Friday, December 12, 2008

It's About Time...

It's been far too long since I've had any time to blog, but I have to make time to say a little something on the auto-bailout. It looks like Republicans in the senate finally grew a set and made a stand against a very bad idea. Good on ya, GOP, for standing up to what would've amounted to a big fat check for the UAW - the very people responsible for putting the Big Three automakers in this mess. I hate the idea that people may loose their jobs, but the union easily could've made concessions to reduce their exorbitant labor costs. Unfortunately, they know that the incoming administration and congress will be more, shall we say "labor friendly", especially considering that Big Labor money helped purchase the White House and many of the gained seats in both houses.

I really have very little pity for any company that pays its workers well beyond what their worth, refuses to even consider reducing those salaries and benefits, while asking - no demanding - that the taxpayers bail them out of their own bad management decisions. It would be a lot easier to accept some sort of intervention if the companies were willing to restructure in such a way that their labor costs are more in line with the rest of America, making it at least more likely that they'll be competitive and have some chance of remaining solvent.

But it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to pour billions into a company that refuses to fix what got them here in the first place. I didn't like the financial bailout plan much either, but we at least knew that their was a chance - and some say even a good chance - that the taxpayers actually get their money back from that. Make no mistake about it: there is NO CHANCE the American people ever see any benefit from this money. It is not an "investment" of taxpayer dollars; it is a gift. And most folks even admit that they'll just be back for more in 12 months.

The US automakers are insolvent in their current organizational structure. They are far too big, pay their workers and retirees far too much money compared to other companies, and they do not deserve this gift. I hope the president decides against using the TARP money to keep these companies in existence. But if he does, he at least needs to force some serious concessions from the UAW. I say let GM go down - Ford or some other company in a better position can acquire many of its facilities and workers, and retool to meet the demands of the existing market.

Just mark this down as yet another reason to abolish labor unions. All of them.

No comments: