wide standards of performance. The unions wrangled ridiculous pay and benefits packages. The steel industry went down, we didn't bail them out. Why throw good money after bad now. I work in an industry that supplied the big three. We made a material for all three, Ford had the tightest specifications, if we made some and it was a little off spec we could still sell it to GM, if they wouldn't take it Chrysler always would. We never supplied Toyota, couldn't meet their specs.

Anonymous said...

I guess Pelosi and Barney Frank should have put some limitations on the AIG money, they were in the drivers seat weren't they? And where did you get your "fact" that Detroit guys only get $4 an hour more.

Gladys Kravitz said...

The State of Michigan should be fine. They have 23 casinos.

Oh wait...

Ryan said...

Anon 1, I won't disagree with the fact that huge mistakes were made in arguing against fuel efficiency and other things by Detroit - including the unions. But you have to consider a few things. First, that has little to do with the current problem which exists because no one's buying cars right now, mainly due to the credit crisis and mass layoffs (550,000+ last *week* alone). The fact that GM, Ford and Chrysler have been someone slow to adapt has hurt their long-term strategy, slowing down production of better cars by years, but it is NOT the reason why they went from selling 16 million cars last year to 10 million this year. That's the economic collapse. Honda and Toyota are feeling the heat, too... they just aren't burdened by having health care and pensions to deal with (the pensions ONLY because their factories in America are too new to have retirees).

Anon 2, do a google. The differences in avg. hourly wages *is* $4 an hour. Soon it won't even be that, after the UAW makes even more concessions to keep Detroit afloat.

Middleboro Review said...

When Darth Vader Cheney emerged from his cave long enough to pronounce that the Republicans would forever be known for their failure, the ideologues simply refused to 'get it.'
This will be the Bush/Cheney/Republican Senate legacy.
That a nation fails to recognize the perils that this collapse represents explains the willingness of many to be led as sheep and the failure to learn from history. How have we become so calloused to the suffering of our fellow Americans?
There are defining moments in politics. Here Republicans defined themselves.

Anonymous said...

New York Times said the difference was $10 a hour, fairly significant.

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't have bailed out Lee Iaccoca and Chrysler the first time around years ago, would have been a needed wake up call for Detroit. What now every 20 years or so we bail out the auto industry because they're indispensible?

Anonymous said...

Check out the Detroit Free Press Feb 1 2007. "UAW Losing Pay Edge", in some instances Toyota is paying average workers better than the big 3, counting bonuses.

Ryan said...

Maybe $10 if you count health, etc.

But this is all factory-to-factory. There are plenty of Toyota factories who actually pay more than GM, on average, as one commenter noted.

Finally, this country should have free health care for all, like Japan, South Korea, Germany and other major car-producing countries. That would save thousands per car.

Anonymous said...

Recent Washington Post poll, most Americans oppose bailout.

About Ryan's Take