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View Diary: Michigan Leads the Way...To the Bottom (41 comments)

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  •  Looks like help for GM may be on the way. (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.thestreet.com/...

    The U.S. government is prepared to lend U.S. automakers General Motors (GM Quote - Cramer on GM - Stock Picks) and Chrysler more money, a report says.

    Members of President Barack Obama's auto task force indicate in interviews with the Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration doesn't want to let GM and Chrysler slip into bankruptcy protection. Instead, the task force is expected to say that it sees viable futures for both GM and Chrysler, but only if there are sacrifices from their managements, unions and GM's bondholders. The team will also lay out a firm timeline for action.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 06:18:04 AM PDT

    •  And GM's going to pass it on to the Michiganders? (9+ / 0-)

      Not too likely. It will probably help folks like Vince, but GM and Ford started the whole downward  slide in Michigan in the 80's by beginning to outsource operations to Mexico. How innovative! They don't give a flying fuck about Michiganders. See, e.g. Roger & Me for an illustration of how the car companies serve the people who were loyal workers for GENERATIONS.

      •  Bingo. Saving GM will not save Michigan, (5+ / 0-)

        unless the government does for UAW what they do for big finance - consider their contributions essential to the economy, and treat them accordingly.

        $50 billion to the auto companies, $100 billion.  None of it matters if there aren't strings attached to the funds that say, "You must re-open X number of plants and re-employ X number of laid-off individuals with these funds."

        What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

        by Black Leather Rain on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 06:46:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If GM files for bankruptcy (5+ / 0-)

          thousands of Michigan workers will be affected who are not even employed at GM.  Bankruptcy for GM means death to all businesses that serve or otherwise rely on their employees for business, from everything from suppliers and component manufacturers to waitresses who serve their employees at lunch.

          Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

          by Dartagnan on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 06:59:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So are you OK with Michigan at 12% unemployment? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi

            Because saving GM won't necessarily bring it below 12%.  It's just as likely that it will be a zero-sum game where GM uses the funds to pay debts and continue funding overseas ventures instead of investing in the American worker.

            If the goal is to save Michigan, throwing money at GM without specific labor-friendly conditions will not help.  It may provide for Michigan to not fall to a 15% or 20% unemployment rate, but it will not help Michigan recover.

            What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

            by Black Leather Rain on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:18:13 AM PDT

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            •  We need to (3+ / 0-)

              make it more profitable to invest here than in Mexico and China. Removing the burden of providing health care for their workers, leveling the trade playing field, and making it easier to organize the transplants would be a good start.

              "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

              by happy camper on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:31:31 AM PDT

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            •  You're talking about tens of thousands of people (3+ / 0-)

              in Michigan with no jobs, if the company closes for a year while undergoing bankruptcy, as opposed to tens of thousands with jobs, if the company remains open.  Michigan has 12% unemployment with the company currently open.  It appears to me that unless the company restructures itself towards profitability the 20% figure you mention will become reality, whether or not "labor-friendly" conditions are imposed, because the company will simply have no need of the "labor."  It will simply cease to exist, period. That is not even taking into account the extensive ripple effect that the loss of those jobs will have on the surrounding communities.

              GM wil have to retool itself to sell cars people want if it wants to survive. It can do that either with bankruptcy protection or with an influx of government largesse. I think from a pure pain standpoint it's better to keep the rate of unemployment as low as possible.

              Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

              by Dartagnan on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:38:27 AM PDT

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              •  I do agree the onus in on GM here (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yoshimi, Dartagnan

                to prove that if it gets the support it's looking for that it can actually produce the kinds of cars that will sell in this economy.

                A company in India released a car recently that sells for 1500 british pounds.  It's a tiny little thing, a lot like the Smart car, but is supposed to be able to transport four people.  For those who aren't willing to buy a scooter or ride a bike but can't afford a Taurus, it would be nice to have a $3,000 or $5,000 new vehicle available available from one of the US automakers.

                My point, in the end, is that we can't just throw money at GM and trust GM to manage it properly or even in our country's best interests.  Much like the TARP funds that were given out in 2008, there SHOULD be some kind of regulation on the funds that will have more than a zero-sum effect.

                What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

                by Black Leather Rain on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

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                •  just don't get hit by a Yukon - or Camry for that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Black Leather Rain

                  matter - in the Tata mini-buggy.
                  Just like the Smart car = squish.  Yikes.

                  "Fuck Fox News!" ~ DFH protesters in Denver (Aug 08)

                  by JVolvo on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:05:04 AM PDT

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                  •  I have to think that large cities (0+ / 0-)

                    will eventually need lanes big enough for these mini-vehicles.  A mini/scooter/bike kind of lane, or perhaps they can share the bus lanes, as we generally trust city bus drivers to be more attentive and careful around other cars.

                    What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

                    by Black Leather Rain on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:12:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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