I support the freedom of the worker to collectively bargain. Many merciful pieces of legislation including laws preventing the exploitation of children in the work place saved people from horrible conditions. Capitalism, unfortunately, seems to run amok every now and then.
And I am against all bailouts I've seen or heard talked about to date be it to bankers, auto workers, insurers, ill-advised or ignorant home-buyers, the works. Good investments should pay off and bad ones should fail or we eliminate the inducement to invest, period.
And to whatever extent our government continues, no NO legal authorty and NO oversight, to socialize and federalize huge swaths of our economy, you will find me railing in resistance.
But the issue of UAW pay, benefits, anything else is purely an internal function of the Big 3. Whether or not they can operate at a profit or loss will primarily rely on their making products that more people want to buy. History shows us that the Big 3 often do not do this.
For the past decade, they have trumpeted the success of gas mileages that European cars had surpassed a decade BEFORE that. Apparently, the Big 3 Big Shots have no more sense than the sub-prime home owner. The line worker making the cars had little say in the car's design and they probably weren't the ones buying the gas-guzzling Hummers and Expeditions. And dig, these are some of the last people in American who ACTUALLY PRODUCE anything. They build automobiles. Show me how many Wall Street execs can change their own oil or even replace a door knob.
Nobody can make the case that the only problem with the American auto manufacturing industry is the overpaid worker. This would suggest that sales are fine and that people all over the world are still clamoring for our high quality automobiles. That condition has not existed in 30 years. Foreign manufacturers beat us by building products that ran twice as long at half the cost.
The truth as I see it as the Big 3 should fail, stop getting subsidies that squash new competition and innovation and let's see some new, truly future-oriented designs from new, innovative companies come out. People will buy them. There already are a few such companies producing cars people buy. With these smaller production facilities, the employee needs to be a skilled fabricator once again, not a robot. Jobs are being created and they are good paying jobs. These companies are in direct competition with the government subsidized Big 3. Talk about David fighting Goliath.
If we allow the playing field to level, if there's still a market for unions, they will re-insert themselves to whatever effect people find them necessary. Maybe we need to see some new unions too. There are lighter-weight unions which seem to have transparent management. The IWW are working to help Starbucks employees collectively bargain. I understand the IWW has ONE part-time paid worker, a bookkeeper and their laws state that NO IWW worker can get paid more than the average wage of the union members. Which I recall as being something like $11 per hour. Not exactly the corrupt, venal union you hear about in the media.
So I am tired of the media beating up the worker. The "banker bailout" went straight into their pockets and we now know this. Those guys get to keep their Mazeratis and their summer homes in the Hamptons. Why are we even talking about the little guy? He has enough problems without being demonized by the literati.