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View Diary: Tales from Auto Industry Bailout's Ground Zero (288 comments)

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  •  This diary is pretty smug. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, nika7k, VClib, Verstand

    Let's be clear: I'd have held my nose and voted for the bailout. Even knowing $15 billion or so is only a down payment on the $50 to $75 billion Barney Frank thinks will eventually be needed.

    Let's also be clear that I'm generally pro-union, glad to see the union victory at Smithfield diaried earlier today, would love to see Wal-Mart unionized, etc.

    BUT . . .

    We owe American workers, who had nothing to do with the onset of the economic crisis or the strategy of auto management, the benefits and pay they agreed to

    With all respect -- no, "we" don't. And it's that kind of everybody-must-compromise-but-the-union-members attitude that makes the Smithfields and the Wal-Marts fight so hard against unions, and makes it easy for their Repub allies in the Senate to union-bash. It gives every anti-union force credibility.

    "We" includes my brother-in-law, a self-employed electrical subcontractor whose business is, as he describes it, "dead." "We" includes my wife, whose company has been laying off people steadily, and yesterday notified the remaining employees that next year there will be no raises (and presumably no bonuses, an important part of compensation at that company), after already notifying them their healthcare premiums are going up significantly as of Jan. 1. Both my brother-in-law or my wife "had nothing to do with the onset of the economic crisis or the strategy of . . . management" at the companies on which their livelihoods depend. But no taxpayer bailout is on the table for my brother-in-law, or for my wife's company.

    Yes, I understand very well that if the Big 3 collapse, the consequences for everyone's economy could well be disastrous. But when you're asking taxpayers who are already hurting to give up something for you, you damn well better be giving up something for them.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 01:30:17 PM PST

    •  Earth to Mikey (5+ / 0-)

      The UAW already bent over so far backward it resembled a croquet hoop, and then got kicked in the nuts. You need to start researching OUTSIDE the Corporate Media's incestuous circle jerk so you can get some REAL facts.

      Are you REALLY going to tell people who have put twenty-thirty years of their lives into their jobs that they can't have health insurance, can't have pensions, can't have ANY security and should just fuck off and die?

      What goes around WILL come around, and will eventually get YOU.

      Yes We Did! Yes We Will!

      by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 01:49:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, nika7k

        Are you REALLY going to tell people who have put twenty-thirty years of their lives into their jobs that they can't have health insurance, can't have pensions, can't have ANY security and should just fuck off and die?

        If I may interject, his point is that this is happening to many people all over the economy and they don't get bailouts or any special consideration.

        •  Poin taken, but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, javelina, chrome327

          If we're going to go in for wholesale breach of contract, let's start at the TOP and take away all those golden parachutes.

          Yes We Did! Yes We Will!

          by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 02:06:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Earth to TheOtherMaven and diarist. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, Verstand

            Are you REALLY going to tell people who have put twenty-thirty years of their lives into their jobs that they can't have health insurance, can't have pensions, can't have ANY security and should just fuck off and die?

            No, I never said anything like that. The diarist said:

            We owe American workers, who had nothing to do with the onset of the economic crisis or the strategy of auto management, the benefits and pay they agreed to

            I said the union workers shouldn't expect to get everything they agreed to, just like they would if the economy remained normal. That's a far cry from saying they should get nothing.

            If the union is already agreeing to wage or benefit concessions, then you need to complain to the diarist for not saying so, and for implying the opposite.

            And, BTW, in return for wage and benefit concesssions the UAW should be insisting on board seats and stock or stock options -- so they can share in management decisions on product development, executive and non-exec compensation, and everything else that goes into keeping a company out of the ditch.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 02:16:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and . . . (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maynard, Verstand

              Why don't you provide links to some of the non-circle-jerk media, documenting the concessions the union has already made? I would genuinely (no snark) be interested, and I bet a lot of other readers would be, too.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 02:22:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't know shit, do you? (4+ / 0-)

                Seriously.

                You think your relatives and friends are hurting now, watch what happens to the U.S. economy after GM goes down.

                That'll be a sound in the financial markets as loud as if the president announced the U.S. no longer stands behind its bonds.

                Seriously.

                And the rest of the world knows it. Why do you think Japan's stock exchange tanked overnight? Why do you think the Dow Jones was set to open 5% in the hole before Bush announced he was willing to use TARP as a stop-gap to prevent the autos from going bankrupt? And that was just speculation in the markets about what WOULD happen if the autos bit it. Do you know how much worse it would be if GM actually liquidated? Shit. It'd be like AIG going down. AIG moves money. GM actually makes things, and the real investors know it.

                Go on and support cutting off your nose to spite your face. Me, I like my face too much to do that.

                •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                  You imply I'm against the bailout, and would allow the Big 3 to just vanish. But the first thing I said in my original comment was:

                  Let's be clear: I'd have held my nose and voted for the bailout. Even knowing $15 billion or so is only a down payment on the $50 to $75 billion Barney Frank thinks will eventually be needed.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 08:04:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'll help you out Mikey. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                javelina, BruinKid, Dirtandiron, chrome327

                Here's the UAW concessions at Time and then read this post at Think Progress.

                I suggest you read a bit.

      •  Maven, actually they can't (0+ / 0-)

        if the companies go bankrupt. There will be some pensions, but the other things will end. That's what happens when companies go bankrupt. GM is already technically bankrupt. It's going to take $100 billion to save it, and it's hard to see where that money will come from. What the feds should do is have all the current senior creditors subordinate to its loans. GM has some profitable, valuable assets in other countries that could be sold to pay back the taxpayers.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 04:17:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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