Evidently, according to Big Jim, the Big 3 didn't get the bailout they wanted because they aren't a part of the Wall Street royalty. They represent the working class. The Big Banks demanded and got a huge [8 TRILLION DOLLARS when all peripheral costs are counted in] bailout package, no questions asked, no accountability required. The Big 3 asked and Congress squawked and demanded plans, goals, and concessions. It's class warfare, pure and simple.
What's wrong with union members making a good living? What was that stuff we learned in Civics Class in High School about the rise of the middle class being the greatest strength of America.
"Yes, these union workers make a good living--but what exactly is wrong with that? Indeed, they're a tremendous American success story. UAW members define our country's middle-class ideal. They can afford to buy homes (and cars), send kids to college, take vacations--and pay taxes, including those that cover salaries and benefits for U.S. senators.
Sustaining, expanding, and extending such a vibrant, productive middle class ought to be the top goal of economic policy makers. Yet, too many Washington officials keep pushing in the opposite direction, constantly pursuing a cheap-labor America that enriches the few at the expense of our nation's true economic strength."
It's not the payroll costs that burden the auto companies, it's the health care and the pensions. Want to be competitive? Level the playing field by providing Universal health care. Talk about no-brainers. Wingers, let the squawking begin. Fact is only 10% of the cost of an auto is labor, the rest goes to [nod to Jim Hightower]
"bankers, bondholders, investors, executives, suppliers, dealers, and a myriad of others who are part and parcel of every vehicle we drive. The senators could force UAW members to work for free, but that would not begin to solve the industry's financial problems."
Take a page from Henry Ford: [again a nod to Jim Hightower]
The auto pioneer famously outraged his competitors by paying Ford workers $5 a day, more than double the industry standard at the time. As he explained in 1926,"An underpaid man is a customer reduced in purchasing power. He cannot buy. Business depression is caused by weakened purchasing power. Purchasing power is weakened by uncertainty or insufficiency of income. The cure of business depression is through purchasing power, and the source of purchasing power is wages."
That remains true today. Middle-class wages are the lifeblood of the American automobile industry... and of the American economy.
So where should the real bailout money go? How about building the purchasing power of regular citizens? How about leveling the playing field with universal health care? How about building up the middle class? Why not invest in the American Dream? Corporations! What are you waiting for? It's better business for you and better business for the workers!