Left of Center: By Yukkione: Screw the middle class
Screw the middle class
Friday, January 27, 2006
Time : 10:15 AM

It makes me sick... I grew up in south east Michigan, where the world's biggest auto manufacturers made cars. Many of my friend's families owed their livelihood to good jobs building American cars and trucks. People could afford to live well, and there was a middle class that could afford to have a cabin “up north,” and were able to put their kids through college. Most jobs were union jobs , and workers could count on being treated fairly by management, and were afforded the simple things that people needed such as health care, and a pension for their old age. What happened? What the hell happened!? Ford laying off 30,000, GM over 25,000! Well.. many things. Allow me to elaborate.
1.As much as I am for strong unions, I feel that the UAW became overly politicized, and corrupt. I feel that they over compensated workers with excesses in health care, overtime, and pensions. The American worker just became to much of a liability to their companies. Remember I said excessive.. those things that I mentioned are needed, but perhaps not to the extent they became.
2.Auto manufacturers made the wrong products. Bigger...less efficient.... isn't what all Americans want. Meanwhile, Companies like Toyota made cars that were... safer, and more fuel efficient. They also had better resale values. American manufacturers also missed the boat on hybrid vehicles... Hell, we made satellites and space craft with fuel cells 30 years ago, and have ignored this vital technology until recently. We desperately need to get this country and the world on a hydrogen economy.
3.The Government is the biggest problem. This is a prime example of what happens when energy companies write our countries energy plans, and most lawmakers are in the pockets of the insurance industry. Our government let CAFE standards become antiquated, and in turn our car companies made cars that were more wasteful than they were in the 70's. Our leaders only talk about finding more energy, and not about conserving the energy we have. One of the biggest cost our auto companies have is health care for workers. With a government that has done nothing about health care, the costs have skyrocketed. A large percentage of the price of every new car is used to pay workers health costs. If our government actually made changes in this countries health care infrastructure.. Say even if they just insured the sickest of our workers.. Then industry could make a more competitive product. Lastly, our NAFTA, CAFTA, and tarrifs deals are killing us. We cannot hope to compete with companies who's workers are paid next to nothing and who have no benefits. Companies who have plants in South and Central America, have a decided advantage over us. As far as tarrifs go, here's a good one for you.. Soon we will be having Chinese made cars being sold in the US. These cars will pay a 2.5 % tariffs as they enter the US, meanwhile, American made cars going to China pay over 20% in tarrifs. No wonder that our trade deficits have ballooned under Bush. Our elected representatives are criminal in their apathy towards the American middle class, and workers.

So there you have it.. My opinion on some of the biggest problems in this country.

posted by Yukkione at 10:15 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Screw the middle class
You're right. I think you got most of it.Probably could add executive salaries and bonuses tied to quarterly earnings, but you hit the big points.


Well, if they were actually tied to earnings it wouldnt be such a problem. lou Dobbs was talking recently about studies that show how CEO pay and compensation has nothing to do with performance. I don't recall who did the study, my staff of researchers have been recently outsourced to the Ukraine, and none of them speak English.

I agree if the government helps improve health care it can help many workers and make a big difference. I doubt it will happen but I think it should.

The workers just got too uppity with their 'living wage' and 'health benefits'. As every businessman knows, paying a living wage to your workers is the very enemy of capitalism. It's really not even important to keep them alive, especially in this day and age with all the wage-slaves in Asia and Central America willing to work themselves to death for 10 cents an hour. It's an employer's market. Our corporate masters have made it so. It's not in the nature of capitalism to give a shit about human beings.

Oil at 67$ as of 1/27.

I have often wondered how it could be cheaper to transport something all the way from china than to pay our own workers to make it here. I now wonder for how much longer will it be cheaper.

I think you hit most of the points square on the head..and soon the middle class will be extinct...and yeah last week when they made the announcments about Ford Nothing was said about the Cheeses Big Bonuses etc...I heard nada...

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