Yup. I said it.
Are we a free-market economy, or are we not?
I know I’ve talked about this before, but apparently it’s still an issue, so I’ll take it on again. Just look at Delphi and GM.
The cost PER HOUR of a UAW employee at GM is roughly $65.00. Can we agree that paying someone $132,400 per year to do manual labor is a bit ridiculous? Yes, I know it’s not all in PAY. Most of it’s in benefits and pension. Still, the reality is, in terms of cost to the company, these employees are costing them 132k per year.
I realize it’s a skilled trade. I really do. So is drywall. So is carpentry. So is bricklaying. I’ve done drywall. It’s hard. It’s not exactly a brain-buster, but it definitely takes some skill, assuming you don’t want lumpy walls. But would I pay someone 65$ an hour to do it? Nope. I might pay someone $6.50 an hour…
So, back to GM, and back to the simple economics involved.
It’s ignorant to run your company under the following assumption… “We’re the biggest auto manufacturer, therefore we’ll always be around.” The reason I bring it up, is that no one could have a stupid, silly pension plan that was such a tremendous balloon going towards the future that it would crush the company. Only the Federal Government can get away with creating massive, bottom-heavy, underfunded retirement plans.
NOW… let’s get to the REAL meat of the issue. The UAW. A more bone-headed outfit would be hard to find, unless of course you look at the airline pilot’s unions.
“Buy American” isn’t about supporting your country. It’s about lining the pockets of greedy union workers. Seriously. The reason they even have to SAY “Buy American” is that other countries are producing cheaper, better vehicles than we are. Guess why. Hmmm…. could it be that they have lower costs in producing their vehicles? That would certainly help them sell more.
By strictly “Buying American,” you are undermining the very economic system that you depend on. You’re saying that economic freedom is great, just so long as no one else gets to share in it. There are plenty of people that would work at GM for much more modest money. MUCH MUCH MUCH more modest. So is that American? Keeping people from working because they won’t go union?
Companies can’t wait to unload their unions. It’s just plain good business to eliminate them. It’s not legal to do it directly, so instead companies have to resort to things like closing U.S. plants and moving them out of the country. If they didn’t have to pay 65 fricking dollars per hour in the U.S., they could keep the stupid jobs in the U.S.
So my perspective, it’s not the company’s fault when they move a plant out of the country… it’s the union’s fault. They are the ones trying to circumvent the free market this country was founded on.