Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bailout Culture

Woe unto us, we are told, for the bailout of the big union-appeasing fatcats of the three major American automakers, which they asked for after years of making pieces of crap manufactured by over-paid employees that were nearly as likely to blow up on the highway as to be driven on it, failed in the Senate yesterday. Judging by media reaction, the standard reaction is that this is the great signal of impending national doom-even though the same package will likely pass in a watered-down version next month when the new Congress convenes.

When we bailed out the banks and investment houses, we were supposed to do that because without stable banks and creditors, the lending facilities would collapse. Never mind that these same banks and creditors were lending money to people and companies that they had no business lending to, sometimes at government assistance, and sometimes not. There have been few large banks not touched by extraordinary federal intervention, most of it coming in a form designed to rescue banks and brokerages from their own short-sightedness. Some of these banks also have or had substantial credit card operations, and in that form some of them extended lines of credit to people who should not have had that kind of credit in the first place.

Now the Big Three American motorcar firms want federal money, because since the late 1960's they have been making an inferior product, and they've conducted themselves as though they were the only game in town even after Japanese, German, and other European and Asian models came on to the American market. Further, their employees were over-paid and pension and health care benefits made workers at the Big Three often retire wealthy. Of course, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, a man who has fought long and hard to keep the union spoils system in place, thinks that those who say the union is part of the problem just don't like the union:

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger lashed out at Mr. Corker and other Republicans on Friday, accusing GOP senators of "singling out" unionized workers to bear an undue share of the burden of reviving the so-called Detroit Three.
Why should the union not bear the burden? Its members and leaders have enriched themselves off of company profits while the companies themselves long ago began to die a slow death because of it. Further, the UAW only now cares because it knows that if workers lose their jobs, the union loses money. The UAW cares very little about the welfare of the everyday worker, only about its own survival (if you don't believe me, you can ask my Dad about the UAW's effectiveness as a union for workers who aren't lazy).

Bailout the banks, bailout the creditors, bailout the automakers, and even, by extension, bailout big labor.

There is no bailout for the people who aren't UAW members, aren't bankers, and aren't auto industry bigshots. Big business and big labor often play as though they are opposed to one another, but the truth is that they are really on the same page: Both want to interfere in undue ways in the free market when it suits them, and all of these institutions-especially the UAW-believe in corporate welfare. They want their interests bailed out and have no interest in taking any responsibility for their part, and they've all played a very large one, in the economic mess in which our country finds itself.

Andrew Jackson, where are you when we need you brother?

Meanwhile, we're having vehicle problems in our house that will likely cost thousands of dollars to fix. The automakers who made the piece of sh*t get a bailout, but we have to pay to fix their failing products. And these people wonder why more Americans buy their vehicles from German and Japanese auto companies, the ones who make their cars in America and give American hands a needed job that is more stable than anything in Detroit.

Just when I get angry at Bob Corker, he does something that reminded me why I voted for him. Thank you, Senator Corker, for continuing to oppose this terrible corporate welfare.

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At Saturday, December 13, 2008 8:02:00 AM, Blogger The Intellectual Redneck said...

Ever wonder what a UAW contract looks like? It is over 2200 pages and weighs 22 pounds. It no wonder the big three can not compete in the global market. Honda and Toyota don't have to deal with that kind of crap. It would take a team of lawyers just to understand this document. 2215 pages of inefficiency brought to you by the UAW


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