Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tighten the Belt, Not the Noose

First of all, folks, I have no idea what's going on with this financial crisis. I can barely pronounce some of the terms, for Christ! I mean, sure, I watch Hardball and CNBC, things like that, but all seems kind of murky. Everybody seems to think that they have the pre-eminent option, that they've most astutely connected the dots, etc.. They're all frigging talking Finnish to me.....................................................Actually, there's this one guy I've been seeing who does seem to make some sense. Congressman Pence from Indiana has said (from the start, I might add) that bailing out all of these companies is probably NOT going to help the economy - that to do so is merely to prop up inefficiency. And while everybody else has been debating bankruptcy versus a bailout for the big three auto-makers, Mr. Pence has taken a more sensible approach. His solution would be to mandate a court-ordered restructuring of the company - a process that would necessitate that both management and the workers sit down and make some compromises. I don't know, to me, this sounds like a process that could conceivably save both the company and the union....................................................Of course, it's probably something that isn't going to happen, right? It's not divisive enough. Oh well, here's to hoping that President Obama can make it happen. I think that I'm quoting him correctly when he said that, yes, "Republicans have good ideas, too." Did I mention that Pence is a Republican?


Anonymous said...

So who sits down with management to negotiate their salary reductions? Despite the propoganda to the contrary hourly wages at the "Big 3" are in line with the transplanted automakers, but management at the "Big 3" make 350 times hourly employees wages while the transplants only 150 times the hourly employee.

Also can we go to the states and ask the ones who are giving the tax breaks to the transplants to stop and use that money to help the domestic automobile manufacturers?

All the automakers are struggling both foreign and domestic, difference is their countries are helping them. How much worse do you think the transplants would be doing if they had to pay fair market value and tax rates?

And finally, nobody has forced Citicorp, AIG or any of the other bailout recipients to restructure, why do the "Big 3" have to when all they are asking for are loans, not handouts like Citi, AIG, et al.

Hypocrisy, it's not just for the religious right anymore.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Just for fairness, Congressman Pence has consistently been against ALL bailouts. As for for the hearings, I'm not exactly sure how they would go but I would hope that the C.E.O. salaries could be a part of it. Yes, the imports and domestics pay nearly the same hourly rate (GM's is 29.78, according to Yahoo, Toyota's slightly more) but the benefit package for the domestics is markedly more burdensome (and, yes, out of line with most other sectors). A little bit of a sacrifice from these folks would not be unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Pence the talking meat-stick who said an Iraqi market blown to hell was just like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime?

While he wore a bulletproof vest and was accompanied by 100 soldiers in armored Humvees being protected from above by US attack helicopters.

That is the way we normally go to market here in central Indiana.

Yea that is somebody to listen to, a real "bush league" moron there.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I have no propensity to defend EVERYTHING ANYBODY says. I'm just saying that I liked what he's been saying on some of these financial issues, that's all.

Anonymous said...

What makes the benefits package so burdensome is the pension packages that the big 3 are paying on. The transplants haven't been around long enough to develop that large of a liability. The basic benefit packages for the current workforce are, once again, pretty much equal.

How do you go to someone who worked all their life with the promise of the pension and say "oops, we didn't mean it. We need that back." Don't you think that would put a burden on all the taxpayers as the usage of health care and disability benefits normally covered by the pensions would rise?

I just don't understand how we can GIVE 700 billion away, but we can't afford to LOAN 15-35 billion. Maybe I'm naive in thinking that we should support the people who actually still produce items, rather than the people who push paper around and play with play money. After all a crappy car still has some value and use, a bad investment...

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I don't think we should GIVE money to anyone (at least not without serious strings attached). As for this money going to the big 3 being a LOAN, does anybody really think think that they're going to pay it back?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

My friend works in the insurance industry. He constantly works under the spectre of altered/diminished benefits. The world has changed. Nowhere else do you have people making 30-35 dollars an hour for putting hubcaps on. And you can't get rid of them. They can work as slow and as crappy as they want and the union protects them. I don't have a pension (unless you call the 1% of my salary that the company puts in to a 401K for me a pension). I don't have guranteed health insurance for the rest of my life. And I'm supposedly a professional. Something's wrong here.

thereturnofRusty said...

It never cease's to amaze me how people try to justify the auto industry bailout,one by comparing it to the banking bailout,which in my opinion should not have happened either.The banking sector is the corner stone of our financial stability not so the auto industry.They say that if allowed to fail there will be 3 million jobs lost....another exaggeration.

The plain and simple fact is the big three are burdened not only by high wage/benefit costs but also regulations and CAFE standards which makes them noncompetitive no matter what loan they get.

Letting them go into bankruptcy will allow for renegociation.They never will survive be it this year or next year or the year after if they dont get their cost equal to the transplant manufactures.

In 2007 GM and Toyota sold about the same number of vehicles....GM lost 38 billion,Toyota made 17 billion...enough said.

thereturnofRusty said...

Another example.....BMW makes a high end vehicle in Spartenburg S.C. cheeper then Ford can make a piece of crap Focus in Detroit.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Those are excellent points, Rusty. From what I gather, though, the court-ordered restructuring that Pence is talking about is a little bit different from bankruptcy (not as draconian). And, because of that, it gives the companiies another shot to get it together/salvage themselves. What they end up doing with that shot, who knows.

thereturnofRusty said...

I much more favor Sen.Corker's plan.

I cant believe the UAW leadership is stupid enough to think there are'nt going to be any jobs loss,whatever happens.