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Author Topic: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??  (Read 12922 times)

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Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2008, 01:23:09 PM »
It would be cheaper now to let them file Chapter 11 than to bail them out and have them turn around and file Chapter 7 later.  On top of the unemployment you've lost an additional 15 billion. If people are not buying cars now they won't be buying in the next few months.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2008, 02:41:34 PM »
You should run for Congress, Rod.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2008, 04:44:09 PM »
There are obviously no easy answers here. I'm concerned that with the world economy swirling around the bowl some auto makers are just not going to make it. As has been stated by many the economy is going to get worse before it gets better and I fear bailing out the Big 3 will be throwing good money after bad. If they file for Chapter 11 and get out of their expensive contracts then serious restructuring could take place and perhaps an investment group or another auto manufacturer could purchase them.

I would love to believe a bailout would turn them around but I just don't see it happening.

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2008, 07:49:56 PM »
There are obviously no easy answers here. I'm concerned that with the world economy swirling around the bowl some auto makers are just not going to make it. As has been stated by many the economy is going to get worse before it gets better and I fear bailing out the Big 3 will be throwing good money after bad. If they file for Chapter 11 and get out of their expensive contracts then serious restructuring could take place and perhaps an investment group or another auto manufacturer could purchase them.
I would love to believe a bailout would turn them around but I just don't see it happening.

The media have not done a very good job of explaining why the UAW contracts are expensive.  Most of the difference is the cost of retiree medical benefits.  $15 per hour goes to retirement benefits, and since the pension plans are prefunded, the vast majority of that is the retiree medical benefits.  The transplants don't have that $15 per hour expense because they haven't operated in the US long enough to generate any significant bulk of retirees.

In addition, the health care cost for currently employed UAW workers is higher than for active workers at the transplants because even the active UAW workers are, on average, much older than workers at the transplants.  (GM had a hiring freeze in effect for over 5 years around the turn of the century.) Thus the wage differential is not very large between the UAW and the transplant workers.

So the argument above boils down to suggesting that we should push the Big 3 into bankruptcy as a way of forcing them to renege on their retiree medical benefit promises. 

Under those circumstances it seems entirely reasonable to instead float them a loan while we work out a new health care deal in the US.

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Miss Philicia

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Offline Cliff

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2008, 01:55:16 AM »
There are obviously no easy answers here. I'm concerned that with the world economy swirling around the bowl some auto makers are just not going to make it. As has been stated by many the economy is going to get worse before it gets better and I fear bailing out the Big 3 will be throwing good money after bad. If they file for Chapter 11 and get out of their expensive contracts then serious restructuring could take place and perhaps an investment group or another auto manufacturer could purchase them.
I agree.  GM will go through $4 or $5 billion in a matter of months.  Just looking at their balance sheet, they burned through over £1 billion of cash each month since December 07.  They could easily eat up all £15 billion in one year, much too quick to restructure the business and that assumes no additional reduction in sales because of the recession.

While I think the GM can't file for bankruptcy protection because customers may not purchase a big ticket item from a company under bankruptcy argument has some valid points, I still don't buy it completely. But whether true or not, (and it really hasn't been tested, so we don't know for sure), I don't think we should let GM use that argument to force the government into a bailout, otherwise the end result is that taxpayers will always be the bank of last resort for US car companies.  That's not much of an incentive for a company to make deep and lasting restructuring changes.  That's not much of an incentive for unions to negotiate significant redundancies, wage and benefit concessions.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 01:58:19 AM by Cliff »

Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2008, 07:51:35 AM »
Under those circumstances it seems entirely reasonable to instead float them a loan while we work out a new health care deal in the US.

If we are going to support them until we have a new health care deal in the US -- you better add a few zeros to the amount that they are asking for.  I have hopes that Obama will get that process moving, but it ain't going to happen for a LONG time.  It will really suck for the retirees to lose some or all of their health insurance, but I ask (again) why are  they special -- 100,000s of people of losing their jobs (and insurance) every month, with no hope of a bailout.  At least most retirees can turn to Medicare to help with SOME of their health expenses -- most workers don't have that option.

As for loaning in general, I think the gov't has to stop "loaning" money that it doesn't have to all these companies.  If we are going to "deficit spend" then let's do it for something that doesn't go to one small subset of the population.

Mike

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Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2008, 08:54:28 AM »
If we are going to support them until we have a new health care deal in the US -- you better add a few zeros to the amount that they are asking for.  I have hopes that Obama will get that process moving, but it ain't going to happen for a LONG time.  It will really suck for the retirees to lose some or all of their health insurance, but I ask (again) why are  they special -- 100,000s of people of losing their jobs (and insurance) every month, with no hope of a bailout.  At least most retirees can turn to Medicare to help with SOME of their health expenses -- most workers don't have that option.

As for loaning in general, I think the gov't has to stop "loaning" money that it doesn't have to all these companies.  If we are going to "deficit spend" then let's do it for something that doesn't go to one small subset of the population.

Mike



They are "special" because they have already retired based on promises that were made to them and they often no longer have marketable skills or any way to make up for the loss of medical care by earning additional income -- and most live in a part of the country that has been in recession for a decade. 

Generally US law and public policy recognizes that there are groups of people who are vulnerable and we should take steps not to harm. 

Current law and policy are imperfect, but that does not mean we should take steps (or fail to take steps) to improve them.  ADAP is another example of public policy targeting and helping a vulnerable population -- one could ask "what is so special about people who might die without HAART, don't other people need lifesaving drugs too?"  But most would rather expand the group receiving life saving medicine, rather than contract it by failing to fund ADAP increases.

Regarding timing -- actually the Senate committees with jurisdiction are already working on bills as a way of using the Presidential "honeymoon" period -- this is a dramatic departure from health care reform bills since the 70's (as long as I've been watching).  The Clintons almost succeeded at health care reform.  Both Kennedy and Baucus are veterans of the Clinton battles and are focused on not letting this chance slip away.   ... And GM did express it as a "bridge" to the deployment of EV technologies in 2009.
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2008, 10:22:37 AM »
Cerberus Capital owns Chrysler and GMAC. They won't put money into their own car company and they won't make loans to people that would buy cars if they could. So they don't need a bailout from the taxpayers.

Offline denb45

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2008, 11:49:55 AM »
If we are going to support them until we have a new health care deal in the US -- you better add a few zeros to the amount that they are asking for.  I have hopes that Obama will get that process moving, but it ain't going to happen for a LONG time.  It will really suck for the retirees to lose some or all of their health insurance, but I ask (again) why are  they special -- 100,000s of people of losing their jobs (and insurance) every month, with no hope of a bailout.  At least most retirees can turn to Medicare to help with SOME of their health expenses -- most workers don't have that option.

As for loaning in general, I think the gov't has to stop "loaning" money that it doesn't have to all these companies.  If we are going to "deficit spend" then let's do it for something that doesn't go to one small subset of the population.

Mike



I wish I worked for the UAW, cause when I went on disablitiy all I got was a very small pension from my Teamsters, with NO health benefits at all  ??? and like everyone else, I have to go on ADAP, and Ryan White as well as Medicaid and Medicare, while the BIG WIGS in my Teamsters Union, lived on at least 200K to 300K a year, I guess that is why I paid union-dues for all them years............what a Rip-off
but while I worked and made $32.50 an hour ( also worked a lotta overtime about 16 to 18 hours a day)
the pay checks were very nice, and the Health and Dental benefits were SWEET  :) I didn't have to pay any thing outta pocket  ;D
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 11:54:53 AM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2008, 07:19:50 PM »
They are "special" because they have already retired based on promises that were made to them and they often no longer have marketable skills or any way to make up for the loss of medical care by earning additional income -- and most live in a part of the country that has been in recession for a decade. 

Generally US law and public policy recognizes that there are groups of people who are vulnerable and we should take steps not to harm. 

Current law and policy are imperfect, but that does not mean we should take steps (or fail to take steps) to improve them.  ADAP is another example of public policy targeting and helping a vulnerable population -- one could ask "what is so special about people who might die without HAART, don't other people need lifesaving drugs too?"  But most would rather expand the group receiving life saving medicine, rather than contract it by failing to fund ADAP increases.

Regarding timing -- actually the Senate committees with jurisdiction are already working on bills as a way of using the Presidential "honeymoon" period -- this is a dramatic departure from health care reform bills since the 70's (as long as I've been watching).  The Clintons almost succeeded at health care reform.  Both Kennedy and Baucus are veterans of the Clinton battles and are focused on not letting this chance slip away.   ... And GM did express it as a "bridge" to the deployment of EV technologies in 2009.

Look -- plain and simple -- the American taxpayer can not save the world.  I did not make any promises to these retirees, their company, in conjunction with their union, made the promise.  Now -- the union doesn't want to make any concessions and both come to DC with their hands out saying "save us".  Medicare exists for those who qualify (same for Medicaid), these are perfect, but they exist, at taxpayer expense, to help out here.  The Pensions -- well, it's unfortunate, but if they aren't insured (and I think there is a entity that does insure pensions, but I could be wrong) why should our children and their children be saddled with fulfilling the promises of a corporation.  I don't disagree that it is unfortunate and unfair, but, again, the taxpayers (present and future) can't save the world.
I am currently helping to support my daughter's growing family, as well as my mother and (in emergencies) my brothers.  I grew up poor, dirt poor -- I'm not poor anymore (through hard work and sacrifice) and I happily do my part for my family and by paying a good deal in taxes.  Enough is enough -- once we save the auto industry -- for a short time anyway -- what is the next industry that will be "too big to fail" that we will have to save.  No one is bailing out the retail industry that my partner has been laid off from -- he lost his insurance, but fortunately, I could put him on mine.  If I lose my job, who is going to bail me out?  I'll tell you who -- no one.  I will use my savings and my extended family to help as best they can.
Finally -- the comparison of an auto industry bailout to ADAP is not right.  Giving people who need life saving medicine but can't get it is an entirely different scenario than bailing out an entire industry "just in case".  If they go under and there are individuals who need assistance with healthcare, there are programs to help them -- and if those programs need expansion, that is a whole different scenario -- those programs are their for ANYONE who needs them (and qualifies) not for a group who has good lobbyists.

Mike
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Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #61 on: December 18, 2008, 07:53:26 PM »
What does Bush have against the car companies?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2008, 04:55:34 AM »
Animated discussion!
And now, returning to my original question for this thread, here's an interesting review from today's NYT about It's a Wonderful Life
Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/movies/19wond.html?_r=1&8dpc



“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2008, 07:58:47 AM »
Animated discussion!
And now, returning to my original question for this thread, here's an interesting review from today's NYT about It's a Wonderful Life
Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/movies/19wond.html?_r=1&8dpc

So how is this discussion NOT about your original question?  You are taking the position that Republican are "against middle-class union workers" because they won't sign on to a bailout without concessions from the union.  Seems to me that this entire discussion has been talking about the bailout, it's pros and cons and how it seems ludicrous to expect taxpayers to make concessions that the union is unwilling to make or the other side, that they shouldn't have to lower their standard of living to save the company - that the bailout should happen to help the economy.

Mike
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2008, 09:29:48 AM »
Animated discussion!
And now, returning to my original question for this thread, here's an interesting review from today's NYT about It's a Wonderful Life

I really need to get around to seeing that movie.

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #65 on: December 19, 2008, 09:28:00 PM »
So how is this discussion NOT about your original question? 
Mike
Mike you seem to have it in for me, or misread my post. I was merely referring to my original question in which, as an aside, I mentioned "Its a Wonderful Life".  And this NYTimes article from today ties it in nicely as well, to the contemporary economic crisis.  Geez.  I thought this was a good thread and I never said anyone went off topic. Lighten up on me already. Merry Christmas to you, too.


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Cliff

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2009, 02:43:46 AM »
GM back for more money ($30 bn in total) and is starting to backtrack from it's "we can't file for bankruptcy" claim, now it's arguing that bankruptcy will be more expensive to the government than a bailout!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123489494750801713.html

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2009, 06:02:02 AM »
That is what they want you to believe.  The truth is is that their heads are on the line and this shows that they were incompetent, arrogant, and egoistical.  Now they are holding their hands out and are on the dole.  O, how the Mighty have Fallen...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 06:10:21 AM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

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Offline AndyArrow

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2009, 07:15:40 AM »
UAW stopped the money, all the bond holders and creditors accepted the arraingments that were offered only the UAW said no.

Thought I'd jump in here and see if I come out alive.  Back in the fall of 2006 GM & UAW agreed that the union would run a trust fund for retiree healthcare. This required a federal judge to approve this measure and it would allow GM to take the retiree obligations off it's books.  The judge approved the contract in May 2008. GM still owes the UAW $20 BILLION for this fund.  Now, it only wants to pay half in cash and the rest in GM stock.  Have you seen GM's stock value lately?

As for the airline analogy about filing for bankruptcy and coming back let me remind you of:

Pan AM                   Eastern
TWA                       Braniff

Should the US government use taxpayer dollars to help support the US auto industry?  Well, if we wish to remain competitive we will probably need to.  Since Canada & UK have announced state aid for their auto industry.  France is currently proposing spending 7.8 Billion Euros for it's auto industry.  And while Japan plans no such state the Bank of Japan does manipulate the Yen to keep it trading low to the dollar/euro & sterling.

I think the main argument being made by most economist is that US can't rely on consumer spending indefinitely and needs a manufacturing basis.  Without exports our foreign borrowing powers are weakend.  If the US is going to be a competitor in the electric car market worldwide then Detroit's help is needed.  Tesla (the silicon valley electric car maker) keeps hiring former Big3 employees.   
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2009, 08:24:39 AM »
Thought I'd jump in here and see if I come out alive.  Back in the fall of 2006 GM & UAW agreed that the union would run a trust fund for retiree healthcare. This required a federal judge to approve this measure and it would allow GM to take the retiree obligations off it's books.  The judge approved the contract in May 2008. GM still owes the UAW $20 BILLION for this fund.  Now, it only wants to pay half in cash and the rest in GM stock.  Have you seen GM's stock value lately?

As for the airline analogy about filing for bankruptcy and coming back let me remind you of:

Pan AM                   Eastern
TWA                       Braniff

Should the US government use taxpayer dollars to help support the US auto industry?  Well, if we wish to remain competitive we will probably need to.  Since Canada & UK have announced state aid for their auto industry.  France is currently proposing spending 7.8 Billion Euros for it's auto industry.  And while Japan plans no such state the Bank of Japan does manipulate the Yen to keep it trading low to the dollar/euro & sterling.

I think the main argument being made by most economist is that US can't rely on consumer spending indefinitely and needs a manufacturing basis.  Without exports our foreign borrowing powers are weakend.  If the US is going to be a competitor in the electric car market worldwide then Detroit's help is needed.  Tesla (the silicon valley electric car maker) keeps hiring former Big3 employees.   
Well, I expect Tesla, and their ilk, will try to get some government money to expand their business.  Can you imagine all electric cars replacing all the gas cars in Ameria's streets.  Wow!!!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 08:26:32 AM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2009, 10:24:54 AM »
Thought I'd jump in here and see if I come out alive.  Back in the fall of 2006 GM & UAW agreed that the union would run a trust fund for retiree healthcare. This required a federal judge to approve this measure and it would allow GM to take the retiree obligations off it's books.  The judge approved the contract in May 2008. GM still owes the UAW $20 BILLION for this fund.  Now, it only wants to pay half in cash and the rest in GM stock.  Have you seen GM's stock value lately?

As for the airline analogy about filing for bankruptcy and coming back let me remind you of:

Pan AM                   Eastern
TWA                       Braniff

Should the US government use taxpayer dollars to help support the US auto industry?  Well, if we wish to remain competitive we will probably need to.  Since Canada & UK have announced state aid for their auto industry.  France is currently proposing spending 7.8 Billion Euros for it's auto industry.  And while Japan plans no such state the Bank of Japan does manipulate the Yen to keep it trading low to the dollar/euro & sterling.

I think the main argument being made by most economist is that US can't rely on consumer spending indefinitely and needs a manufacturing basis.  Without exports our foreign borrowing powers are weakend.  If the US is going to be a competitor in the electric car market worldwide then Detroit's help is needed.  Tesla (the silicon valley electric car maker) keeps hiring former Big3 employees.   

Middle class people don't make 25-75 dollars an hour. People aren't going to buy cars when they are having a difficult time paying for food and their mortgages. They are taking money from people that make 9 dollars an hour to pay for people making 25 dollars an hour. Let them file Bankruptcies, there are plenty of people out there that is willing go to work for a lot less.

Online Dachshund

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2009, 10:46:33 AM »
Let them file Bankruptcies, there are plenty of people out there that is willing go to work for a lot less.

There sure are. The Chinese, the Koreans, the Indians and billions of other third world people making our goods for slave wages. Or should I say making corporate fat cats billions of dollars.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2009, 11:00:58 AM »
There sure are. The Chinese, the Koreans, the Indians and billions of other third world people making our goods for slave wages. Or should I say making corporate fat cats billions of dollars.

If they can make them at a lesser cost so be it. No one is complaining about the wages that are paid to GM employees in Mexico.

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2009, 11:11:58 AM »
Middle class people don't make 25-75 dollars an hour. People aren't going to buy cars when they are having a difficult time paying for food and their mortgages. They are taking money from people that make 9 dollars an hour to pay for people making 25 dollars an hour. Let them file Bankruptcies, there are plenty of people out there that is willing go to work for a lot less.

I'm not suggesting that $25 - $75 dollars an hour is a middle class income.  Nor am I supposing that people at the lower end of the economic spectrum (myself included in this lot) are going to go out and buy a new car. 


What I am suggesting though is that a total collapse of the US auto industry (by which I mean companies headquarter here and pay taxes here) would be detrimental to the US economy in the long-term.  And our foreign counterparts might gain an advantage if we do nothing.  Our economy is based on being able to obtain lines of foreign credit to keep our government operating.

We could take the stance of Angela Merkel who is pushing against country giving aid to the auto industries would be violating WTO rules. 

What I don't think should happen however is a traditional bankruptcy.  US federal bankruptcy court is backlogged and involves an extremely lengthy process.  United Airlines was in chapter 11 backruptcy for over 3 years.  I doubt there would be much consumer confidence in any auto company facing similar circumstances.  Maybe a better solution would be for the President to call PEB (Presidential Emergency Board) of the National Labor Relations Board put through more meaningful changes that way. 

I think it's time for thinking outside the box.

AA
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2009, 12:03:04 PM »
If they can put through a $787 billion stimulus package through the government in a couple of weeks they can put the auto maker's bankruptcy through just as fast.

Online Dachshund

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2009, 12:09:46 PM »
If they can make them at a lesser cost so be it. No one is complaining about the wages that are paid to GM employees in Mexico.

Wrong again. The only ones not complaining about fair wages are the guys making the profits.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2009, 12:16:43 PM »
Wrong again. The only ones not complaining about fair wages are the guys making the profits.
Guess you haven't been keeping up on the automakers negations. The shareholders and the exec. have to take a cut too.

Online Dachshund

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2009, 12:32:00 PM »
Guess you haven't been keeping up on the automakers negations. The shareholders and the exec. have to take a cut too.

Negations no, negotiations yes. Of course if by negations you mean negating 47,000 jobs and forcing CEO's to live on a paltry 500K a year, then yes I have been paying attention. They still get to keep their stock options and bonuses without one exec losing their job.  I guess the other 47,000 can move to Juarez.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 03:29:22 PM by Dachshund »

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2009, 12:37:02 PM »
Middle class people don't make 25-75 dollars an hour. People aren't going to buy cars when they are having a difficult time paying for food and their mortgages. They are taking money from people that make 9 dollars an hour to pay for people making 25 dollars an hour. Let them file Bankruptcies, there are plenty of people out there that is willing go to work for a lot less.

This argument may have made sense 30 years ago when $9 an hour represented a better wage.  But it doesn't make any sense with inflation and changes in the tax code.  

People earning $9 an hour would have a full time income of about $18,000.  IRS data for 2006 shows that income taxes paid by everyone who had adjusted gross income of $20,000 or less represented 0.04% of total income taxes.  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/06in21id.xls

So roughly four ten-thousandths of all income taxes are paid by people earning $9 an hour or less.  It's hard to see the argument that their taxes are somehow being exploited to pay for the bailout.  Wouldn't it make more sense to argue that those earning over $200,000 (who paid 62% of all income taxes in 2006) are instead funding the bailout?

Second, $25 per hour for 40 hours a week yields an annual income of a little over $50,000 -- several posters have suggested that this is not a middle class income.   ???   (Note, the census bureau reports that median household income in 2006 was $48,201  http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/p60-233.pdf   )

Third, estimates of $25 to $75 per hour are conflating employer cost per worker with the wages the workers earn.  The costs per worker include a variety of overhead costs (including benefits promised to former workers, the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, etc.).  Actual hourly wages for UAW workers are only a couple dollars per hour more than at US plants run by non-US auto companies;  they average roughly $30 per hour -- not exactly investment banker pay.  http://mediamatters.org/items/200811220004?f=h_top


Finally, it is hard to sympathize with an argument that we should adopt US policies to decrease average wages of citizens.  Most countries do everything they can to raise per capita income.  This would be a rather peculiar expression of American exceptionalism  :)
 

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« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 12:40:51 PM by Assurbanipal »
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #79 on: February 18, 2009, 12:59:33 PM »
Then keep giving them bailout money to produce more cars that are going to sit on their lots because people can't afford to buy them. That makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #80 on: February 18, 2009, 01:51:02 PM »
If they can put through a $787 billion stimulus package through the government in a couple of weeks they can put the auto maker's bankruptcy through just as fast.

Getting a room full of democrats to agree on a democrat stimulus package can be done a little quicker than getting GM's board, shareholders, bondholders, unions, creditors, lenders,dealers & suppliers all to agree to the same package drawn up by a court appointed administrator.  And as time progress circumstances change and therefore positions change.  Federal Bankruptcy court is not by it's very nature a speedy process.

Again, I think lawmakers and the administration should be encouraged to think outside the box but if the auto industry loans (lets not forget the are required to pay the money back assuming their still in business)  ;) part of the money will go to GMAC (jointly owned by GM & Chrysler) to help with financing.

 
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Offline pozniceguy

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2009, 01:57:10 PM »
I love this thread,,,, isn't the background discussion of all this really tied to the question of "what is the governments' responsibility regarding the  the ability of companies to compete in the world markets ??"   we keep nipping at that question..obviously there are diverse opinions......most of the companies under discussion so far are actually international companies and the discussion is centered on the American portion of those companies.....why just that part??  the corporate headquarters  regularly  "repatriate" monies from the foreign branches/ subsidiaries....even the huge GM has deals with Toyota and  many European companies...in fact  they produce vehicles in all the major overseas locations and frequently import parts to be used here in  US factories......IE:  in China the most "desirable" vehicle  for showing off your status is  a Buick....that economy is growing at an enormous rate...all over Europe various locally manufactured Brands either carry the GM  or Ford  or Chrysler marque...or build their own version of those vehicles
I still have a hard time seeing why "we"  should bail them out.....If you make bad business decisions  you suck it up and do what has to be done to recover or die.........government loans are needed only because prudent business / banks wont lend them money.....lousy risk!!

 I have written essentially these same comments to my senators and representatives.... some are Democrats  some Republicans....

I hope many of you who seem to have strong opinions have expressed them to your Government representatives...

Nick
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Offline AndyArrow

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2009, 04:09:33 PM »
I still have a hard time seeing why "we"  should bail them out.....If you make bad business decisions  you suck it up and do what has to be done to recover or die.

I understand exactly how you feel.  The old "every tub must on it's own bottom."  And I agree that it's wrong to reward the failure of corporate governance.  But I think the powers that be can find a middle ground. 

Rather than give out massive loans (bailouts ... whatever terms you like) to companies that have an uncertain future or forcing them to shut down and cause a massive ripple effect of unemployment, the government should force the banks getting TARP fundis to extend lines of credit to the auto companies (since they say their big problems is access to the credit market). Then also make sure those same banks use some of those TARP funds for lending towards car & home loans.

Ahh... if only I ran the world.   :D
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #83 on: February 18, 2009, 04:35:09 PM »
I understand exactly how you feel.  The old "every tub must on it's own bottom."  And I agree that it's wrong to reward the failure of corporate governance.  But I think the powers that be can find a middle ground. 

Rather than give out massive loans (bailouts ... whatever terms you like) to companies that have an uncertain future or forcing them to shut down and cause a massive ripple effect of unemployment, the government should force the banks getting TARP fundis to extend lines of credit to the auto companies (since they say their big problems is access to the credit market). Then also make sure those same banks use some of those TARP funds for lending towards car & home loans.

Ahh... if only I ran the world.   :D

I'd say that their big problem isn't really access to the credit market -- it's that they've made bone headed decisions and are no longer a good risk to the banks.  Keep in mind that part of the reason for this economic mess is that credit was given far too easily to folks who probably shouldn't have been given the credit in the first place.  So why should the gov't mandate that a bank extend credit to a company that may not be a good risk?  So that they get even more bad loans on the ledgers??  We have the same management running the auto companies that were there a year or more ago.  Why do we think these individuals can fix the mess they helped their company get into?
If they fail, so be it -- if they can dig themselves out great.  I do not think that we should be throwing good money after bad.  I'm tired of hearing about how devastating it will be to have all these autoworkers lose their jobs -- hogwash -- their jobs are no more important than the other 500,000+ who have been losing their jobs every month without any bailouts.  Who is bailing out the 30,000+ Circuit City employees losing their jobs?  No one -- but everyone is sure flocking to those stores to try and get a good "bargain", arent' they.  It's like vultures circling the dying.  This is politics, pure and simple -- a powerful auto lobby and a powerful union lobbying for special treatment, while millions of others go unnoticed.

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Offline Cliff

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #84 on: February 18, 2009, 04:43:52 PM »
I'm not sure the feds requiring banks, already saddled with bad debts, to loan money to a loss-making industry will help.  The government will just end up pumping more money into the financial industry just to counter the losses the banks will undoubtedly incur from loaning money to the car manufacturers (who won't be in a position to pay it back for decades, if ever).  

I still don't see why the car companies should be exempt from using bankruptcy protection like every other industry.  Wouldn't the billions being spent on the car companies (to help them downsize, which seems odd to saddle a company with even more debt just so it shrink, thereby making it more difficult for it to pay the loans back), be better spent on industries that are more profitable and support higher wages (technology companies, aerospace, professional services, retail/travel, etc.).  

The car companies are being symbolised as the decline in American manufacturing (and the state of manufacturing in the US is debatable)!  In reality these companies just symbolise nothing more than an uncompetitive, over-unionised, poor product offering industry.

Plus where is the bailout for other industries?  Why is the line being drawn at the auto industry?

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #85 on: February 18, 2009, 05:45:22 PM »
Wow this thread has come back to life!
I think my original intention in composing the topic sentence, was my sadness and regret to see middle-class lives, based on manufacturing, about to be destroyed. Also, I was so angry at the time about the bank bailouts but continued fat-cat big bonus mentality.  Now it seems a lot of the public discourse has joined in the outcry.
I have come around to see the futility of dumping money into the car companies themselves. I will still regret the loss of that post-WWII middle-class manufacturing labor niche. 
I can only guess that European auto workers will not end up in the pickle that American auto workers may soon find themselves.  So do we blame them for entitlements, or blame the management that hung them out to dry? Decent salaries, a house, medical care, secure retirement, a chance to fund their childrens' future, the next generation?  What was so entitled about that?
America is a very rich country. Will the solid comfortable life that should come with that belong only to the college educated and occupationally mobile?
Take a holiday abroad recently? The beaches are filled with Europeans who have lots of vacation time, money to spend, health care, etc. etc. and work Average Joe jobs in their countries. Are 10-buck an hour jobs the best the USA can do for millions and millions of able, hard-working adults?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 05:55:13 PM by mecch »
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Offline pozniceguy

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #86 on: February 18, 2009, 06:55:26 PM »
Mecch,, have you ever lived in a European country???? I have.. I know others have, Cliff .. you are a displaced  American....is the "lifestyle" of the British workers so wonderful??? what happened to all the Auto companies in Britain....Jaguar?  Rolls Royce?  Daimler? ,  Morris??  and others???   Jaguar = Ford now ( bad  decision to buy that)  Rolls = Audi  so far so good  etc...all those thousands of Auto workers just curl up and go away??  Is getting supported on   the "Dole" really that good??   all those Holidays they take are exactly why so many of the above named companies went bust. and the Auto workers as well as  other Unions played a mighty role in that debacle...they still do...Every European and Japanese company that wanted to expand their business built and are still building plants here in the U.S . BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER TO DO THAT....

Similar experiences in other European countries have shown that you cannot keep supporting  companies/ business that lose money....Germany , France, Spain and Italy have all faced  those same issues....  there are few critical industries that deserve support....Most Utilities and the critical supplies to them...certain Defense related industries...and a select few others  are and should be supported ....  the situation where virtually all the reliable major supplies of petroleum were allowed to be offshore is almost unbelievable.... that's' where the money needs to go  start getting independent energy sources....

Have you all noticed that the Politicians of both persuasions started  backpedalling when the public outcry arose over just giving ( loaning) the money to banks with little accountability  all of a sudden every POL was on a speech somewhere demanding it...where were they a month ago????  WRITE TO YOUR REPS....MAKE YOUR UNHAPPINESS CLEAR..... if you yell loud enough you will drown out the Lobbyists...

Nick
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Offline AndyArrow

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2009, 07:11:02 PM »
I think everyone seems to keep missing my point so it's probably time for me to depart this threat.  But I'll give it one last try.

Just to be clear I didn't say the auto industries problem was their access to credit lines ... I said they said that was their problem.

Do I think mandating banks to loan money to the auto industry is the solution ... NO. 

My point was to try to say to both sides there is often a third way to do things.  Rather than just saying one side is right and the other wrong, if people are willing to think outside the box other ideas can present themselves.

So, I've said my two cents & I'll wish everyone in this thread good luck!   I'll peek back into to check for  war wounds but I'll keep my two cents to myself.  I need all the money I can get in this economy.  ;)

AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

 


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