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Should our taxes bail out the auto makers?

Posted Thursday, December 4, 2008, at 3:11 PM

Should the government use our taxes to bail out the auto makers?

I honestly don't see they have survived this long aftger hearing of the concessions the UAW has made... or perhaps that should be loosened their stanglehold.

Who hyas been running the show?

What are your thoughts on this matter?


Comments
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Boy, you'll open a can of worms with this one....

I listened to about an hour of the testimony today. I thought most of the senators (at least Shelby and a couple of others) asked very probing questions and showed pretty good critical thought process. I thought the economist they had was straight forward and matter of fact when he said that if they get the 34 billion, there's a high probability that they'll be in trouble again next fall (with the possible exception of Ford who still has cash reserves).

To be honest, at least one of the 3 is doomed. It's most likely Chrysler since they don't have nearly the market share or the overseas sales as Ford or GM. Mercedes has also pretty much trashed the brand as well.

I can only see this working in a very limited scenario. One of the senators proposed the idea of Congress passing legislation to create an oversight board with essentially the same power as a bankruptcy trustee. This would force labor, management and suppliers to conform to a new business model through reorganization and concessions. They car makers could avoid bankruptcy but still get the relief they need while reorganizing. As I see it, that's the only fair way to salvage the industry. And yes, it really does have to be saved.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 5:33 PM

Many of Middle Tennessee's work force is dependant upon the success of Nissan and there suppliers. This includes Calsonic here in Shelbyville. No concessions are being made to help their company out. Many in their work force have been forced to get by on 32 hours a week recently. They haven't received a raise in 3 years and overtime is a thing of the past.

All employees have been forced to tighten up their spending habits which is also having an adverse effect on many other businesses here in Tennessee. (particularly retail, restaurant, and entertainment based business). There is no extra money for items and services deamed as luxury.

To my knowledge, there are no offers on the table to aid Nissan, so I see no reason to help the others. There stock has dropped from a high near 15 dollars a share to $3.45 yesterday. (lowest ever!) The Auto industry as a whole and the big three in particular got themselves in the mess and it is there job to get themselves out. Nobody else who makes poor business decisions has someone there to bail them out, why should the big three?

-- Posted by bedfordcounty on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 5:57 PM

Bankruptcy is, actually, an option. In fact, General Motors is already bankrupt. It's out of cash and needs emergency help. All that's left is the official bankruptcy filing. Same for Chrysler.

Ford still has it's head above water.

Many blame Union wages on these problems but they fail to see the very expensive retirement health program the retirees are getting.

This does not go without saying I am not in favor of a Bailout for the auto industry. The execs of the Big 3 have made Billions in bonuses and perks over the past decade and now they are screaming they are sorry but saying they will take a dollar a year salary..but they made more last year than the normal everyday tax payer makes in a lifetime.

Now that was what the right hand is saying but my left hand says if we allow the Big 3 to fail the is going to cost millions of jobs: Can we afford to do this? It's a tough question and I had much rather seen us bailout the auto makers than Wall Street but now we will be doing both. And we also have to ask ourselves "who is going to be ready to buy a car when the Big 3 is facing bankruptcy?"

I think Congress wants to make them sweat a little and there is no doubt in my mind they will get every dime they need to stay afloat. Nobody want to be responsible for putting over 3 million people out of work.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 6:17 PM

I agree Dianatn, the government just loves to spend our money. But where will it stop, what other businesses are going to want to be helped out.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 6:45 PM

Diana I thought bankruptcy was an option too until I listened to the testimony today. It's no longer a valid option. If they file, would you buy a car from them? Neither will anyone else. They'll be dead in the water.

Your point on retiree benefits is absolutely key. My guess that at least some of that is going to go away.

As far as big bonuses, we had better get past that. Yeah those guys made a lot of money, way more than either one of us will ever make. And quite frankly, their companies were profitable in the last decade. But the landscape has shifted. Not only have they lost significant market share, but the economy has fallen out from under them. On top of that most of their profit was in the truck and SUV market, we all know how that's going (and before anyone says it, WE were the ones demanding those trucks and SUVs. They didn't force them down our throats).

I do agree that the senate is making them sweat but more importantly, they're making them think.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 7:13 PM

Not only have they lost significant market share, but the economy has fallen out from under them Posted by Tim Baker on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 7:13 PM

And I fully understand that, Tim but it is the same economy that has fallen out from under every American and every business. We are all suffering the losses with lost jobs, lost benefits, cut hours, 401k's disappearing and stocks crashing. But you can rest assured we will not be bailed out and neither will every small business owner who is struggling to make ends meet. I know my losses do not amount to their Billions but it was my lively hood which amounts to the same thing. Understand I do not want the auto industry to fail but in the same sense they need to reconstruct their businesses and bankruptcy would give them that option.

I would come as near buying a car from a company that has filed bankruptcy as I would one that is teetering near bankruptcy.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 8:25 PM

strange how those thieves in the banking industry just hold out their hand and money falls into it.

-- Posted by wheskee on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 4:36 AM

Everyone needs to place the countries problems where they belong. That is with which ever political party let gas prices get so high. That one single greedy act has crippled this country not only in the autos but every other sector. As far as Nissan getting goverment help, they do get lots of goverment help from the US and from japan. They just do not have to share it with you like the detriot 3 have to share it with their employees (for good or bad). I know Calsonic used to build parts for the Detriot 3, don't know about now. I know there are several small shops around bedford and surounding counties who build parts for Detriot. Its a shame but the last year of the Bush push has destroyed this country. It will take several years to come back.

-- Posted by wheskee on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 5:04 AM

no we should not bail out the auto industry. There has been spending in the upper levels of management that could have been tempered along time ago. they knew they had problems long before the "crisis" hit.

Then they are going to say, the workers will suffer, yeah of course they will. But the upper management might not get those big bonuses either.

This is not a problem that can be solved with simple buy out.

They need to restucture the spending from top to bottom.

I feel for the average Joe like me that will be hit hard with this situation.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 6:00 AM

the thing that gets a burr under my saddle is the grandstanding some of those law makers are doing.Isay put the law makers under oath and ask them all about the tax payers money that they have squandered and are always wanting more

-- Posted by the hand on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:32 AM

Here is some food for thought...

http://consumerist.com/5101440/2008-bail...

-- Posted by Chad O on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:48 AM

Hey, let's blame Bush for every single thing that happens because that is the lazy way (and the hip thing lately) to do it since we all now he controls every aspect of law making and passing bills. Oh wait, he doesn't . . . most of that is delegated to who . . . oh yeah CONGRESS. So yeah, the blame should be spread around to everyone in Congress because both Democrats (Barney Frank is a pathetic joke) and Republicans have made bad choices and they are all to blame plus the greedy company CEOs and Wall Street brokers and yes, even us American who spend and consume so much but yet never bothered to save anything even though we were constantly reminded to. But really, placing the blame doesn't solve the problem now does it?

As far as the auto makers, they should not be bailed out because it just starts a chain of other companies wanting to do the same (plus we have a major deficit that will increase even more under Obama) plus it is pretty much thought that the bailout money will only prolong the inevitable with the auto companies and their fiscal downfall. Let them claim bankruptcy and learn to dig their own hole out and restructure and renegotiate with the unions to end the ridiculous demands they have gained in the past few years. That is the only way they are truly going to survive this situation and grow. Just throwing more money at a problem and assuming it will fix itself is just stupidity in action but then I don't have much faith in Americans these days to actually make smart decisions.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:25 AM

I think there is some misconceptions regarding what the automakers are asking for. They're not asking for grants, they're asking for short term loans. Yes there is a risk with that. However if you listened to the economist they had in front of congress, there is no option left. Bankruptcy would leave only Ford (they're not asking for any money now, just a line of credit to be available if they need it) as a US automaker. The economic risk right now is just too high. This also becomes a national security issue since both GM and Chrysler are involved in building military vehicles.

Let's work the problem in front of us. They'll be plenty of time to assign blame later.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:14 AM

My Father works at a Chrysler dealership in Michigan, the largest one in Michigan, and he is on the brink of loosing his job. (H has worked for them for almost 20 years, and is their Number 1 salesman). I think the government should do something, but the money needs to go towards alternative type cars and engineering, instead of making the same old gas guzzlers.

-- Posted by AFlynn on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:52 AM

If they had been doing a good job of making cars, they would not be in this shape. Let them file Chapter 11, get out from the bloated union contracts, fire at least 50% of the management. Then build something the people want.

-- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 5:11 PM

I bought a Chevy Malibu after owning foreign cars and I have been very impressed so far . . . it's been a great car and the new Malibus and Impalas look even sharper. I dont think it's an issue of quality . . maybe more about gas mileage and just perception. People stil perceive Toyota and Honda as the best even though in recent years Ford has topped both in customer satisfaction and GM has always had sturdy cars.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 6:40 PM

I believe Ford and Chevy has attempted in the past couple of years to compete more with Nissan and Toyota and even Honda. The problem is they have waited to long about these changes, they continued building over sized trucks, SUV's and mini vans until it was past the danger point. Their prices far exceeded all other foreign cars with fewer benefits. Their prices have only come in line with the other car makers in the past couple of years. When you would go purchase a Chevy or Ford you would feel raped after seeing what Nissan or Toyota was charging for a better vehicle. That has left a bad taste in many Americans mouth regardless of what they come up with now.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:19 PM

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/i...

-- Posted by framestraight on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:30 PM

It is so heartwarming to hear the voices of all you slam, degrade and even seem to get a little joy out of the demise of the U.S. auto industry. Such compassion spewing from the mouths of those so intent on watching the suffering of others. While clasping your hands in the thrill of watching autoworkers go under have any of you thought of the other 3,ooo,ooo jobs that will be lost. How about the machanics that work on these "AWFUL" cars, the gas stations that service them, the pizzarias & convienience stores near the closing plants, the workers that shop at your local grocery(hey, maybe the kroger down there in Shelbyville will close) the local hair salons that won't get the business anymore, the factories that make those little bitty plastic car parts, the windshields, hey, lets close the plants that make tires. They could stop buying all american made cars and only buy NISSANS, nah, lets close those plants too because there won't be any money left to buy those cars either. Why? You close the big three, do you really think any former auto worker will buy a NISSAN?? Better hope all those wall street "FAT CATS" drive Nissans. HA!

Wake up people, like it or not the auto industry (AND EVERYONE CONNECTED, directly or indirectly) is truly the backbone of this country. If they fail, we all fail..So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and this year, this time, it better be the government.

If not, this time next year, WE ALL may be witnessing the last of America as we have known it. Explain that to your children ( and don't forget to let them know how you thought the auto industry got what they "deserved")

p.s. better start saving for their plane tickets overseas, thats where the jobs will be.

-- Posted by up north on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:06 AM

Even if the automakers continue to pump out a car every 2 minutes do you honestly think Americans are going to pop down 30 thousand dollars every 2 minutes to purchase a car? The bailout for the auto industry is not going to help just like it has not helped the banking industry. We will be just throwing more money at the top of the problem instead of at the bottom of the problem.

Giving the automakers money is much like me giving a contractor $100,000 to build me a house and then turning around after the house is completed and having to finance the purchase of the house, in essence I am paying for this house twice!

I for one would never buy a car that my taxes had to bailout the makers then have to make payments to purchase the same car from the same company my taxes are supporting!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 11:00 AM

Well Dianatn, if you live in TN your taxes are already supporting an auto corp. Do you read your tax bills or just use them to try and make a point. Sad, sad world we live when it feels better to hope for the worst than pray for the best. I really feel sorry for those of you that just don't "GET IT". We are all connected, ever heard of the 6 degrees of separation? Every job, in one way or another is connected to the auto industry. So don't buy that car that your taxes had to bail out. Eventually, my neighbor or I may not be buying, oh say, something that has to do with YOUR JOB, YOUR INCOME, YOUR LIVELYHOOD. But, the auto industry doesn't effect you does it? THINK AGAIN!!!!We are connected Dianatn, obvious or not. It will sting us all and I for one, want this country to rise up again. If it takes the government to help the big three WHICH IN TURN, will help us all, then so be it. I took my blinders off a long time ago, I wish you would do the same. Peace on earth, anyone remember that??

-- Posted by up north on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 12:12 PM

It seems Americans across the country have already stopped buying things that say effect a lot of jobs, ask Circuit City, Linens n Things, Housing market, Kroger, Wal-mart, K-mart why do you think you are special? Take a look at the stock market and see how much Americans are buying, it ain't pretty. Over half a million lost jobs in November alone!!!

I never once said I wanted the auto industry to fail it's just not the tax payers job to keep them afloat. GM's pension and continued health care program is Billions of dollars in the hole. Who do you think will get the benefit of any bailout? The workers? The retirees? or just like the banking industry, the CEO's?

The only way my taxes support GM or Ford is if I buy a car from them, which I drive a foreign car, made right here in the good ole USA by American workers.

If GM had produced cars the public had demanded then they would not have been in the shape they are in now.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 2:05 PM

Why am I NOT surprised. It must be a NISSAN !!

Good luck with that and sleep well Dianatn. Your job just might be next.

-- Posted by up north on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 3:09 PM

up north,

Nissan was in a very similar situation in the mid 1990s... On the verge of bankruptcy and churning out cars nobody wanted. So, did they ask the Japanese government for billions of dollars to "keep them afloat"? NO. They began looking for alliances or possible mergers and guess what. They found one, with Renault (french automaker)... Within three years of that alliance Nissan went from near bankruptcy to one of the most profitable automakers in the world. They shed thousands of jobs, cut corporate pay, and began to ask consumers what they wanted instead of sitting in rooms full of clay and measuring tape, designing what nobody desired...

Lastly when you say this ". Sad, sad world we live when it feels better to hope for the worst than pray for the best. I really feel sorry for those of you that just don't "GET IT". We are all connected, ever heard of the 6 degrees of separation? Every job, in one way or another is connected to the auto industry." you should be able to take your own advice.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 4:19 PM

Darrick, for once I agree with you. Maybe there is hope for you after all.

-- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 6:53 PM

HAIL NO!

-- Posted by seedsower on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 9:09 PM

Why am I NOT surprised. It must be a NISSAN !!

Good luck with that and sleep well Dianatn. Your job just might be next.

-- Posted by up north on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 3:09 PM

You haven't heard Nissan begging for my tax dollars have you?

I sleep just fine, Nissan employs a lot of Southern Americans.

And your right my job might just be next but it won't be due to the auto industry anyway you look at it..and I can bet my bottom dollar the government won't be bailing out the company I work for either!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:09 PM

Darrick, for once I agree with you. Maybe there is hope for you after all.

-- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 6:53 PM

People have different opinions, that is a fact of life. In reality I don't think it's the first time we've agreed... you seem to be all over Michael's blogs saying the very same things I and others said months ago..

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:54 PM

Do they sell blinders down there or give them away for free! If you live in TN you pay taxes for Nissan and any other foreign car plant. So they "DO" survive with the help of your taxes.

That was never my point. I just don't understand how any one state can think that they are uninvolved because they happen to be oblivious to the troubles of other states. Will you not feel the hit at Saturn and the loss of those workers. The possiblity of closing that plant and all the suppliers connected in and around Franklin. I don't live anywhere near you folks and I feel horrible for them. All you can do is pat Nissan on the back. I have family all over TN and I happen to love the state that my mother and grandparents were born in. Closing a GM plant down there will affect thousands of jobs, way beyond what you see on paper. Will your Nissan plant carry the whole state? Of Course not!! Open your eyes and stop thinking of yourselves. For such a godfearing state have you forgotten what you have learned? I hope and pray that the people of Tennessee don't have to suffer like my state and so many others have.

p.s. Dianatn: after reading what you obviously feel, I do believe you "sleep well". If only the rest of the country (and the world)could do the same.

-- Posted by up north on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 10:05 AM

The state of Tennessee isn't solely dependent on the automotive industry... and businesses experience highs and lows all the time. Changes are often cyclical and things such as the "credit crunch" aren't always predictable. All car companies are taking a beating right now because credit is hard to come by for the time being. GM, Ford and Chrysler can't continue to pay their employees upwards of $70/hr (with benefits) and lose hundreds of dollars per car and expect the government to bail them out. I believe those companies had great leaders at one point in time, obviously decades of history prove that... but like all things, nothing is guaranteed. However the companies should have been innovative in designing what consumers wanted and the economy demanded rather than their long elapsed profit making trucks and SUV's.

In a true "capitalist" economy companies falter all the time... survival of the fittest shouldn't be a just catch phrase that GM, Ford and Chrysler boast when they are in the lead... they must live with that notion even as one must fail.

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-- Posted by arden jarod on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 1:51 PM

I myself own a repair shop in shelbyville and am affected directly by the crisis in the auto industry.people are waiting as long as possible to get those expensive repairs done.as far as dependability goes,nissan and toyota ARE the superior!GM engineers have been designing faulty gaskets since the mid-90's(just did another one 3 days ago).Chrysler has had way too many computer problems,plus holding a 5 year patent on aftermarket parts.Ford also owns part of Mazda and ALL of Volvo!I can only depend on MYSELF to operate my business properly and efficiently.I don't fly around in multi-million dollar jets,live in million dollar home,drive $100,000 car and walk around with my hand out begging somebody to help me with my "burden"!Should government help them?NO, they got thier own butts in the trap,they can get themselves out!!!Who's gonna help the faltering daycare,dept.stores,grocery stores,etc.NOBODY! We have to save ourselves,only the strong survive!!

-- Posted by shrtckt2003 on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 2:31 PM

Mybe if the car makers would just settle on making a couple of different cars instead of the all of the choices that there are.Does anyone know how many different cars and trucks, and vans they offer to the public?

-- Posted by redcat00 on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 4:42 PM

We either give a bridge loan to the BIg three or we end up picking up the tab off all more than 3,000,000 + people who will lose their jobs, and that isn't includeing the lost tax revenues that come from the money they would have been spending. Tax payers will end up paying the pensions, and unemployment, just to point out the most obvious. You can bet that the expense of letting them go under will be much higher than any bail out they are asking for, at least with the bridge loan we get a chance at it being repaid.

-- Posted by jstus on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 5:58 PM

We're paying for it either way.Which is the lesser of two evils?

-- Posted by shrtckt2003 on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 7:07 PM

What if the car manufacturers go back to one of Ford's philosophy's "You can have a car in any color you want as long as it's black." Henry Ford focused on building a car that the "common" folks could afford and was most likely to first modern day employer to offer a "living wage." He did not have a union, yet his employees were some of the best paid around, and loyal. He also expected his employees to live responsibly, anotherwords, a decent house to live in with food on the table. I do not want to see anymore people loose their jobs, but I put a great deal of the auto industries current problems on the unions.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 9:42 AM

I am not sure which Union the Ceo's of GM or Ford belong to but the CEO of GM made 27 million dollars in salary in 2007 plus his traveling perks and having his own private jet..so that would be the Union I would want to work for..I would only want to work one year then I would be ready for retirement. :>)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 10:02 AM

When will the handouts stop? I know they are asking for "loans", but what do you think the big 3 are going to do when it is time to pay up. They are going to cry that they cant afford it, and if they have to pay it back, it will destroy their company. What is congress going to tell the smaller companies that are struggling? Do we have to spend money we dont have to bail out every poorly managed (thats putting it lightly) company?Again, like I have said all along, our govt loves to reward failure, and punish success.

How can we as a country give money out like candy, when the nation is bankrupt itself? Congress is talking down to the automakers about how they arent running a very good business, and they are wastefull and blah blah blah. They sure are the shining example of fiscal responsibility. The blind leading the blind.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 11:37 AM

As far as I know, the management does not belong to a union, they negotiate thier own contracts. My one big reason for not belonging to a union. If I worked in a job where I negotiated a contract, I would want to do it on my own, they make more money that way.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 5:02 PM

Hmmm sorry to disagree Sharon but Union workers make far more than non union workers. Compare Nissan's wages and benefits to GM or Ford. Compare a Union Electrician to a Non Union Electrician...same goes for Plumbers carpenters, welders. I think Unions are a great thing but the Unions only ask for what the employees ask for, if a company is on the brink of bankruptcy then the workers whether they be Union or non Union should be aware of this and be willing to take a pay and benefit cut in order to keep the company afloat. They can enjoy the good years but they should also have the bare the weight of the bad years also.

CEO's do not belong to any Unions they have no reason to belong to Unions they are the ones who give out the salaries and bonuses, so you know for a fact they will get their cut first. "Sorry if you misunderstood my sarcasm about CEO's being in a Union"

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 5:13 PM

Exactly greasemonkey . . . you know your company(US government) is in bad shape when its CEO(President Obama) says we should not worry about the deficit when he spent his whole campaign deriding Bush for increasing it. This leaves me confused . . . what side of the fence is he sitting on or is he just content to blow wherever the wind blows. One way to stabilize the country is to lessen the deficit but unfortunately Obama thinks throwing money at every problem will take care of the problem on its own. If we give out a bailout to the auto industry, what is next? I have already heard UAW whine and complain about how the financial sector got a bailout and why shouldn't they receive the same benefit. The next company or group will be raising their hand and saying the same thing about them in comparison to the auto industry. It just becomes a vicious cycle that eventually leads everything to be nationalized.

I thought the country did a poor job in selecting Obama as president and now I am beginning to believe they were just plain stupid and ignorant.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 7:53 AM

Jaxspike,

I actually believe that most people who voted for Obama, had no clue what his stance was on the issues. From looking at research done comparing who voted for who and why, it starts to become clear that Obama was elected for no particular reason except he wasnt Bush. I mean there are some really far left people who voted for him, because well they are far left and knew what they were getting. I think alot of people were just voting for "change" and didnt care what kind as long as it was different. I cant see anyone being happy now that they pushed the button for him. He is just like George Bush, except he is a better speaker.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 10:56 AM

I have to ask: Do we want unity and strength for labor, or do we want social programs to offset the costs of living after retirement? To me, this represents a death blow to the last powerful union, which will undermine the last of the workers strength in this nation. Unless, we want the workers to simply die upon retirement, someone must pay for their retirement years. I would personally rather see the responsibility lie with the employers, as opposed to the taxpayers.

If we follow this logic through and all employers eventually pay only a sustenance wage, or close to it, every employee will be dependant upon social programs for survival after their retirement, and in some cases, supplements even while working. I just do not see the reasoning involved when the very same people that complain about social programs also complain about workers demanding a livable wage. What is our objective anyway? If we want a majority class of destitute and poverty stricken people, then we are on the right track. If we want a thriving middle class, we are messing up.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 12:23 AM

Geez, you guys crack me up. Boo Hoo! There isn't a single one of you that would turn down a paycheck from GM and you know it. All this crap spewing out of your mouths is nothing but sour grapes. Remember this is "AMERICA" the place where anyone is intitled to make a good wage. Just because you may not have gotten an auto industry job is no ones fault but your own. Timing is everything and maybe yours just wasn't right. So because of that, someone that did a get a GM/Ford job is the "evil union worker". You all need to look up the facts, not the blabbering of some so called no-it-all at the local cafe. The on the line GM worker makes around $14.00 a hour with considerable less health care benefits. Times have changed folks. Read the facts.

By the way, those of you that don't want your taxes to bailout the auto industry, just how do you think the southern states (yeh you too TN) got those foreign plants to build there? They were bought and paid for BY YOUR TAX DOLLARS. Its called incentives.. You know, the kind that gives tax breaks to foreigners to get them to pick your state to build in. That comes out of your pockets people!!! Nissan was bought and paid for before they lifted a shovel down there. What did you think, Nissan threw and dart and it landed on the state of Tennessee???????

-- Posted by up north on Mon, Dec 15, 2008, at 9:51 PM

And Nissan is employing people who live in the South and contributing to our taxes. None of us have a problem with GM making money nor do we have a problem with what the UAW and the Big 3 decide to pay their employees what we have a problem with is them paying their employees more than they can afford then whining they are out of money.

And GM pays more per employee than $14 an hour just for benefits.

The first category is simply cash payments, which is what many people imagine when they hear the word "compensation." It includes wages, overtime and vacation pay, and comes to about $40 an hour. (The numbers vary a bit by company and year. That's why $73 is sometimes $70 or $77.)

The second category is fringe benefits, like health insurance and pensions. These benefits have real value, even if they don't show up on a weekly paycheck. At the Big Three, the benefits amount to $15 an hour or so.

Add the two together, and you get the true hourly compensation of Detroit's unionized work force: roughly $55 an hour. It's a little more than twice as much as the typical American worker makes, benefits included. The more relevant comparison, though, is probably to Honda's or Toyota's (nonunionized) workers. They make in the neighborhood of $45 an hour, and most of the gap stems from their less generous benefits.

The third category is the cost of benefits for retirees. These are essentially fixed costs that have no relation to how many vehicles the companies make. But they are a real cost, so the companies add them into the mix -- dividing those costs by the total hours of the current work force, to get a figure of $15 or so -- and end up at roughly $70 an hour

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/busine...

So there are your facts and not from some Cafe'

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Dec 16, 2008, at 7:30 PM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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