Smart Liberal and Female

Big Three Auto Wankers

So I came across this comment today and I wanted to respond.  I had originally planned on just commenting, but I’ve decided to make it post of its own.  The comment is in response to a prior post about the Big Three Auto CEOs (or wankers as they should be titled) and the Senate Republicans that killed the auto deal. 


To give good story and history…Here is my prior post…

Perhaps a more appropriate title should be:  “Two of the Big Three getting Minuscule Amount of Relief.   I’m still pretty torn about bailing out the Big Three.  I do think their CEOs should be fired.  So should much of their top managers for that matter.  They’ve done a crap job.  They do not deserve the outrageous amount of pay they get nor their bonuses.  However, I do not think putting 3 million more people into the unemployment line sounds like a good idea.

I also find the political posturing that is taking place right now to be a lot more than a little sickening!  Seriously.  Other than DeMint (SC-R), which one of the 5 Republicans making waves about the $14 billion auto bail out said one word about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout?!  Did any of them cry out when AIG continued to party on the tax payers dollars…uhhhh…NO!  No they did not.  Bastards.  And does anyone else find it curious the Alabama senators are so adamant about calling off the bailout???  Isn’t it Alabama that has a HUGE Toyota plant?  Just asking!

I also wonder why no one questions blue collar job loss, but a junk bond salesman loses his job and man oh man it’s a big deal. 

Just one of my many angry rants of today.

Now following is the comment.  I would like to thank crowded hours for posting.  I don’t agree with his/her post.  I think they missed the fundamental point of my post.  However, it does give me the opportunity to crawl back up on my soap box and try to make my point once again.  For that I truly do thank him/her!

Hi Smart, Liberal and Female! Haven’t been to your site in a while so thought I’d see what was on your mind!

Always blaming the Republicans and the CEOs? I find it curious Dems and the media rarely bring up the unions…

No secret that the UAW is holding their employers financial hostage (and by default, the country).

And it’s no shock that unions are going to lambaste the Republicans and favor the Democrat party. The Democrats enable the unions to financially hold the auto industry hostage while the Republicans feel that enough is enough with these unions. The auto industry isn’t failing because of bad leadership. It’s failing because it can’t make a profit while paying all these union full-pensions and ridiculous benefits. I applaud the Republican minority for standing up for what’s right.

Why is it that the Republicans are being demonized as the ones torpedoing this bailout? How about exploring the root cause, which is the UAW that won’t budge an inch. If the auto industry fails, it won’t be the Republican Party’s fault. It will be the unions.

On the other side of the aisle, the Democrats are nothing but paid accomplices. They’re not standing for principle. They’re standing to make a buck or a million. This year the UAW gave $1.9 million to Democrats but only $11,500 to Republicans. Why? Because they knew that the Democrats don’t have a conscience and would support the highest bidder in this battle.


And finally here is my response….

I wouldn’t go as far as saying I always blame the Republicans and CEOs, but when the shoe fits….

Why do I blame CEOs?  Well they are steering the ship so to speak.  When I was in the Navy if a ship ran aground who was responsible?  The Commanding Officer, that’s who!  Why, because ultimately he is responsible for the direction of the ship…much like a CEO.  If the CEO isn’t responsible for the company, its direction, and well being, why on earth are they making so damn much money?  Are they only responsible when things go right???

It really is the HYPOCRACY of it that makes me so angry.  Did we demand employees of Wall Street take pay cuts?  NO.  Did we ask them to make concessions regarding their retirements?  NO!   Did we suggest they should let go of some of their health benefits?  NO.

AIG threw damn parties on our dollar and we gave them more money.  I don’t remember Senate Republicans showing outrage over that.  I don’t remember Bob Corker demanding they tell us when they’d take pay cuts, do you?  I didn’t think so. 

I’m not blaming all Senate Republicans.  I’m blaming a few. In fact I singled out five, which even though your numbers are dwindling I think you will agree is not ALL Senate Republicans.  I even went on to say DeMint has a valid point…remember he didn’t like the Wall Street bailout either.  I’m on my high horse about hypocrites.  I’m on my high horse about the fact that blue collar workers and the unions have to bend over and take it in the ass, yet again (they already made concessions in 2007), while investment bankers, junk bond salesmen, insurance salesmen, and gamblers get a totally free pass.

 As for the union… I know it’s shameful that they are fighting for living wage jobs and decent health care.  Damn them. 

To me that is what is fundamentally wrong with this country.  We value too many of the wrong things. 


4 Comments so far
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The Dems aren’t the ones going for deregulation. The Big Three have to be regulated if they’re going to stand a chance. Republicans are fundamentally against regulation. Regulation needs to happen in the case of bailing out the auto industry. If the Republicans are against it due to the fundamentals of regulation, it is a political thing where blame can be partially assigned. However, the true failure stems from horrible business choices and practices. The fault, at the moment, is on the automakers and the UAW for their refusal to take cuts in pay and benefits in order to save the jobs of many. It’s sad when a high school dropout can earn around 28 bucks an hour due to their union ties, when my own mother, a woman with a Master’s Degree earns less as a teacher.

Comment by D

Wow! Look at that response! I am thrilled and honored you took such time and effort to respond to my note! And once again, you have shown such passion for your views – fantastic!

But here’s yet another area where we part ways.

You are blaming the Republicans for blocking this bailout, are you not? I didn’t read of you mentioning any Democrats in that post.

And as for CEO’s, they are usually a convenient piñata for folks to swing at. But I ask you, what exactly are you blaming the CEOs for? Should Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli be blamed for union contracts signed when they were all children that effectively mortgaged the future of the auto industry 30 years ago when it gave full lifetime salaries and benefits for all union workers? Or are you blaming the CEO’s for honoring those contracts? Or maybe you’re blaming them for foregoing their salaries in order to help some of their workers keep their jobs?

I assume that you’re blaming the CEO’s for overseeing the designing, producing and selling of more U.S. vehicles than ever, leading the world yet again – beating Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, and the rest of the bunch? They have been so successful at what they’re being paid to do that the auto industry has never made so much money!

Logically, they should be in the same ridiculous profit club as the Exxon’s of the world. So why aren’t they? Because the unions are killing them! And who’s supporting that bloodletting? The Democrats.

You talk of hypocrisy? I think Republicans are pretty darn consistent in their stance. Yes, AIG made Caligula look like a shut in. It was awful. Republicans were all over the place protesting.

And the Alabama senators that you say are suspiciously against the auto bailout because they have a large Toyota plant in the state (among others) … they were consistently against the financial bailout as well. You may have missed that one.

“A spokesman for Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the committee, said the senator “profoundly disagrees with the decision to use taxpayer dollars to bail out a private company” and is upset the government has sent an inconsistent message to the markets by bailing out AIG”

Finally, the blue collar workers and the unions bending over and taking it again is laughable at best. They complain that their average wage is lower than Toyota’s (by about 15 cents on average) but they conveniently fail to point out that their Toyota counterparts (and the rest of the sane world for that matter) don’t get the lifetime benefits (benefits I might add which are substantially more expensive for UAW workers) nor do their Toyota counterparts get paid for NOT WORKING when a plant shuts down!

From my last post…

CNN reports:
“A big reason [the industry is failing] is the cost of labor. As analyzed by Harbour-Felax, labor costs the Detroit Three substantially more per vehicle than it does the Japanese.

Health care is the biggest chunk. GM (Charts), for instance spends $1,635 per vehicle on health care for active and retired workers in the U.S. Toyota (Charts) pays nothing for retired workers – it has very few – and only $215 for active ones.

Other labor costs add to the bill. Contract issues like work rules, line relief and holiday pay amount to $630 per vehicle – costs that the Japanese don’t have. And paying UAW members for not working when plants are shut costs another $350 per vehicle.

Here’s one example of how knotty Detroit’s labor problem can be:
If an assembly plant with 3,000 workers has no dealer orders, it has two options. One is to close the plant for a week and not build any cars. Then the company still has to give the idled workers 95 percent of their take-home pay plus all benefits for not working. So a one-week shutdown costs $7.7 million or $1,545 for each vehicle it didn’t make.”

Talk about hypocrisy! How can you write that the unions are making concessions and still maintain any intellectual honesty? All experts who have looked into the circumstances of the auto industry agree that the unions have their employers over a barrel and most likely will take down the industry. Then what will happen? Hundreds of thousands of workers, including union workers, will be out of work. Why? Because the UAW focuses on what they can get out of the situation now, rather than how they can help their employer, their nation and themselves. And as you said, “that is what is fundamentally wrong with this country. We value too many of the wrong things.”

I ask you this… why is it that the other auto makers in the US (those hated plants in dreaded Alabama) aren’t before Congress, hat in hand? #1 reason: they aren’t unionized.

This is an absolutely brilliant article by Fred Barnes on the situation and if you’re interested, I highly recommend it…

In closing, I just want to say I respect that we don’t agree… haven’t agreed very much at all so far. 🙂 But I really do appreciate the dialogue and the discussion of ideas. Without a discussion, we’re doomed to fail. Thanks.

Comment by crowdedhours

funny how a little memo can spell it all so clearly?

Comment by smartandfemale

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