Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Those Poor Poor Plutocrats.....

This post is in response to a Letter in the DNR titled, "Automakers need to stand up to UAW." In it the author, Aaron Lam, advocates strongly for the Automakers stand against the union. His main point is that the benefits and wages demanded by the union are the cause of the recent demise in the fortunes of the auto companies.

He's given up on American car makers because the foreign makers don't deal with the UAW. It's a fun read, if only to hear this expansive argument for Old South Plutocracy. The argument is clear and the passion is evident. Wages are too high, workers need to be replaced by robots, the true mission of the unions is to protect the employers, it's better to have a low paying job than no job, workers have outrageous benefit plans, almost [but not quite] make as much as TEACHERS, and have "nothing but their own (extreme) well-being in mind."

He's wrong of course. My response:

Radical plutocracy. Welcome to the Old South. Mr. Lam advocates the rule of the wealthy, an elite ruling class whose power derives from their wealth. Welcome to the Plantation. You can work here [for the smallest wage I can get a way with], you'll have a roof over your head [how does an efficiency apartment for you and your family sound?], and we'll give you credit at the company store, [where I can charge any price I want and kindly extend credit to keep you indentured forever!] and of course there's the company health clinic to take care of your health needs [but only in debilitating circumstances and only just to keep you on the job.] Want a pension? Forget it, you're going to die right here.

Now seriously, here are some stories of those poor plutocrats who are getting stomped by the almighty worker: [source]

  • Big 3 honchos are guilty of "bad optics" as they fly in on corporate jets with their hands out for loans to save the companies that the "workers destroyed." Never mind that they couldn't even give Congress a clue about how they were going use the money to save themselves.

  • The Robber Barons of Wall Street led by Hank Paulson swooped down on Congress and demanded and received an astounding guarantee of 8 Trillion, again with no plan or news of where the money was to be spent. Didn't even say thank you to those nasty workers and taxpayers, plebeians all who are now stuck with the bill.

  • Those poor Wall Street tycoons..... tsk tsk... they are feeling a bit better with their new $$. They went right to doing what they do best... buying up competitors, hoarding the capital, and raising their own banking fees. How much has gone to ease the credit crunch? ZIP! NADA! Thank you very much. Will they even tell us how they are spending the dough? Yes, but they'd have to kill us.

  • $70 bucks an hour is a hoax, ginned up by Mr. Lam by combining all the health care and pensions plus costs of training and payroll taxes owed by the companies. It's more like 29 bucks an hour. Remember Mr. Lam is advocating that workers are WAYY out of line asking for health care or pensions. [Also remember that Mr. Lam is very strongly against universal health care and Social Security because they are socialist programs.] Mr. Lam would reduce the standard of living, reduce the quality of life in essence returning the middle class to servanthood. Welcome to the 18th century!

  • The UAW, bad boys all, have already agreed to concessions that would give U.S. Companies labor-cost advantages over the foreigners. Is spreading the gradual return to lower pay and benefits through 2010 too much to ask? To Mr. Lam would say yes! He'd want his cake right now thank you.

  • Mr. Lam might like to know that labor, pensions and health care only amount to around 10% of the cost of a car. The UAW could work for FREE and still would not solve the current financial crisis. [It would be a day of joy for Mr. Lam, however.]

  • The Auto CEO's were the ones who decided on the business model that keeps us addicted to cheap foreign oil forever, nice move.

  • Plutocrats fought tooth and nail against fuel efficiency ratings and emissions controls essentially giving up the territory to the foreigners.

  • Plutocrats killed the electric car years ago. Another brilliant move.

  • Plutocrats were so pleased with their own work that they decided to pay themselves salaries ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 per hour.

  • Back to the bailout..we do know what the Big 3 finally proposed to do with the money. First they'll pay themselves a bonus for being smart enough to drive to Washington the second time and then they'll boot another 25,000 workers out the door. A tax-paid mass firing! Yet another great idea. Let's watch and see what changes are made at the TOP of the organizational ladder.
Mr. Lam is wrong for America. America is NOT about the rule of the wealthy, it's about the rule of "We the People." The American middle class is what brought us to greatness and it is the Corporate Plutocracy that has caused it's recent decline. Mr. Lam has decided to advocate the powerful Masters of the Plantation, not a bad choice if you are selling your soul, but "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," it's not. Mr. Lam, back to the plantation with you. You've declared war on the American worker. You are a royalist tory seeking a return to the monarchy of the wealthy. You lost. American workers ARE every bit as stubborn, strong, willful, and powerful as you fear. You'll lose again.

No comments: