Dragon

GM Growing Some Balls

39 posts in this topic

Can somebody explain this to me?

I still don't understand why not having national health care is a 'right wing' political move.... 'right wing' politics says do whatever is in the best interest of the companies, and they will take care of the people (I realized that's oversimplified, but that's the gist). So why then would you not take that huge expense of employee health care away from the corporation and offer it for free?

Ironic that the 'corporations first' policies of the US are actually making their corporations less competitive vs. countries with national health care... :banghead:

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Fire 'em all

Bring in the scabs... I'll work for you GM!

I'll also 'break the line' and we'll see who wins the fight.

I really hope this doesn't kill the Lambdas and the new 'Bu though... This is how Oldsmobile lost momentum and subsequently died.

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Can somebody explain this to me?

I still don't understand why not having national health care is a 'right wing' political move.... 'right wing' politics says do whatever is in the best interest of the companies, and they will take care of the people (I realized that's oversimplified, but that's the gist). So why then would you not take that huge expense of employee health care away from the corporation and offer it for free?

Ironic that the 'corporations first' policies of the US are actually making their corporations less competitive vs. countries with national health care... :banghead:

Well, even in an over-simplified sense, you're not really correct. The overriding Republican credo is to have a small government and let the market (and companies within that market) play it out. And since lesser govt. restriction is often business-friendly, that's why people think Republican's are for the corporations. But, smaller govt. also means fewer social programs, so that's why public healthcare is more of a Democratic issue than a Republican one. These differences are also why Democrats call Republicans uncaring and unwilling to help while Republicans call Democrats socialists.

And actually, it's not the lack of a social healthcare program that is hurting American businesses, it's rising healthcare costs combined with rediculous union health benefits (a form of social healthcare.) Combine that with unbalanced trade policies, damaged brand reputations, crushing legacy costs and an American public that is more than willing to buy foreign products while at the same time cursing American businesses that off-shore jobs and a slumping overall economy to boot and you've got a tough spot to operate from.

Edited by Windy-57
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It's about time.

Agreed. Maybe GM growing some balls will save chrysler and ford some trouble...

Chris

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Why do they have to strike at plants that build hot seller's? Asswholes. But good for GM pull the plug and they'll come begging back, if it means being second to Toyota hey go for it. I wanna she this. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. What is good for GM is good for Union...

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What concerns me is that the apparent increasing militancy of the UAW could spell trouble for quality control. What if this marks the ugly return to the labor unrest of the '70s and the infamous plant sabotage the unions pulled? Both sides in this need to understand that an increase in tensions is detrimental to both their mutual well-being!

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What concerns me is that the apparent increasing militancy of the UAW could spell trouble for quality control. What if this marks the ugly return to the labor unrest of the '70s and the infamous plant sabotage the unions pulled? Both sides in this need to understand that an increase in tensions is detrimental to both their mutual well-being!

... A lil' birdie tells me a large reason for the strike is due to the fact that management at the new plant is in fact returning to their "ship it" at all costs mentality, preferring quantity over quality with union workers refusing to go along. In other words, they are telling workers responsible for quality control on the line to stop writing up defects on the Lambdas and instead ship it although for awhile, it was the Toyota way of production.

Union workers for the majority appreciate building a quality product as it is their livelihood. They do not want to produce junk but expect fair compensation for sacrificing their bodies to the repetitive assembly line work.

I do not want to see anyone post that it is as simple as "bolting on a screw" and that pay is too high for such tasks. If anyone does, I will assume you are white collar without any line or assembly experience in your life. One of those kind of people that read it all in a textbook somewhere.

As for myself, I am white collar and highly educated with a degree from a Big Ten school and working on my second but did work for Oldsmobile early in my career on the assembly line. Each and every dollar is earned on the line. Stop the union bashing out of your jealousy. It's weird. Too many people in this country want to see their neighbors and fellow country people having a lower standard of living just because they have to work 16 hours a day in Corporate America for the same pay but have degrees so think they are entitled to bigger pay. No, it's just that you don't have the balls to form a union yourself but stand around the water cooler whining about the situation while the CEO makes over 400 times your pay (up from around 40 times the average worker's pay of the 1980's) and who gets a golden parachute in case they rob everything from the shareholders.

Edited by KillFort
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The fact that CEOs and others are making 10X what they were (even in inflation adjusted dollars) is another issue. Don't just single out executives though: look at what Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise and Madonna make in a given year - that is obscene, too. However, if Madonna wants to stomp her feet and refuse to release her next alblum until the record company gives in to her demands, well - who gives a damn anyway, other than a few fans? The record company certainly won't go out of business without her.

Corporate America is awash in wanton greed. One can almost envision some sort of conspiracy at the top where Boards have an unwritten rule about 'golden parachutes' and other such nonsense. It is very interesting, indeed, to trace who sits on what Board and where they came from before that. All of this boils right back to the over riding lack of ACCOUNTABILITY at all levels of corporations. Government, too. From the small business that screws all of its suppliers, goes bankrupt and the suppliers find out that the personal assets of the President all are in his wife's name, to the huge backroom deals made with stock and options swapping where millions are made by brokerage houses just for filing a few papers - all of it stinks to high hell. However, that is for Washington to clean up. Ha, ha with that, BTW.

In our rush to globalize and expand, nobody is really in charge of anything any more. Look at Mulally over at Ford, for example: what is he really in it for? The money? The glory? The challenge? Because he loves Fords? Because he loves the car business? As long as it doesn't make his resume look bad, would he really give a $h! if Ford sank? Nothing personal against the man, I just wonder how someone can jump from one ship to another without any feelings of loyalty or regret. Look at Jim Press - another opportunist.

Is this what is the corporate world has come to? What about the Henry Ford's, Rockefellers and Walter Chryslers out there?

Perhaps it is the destiny of every corporation to eventually rise to their own level of incompetence and then fail.

I can see why the unions would be jealous, but then perhaps they should have gone back to school and become a CEO, too, rather than trying to blackmail their employer every 3 years into giving them what they are 'entitled' to.

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CARBIZ... good post but this part "but then perhaps they should have gone back to school and become a CEO, too, rather than trying to blackmail their employer every 3 years into giving them what they are 'entitled' to." I respectfully disagree with.

The reason is that everyone can't be a CEO.... they are part of the top 1% and I'm not just singling them out either. Do we need a large corporation (80,000 to 100,000+ workers) with 70,000 people with CEO titles even considering they all have the necessary education as you asked for? You still need other workers and perhaps more importantly, consider that leadership starts at the top. And today's social and political climate lends itself to little accountability. Just look at the past eight years of the Bush administration. They do not even have an automated e-mail backup system to properly save e-mails, which is breaking federal law by the way. Even the Clinton administration retrofitted Lotus Notes to have an automated backup system. The current administration uses Microsoft Outlook and gave up when the Lotus system would not retrofit again. And this is just one example where accountability is non-existent.

You can start to ask as you did, why celebrities or sports players get multi-million dollar contracts these days. Is the work harder or are they working harder? Or is the work of a CEO in the last twenty years that much more complicated, or at least proportionately so to their compensation? I don't think so. Unions, while imperfect, help balance the employee/corporate structure out. It is analogous to competition in economic terms. The more firms you have within an industry, typically the greater the benefit to the consumer. Similarly and in general terms, the more parties you have representing a cause, the better.

Otherwise, the scale becomes tipped too far to one side. One should not forget unions helped pave the way to fair labor laws that we take for granted now that America is beyond the Industrial Revolution. In other news... other countries without labor laws exploit children for 18 hours a day to make shoes or lead-laced products for our naïve consumption.

Besides, education while important, does not instill common sense in an individual no matter how brainwashed and trigger-fingered we are in believing it performs such miracles. What we need is common sense. The sad part is that the country is losing its middle-class. This is one of the most important but quickly fading factors that once made the United States the envy of the world. One should consider that you may encounter three groups of people: (1) One group works hard and is NOT fairly compensated for their hard work (2) Another group works just as hard but IS fairly compensated for their hard work (3) One group knows all the right people and that gets them whatever they want despite their work ethic.

On a final note, here is today's common sense tip and hopefully it hits home for some folks out there: If things are so economically great as certain politicians would like you to believe, why are they sending you an economic stimulus check in the first place?

Edited by KillFort
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As for myself, I am white collar and highly educated with a degree from a Big Ten school and working on my second but did work for Oldsmobile early in my career on the assembly line. Each and every dollar is earned on the line. Stop the union bashing out of your jealousy. It's weird. Too many people in this country want to see their neighbors and fellow country people having a lower standard of living just because they have to work 16 hours a day in Corporate America for the same pay but have degrees so think they are entitled to bigger pay. No, it's just that you don't have the balls to form a union yourself but stand around the water cooler whining about the situation while the CEO makes over 400 times your pay (up from around 40 times the average worker's pay of the 1980's) and who gets a golden parachute in case they rob everything from the shareholders.

The first thing out of a UAW persons mouth when you say something remotely negative about the UAW is "You're just jealous!" It gets old and lame. Yes, I realize you said you aren't UAW and I don't mean to be targeting you. Its just that you also made the comment. For the record, I'm not jealous. I have no reason to be. I'm doing just fine financially speaking and my work ethic and knowledge are my job security. I don't need a union to protect me. If I get laid off, I'll go out and find another job making comparable money. Unlike the average UAW worker, I have options.

That being said, I've been in many auto plants, both UAW and non-UAW. Most people do not understand that the average assembly line worker does work hard and does care. I do support unions. Many people don't seem to recognize that unions have helped pull up everybody's wages and standard of living, not to mention workplace safety. My father is a skilled trades, UAW retiree. My college education was largely paid for by his wages, though my Mom made good money too. I recognize that and I admire the UAW for many of the standards they have brought to the workplace through the years. My issues with the UAW and some of its members is as follows:

1) Some have a "they owe me" attitude. Since this group tends to be the most vocal, they make the whole membership look bad. Why do they owe you? What have you done for the company that is so special and that someone else could not have done? This attitude seems to get worse with each successive generation of UAW worker within a given family. It makes me sad because this group doesn't seem to realize what a sweatheart of a deal they are getting. :( It looks like by the time they figure it out, they will be working for $12 per hour somewhere. That's not what I want. This nation needs a healthy middle class.

2) The UAW still protects those that don't deserve to be protected. They will use any means necessary to keep one of their members employed. I've seen it with my own eyes. If I were in the UAW, I guess that would make me both happy and sad. Happy because I would know they would be there for me if I needed them. Sad because I would know much of their resources were going into protecting the ~5% of membership that doesn't deserve to be protected. Why would I want grievances traded away during local negotiations to ensure some sack of $h! gets to keep his job?

3) The UAW still has the mentality that so and so company (read American Axle at the moment) is still making a profit so we aren't going to give anything back. Or at the very least we aren't going to give them the same agreement we gave their competitors. This says two things to me. One is that the UAW still doesn't have good comprehension of what a global economy means to them. The second is that it shows they still have no foresight. They can't see the forest through the trees. Helping out now means a more successful company which should equal more U.S. and UAW jobs. It reminds me of a demotivational poster I once saw. It said something to the effect of "A company willing to go to the ends of the earth for its employees will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans."

4) It still "us against them." Union against management and everything, and I mean everything is managements fault. I occasionally catch my Dad falling back into this argument. Since the future of the companies are in both parties hands, it sure would be nice to see some cooperation. It seems to have gotten better under Gettlefinger. He seems to have seen the writing on the wall. Still, it is upsetting to see these local strikes at the two GM plants where their hottest selling vehicles are being made.

I hope this can be overcome. I hope the Big 3 and the UAW can succeed together. I fear that they are in a death spiral together, though. :( :( :( The best thing the UAW could have done was to organize the Asian transplants and level the playing field. Since that hasn't worked out for them, unfortunately there is only one other way for them to level the playing field and that is concessions. It would be nice to see some type of concessionary agreement from the UAW with a commitment from management that once the fortunes of the companies turns around, they will get some of it back. I don't think either is going to happen, though.

JMHO

Edited by 2QuickZ's
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I should also mention, it scares me how anti-union this country is becoming.

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top level business people gave up being stewards long ago.

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The first thing out of a UAW persons mouth when you say something remotely negative about the UAW is "You're just jealous!" It gets old and lame. Yes, I realize you said you aren't UAW and I don't mean to be targeting you. Its just that you also made the comment. For the record, I'm not jealous. I have no reason to be. I'm doing just fine financially speaking and my work ethic and knowledge are my job security. I don't need a union to protect me. If I get laid off, I'll go out and find another job making comparable money. Unlike the average UAW worker, I have options.

That being said, I've been in many auto plants, both UAW and non-UAW. Most people do not understand that the average assembly line worker does work hard and does care. I do support unions. Many people don't seem to recognize that unions have helped pull up everybody's wages and standard of living, not to mention workplace safety. My father is a skilled trades, UAW retiree. My college education was largely paid for by his wages, though my Mom made good money too. I recognize that and I admire the UAW for many of the standards they have brought to the workplace through the years. My issues with the UAW and some of its members is as follows:

1) Some have a "they owe me" attitude. Since this group tends to be the most vocal, they make the whole membership look bad. Why do they owe you? What have you done for the company that is so special and that someone else could not have done? This attitude seems to get worse with each successive generation of UAW worker within a given family. It makes me sad because this group doesn't seem to realize what a sweatheart of a deal they are getting. :( It looks like by the time they figure it out, they will be working for $12 per hour somewhere. That's not what I want. This nation needs a healthy middle class.

2) The UAW still protects those that don't deserve to be protected. They will use any means necessary to keep one of their members employed. I've seen it with my own eyes. If I were in the UAW, I guess that would make me both happy and sad. Happy because I would know they would be there for me if I needed them. Sad because I would know much of their resources were going into protecting the ~5% of membership that doesn't deserve to be protected. Why would I want grievances traded away during local negotiations to ensure some sack of $h! gets to keep his job?

3) The UAW still has the mentality that so and so company (read American Axle at the moment) is still making a profit so we aren't going to give anything back. Or at the very least we aren't going to give them the same agreement we gave their competitors. This says two things to me. One is that the UAW still doesn't have good comprehension of what a global economy means to them. The second is that it shows they still have no foresight. They can't see the forest through the trees. Helping out now means a more successful company which should equal more U.S. and UAW jobs. It reminds me of a demotivational poster I once saw. It said something to the effect of "A company willing to go to the ends of the earth for its employees will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans."

4) It still "us against them." Union against management and everything, and I mean everything is managements fault. I occasionally catch my Dad falling back into this argument. Since the future of the companies are in both parties hands, it sure would be nice to see some cooperation. It seems to have gotten better under Gettlefinger. He seems to have seen the writing on the wall. Still, it is upsetting to see these local strikes at the two GM plants where their hottest selling vehicles are being made.

I hope this can be overcome. I hope the Big 3 and the UAW can succeed together. I fear that they are in a death spiral together, though. :( :( :( The best thing the UAW could have done was to organize the Asian transplants and level the playing field. Since that hasn't worked out for them, unfortunately there is only one other way for them to level the playing field and that is concessions. It would be nice to see some type of concessionary agreement from the UAW with a commitment from management that once the fortunes of the companies turns around, they will get some of it back. I don't think either is going to happen, though.

JMHO

Good point. Much of that is true, though this is one of the the UAW's biggest bonehead moves ever. There is a good chance that this will cost GM big.

Instead of getting small cars to build after the trucks go away, GM is going to find other places to build. Like Mexico.

This is going to be quite sad.

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The first thing out of a UAW persons mouth when you say something remotely negative about the UAW is "You're just jealous!" It gets old and lame. Yes, I realize you said you aren't UAW and I don't mean to be targeting you. Its just that you also made the comment. For the record, I'm not jealous. I have no reason to be. I'm doing just fine financially speaking and my work ethic and knowledge are my job security. I don't need a union to protect me. If I get laid off, I'll go out and find another job making comparable money. Unlike the average UAW worker, I have options.

That being said, I've been in many auto plants, both UAW and non-UAW. Most people do not understand that the average assembly line worker does work hard and does care. I do support unions. Many people don't seem to recognize that unions have helped pull up everybody's wages and standard of living, not to mention workplace safety. My father is a skilled trades, UAW retiree. My college education was largely paid for by his wages, though my Mom made good money too. I recognize that and I admire the UAW for many of the standards they have brought to the workplace through the years. My issues with the UAW and some of its members is as follows:

1) Some have a "they owe me" attitude. Since this group tends to be the most vocal, they make the whole membership look bad. Why do they owe you? What have you done for the company that is so special and that someone else could not have done? This attitude seems to get worse with each successive generation of UAW worker within a given family. It makes me sad because this group doesn't seem to realize what a sweatheart of a deal they are getting. :( It looks like by the time they figure it out, they will be working for $12 per hour somewhere. That's not what I want. This nation needs a healthy middle class.

2) The UAW still protects those that don't deserve to be protected. They will use any means necessary to keep one of their members employed. I've seen it with my own eyes. If I were in the UAW, I guess that would make me both happy and sad. Happy because I would know they would be there for me if I needed them. Sad because I would know much of their resources were going into protecting the ~5% of membership that doesn't deserve to be protected. Why would I want grievances traded away during local negotiations to ensure some sack of $h! gets to keep his job?

3) The UAW still has the mentality that so and so company (read American Axle at the moment) is still making a profit so we aren't going to give anything back. Or at the very least we aren't going to give them the same agreement we gave their competitors. This says two things to me. One is that the UAW still doesn't have good comprehension of what a global economy means to them. The second is that it shows they still have no foresight. They can't see the forest through the trees. Helping out now means a more successful company which should equal more U.S. and UAW jobs. It reminds me of a demotivational poster I once saw. It said something to the effect of "A company willing to go to the ends of the earth for its employees will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans."

4) It still "us against them." Union against management and everything, and I mean everything is managements fault. I occasionally catch my Dad falling back into this argument. Since the future of the companies are in both parties hands, it sure would be nice to see some cooperation. It seems to have gotten better under Gettlefinger. He seems to have seen the writing on the wall. Still, it is upsetting to see these local strikes at the two GM plants where their hottest selling vehicles are being made.

I hope this can be overcome. I hope the Big 3 and the UAW can succeed together. I fear that they are in a death spiral together, though. :( :( :( The best thing the UAW could have done was to organize the Asian transplants and level the playing field. Since that hasn't worked out for them, unfortunately there is only one other way for them to level the playing field and that is concessions. It would be nice to see some type of concessionary agreement from the UAW with a commitment from management that once the fortunes of the companies turns around, they will get some of it back. I don't think either is going to happen, though.

JMHO

Good points... and for a moment let's just take out the "jealousy" factor and consider the following:

I will agree that one can look at it from this perspective: Is it better to once have sight and go blind, or is it better to be blind the entire time so you do not know what you are losing? It is difficult to give up a certain standard of living once you've enjoyed it. But we must be grateful that our parents' generation was afforded such opportunities to help pay for our educations. Older generations are just that, old and certainly too old to "go back to school." I concede that the older one gets, the slower one is to adapt and accept new ideas. But where you must stop and question is in consideration of the actual net benefit from the change being proposed. Here's one example: Globalization. Good or bad for the United States? Does free trade exist? It does not appear so because of child labor and currency manipulation in other countries. Who is getting screwed here? Should we do away with the unions, the same group that helped dismantle unfair child labor so that we better compete? Do we need to go backwards in time after the way has been paved to our quickly deteriorating standard of living? I do not think that is the answer.

Furthermore, not all people are college material disregarding age. I do not wish to convey this in a derogatory way. What I mean is that you can have two individuals. One is great at making charts, the other great with their hands and pipe fitting. Take the individual that fits pipes and get them to make the charts. It may never happen. Correspondingly, get the individual that makes charts and get them to fit pipes. This may also never happen. My point is if we have 100 million working adults in this country with degrees, are there enough quality jobs to support them? I do not believe there is a balance in the social structure any longer to allow all people with different but equally important talents to find opportunities and still make a decent middle-class living. Should we just forget about these displaced people?

And just as you pick out the so called 5% of UAW members who feel entitled and "don't deserve to be protected", I ask that you also call out the portion of management that also does not deserve to be protected. I think I'd rather have a country where you can have unions with a smaller portion containing "bad apples" just as you have management groups with "bad apples" to balance out the greed and lack of accountability. The net effect is that there is a counterbalancing effect. There is a voice to better, although admittedly not perfect, represent all those involved. Accountability will come from representation. An easy example to see what happens when you remove representation is in regards to our country's current Executive Branch. Where's Congress and the Judicial Branch? They have been removed from the equation. At least our founding forefathers understand the more parties you have representing a cause, the better EVEN IF a minority of each party is equally corrupt. Another easy example is having only a two-party political system. But consider the alternative. What if we only had Democrats or we only had Republicans. Would we as a whole be better off? I don't believe so. We are better off, even if both parties have certain corrupt minorities than only having one group representing. Moreover, we would probably be better off yet if we had three parties representing. I think you get the point.

The alternative approach is to not have unions and simply have management teams operating under scorched earth policies. Thus, the counterbalancing affect is lost. A good life is about good balance. Balancing work, balancing school, balancing health and exercise, balancing friends and family, balancing time in general. We are seeing more and more problems in this country because balance is being lost.

Edited by KillFort
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Remind me again why it is the responsibility of anyone but yourself to spend money on YOUR healthcare? Government or otherwise....

If movies and games like Grand Theft Auto have multi-million dollar debuts in what many are calling a recesion (but it isn't) why don't they first spend that money on insuring their health? I'll tell you... everyone expects healthcare as a handout from the company you work for or the government. It is rediculous. Pay your own way. Your insurance benefits no one but you.

GO GM!

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Good points... and for a moment let's just take out the "jealousy" factor and consider the following:

I will agree that one can look at it from this perspective: Is it better to once have sight and go blind, or is it better to be blind the entire time so you do not know what you are losing? It is difficult to give up a certain standard of living once you've enjoyed it. But we must be grateful that our parents' generation was afforded such opportunities to help pay for our educations. Older generations are just that, old and certainly too old to "go back to school." I concede that the older one gets, the slower one is to adapt and accept new ideas. But where you must stop and question is in consideration of the actual net benefit from the change being proposed. Here's one example: Globalization. Good or bad for the United States? Does free trade exist? It does not appear so because of child labor and currency manipulation in other countries. Who is getting screwed here? Should we do away with the unions, the same group that helped dismantle unfair child labor so that we better compete? Do we need to go backwards in time after the way has been paved to our quickly deteriorating standard of living? I do not think that is the answer.

Furthermore, not all people are college material disregarding age. I do not wish to convey this in a derogatory way. What I mean is that you can have two individuals. One is great at making charts, the other great with their hands and pipe fitting. Take the individual that fits pipes and get them to make the charts. It may never happen. Correspondingly, get the individual that makes charts and get them to fit pipes. This may also never happen. My point is if we have 100 million working adults in this country with degrees, are there enough quality jobs to support them? I do not believe there is a balance in the social structure any longer to allow all people with different but equally important talents to find opportunities and still make a decent middle-class living. Should we just forget about these displaced people?

And just as you pick out the so called 5% of UAW members who feel entitled and "don't deserve to be protected", I ask that you also call out the portion of management that also does not deserve to be protected. I think I'd rather have a country where you can have unions with a smaller portion containing "bad apples" just as you have management groups with "bad apples" to balance out the greed and lack of accountability. The net effect is that there is a counterbalancing effect. There is a voice to better, although admittedly not perfect, represent all those involved. Accountability will come from representation. An easy example to see what happens when you remove representation is in regards to our country's current Executive Branch. Where's Congress and the Judicial Branch? They have been removed from the equation. At least our founding forefathers understand the more parties you have representing a cause, the better EVEN IF a minority of each party is equally corrupt. Another easy example is having only a two-party political system. But consider the alternative. What if we only had Democrats or we only had Republicans. Would we as a whole be better off? I don't believe so. We are better off, even if both parties have certain corrupt minorities than only having one group representing. Moreover, we would probably be better off yet if we had three parties representing. I think you get the point.

The alternative approach is to not have unions and simply have management teams operating under scorched earth policies. Thus, the counterbalancing affect is lost. A good life is about good balance. Balancing work, balancing school, balancing health and exercise, balancing friends and family, balancing time in general. We are seeing more and more problems in this country because balance is being lost.

You've made some very valid points. Ones that I won't argue. My post was merely intending to point out what I feel is wrong with the UAW and how they are helping hurt the Big 3. I certainly didn't mean to absolve management from their role in the decline of the Big 3. They have made many, many mistakes. IMO Roger Smith almost single handedly set GM back by 30 years. His decisions and the resulting poor perceptions of GM products they caused that still linger today are a big reason why Toyota is where they are. The pure, unadulterated arrogance of Big 3 management throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's are a huge part of the problem. It didn't help that the blinders stayed on until only recently.

I don't believe the push to globalization was so much caused by the cost of labor but more so by a populous that is greedy and can never have too much, regardless of the outcome. The simple fact is, we don't care where our gadget comes from as long as we have it. It doesn't matter if a 9 year old girl in Bangladesh or China is making 50 cents a day to product it. We have a Wal Mart mentality now. We have to have everything, regardless of whether we can afford it or not. I believe this mentality will ultimately be the downfall of our economy. I believe unless things shift considerably in the next few years, we are marching toward another great depression as the credit market, and ultimately the banking system, collapses. I am not an economist. I'm an engineer. I base those beliefs on nothing more than my gut feeling and therefore would never argue them to be fact.

I also agree with you that not everybody is college material. I have the unpopular opinion that in many majors, college does nothing to prepare you for the real, working world and it does nothing more than prove to a prospective employer you have the capacity to learn. The fact that not everybody is cut out for college is one of the big reasons why I am so troubled with the hugely anti-union sentiment in this country. Even here in Michigan, the people commenting to an article about the Big 3 in the Detroit News or Detroit Free Press spew a lot of venom toward the UAW and the Big 3. It is quite eye opening to read. Especially when a lot of the opinions being thrown out are from folks that haven't owned or driven a Big 3 product in 20 years.

Don't get me started on our corrupt, non-functional government. That would take me on a rant that nobody would want to read. Let's just say I think we should vote them ALL out of office and start over again. Lets get some decision makers back in office, instead of all the pussies that are in office today that are afraid to make a decision because it my be unpopular with some small percentage of their constituency. :rolleyes::puke: I would love to see a straight shooter run for office. Someone that doesn't have to apologize because he referred to a female reporter as "sweetie". Those in the metro Detroit area should know what I am referring to. :lol:

Remind me again why it is the responsibility of anyone but yourself to spend money on YOUR healthcare? Government or otherwise....

If movies and games like Grand Theft Auto have multi-million dollar debuts in what many are calling a recesion (but it isn't) why don't they first spend that money on insuring their health? I'll tell you... everyone expects healthcare as a handout from the company you work for or the government. It is rediculous. Pay your own way. Your insurance benefits no one but you.

Actually, your health benefits your employers as well by way of fewer sick days. In theory anyway. And there is nothing wrong with asking for heath insurance as a benefit. It is when you expect it that it becomes a problem. In a competitive job market, employers often use their benefits package, including health care, to persuade prospective new employees to accept an offer. If a given company wants to use that particular benefit as a way of attracting prospective employees, more power to them. If they don't want to, then they don't have to. I think what you really take issue with is the UAW membership expecting this benefit since most are not in a position to leave the company for something better if the company refused to offer it. Edited by 2QuickZ's
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Actually, your health benefits your employers as well by way of fewer sick days. In theory anyway. And there is nothing wrong with asking for heath insurance as a benefit. It is when you expect it that it becomes a problem. In a competitive job market, employers often use their benefits package, including health care, to persuade perspective new employees to accept an offer. If a given company wants to use that particular benefit as a way of attracting prospective employees, more power to them. If they don't want to, then they don't have to. I think what you really take issue with is the UAW membership expecting this benefit since most are not in a position to leave the company for something better if the company refused to offer it.

One of the things that was a deciding factor in my new job was the health benefits (Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO) paid for entirely by the company w/ no monthly employee contribution. That is something I've never had at a job before (always had a deduction), but it seemed like a good deal (along w/ 3 weeks vacation). When I've been a contractor I've had to get health insurance myself (when I was a 1099) or through a contracting house (when I was a W2). Health insurance coverage is definitely part of the total package I would expect in a job offer (I couldn't imagine it not being available for a salaried position).

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Whether we wish to admit it or not, some balance between 'socialism' and pure capitalism are necessary. For example, auto insurance is a form of 'socialism.' Would anyone here argue that we should not pool our resources in the event of an accident or hurricane? I thought not.

$h! happens, and that is why healthcare and insurance are necessary. I agree that it is easy to get ugly because your neighbor smokes, is overweight, is promiscuous (don't we wish?) or has 'unhealthy' lifestyles, but unless we want to unleash the Thought Police, there has to be some give and take on this issue.

The problem with unions, like Big Government, is that they seem to have become a power unto themselves. Perhaps union members should sit on the Board - and I am not talking about some Fat Cat union boss, either. What about having a couple 10+ year unionized workers sitting on the Board, picked at random? Let them see first hand the difficult choices made and the challenges in today's globalized markets.

Too often, the people at the top, whether it is government, business, or union leadership, become too insulated from the realities around them.

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Can somebody explain this to me?

I still don't understand why not having national health care is a 'right wing' political move.... 'right wing' politics says do whatever is in the best interest of the companies, and they will take care of the people (I realized that's oversimplified, but that's the gist). So why then would you not take that huge expense of employee health care away from the corporation and offer it for free?

Ironic that the 'corporations first' policies of the US are actually making their corporations less competitive vs. countries with national health care... :banghead:

I find it funny that so many people cry "the gov't is bloated, corrupt, and inefficient!", then turn around and cry "national healthcare!" Personally, I think what this country needs is major INSURANCE INDUSTRY reform. That's a major part of why healthcare costs are bloated, along with a great number of other problems from that industry. I don't think the gov't needs to get its hands into yet another industry and show us what a lackluster job it can do with it.

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