Friday, December 12, 2008

Watch it Drop.

Last night the Senate failed to pass the $14 billion bailout for the big three auto makers: Chrysler, Ford, and GM. Toothless Harry Reid threw his hands in the air without a filibuster.

What was the hamstring? An old hate in Republican hearts for unions. I don't like the idea of supporting inept and archaic corporations with taxpayer money, but there isn't much choice at the moment unless we want to throw another million jobs to the gutter.

The old work of ideological union busting has caused Senate Republicans to put the US economy in further slide. May the blame for today's market crumble rest solely on their fat, ignorant heads. Full economic collapse? Bah, they say, we can't have workers weilding more power than corporations - or voting for more democrats! My senate salary is safe!



Blogger Jason said...

General Motors had offered buyouts to all of its 74,000 U.S. hourly employees. [5] Those workers could have elected to take a lump-sum payment of $45,000 or $62,500, depending on their job description, and retire with full benefits. [6]

Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, a strong bailout supporter, said the UAW was willing to make the cuts - but not until 2011.
is were citations are posted

December 12, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger L A Neumann said...

Jason, You're unfortunately missing the real point here. The (12 or 18) Republican senators who voted for the TARP bailout but against the automotive bailout were scaping goats. Here was their chance to take out the UAW - when the UAW has nothing to do with the failure of the automotive industry - then ensuring the livelihood of their constituents. Or rather, many of them come from states that afford foreign automotive companies great allowances in the billions to operate in their districts/states. They don't oppose giving money for any socialist reason. And they are only using the UAW as an excuse - as Republicans have since FDR! - to stand on ideological ground. They are watching their votes. Keep the unions down, keep down an ideological block that believes in equal opportunity, worker's rights, equal pay, etc.

Regarding the UAW's concessions, here are some stats for you:

In particular, this is bad news for the UAW, because the GOP seems intent on pinning the problem on their refusal to accept immediate pay cuts (they offered to take a phased-in cut over two years). Of course, as David Leonhardt points out, that would only change the price of a car by $800, which is not a make-or-break discount for someone looking to buy a car. The problem still resides in the type of cars that the company makes. Labor has made several compromises with the automakers in recent years, most notably a 2007 agreement where they took responsibility for their own pension fund in order to allow GM to get ... more outside funding. The union shouldn't be held accountable for the mistakes of management.

December 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

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