Saturday, January 31, 2009


Mickey Kaus:
On Wednesday, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger predicted there would be no wage cuts as part of the union's concessions to GM and Chrysler. Gettelfinger argued Toyota's workers actually make $2-per-hour more than UAW workers, if you count bonuses. But ... but. ... Toyota did not go bankrupt. ... Toyota hasn't had to be rescued with $17.4 billion of taxpayer money. ... If Toyota can afford to pay its workers $2/hour more than UAW workers--perhaps because it doesn't have to build cars under the union's legalistic work rule system--that's great. It doesn't mean Gettelfinger's workers have a right to $28/hour if at that wage their employers can't stay in business without an ongoing multi-billion dollar subsidy. I'm sorry if this seems obvious. It's apparently not obvious enough.
(via Instapundit)


Anonymous said...

You anti-union people just never want to look at the facts objectively. The facts are that union workers income represents only about 10% of the price of cars. It was greedy, incompetent management that did the US car manufacturers in, not labor. The distortion of the union wages (e.g., $73, rather than $27) indicates the intention to distort. Your prejudices against labor won't solve any problems, but will merely prolong the existing problems. Labor made the cars; management made memos and mistakes in deciding to ignore what American consumers have been clearly expressing since the 1950s, i.e., quality, economical cars like OTHER COUNTRIES produce.

OBloodyHell said...


> I'm sorry if this seems obvious. It's apparently not obvious enough.

Nothing is obvious to the oblivious.


> You anti-union people just never want to look at the facts objectively.

OK, here's objective:

Toyota is successful.

The Big 3 are not.


Objective enough? Then there need not be any debate over the union issues at all.

Simple, straightforward, and highly productive in the long run.

> The distortion of the union wages (e.g., $73, rather than $27) indicates the intention to distort.

No, it doesn't. The amount paid for each worker is real and far more important than the up-front wages -- and this is true of ANY industry, business, or occupation. It has far reaching effects on how many workers get hired by a company, and how much unemployment there is.


No one here thinks the Big 3 are properly managed. But caving in to ever more ridiculous demands by the UAW over the last 50-odd years is certainly one of the biggest incompetencies of the Big 3 management.

Caving in to CAFE standards is another, which leads to producing cars which knowingly can't be sold (you only have to create them, you don't have to sell them). And CAFE standards come not from the GOP but from Greens, who are usually represented by Dems.

And who supports Dems almost exclusively?

Gimme a U!!
Gimme an A!!
Gimme a W!!

What's that spell? "Bankruptcy", YAAAAAAAyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

> Union Worker income is only 10% of the price of cars

Even if we grant that (and I suspect you've done that calculation based on your actually distorting $27 figure and not the correct one of how much the company pays for each and every worker it hires), it still ignores that the workers are one of the blatantly obvious inputs into quality. If the workers don't do their job -- don't DEMAND to do their jobs right -- then they have nothing to whine about when their company goes under. If it is the company's job to produce quality cars, then at least part of that is the employees placing their immediate benefit in front of longer-term issues.

You have to take pride in your work, something I've expressly observed is uniformly lacking once unions get involved.

If unions claim the authority to lay claims on behalf of the workers, they should also take on the responsibility of the worker to determine that they are doing the best job reasonably possible given the situation.

So when a teachers' union defends, with the same fervor that they would an unjustly accused teacher, a teacher caught flagrante delicto molesting their students, they lose all credibility.

When they fight against reasonable competency testing for workers in ANY position, esp. when competency is rationally in question, they lose all credibility.

They no longer represent a group that cares about the job they do, but now are out to gouge the business (and, indirectly, the consumer) for all they can get.

They have become borderline worthless parasites sucking at the lifeblood of a system.

And yes, before you open your mouth -- I've put my money where my mouth is. I lost a very good job because I would not do shitty work, because management thought it was "good enough".

You can debate whether or not I was correct in my assessment, but I think it's safe to say that the signs -- that Detroit has been producing garbage for 40+ years, now -- have been clear and undebatable. And it has certainly been a part of the workers' job, because of rational self-interest -- to change that around. Instead, the UAW has argued for better up-front compensation packages. If they gave a real crap, they'd argue for more stock options, giving them more control over the company in the long run, and thus more input into management practices.

But of course, they didn't, because they've never given a damned about the companies in question. They could care less about what happens, as long as the music kept playing and they got their money every time they sat down.

Well, the chairs are gone, and the music's stopped. Too bad, so sad. Time to find a new gimmick to pay your way.

> like OTHER COUNTRIES produce.

Or, more critically, other companies produce here in the USA.

Honda and Toyota both have a large chunk of their production in the USA, usually well away from Michigan and its drooling UAW sycophant state legislature.

And there is no connection between "lower quality" and "Made in the USA" when it comes to cars. There IS a clear connection between "lower quality" and "Made by the Big 3", however. Patriotism can only work so long -- eventually, people get tired of buying crap "made in America" and start buying foreign products that are better AND cheaper.


OBloodyHell said...

Sorry to stomp your head, BTW, but apparently you're more used to arguing with people who don't see the blatant flaws in your position.

Around here, you get fisked.

Carl said...

Around here, I also fisked you at midnight.