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Blame it on the corporations, if you will

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I've seen reporters from Forbes, WSJ, CNN, etc. claim GM's situation is their own to blame, even my father said that Corperate america should have known that pensions, healthcare and other large benifits companies promised their workers were as unsustainable as the governments version, social security.

The Unions has worked for the last century to provide the hard working laborers of america a decent wage, keeping the gap close between poor and wealthy.

Within the last 20 years, globalism has taken a foot hold on America's ecconomy, and while bolstering the ecconomy of places like the Philipines, China, Japan, Korea, & etc. where workers are willing to work for much less, American jobs have been robbed.

While all this is happening, the union continues to negotiate with its current iron grip on its remaining companies. The UAW membership has seen as high as 1.5 million members, and other unions such as Teamsters, CAW, etc, has also seem a might higher membership then recent times.

The problem lies with the Unions ability to convince of a new audiance of its worthyness. And if elected officials are the ones who presumably goto new corperations workers and suggest they can be making higher wages, more benifits and come back empty handed; one might wonder, why were they elected for this particular task? Corperations like Walmart, Target, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai could really benifit from said benifits.

If UAW or similar unions followed companies like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfigure, etc overseas, they would be less reluctant to conduct business outside their own home front.

In related electronic business dealing with Japan and Trading, I have to come with a quote

A very famous example of Japanese national government and corporate coordination to take over a foreign industry is that of the Japanese TV cartel, first set up in the 1960's. This is how Japan took the free-world TV industry away from the United Sta tes. PBS TV's "Frontline" program did an excellent documentary on this called "Coming From Japan", (see Appendix for how to get transcript via Internet).

In the 1960's, the Matsu$h!a Industrial Electric Company, Sanyo, Toshiba and others formed a TV cartel in Japan. They got US TV technology from the giants in the industry (Zenith, RCA, Quasar) in the following way. The Japanese government prohibited US made TVs from being sold in Japan. Instead, they insisted that the technology be licensed to Japanese manufacturing companies rather than importing (still often the case today in Japan). The US companies thinking they could still make money this way, agreed to these terms which enabled the Japanese companies to acquire the technology on how to build TVs.

The above Japanese companies, with tacit approval from the Japanese government, set up a cartel to inflate TV prices in Japan in order to turn around and use the money to sell below cost TVs in America. This was to drive US makers out of the American and world markets. US TV makers went bankrupt or left the industry as they could no longer fund research to continue making improved and high quality TVs. They could not compete with the artificially low Japanese TV prices in America and were forbidden t o enter the Japanese market to take advantage of the high prices there. Hence, the US makers could not make money. Furthermore, secret deals to thwart US customs, illegal under US trade law, were set up by Japanese TV makers and US retailers such as Sears and Montgomery Ward to sell Japanese TVs under store brand names. Concurrently, the Japanese mounted an important lobbying effort in Washington to ensure that this scheme was not disrupted by the US government or customs services [Agents of Influence p77 ]. As a result, once famous brands such as Sylvania, Quasar, Admiral, Philco and RCA have vanished or are foreign/Japanese owned. Zenith is the only remaining US TV maker today. No US companies make VCRs although they were an American invention.

In the 1980's the Japanese applied this same strategy to the computer flat panel display industry (also invented in the US) and now completely dominate that industry as well. Before that was motorcycles, machine tools and computer memory chips (the U S tried to retaliate but failed as our companies couldn't organize with each other during the now famous "dram shortages" a few years ago). It will be happening again in the financial services industry [Yen! p32], telecommunications equipment, kitchen/was hing appliances and aircraft manufacturing during the 1990s and beyond [Newsweek 1/18/93 p17].

While Unions are not the blame for trade policys, they must understand business, and the way it profits. And when things such as trade policys come into effect with Unions, this should raise a red flag. I'm sure most of these companies listed (Sylvania, Quasar, Admiral, Philco, RCA, Zenith, etc) we once unionized as was every company becoming after the great depression. It wasnt until recently that corperations started shaking their fingers at the thought of a union. When a union is powerful enough it can handle things on a political level, and if free trade is disrupting American industrys it is the sole responsibilty of the union to bring it to someones attention that the future of american labor, research, and development jobs are going to be lost. A Union can hold a country in an iron grip just as much as it can a corperation or an entire industry. As the Long shoreman in 2002 was said to have a financial impact of over 1 billion dollars a day they striked to the American corperations and the American economy itself.

If the unions cannot convince GM's competators laborers, to join, they have no right to ask for more money from GM. In my humble opinion, the Union members are beating the fat wallets on a dead horse.

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Zenith was bought by LG years ago, IIRC.

Organizing competing companies is not the answer however—any "new" competitor would immediately be able to pay the same wages and benefits, but have much lower costs than GM or other established companies, simply because they are not paying the health and retirement benefits of a generation oif retirees. This advantage is rapidly compounded as new companies take market share. Company- or even industry-wide funding for retirees is fundamentally a founded on the crackpot idea that the economy and the industries that drive it will never change. Even nationally-funded social-security is coming unstuck do to demographic changes (too many retirees compared to the remaining base of employed contributors). The UAW has to recognize that the only secure funding for their retirement and health benefits is their own personal contributions. They can throw a tantrum about unfairly baring the burden of cost cuts all they like, but where will extorting concessions get them if Chrysler Ford, or God forbid, GM goes out of business in NA as a result?

Edited by thegriffon
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If UAW or similar unions followed companies like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfigure, etc overseas, they would be less reluctant to conduct business outside their own home front.

The union follow the company overseas? Nice idea, if you ignore every bit of the "overseas" context. Unions in many of these countries are illegal or puppets. China and other countries will have to go through their own process of workers fighting for power to gain it. (perhaps then followed by government alignment with policies, followed by the unions becoming nearly needless, as has happened here).

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If you think Globalism has hurt the US economy, you need a history lesson. Before WW2 we weren't in the top 10 highest grossing nations. Since then we have been and continue to be the highest GDP (richest) nation in the world. That is all because of our exports of manufactured goods mid century, and our technology goods late 20th century. Globalism has made the US economy.

Of course you can come up with anecdotes that illistrate your point, but we are in a GM forum, and if I recall correctly, the only reason GM is in making any money currently is because of their global sales. Should most of Europe take your stance towards GM? Americans didn't invent cars, europeans did. We just screwed them over the way you accuse Japan of screwing over our TV industry.

Well, that's how the world works now. Get used to it. Obviously you have never been to Japan. I have. You can't walk a mile without seeing a McDonalds, Dennys, 7Eleven, KFC or whatever. They specialize in making TV's. Big deal. We make plenty of stuff they buy. If it's important to you to make money off other countries, buy stock in Intel, Cisco, Microsoft or CocaCola or something else we do incredibly well here in the US. The list is still long.

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If you think Globalism has hurt the US economy, you need a history lesson. Before WW2 we weren't in the top 10 highest grossing nations. Since then we have been and continue to be the highest GDP (richest) nation in the world. That is all because of our exports of manufactured goods mid century, and our technology goods late 20th century. Globalism has made the US economy.

Of course you can come up with anecdotes that illistrate your point, but we are in a GM forum, and if I recall correctly, the only reason GM is in making any money currently is because of their global sales. Should most of Europe take your stance towards GM? Americans didn't invent cars, europeans did. We just screwed them over the way you accuse Japan of screwing over our TV industry.

Well, that's how the world works now. Get used to it. Obviously you have never been to Japan. I have. You can't walk a mile without seeing a McDonalds, Dennys, 7Eleven, KFC or whatever. They specialize in making TV's. Big deal. We make plenty of stuff they buy. If it's important to you to make money off other countries, buy stock in Intel, Cisco, Microsoft or CocaCola or something else we do incredibly well here in the US. The list is still long.

For one, I didnt accuse the Japanese of screwing anything, I'm simply quoting an author who's done far mor research into the trade practicies of the country with the largest foreign investment in our soil.

I never suggested we invented the automobile, thats on Mercedies Benz, invented the original automobile in 1886ish...

I'm suggesting in todays modern vehicles its a bit more complicated then a carrage with a internal combustion engine.

And those advancements have come mostly from the engeneers employeed in detroit or the companies surrounding the motor city

from everything to a spedometer, air bags, disc brakes, to the modern v8 engine... all of these of which GM is responsible for, or at least oldsmobile before GM was in existance...

but in no way can you compare the way we've added to an existing idea, to the way, the japanese undermined an entire industry via price.

like the artical suggests, as soon as we came out with the flat screen, they adjusted their product selection to conquor a new playing feild.

and our country, our unions have done nothing to protest this, our citizens have rioted against toyota and honda before, but still has no actions have been seen to accomidate, adjust one of our fleeting industrys to become more competative.

In short, Japan cant have an offensive military, but they can have an onslaught and the largest shift of wealth between two countries has been underway for about 20-30 years, and we can invent new stuff...

well i'll rant more later gotta go back to work...

And when I'm at war, and there is more damage done on the home front by globalism, you tell me how good it is for our nation...

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If you think Globalism has hurt the US economy, you need a history lesson. Before WW2 we weren't in the top 10 highest grossing nations. Since then we have been and continue to be the highest GDP (richest) nation in the world. That is all because of our exports of manufactured goods mid century, and our technology goods late 20th century. Globalism has made the US economy.

Of course you can come up with anecdotes that illistrate your point, but we are in a GM forum, and if I recall correctly, the only reason GM is in making any money currently is because of their global sales. Should most of Europe take your stance towards GM? Americans didn't invent cars, europeans did. We just screwed them over the way you accuse Japan of screwing over our TV industry.

Well, that's how the world works now. Get used to it. Obviously you have never been to Japan. I have. You can't walk a mile without seeing a McDonalds, Dennys, 7Eleven, KFC or whatever. They specialize in making TV's. Big deal. We make plenty of stuff they buy. If it's important to you to make money off other countries, buy stock in Intel, Cisco, Microsoft or CocaCola or something else we do incredibly well here in the US. The list is still long.

IIRC 7-Eleven is Japanese.
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