"Obama's An Idiot" is where my political bitches now live. Go ye thereto and read.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yet Another Voice in the Crowd

I just can't help it. I'm compelled to make some sort of comment on the so-called 'Big 3 Bailout'. Why not? Everyone else is.

Whatever the automakers say the cause is, if they made a better, cheaper product, they wouldn't be having these problems.

Chevy has always been my truck of choice. I've owned 7 Chevy trucks, one Dodge, and one Ford. Cars I'm not as particular about, but trucks - except for the one time I was poor and needed a work truck, have always been Chevy's.
Why? Because they have always been reliable for me.
Yes, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. 'Murican as as you can get, right? An American company making trucks built from parts manufactured in Mexico, assembled in Canada.

Fairly recently, Japan realized us big, burly, red-blooded American, gun totin' rednecks didn't want some little two-seater we had to shoehorn ourselves into. That even though they were good on gas, for the most part those tiny little Datsuns, Toyotas, and Nissans stayed on the pavement and rode like go-carts.

No, we wanted big, tough, manly, oversized even, high clearance trucks that could take a beating, not fall apart, not to mention, haul one a'them two-seated rice burners in the back. It needed to be tough looking, tough built, rugged. Look like a tank and drive like a Cadillac.

So Japan started making the Tundras and the Titans. And guess what? They gave the big three a run for their money. So what did the big three do then? Why, they added more frills. They started making the Navigators, the Expeditions, the Suburbans, all those huge, expensive, gas guzzling tanks that soccer moms decided they needed because they were safer for their precious little snowflakes, and also because they could more easily haul around them and their friends, and their friends.
They didn't bother making the existing pick-up line better or stronger, making a better warranty, or heaven forbid, offer better or cheaper service or repairs. No, all they wanted to do was get the merchandise out the door so you would drive it, break it, and come in for replacement parts. Sort of like computer printers and ink cartridges, right?

So we have an expensive yet cheaply made product by union members...

Which, I was also one of those for several years, a union hand. I understand where unions came from when Americans needed the protection of a strong union from 'company' abuses, greed, and dangers of the average work day. It wasn't uncommon to take your life into your own hands by showing up for work, just to feed your family. Unions fixed many safety issues before OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) had anything to do with it.

If you were in a 'company' town, chances are, you also had company store where you could get credit the day you were hired. Of course, the interest rate at the company store was such that it was impossible to ever go in the black. You never made enough to pay the company store back, so you basically worked every day to keep company goons from taking your possessions, your knees, your wife, anything of value they didn't already own.

So unions at one time, were beneficial. They made it so it was safe to go to work, and made it so you could actually make money instead of just survive. Non-union companies saw what was going on and bolstered their work areas and pay scales to keep unions out. So everyone benefited.

On the other hand, unions become safety nets for lazies, idiots and crooks.

A union hand doesn't just go to work and have a supervisor tell him to go help in department "A" today. He has a union scale job such as screwing a nut on a bolt, and he gets paid union scale for having that job. Any variance from that particular task - even for a short while - can mean he gets paid extra for doing someone else's job in addition to his own regular pay.

You have to fuck up quite bad to get fired from a union job. You have all sorts of representation and legal counsel that will fight to the bitter end to keep you employed. They don't want to lose out on the monthly dues you pay to stay in the union.

And let's not even get into pensions. Those are definitely becoming a thing of the past. If you're a company owner who gambles with the pension money and wins, you make a killing. If not, you're Enron. You lose, your company loses, the pensioners lose, you make the Titanic look like one big wet t-shirt contest.

So the unions gambled and wouldn't make any concessions - or at least, enough. They wouldn't accept cuts or losses of what they had, so they're going to lose it all if the company does go out of business. Which, I'm guessing is the way they planned it. If they would have taken a cut, they wouldn't get laid off. Therefore, they wouldn't collect unemployment.

It seems anymore, that foreign made vehicles are every bit as good if not better than what we make here in the good ole' U.S. of A., so these companies going down won't rob us of any product, unless you're totally, 100% dead set against buying anything not "American Made" or "Union Label".

I don't like the idea of these companies going under, because I don't like the idea of millions of unemployment people. But I also don't like paying a fortune for a vehicle and wondering just how long it is going to last before I have to start sinking hundreds into it just to keep it running.

The kicker here is that Harry Reid is supporting this bailout. And if there's one thing I do know, if Harry Reid is supporting it - it ain't nothing but another fucking for the American people.



Anonymous said...

You are a kind of doctor Jekyl and Mr. Hyde type, aren't you?

I mean, that's one of the most articulate, well reasoned pieces of writing I've seen on the subject. You could probably sell that to Forbes as a free lance piece.

Life is full of surprises.

curmudgeon said...

Well, thanks!
Every now and then I try to put some thought into a post instead of just bitch. It son't happen too often though. :)

Miss Sassy said...

Got some time on your hands with the holidays I see... I'm so glad to hear you espouse with your talent instead of ranting at the emails who are all too interested in the size of your, um, talent.

curmudgeon said...

I see you do too. Reading blogs instead of working. ;)