By on June 5, 2009

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 26 percent of those surveyed support the GM bailout. Yes, but 53 percent describe the bailout as a “bad idea,” and of that majority of respondents, 30 percent of those support a boycott. The idea of boycotting a government-owned GM was most popular among men and middle-income respondents. Also, 51 percent responded that they are “more likely” to purchase a Ford because the automaker has not received government funding. If popular sentiment is so set against GM and the bailout now, imagine what it will be like after a few years of government ownership. Especially if this anti-bailout attitude is affecting sales along the way. Fills one with hope, doesn’t it?

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74 Comments on “Rasmussen Poll: 17% of Americans Support GM Boycott...”


  • avatar
    long126mike

    Fills one with hope, doesn’t it?

    Why? The bailout’s a done deal. Wouldn’t one want it to succeed from this point forth?

    Americans have a notoriously short attention span, especially if things improve. Have people “boycotted” all the banks and financial firms which received big bailouts? Remember all the threats to boycott MLB after the cancelled season? How’d that go?

  • avatar

    Its irrelevant as 80 percent of the public like myself have been boycotting GM based on product for years.

  • avatar

    long126mike

    What’s with the “hope” thing? Take a good, hard, cold, clear look at where your money’s going and ask yourself a simple question: is this going to work?

    ‘Cause you know what? They’ll be baaaaaack.

    Meanwhile, whether you, me or Eddy WANTS it to work is, I’m afraid, irrelevant.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    If I’m not mistaken, it took a few years and a few guys on steroids to get the MLB back in the pink.

    If GM starts making some great cars, all will be forgiven. If they pump out the same ole same old, people will solidify in their opposition.

  • avatar
    arapaima

    Your numbers are bad:
    30% of 53% =/= 30%

    The article also says 17% of the survey population.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    What’s with the “hope” thing? Take a good, hard, cold, clear look at where your money’s going and ask yourself a simple question: is this going to work? ‘Cause you know what? They’ll be baaaaaack. Meanwhile, whether you, me or Eddy WANTS it to work is, I’m afraid, irrelevant.

    I don’t believe I used the word “hope,” though I quoted the author of the piece using it.

    As for whether it’s going to work – I have no idea. I’m not a seer. It’s definitely possible. Debt’s washed out, costs are brought to competitive levels, retirement and health care are off the books. Seems like they’ve equalized with the foreign manufacturers on that, and any currency weakness only betters their situation. Audi came back from the “unintended acceleration” era and is well-respected now. Things can change.

    I look at this macroeconomically as opposed to microeconomically. This business failure is happening to a particular company at a particular time. If I were in charge of looking out for the best interests of the economy as a whole, it might seem prudent to risk a few dozen billion for the sake of not losing factors more than that from the ripple effects of a sudden meltdown of one of the core industrial producers in the country.

    Clearly, no one likes rewarding failure, and I don’t think anyone who comes to this blog doesn’t have a very large bone to pick with GM and its management, but it’s prudent (IMO) to separate those feelings from the macroeconomic considerations. It’s also important to put the numbers in context (like, say, compared to the funds committed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and overall increases in military spending – which completely dwarfs any auto bailout worst case scenario – with no economic upside to boot).

    GM has been a crap company with crap leadership putting out mostly crap for a long time. Unions haven’t been much help, either. So, believe me, it is odious to me to have my tax dollars saving that ship. But unfortunately, GM being “too big to fail” is a consequence of our willingness to be as dependent on automobiles as we have been as a nation, and the high degree of firm concentration in the industry is a result of our willingness to stick by the extreme end of laissez-faire ideology for a long time as well.

    My first concern is in getting back to a healthy economy that can sustain its growth without smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, getting there obviously entails some distasteful choices – lesser evils, if you will.

    Just how I see it.

  • avatar
    AG

    Toxicroach is right. Its all about the product. Its easy for people to say they’re more open to buying a Ford because right now Ford is making better products (even if the US-spec focus is ugly as sin).

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    RF was referring to his own comment re: “hope”.
    It’s called sarcasm.

    I’ve had GM cars for 20 years. I won’t spend another dime on them now. Even with Government money piled on the hood.

  • avatar
    wsn

    long126mike :
    June 5th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Fills one with hope, doesn’t it?

    Why? The bailout’s a done deal. Wouldn’t one want it to succeed from this point forth?

    ————————————————-

    No, I don’t want it to succeed from this point forth.

    There ought to be retribution against unfairness. If 100 billion dollars can buy a good lesson, so be it.

  • avatar

    arapaima

    Eddy’s copy had it right. I edited it and got it wrong. Apologies. Text amended.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    There ought to be retribution against unfairness.

    Hard as it may be to accept, much unfairness goes unpunished in this life. The extra problem in this case is that the punishment that you speak of probably won’t hurt the people you wish it would hurt, and more than likely hurt those you don’t want to hurt (like yourself).

    I don’t foresee Maximum Bob getting a stoning in the public square.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    The bailout’s a done deal. Wouldn’t one want it to succeed from this point forth?

    If someone thinks that no matter what happens GM will ultimately fail, then it makes sense that they want the organization to fail as soon as possible. That way, less money is wasted on the endeavor.

  • avatar
    King Bojack

    Hasn’t much of America already boycotted GM/Chrymoco products by simply buying elsewhere? Besides, most boycotts are fairly ineffective. How is this news yo?

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    Debt’s washed out, costs are brought to competitive levels, retirement and health care are off the books. Seems like they’ve equalized with the foreign manufacturers on that, and any currency weakness only betters their situation.

    GM’s biggest problem wasn’t debt, but revenue. Using their 2007 figures, their operating costs were greater than their operating revenue by about $5B. So that means that they were losing money even before all their debt and legacy costs were added in. In order to survive, GM is going to have to sell their cars for more than they are getting now. Is that likely to happen when they are bankrupt and their future uncertain?

  • avatar
    wsn

    long126mike :
    June 5th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Hard as it may be to accept, much unfairness goes unpunished in this life. The extra problem in this case is that the punishment that you speak of probably won’t hurt the people you wish it would hurt, and more than likely hurt those you don’t want to hurt (like yourself).

    ———————————————

    There are unfair things that I cannot do anything about. But as for GM, I can. By not buying their cars (we don’t anyway) and persuade friends if possible.

    In WW2, by your logic, what’s done is done. Jews were killed and France occupied. So why not make peace so that you don’t hurt yourself?

    Because it will hurt you more, if you don’t stand up against it. And rightly the allied forces suffered more losses but in the end won.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Unfortunately, I am old and not wealthy. Therefore, I do not have the luxury of making purchase decisions based on ideology. I will buy from whomever offers me the best value. Right now, it is Korean. If in the future it is GM, I will buy GM.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    If someone thinks that no matter what happens GM will ultimately fail, then it makes sense that they want the organization to fail as soon as possible. That way, less money is wasted on the endeavor.

    If GM existed in isolation, that would make sense. But it exists in a macroeconomic context during a severe recession amidst many other business failures. So it can’t be analyzed simply by saying “cut ‘em off and the expenses end.” There’s a high degree of risk that saving $1 for the sake of self-satisfaction could end up costing $10 or $100. Not saying that it necessarily would, but it’s not a proverbial free lunch. There are trade-offs to consider.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    There are unfair things that I cannot do anything about. But as for GM, I can. By not buying their cars (we don’t anyway) and persuade friends if possible.

    Let’s look at that. You just admitted you don’t demand GM vehicles as it stands, so your personal choice to continue this has no marginal effect. You may persuade some friends, but I have life experience that shows people, even friends, tend to do what they think is best and may not have the kind of commitment you feel you have.

    Fulfilling Godwin’s Law doesn’t further the exchange, either.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    People will act in their own self-interest no matter what. If GM offers them the deal on a vehicle they want, they’ll do it…

    As others have said, GM has been boycotted by years by buyers, especially on the coasts of this country.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Price trumps principle for the American consumer.
    The success of Chinese sourced consumer goods proves that.
    If Government/Gettelfinger Motors has the price, they’ll make the sales, IMHO.

  • avatar
    wsn

    long126mike :
    June 5th, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    If GM existed in isolation, that would make sense. But it exists in a macroeconomic context during a severe recession amidst many other business failures. So it can’t be analyzed simply by saying “cut ‘em off and the expenses end.” There’s a high degree of risk that saving $1 for the sake of self-satisfaction could end up costing $10 or $100. Not saying that it necessarily would, but it’s not a proverbial free lunch. There are trade-offs to consider.

    ——————————————-

    That’s the same kind of terrorism that Chairman Obama uses on Americans. (Terrorism = using terror to achieve political goals)

    OK, there are collateral damages if we don’t save GM. But how much is too much?

    As it stands, it costs $750k to save each UAW job so far (according to a TTAC post somewhere). Not to mention all the losses suffered by secured bond holders by not liquidating GM. Common sense tells me that’s too much. If we have to spend money to save some jobs, it can be done more efficiently in other sectors. A lot of companies cut jobs just to save $50k.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Now thinking about it, it actually costs more than $750k so far to save one UAW job.

    Why? Even in a liquidation, not all jobs will be lost. Say the plants are sold to Ford/Toyota/Hyundai in a liquidation. Then it’s not a far stretch to predict no more than half of the jobs will be lost. The new buyers just won’t fire everyone even if there is no strings attached.

    In that sense, we already spent more than $1.5M to save each disappearing UAW job.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    The assholes have our money, if we ever want it back, then we had better support them, or at least give them a chance. Spreading the word to everyone you know to not buy their products, no matter how good, is a damn good way to make sure they fail and take billions in tax money down with them. If their products are good, they should be considered. Especially if they are proven to be here to stay, and if their product support (warranty work, service, etc.) is intact and better than it has been in the past. The people to boycott are the goverment officials that had something to do with them getting our money in the first place. Any Congressman that supported the legislation to get this thing done should be voted out of office next time around, and so should the President. That’s how you should show your displeasure for the bailout.

  • avatar
    derm81

    Kind of like having a tea party right? I mean, it’s the same idea.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    How long have I been listening to boycott claims? Answer: All my life.

    Usually it comes from the left – boycott grapes because Caesar Chavez wants a better pay and conditions for migrant farm workers. Boycott Chinese goods because of Tiananmen Square/slave labor/environmental concerns, etc., etc. Boycott Walmart because of their labor practices.

    But the right have had their boycotts as well. Boycott Dominoes Pizza because Tom Monaghan is pro-life. Boycott Ford (current darling of the anti-bailout crowd) because they marketed to gays.

    I can’t even remember all the various boycotts, yet I note that it was always possible to buy grapes, Walmart is still in business selling Chinese goods, you can still order up a pizza from Dominoes, and they might deliver it in a Ford.

    IOW, boycotts don’t work. 2% of the population cares enough to actually put their beliefs into practice. The rest are just spewing hot air.

    Those of us who live in what is left of GM towns are going to be thinking about our local economy and we’re going to buy GM because that’s what butters our bread – such as it is. And because we have invested a lot of tax dollars in GM – we’d like a chance for a pay off more than we’d like to be able to say “I told you so”. I think this will more than offset the actual (as opposed to theoretical) boycotting.

  • avatar
    NickR

    I still boycott Esso (Exxon).

    Unfortunately, a boycott in this case would probably just lead to greater subsidies. They will always have a hand in your pocket, you just have to hope they don’t squeeze your nuts while they are there.

    Anyway, first time I noticed the big fat 0 next to GM in the Yahoo finance feed.

    I wonder sometimes how many jobs would be created if that money was made available for either education or venture capital or a bit of both.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Like most of the group, I’m also annoyed (to say the least) at the bailouts. Yet, I still hold some loyalty towards GM, on a personal basis. And the reason is very personal.

    At the core of my life, my lifestyle (God, how I hate that word), my net worth, etc. lies Chevrolet motor division. My father was a Chevrolet dealer, got out when the cars were still good. What he made and invested from his work with Chevrolet became my inheritance. The core of my financial net worth came from Chevrolet. As did my ability to buy my current house with a fifteen year mortgage rather than the usual thirty, live under the current economic conditions without retrenching (not that I was living high enough that retrenching was necessary), and make life worthwhile.

    So while the daily go-to-work rides in the Syke residence are Mazda (the wife) and Harley-Davidson and Triumph (myself), there’s still a Chevy pickup in the driveway. And when it goes, it’ll probably be replaced with another.

    Because at one time, Chevrolet did very well for my father, mother, sister and myself. I figure I can repay the favor every so often.

  • avatar
    Smegley

    I not only removed any GM vehicle from my shopping list for next year (3 GMs were in my top 5 just a few months ago) but I just got off the phone with my father and talked him out of buying a caddy next month. He was actually unaware of the extent of this effective nationalization, but once I informed him he struck it off his list.

    Americans who believe in true capitalism will boycott GM. There are plenty of us to do the damage that is required to punish this P.O.government.S like it deserves.

    The sooner the New GM is out of business, the better.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Obama Inc. will torpedo GM when it becomes a threat to his second term. As consumers, we can launch our own torpedoes against threats by just voting ‘no purchase’. Stop being a victim and send a powerful message to the decision makers. By doing this we will also preserve capital that will enhance our ability to support ourselves later in life.

  • avatar
    BDB

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s
    life: “The Lord of the Rings” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

    One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession
    with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted,
    socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

    The other involves orcs.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Dear Syke,
    There was also a time when the goverments in the US did very well for the electorate.

  • avatar
    tiger260

    I agree with happy_endings comment –

    The simple logical reason why this should probably end right now with CH7 is that the bailout and the mythical “turnaround” are simply not going to work. As that is the case, I believe that “ending in CH7 after we’ve spent $30B of the nation’s tax money on it” is a better outcome than “ending in CH7 in three years time anyway, after having consumed $100B + of the nation’s tax money. Neither is a great or desirable outcome – but one is better than the other.

    Right from the start of this saga back in Late 2008 this has been the case. There were good arguments that could be advanced for or against the whole idea of a bail-out at the time, but most were subjective arguments about “right or wrong” and “fair or unfair” which are fairly subjective matters really – dependent on one’s political or philosophical viewpoint. However, the pragmatic question should always have been “OK, so we agree to pump tens of billions of dollars into the company – other than staving off the imminent danger of collapse, what chance is there that this will really allow the company to turn around and become successful? “. The answer then was “No” and it is still “No” only now we have committed even more money to the cause. How much more money is it going to take before nature is allowed to take its course?

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    That’s quite an improvement from last year, when 82% boycotted GM cars.

  • avatar
    DarkSpork

    51 percent responded that they are “more likely” to purchase a Ford because the automaker has not received government funding.

    That’s at least somewhat what my sentiment is, the other problem is that I feel GM’s car quality has declined in the past few decades. Plus, I just like the products that Ford offers a lot more than the competition these days.

    Call me a pig for it, but I used to like the idea that I lived in a capitalist country. But that is going away with the government buying into large companies. GM and Chrysler are now a least partially government owned, and for that reason I will not consider buying another car from either company for as long as the government has ownership in either company. I do want to see GM an Chrysler fail, they never should have been offered government support to begin with.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    The value of a boycott is that it has the potential to force Government Motors to entirely close its doors (with the pieces being picked up by other carmakers).

    Why would we want this? Because it is the only way to stop an endless flow of Washington money to GM and the UAW/CAW. Further, an utter collapse of GM would remove Washington from active control of an auto company, making it less likely we will all be forced to drive little green shitboxes.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Why do these people keep forgetting that Ford’s CEO…Big Al…was in congress begging for money just like the other two?

    They were all sitting there saying how bad they need money.

    And Ford has 9 BILLION of our tax dollars sitting there, and all they have to do is make one phone call and it is theirs.

  • avatar
    agenthex


    Now thinking about it, it actually costs more than $750k so far to save one UAW job.

    This is done with what we usually call hillbilly math. For example, a commenter was bragging how he made 400% over 10years, which he translates to 40% annual returns.

    -

    and for that reason I will not consider buying another car from either company for as long as the government has ownership in either company

    You must stop using mail, too, and driving on roads.

    As I’ve commented on numerous occasions, there has been this quite successful campaign to distance citizens from their government.

    This generally makes manipulation of this government towards specialized interests much easier.

    Recall the recent skirmish over accusations of “changing bankruptcy laws” for Chrysler. As amply demonstrated, this was nothing but lies.

    People fell for it, know very well that they fell for it, and yet still position themselves to be fooled again by the same thing in the future.

    The premise is that they would much rather be idiotically incorrect rather than give any possible credit to the government, and they are proud to display this fact. This demonstrates how deep the brainwashing goes. Just as rats can be conditioned to push buttons, people are conditioned to associate thoughts.

    Your thoughts, are they really yours?

  • avatar
    DarkSpork

    You must stop using mail, too, and driving on roads.

    I rarely use mail. When I do, I usually use FedEx, which is not a government owned company. As for roads, you got me there. I generally avoid toll roads whenever possible though. I just don’t feel that companies should be government owned, this is a socialist idea in my opinion. I understand that many things in our country are already socialized, but I want to enjoy the things that aren’t while I can.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    All this talk of everyone already avoiding GM vehicles… Doesn’t GM still sell a boatload of cars and trucks? I understand they have actually gained market share the past 2 months. I’ll continue to buy ‘em.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    I just don’t feel that companies should be government owned, this is a socialist idea in my opinion.

    If you were a real capitalist, shouldn’t you follow the ideal of rationally evaluating all things on their merit rather than on emotional attachment?

    If you were to do that, you’d see “socialism” won to some extent fair and square in pretty much all successful democratic nations.

    The idea of boycotting a government-owned GM was most popular among men and middle-income respondents.

    Ah yes, the average middle-income man. Proud of achieving a superficial lifestyle which is in reality two steps removed from the paupers he despise, and always reaching for the bait of the wealthy he’ll never reach.

  • avatar
    law stud

    Surprisingly I see friends trading in their Ford pickups and getting Nissan and Toyota Tundra pickups. Although Ford has had some good looking cars the long term use appears from friends not to be the best of the bunch. I looked at a new Dodge Ram 1500 and it was about $4,000 more than Tundra being similarly equipped. I can’t believe pickup prices, a truck with leather and boom it’s 40-50k, wtf?!

    All the engineers I know drive Toyota. They say it has the best engineering.

    I’ll drive GM if they have a better price for the product than Toyota. A friend of mine got a Saturn Aura and when I asked why he said he looked at Camry and Accord and said he got more goodies for the cash. After I checked it out he was right. Yet he still gets worse gas mileage…

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i think there’s two issues at play

    no-one is gonna buy GM just because it’s GM – few people will spend $20-$30k on a car to support GM

    however the 2nd thing is if GM make a car that is truly worth buying I don’t see a problem with buying GM

    but the issue is this: can GM make a car that will make people overlook the past bitterness and the current ‘bailout-phobia’?

    Is the Cruze that car? Will any car or portfolio of cars help GM return to profitability? I don’t think so.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Surprisingly I see friends trading in their Ford pickups and getting Nissan and Toyota Tundra pickups. Although Ford has had some good looking cars the long term use appears from friends not to be the best of the bunch. I looked at a new Dodge Ram 1500 and it was about $4,000 more than Tundra being similarly equipped. I can’t believe pickup prices, a truck with leather and boom it’s 40-50k, wtf?!

    They are aware of the frame rot problem that plagues Tundras, right? Are they banking on Toyota buying those trucks back eight years from now?

    Back on topic, I think it’s ludicrous that anybody would boycott GM on the principle of the bailout. Unless you don’t give two hoots about ever getting your taxpayer money back, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. Personally, I think it’s hypocritical too if you support a GM boycott and continue to do business with the other tarp recipients listed here:
    http://bailout.propublica.org/main/list/index

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Nissan – the Frontier is a good truck. The Titan is awful, and I think discontinued. Toyota – the Tacoma (I just traded mine away)is a good work truck BUT in base form, it has the worst seat in history. It also has a rough truck ride unloaded. The GM Colorado has a much better ride. So does the Frontier. Tundra – does not seem to have a future, people are buying a product which should and will be discontinued. So once again, if you look at actual product and not reputation, GM and Nissan have superior product to Toyota.

  • avatar
    A is A

    Therefore, I do not have the luxury of making purchase decisions based on ideology

    I hope you dot buy stolen goods.

    Now seriously: GM and Chrysler cars are ABSOLUTELY OUT OF THE QUESTION choices for any freedom loving individual.

  • avatar
    shaker

    long126mike -

    Thanks for saving me a lot of typing – +1…

    I hope to see GM make a car that I (and others) want to buy, so that they can pay back the gov’t loans, which will get the gov’t out of the car business.

    Simple, eh?

    Edit: Removed inflammatory comment.

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    The poll below is interesting because it implies the US public appears to view the auto bailouts differently than the rest of the way Obama is handling the economy. That is, if the Rasmussen poll is accurate.

    USA Today/Gallup Poll. May 29-31, 2009. N=1,015 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults)

    “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?”

    Approve=55; Disapprove=42; Unsure=3

  • avatar
    genozeno

    There are too many builders not enough buyers. The goose that laid the golden egg for the United States of America’s automotive industry has been killed by, as Lee Iacocca put it: “By the foreign Invasion”. The total number of foreign manufacturers numbers seventeen with FIAT, it will make eighteen. Some one is going to have to go and it is my impression that the American consumer is saying the domestics have to go. With a total of 263 Domestic and Foreign nameplate models available and 9,000,000 potential sales in Jan. 2009, no one is going to make a profit. The attitude of the government (Senators Corker McConnell and Shelby), the media and the public is one that the domestics are the ones most likely to go. Even though the President says, he wants viable U.S. auto manufacturers; the overwhelming effect of the foreign manufacturers will dictate the American market place. The following are Japanese manufacturers importing and/or building vehicles in the United States: Toyota / Lexus, Honda / Acura, Nissan / Infinity, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki. The following are Korean manufacturers importing and building vehicles in the United States: Hyundai / Kia. The following are German manufacturers importing and/or building vehicle in the United States: BMW, Mercedes, VW / Audi. The following are the United States manufacturers importing and/or building vehicles: GM / Toyota /Daewoo, Ford / Mazda, Volvo, Chrysler / FIAT. I have a spread sheet that shows the product mix.

  • avatar
    63CorvairSpyder

    I will never ever buy a GM or CRYsler product again. But I had made this decision long before the “Bailout”. They screwed my father years ago and one of their fat-cat NJ dealers screwed me. And I further believe the government has NOOOOO business running/controlling businesses.

    Decades of incompetent, inept greedy management, scummy dealers and ridiculous union contracts sealed the fate of a once great company.

    I have zero compassion for the corporate managers, union workers and managers and dealers who brought down GM.

    In the future in will shop Ford and probably Hyundia. The European companies make good cars in general but they are expensive to buy and maintain especially when they get older with high mileage.

  • avatar
    Deepsouth

    Dear GM, my new 2009 Ford F-150 Lariat crew I took delivery of this Friday sure does drive sweet. Want to know why you never got a shot? You punish your dealers and customers. Your products are second rate. You took taxpayer money to survive. Thanks for my truck blue oval. Hasta la vista GM.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Dear GM, my new 2009 Chevrolet Malibu I took delivery of this Friday sure does drive sweet. Want to know why you got a shot? You have borrowed money from me, as a taxpayer, and I would like to see that loan repaid. I also would rather that my fellow citizens be gainfully employed — both in your business directly, and in all the businesses which support you throughout our economy — than be taking my tax dollars non-productively in form of public assistance, lower tax revenues, and increased crime. I know that a rising tide lifts all boats. Best of luck and welcome to your second chance to do things right this time.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    boycotts don’t work. 2% of the population cares enough to actually put their beliefs into practice. The rest are just spewing hot air.

    I can’t agree. It probably isn’t anywhere close to being as high as 2%.

    People like to vent, but very few stick to their guns when push comes to shove. Talk is cheap. They’ll boycott until the price is right or it becomes inconvenient to keep it up.

    Detroit’s future success or failure will come from its products, service and marketing. If they maintain the status quo, they will fail. If they make stuff that people want and stick with it, they’ll eventually succeed if they can figure out how to charge more for it and if they don’t run out of cash in the process. Boycotts won’t accomplish anything, either way.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    I know that a rising tide lifts all boats.

    I noticed that this term is being used correctly. Last time I heard this the “rising tide” was actually referring to luxury yachts riding atop a giant wave.

  • avatar
    Deepsouth

    @longmike126 …………. Congratulations, on your new Chevy Malibu purchase. Just like you… my new Ford that was manufactured here in the good old USA. The Ford F-150 4×4 crew was built in Dearborn, Michigan. We are both doing our patriotic duty and supporting the home team. Let’s have a group hug. Why? ‘Cause just like you …….I bought domestic. American product, American labor, American pride. Except, GM is working on taxpayer funds. Ford might have debt, but it’s not living off taxpayer money. Beyond that, GM has burned so many bridges in the market place it could be decades(if ever) before GM ever can see a market recovery. Like many born and raised on GM products. I have had enough. Goodnight…. lousy GM. May the GHOST of OLDSMOBILE haunt you forever.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    Amtrak II.

    Had GM / Chrysler been able to go into Ch. 11 without government intervention they’d have been able to shrink the UAW monkey on their backs and emerge with a chance of competitiveness (for a while, until the UAW got its contracts back to where they were before bankruptcy).

    But with the Obama administrations billions used to muscle preferential treatment for the UAW things will emerge even worse.

    If the UAW was the major precipitating cause of those company’s failure when it was “negotiating” with management, does any sentient human being believe that things will be better now that the UAW is “negotiating” with itself???

    This has American Leyland written all over it. Until GM and Chrysler disappear they’ll continue to suck up taxpayer dollars in a never-ending stream of government subsidies.

    The best outcome for taxpayers (and thus the country) now is for these companies disappear ASAP.

    We can and should support American workers who aren’t simultaneously attaching themselves to our personal weekly paychecks via the taxman – don’t buy any UAW assembled product and instead buy products assembled in America by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, KIA, Mercedes Benz or BMW.

    In doing so, we’ll be supporting capitalism instead of socialism, and so avoiding UAW products is now the patriotic thing to do!

  • avatar
    long126mike

    so avoiding UAW products is now the patriotic thing to do

    Making sure that the middle class continues to slip is patriotic? I’m always baffled by people who want the middle class in America to race to the bottom in terms of compensation.

    Even Henry Ford, famous despiser and buster of unions, realized that his workers needed to make a good wage so they could afford the cars they made.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    >>Making sure that the middle class continues to slip is patriotic? I’m always baffled by people who want the middle class in America to race to the bottom in terms of compensation.

    The UAW and the middle class are entirely different things.

    What is “middle class” about jobs banks paying people not to work, featherbedding work rules, or professional grade pay for work that can be performed with an 8th grade education (if not less)?

  • avatar
    long126mike

    The UAW and the middle class are entirely different things.

    To be “entirely different things” that would mean no one in the UAW is in the middle class.

    What is “middle class” about jobs banks paying people not to work, featherbedding work rules, or professional grade pay for work that can be performed with an 8th grade education (if not less)?

    So that’s what you think union laborers do with all their time?

    I’m curious – do you think there’s something wrong with people of a certain economic class working together to defend their interests and get as much from the capitalist system as they can? The upper class in the United States certainly behaves in that manner. So why should those in the middle class be barred from acting likewise?

    For example, say a CEO is able to secure $120 million in compensation in a given year. Is that justifiable compensation? Who exactly determines what is justifiable? In the CEOs case, the theory is that owners hire a board which oversees management. In reality, there’s strong overlap between these groups such that little control or oversight occurs, and we often witness very high compensation even though a firm performs suboptimally. GM has certainly demonstrated that, as have countless firms.

    Please make an economically rational counterargument.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    >>So that’s what you think union laborers do with all their time?

    Not all of course. But it is well known that unionized environments foster lowered productivity and quality.

    Have you ever seen the YouTube videos of Detroit area UAW members taking 2-3 hour drinking lunches, safe if their union contract job protection?

    Even better, the one about the UAW shop steward at a Ford transmission plant pulling in 1500 hours a year of overtime while he was simultaneously going home and drinking, participating in bowling tournaments and such.

    >>I’m curious – do you think there’s something wrong with people of a certain economic class working together to defend their interests and get as much from the capitalist system as they can? The upper class in the United States certainly behaves in that manner. So why should those in the middle class be barred from acting likewise?

    Oh, here we go with the Marxism. But then I guess this should be expected since Marxists and unionists are essentially the same – collectivists who live and breath “class” “capital vs. labor” etc.

    When did I ever say that the middle class should be barred from pursuing their best economic interests? You’re invoking straw man arguments.

    There is nothing wrong with anyone pursuing their best economic interests. That is what capitalism is all about.

    But while unions are on avenue for such pursuits, neither are they the sole means, or even the best means.

    Look at the UAW. While its remaining members make high compensation, it’s come at the expense of the hundreds of thousands of their UAW “brothers and sisters” who’ve lost their jobs over the past couple of decades because of UAW inflexibility and insistence on retaining higher than market compensation for their dwindling pool of members rather than maximizing employment for their members.

    >>For example, say a CEO is able to secure $120 million in compensation in a given year. Is that justifiable compensation? Who exactly determines what is justifiable? In the CEOs case, the theory is that owners hire a board which oversees management. In reality, there’s strong overlap between these groups such that little control or oversight occurs, and we often witness very high compensation even though a firm performs suboptimally. GM has certainly demonstrated that, as have countless firms.

    Agreed. CEO compensation is too high – above market – in large part thanks to incestuous relations in board rooms.

    Greed and self-dealing are human failings, and not confined to CEO’s or union members.

    >>Please make an economically rational counterargument.

    How about history. Look at what unions have done in the steel and airline industries, along with autos.

    “Negotiating” and maintaining compensation structure so above market value as to drive employers into Chapter 11 reorganization, if not Chapter 7 dissolution, hardly seems a viable model for building the middle class, at least not in the long term.

    The whole union thing is built upon a fallacy. If employers set wages, then every non-union employee would be making no more than minimum wage. The market sets the wages; and while unions can distort that for a time in favor of their members, the unions cannot buck the market over the long term. Hence, again, I cite the history of the steel, airline and auto industries.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    “That’s quite an improvement from last year, when 82% boycotted GM cars.”
    That would be incorrect. 80% would be more accurate. Or you could talk about let’s say Honda- where over 90% avoided (boycotted) that brand…

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Oh, here we go with the Marxism.

    I asked for an economically rational response and all I got were anecdotes and silly, misguided red-baiting.

    Some people just can’t get past their trip-words, I guess.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    In doing so, we’ll be supporting capitalism instead of socialism, and so avoiding UAW products is now the patriotic thing to do!

    The traditionalists sure like their labels, like how we’re a white nation, christian nation, capitalist nation. Those who don’t fit the stereotype are obviously unpatriotic, perhaps not even American.

    -
    Agreed. CEO compensation is too high – above market – in large part thanks to incestuous relations in board rooms.

    Sacrilege! How dare you question those with more wealth than you. They are obviously better human beings and do not require judgment passed by the likes of you. Despite initial statements to contrary, it’s quite obvious you’re a communist sympathizer looking to bring the rich man down.

    -

    How about history. Look at what unions have done in the steel and airline industries, along with autos.

    If you’re going to cite “history” and generally pretend to be academic, I’d suggest at least a comparative analysis with other failed industries, because I can guarantee the conservative morons you got that tidbit from didn’t do so.

    I’d also advise learning something about UAW’s deal (no strikes for 6 years, etc) before helping to spread lies like “with the Obama administrations billions used to muscle preferential treatment for the UAW things will emerge even worse.”

    Finally, I’d recommend actually reading Adam Smith before invoking the invisible hand of the market.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    >>Oh, here we go with the Marxism.

    >>I asked for an economically rational response and all I got were anecdotes and silly, misguided red-baiting.

    >>Some people just can’t get past their trip-words, I guess

    Like your derogatory use of the phrases “capitalist system” and “upper class?”

    Had you read my entire post, you would have seen the response to your derogatory “please make an economically rational counterargument.”

    That the UAW peaked at about 500,000 members around 1979, and is now a fraction of that, speaks boldly to how well it has “expanded” the middle class.

    That “thanks to unions we have the middle class” shtick may work with the rank and file Kool-Aid drinkers, but the actual record says otherwise.

    >>If you’re going to cite “history” and generally pretend to be academic, I’d suggest at least a comparative analysis with other failed industries, because I can guarantee the conservative morons you got that tidbit from didn’t do so.

    I cited history. Why don’t you provide the comparative analysis that shows unions help sustain employers and so help sustain jobs. I can hardly wait.

    >>I’d also advise learning something about UAW’s deal (no strikes for 6 years, etc) before helping to spread lies like “with the Obama administrations billions used to muscle preferential treatment for the UAW things will emerge even worse.”

    Then file a report about the “lies” about the preferential treatment given the UAW with The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, for it’s been reported everywhere.

    As to “new strikes for 6 years” am I supposed to be impressed? So the UAW – which is now owner – has agreed not to strike against itself for 6 years. Whoopee!

    >>Finally, I’d recommend actually reading Adam Smith before invoking the invisible hand of the market.

    I have. Perhaps you should try reading Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom.”

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    “because I can guarantee the conservative morons you got that tidbit from didn’t do so.”

    Ah, true colors have bled through.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Like your derogatory use of the phrases “capitalist system” and “upper class?”

    You’re projecting your own attitudes, because neither one was said in a derogatory fashion. Shall I make up a bunch of dog whistle euphemisms in order to make sure I don’t unspring some tightly-wound zealot looking for his magic trip words?

    That the UAW peaked at about 500,000 members around 1979, and is now a fraction of that, speaks boldly to how well it has “expanded” the middle class.

    No, that speaks to a systematic effort to take down unions, without which perhaps you wouldn’t see the kind of pushback you’re witnessing with the current administration.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    >>Like your derogatory use of the phrases “capitalist system” and “upper class?”

    >>You’re projecting your own attitudes, because neither one was said in a derogatory fashion. Shall I make up a bunch of dog whistle euphemisms in order to make sure I don’t unspring some tightly-wound zealot looking for his magic trip words?

    Anyone dispassionate observer reading your original post will detect the derogatory implication of your choice of words and the context.

    >>That the UAW peaked at about 500,000 members around 1979, and is now a fraction of that, speaks boldly to how well it has “expanded” the middle class.

    >>No, that speaks to a systematic effort to take down unions, without which perhaps you wouldn’t see the kind of pushback you’re witnessing with the current administration.

    Yeah, once the conspirators left the grassy knoll they decided that their next mission would be to take down the unions.

    Seriously, while it is true that union free employers don’t welcome unions with welcome arms, the fact remains that no rational employer would. Who would want the UAW or Teamsters or SEIU on their premises?

    And what rational employee would want them either? Why pay dues for years only to find that the union has precipitated your company going into Chapter 11, moving its operations overseas to escape the union, or going out of business entirely?

  • avatar
    agenthex

    That the UAW peaked at about 500,000 members around 1979, and is now a fraction of that, speaks boldly to how well it has “expanded” the middle class.

    I cited history. Why don’t you provide the comparative analysis that shows unions help sustain employers and so help sustain jobs. I can hardly wait.

    The auto industry tends to be fairly uniformly unionized in the developed world. However, your ignorance of this and subsequent failure in logic led you to believe that the concept of unionization has unavoidably, instead of uniquely, impacting GM and Chrysler. This ignores (predictably) in addition the drastic differences in strategy, product, marketing, even manufacturing itself between competitors in the industry.

    Historically speaking, the labor struggle of early days of capitalism are pretty well documented. They in part led to the “socialist” system of laws we have today which somewhat mitigate the external cost of capital employment. I can either post the brief wiki link or you can actually read a book about it.

    -
    Like your derogatory use of the phrases “capitalist system” and “upper class?”

    These are fairly well defined terms, they are used accurately in context. Again, I hope the undereducated can strive to read the primary sources which spawned these ideas instead of believing whatever they are told by self-interested parties.

    -

    As to “new strikes for 6 years” am I supposed to be impressed? So the UAW – which is now owner – has agreed not to strike against itself for 6 years. Whoopee!

    This is factually wrong, they only own a small minority of stock and they certainly were striking when their interests were represented by the company. However, it’s true the dull thinkers who believe this lack the ability to distinguish between a government and a union.
    -

    Then file a report about the “lies” about the preferential treatment given the UAW with The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, for it’s been reported everywhere.

    Again, here we have the dull thinker having a hard time distinguishing between news and an editorial.

    To be fair, evaluating the factual basis of claims given the deluge of PR dollars primarily favoring the corporatist viewpoint in their own media can be difficult. The money to pay for the blitz of talking point which more or less establishes “truth” among the plebs certainly favors the capitalized. I think I’ve already noted the “laws broken for Chrysler BK” example and its many related lies.

    It’s also important to note that the primary goal is advocacy instead of deception per se, so it’s quite possible claims are correct, however incidental.

    -

    Ah, true colors have bled through.

    It’s objectively true that certain groups embrace ignorance as policy (and recruiting tool). This can be readily seen in their vilification of academic pursuit and study. Generally it’s a failing strategy as educational standards and norms tend to increase over time, despite some notable exceptions.

    -
    And what rational employee would want them either? Why pay dues for years only to find that the union has precipitated your company going into Chapter 11, moving its operations overseas to escape the union, or going out of business entirely?

    So the ridiculous claim here is that without unions, the rationale for outsourcing would disappear.

    It’s sort of ironic that collective bargaining, for better or worse, would be the strategy used to stop that.

    This is not atypical of logical-confusion propaganda used on people with poor thinking ability in general. Remember when the free marketeers were blaming the “government regulated” monopoly of bond ratings companies? Well it turns out issuers were shopping around for the best rating, so logic would dictate the free market element was the issue. However it’s presented instead with the same ignorance-based “you (gov) touched it, you broke it” rule as here.

    To clarify the backdrop for this, the thought conditioning rule needed is relatively simple. First associate “government = bad”, then for whatever needs to be vilified, “gov is somehow associated with _whatever_”, therefore automagically “whatever = bad”.

    For example, similarly from above, “union = bad” => “union = government = bad”. Such completes the mind of simpletons. Sure beats asking them to study issues in depth and losing blank minds.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Anyone dispassionate observer reading your original post will detect the derogatory implication of your choice of words and the context.

    Oh, now you’re telling me how I actually feel. Brilliant.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Yeah, once the conspirators left the grassy knoll they decided that their next mission would be to take down the unions.

    Yes, you’re absolutely right. There has been no systematic effort to destroy unions in the history of the United States. Very observant of you again.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    >So the ridiculous claim here is that without unions, the rationale for outsourcing would disappear.

    Yeah, that explains the union-free auto plants established in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.

    The UAW has been great for creating jobs … in states outside of Michigan!

    >>This is factually wrong, they only own a small minority of stock and they certainly were striking when their interests were represented by the company. However, it’s true the dull thinkers who believe this lack the ability to distinguish between a government and a union.

    Under the Obama plan the UAW is given a majority stake in Chrysler.

    The UAW + government a majority stake in GM.

    So reported in the “corporatist” New York Times, widely recognized as part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. LOL.

    Were it not for the Obamessiah’s divine intervention – bought and paid for with millions in campaign donations – GM and Chrysler would have gone into Chapter 11 and the restructuring would have resulted in a much bigger haircut for the UAW. Indeed, Chrysler likely would have ended up in Chapter 7.

    In other words, the same that we’ve already seen with airlines and steel and other unionized entities that burdened with the parasitic drag of unions eventually must resort to bankruptcy (either to restructure or dissolve) or head overseas.

    Like Amtrak, GM and Chrysler will now only suck up taxpayer dollars as the same type of people who brought us FEMA and the Registry of Motor Vehicles run these companies, answering to their new owners in the UAW.

    American Leyland indeed.

    The sooner they disappear the sooner they’ll stop feeding off our weekly paychecks.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Yeah, that explains the union-free auto plants established in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.

    What does this have to do with the point? I take it as your attempt to illustrate your depth of knowledge of the industry.

    -
    The UAW + government a majority stake in GM.

    To save myself the trouble, I’ll just copy paste:

    To clarify the backdrop for this, the thought conditioning rule needed is relatively simple. First associate “government = bad”, then for whatever needs to be vilified, “gov is somehow associated with _whatever_”, therefore automagically “whatever = bad”.

    For example, similarly from above, “union = bad” => “union = government = bad”. Such completes the mind of simpletons.
    -

    GM and Chrysler would have gone into Chapter 11 and the restructuring would have resulted in a much bigger haircut for the UAW. Indeed, Chrysler likely would have ended up in Chapter 7.

    Both would’ve end up in chap7, which I know conservatives love because it would instantly kill the UAW, along with most of the mid-west (and probably along with significant portion of suppliers for the domestic auto industry). But riddle me this, without your precious scapegoat, how would would a group that thrives these days solely on dumping on others survive?

    -

    In other words, the same that we’ve already seen with airlines and steel and other unionized entities that burdened with the parasitic drag of unions eventually must resort to bankruptcy (either to restructure or dissolve) or head overseas.

    I can either copy paste more from above, tell you to re-read those posts, or just point out you’ve implicitly admitted to running out of ideas and have resorted to dodging the point.

  • avatar
    Tom-W

    You’ve still not provided examples of unions having a beneficial effect upon employers, and thus upon jobs.

    And if you can’t understand the riposte to your assertion that offshoring would occur notwithstanding unions, by citing examples of jobs NOT offshored but established in the United States, well so be it.

    Economics speaks of the law of comparative advantage. If costs are sufficiently lower to offset shipping costs, then operations will eventually gravitate toward the lower cost / more efficient area.

    Unions raise costs – not just wages, but the parasitic drag of dealing with grievances, strikes, slowdowns, contract protect slacker mentalities, etc.

    So over the long term unionized companies become increasingly uncompetitive, and eventually must resort to bankruptcy or relocation away from U.S. labor laws / unions.

    I’m signing off this thread. Tired of it.

    Go keep drinking your union Kool-Aid, it’ll help keep you cool as you stand in the unemployment line.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    You’ve still not provided examples of unions having a beneficial effect upon employers, and thus upon jobs.

    Notice how some people believe the world revolves around benefit to the employer. Thanks for voluntarily validating all my prior posts.

    -

    And if you can’t understand the riposte to your assertion that offshoring would occur notwithstanding unions, by citing examples of jobs NOT offshored but established in the United States, well so be it.

    No, please explain it what’s not understood. I want all the details so we can all see how idiotic it is that the desire to avoid currency fluctuation and import barrier is spun into anti-union rhetoric.

    -

    Economics speaks of the law of comparative advantage. If costs are sufficiently lower to offset shipping costs, then operations will eventually gravitate toward the lower cost / more efficient area.

    Great, now you’ve at least taking some econ 101. So did you end up reading the material I recommended and tried to learn a bit more?
    -

    Go keep drinking your union Kool-Aid, it’ll help keep you cool as you stand in the unemployment line.

    That’s funny, because your compatriots have just created the longest unemployment line in recent history and only wish it to become longer for ideological purposes. The country is indebted for your outpouring of external costs.

  • avatar
    Skier1

    Most but not all of you are hipocrites and here is why:
    1: Most banks have taken Gov’t money, did you move to one that did not take Gov’t money.
    2: Many of you have bought foreign vehicles, though they may be produced here, do you realize that only enough money stays here to pay the so called bills and the rest goes back to the home land.
    3: You don’t like socialism (I don’t either) but that foreign car you bought, Toyota, BMW, KIA, Honda, etc.. Those companies receive support from their socialist gov’ts on a yearly basis. You are still buying their vehicles.
    4: Many of the every day items you use and buy are manufactured in a company that is in a socialist or worse yet communist country that provides supposrt to that manufacturer on a Yearly basis.

    You are hipocrites.

    The correct thing to do is buy as many GM & Chrysler Vehicles as possible and see if Comrade Obama and Geithner are true to there words and sell the preferred stock as they say they will. That is the true test if you really don’t like Comrade Obama.

    I can say these things as I am a GM Salaried retiree that has some idea of how the economy and the auto industry work. One thing to keep in mind. There are approximately 1,200,000 total GM retirees (salaried and hourly), I am sure you do not want any of us living off the dole (welfare)of the gov’t.

    What I see here is griping by people who are jealous of what the auto workers have. Granted there are bad apples, which is what the communist press will only tell you about, but most of the people are hard working individuals just like most of you are I am sure and you would be lying if you said that you did not have any bad apples in places of employment. I would like to see any of you do what the men and women in the assembly plants have to do at the rate of approximately 60 vehicles an hour going down the assembly line.

    One last thing, believe it or not and you can check your history if you are so inclined or intelligent enough, if it were not for the gains that the automotive and yes steel industries achieved in the 20th century you would not even have half of what you have today. Think about that for awhile and check your historical facts. What these two industries received typically was copied to a certain extent that they could afford in other areas so that they could compete for employees.


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