By on August 19, 2010

Since taking office in June, UAW President Bob King has ramped up the rhetoric level at Solidarity Hall considerably, as he seeks to portray the union as a defender of the American middle class. But, as the old adage goes, actions speak louder than words… and King’s actions this week couldn’t paint a clearer picture of the UAW’s priorities.

On Tuesday GM announced that it would close its Indianapolis stamping plant next year, after workers there voted against a UAW-sponsored contract that would have sold the plant to Chicago-based Norman Industries and cut worker pay by as much as 50 percent. Local union members were so incensed by the UAW’s efforts to make them accept pay reductions, they shouted representatives down at angry meeting last Sunday (starting at 2:45 in the video above).

And if you think they were angry on Sunday, imagine how pissed the members of Local 23 were on Tuesday when the partially UAW-owned GM announced that the plant would cease production next June, and close by the end of 2011. Especially because they have no recourse, as the UAW agreed to a no-strike clause (ending in 2015) in exchange for its equity in GM and Chrysler.

To get the bitter taste of squelched brethren out of his mouth, UAW President Bob King took the union’s $33m Black Lake golf retreat off the market. Priorities.

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60 Comments on “UAW Sells Out Members, Holds On To Black Lake Resort...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    The center, renovated in the 1990s, has a gym with two full-size basketball courts, an Olympic-size indoor pool, exercise facilities, table tennis and pool tables, a sauna, beaches, hiking and biking trails, sports fields

    Who uses this stuff? Surely it can’t be union members…they might lose a finger, sprain an ankle, or puncture an eyeball.

    Someone should put some safety measure into place to prevent this.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    Where are all the UAW types now? Still think the union has your best interests at heart? Or do you think a pay cut is worse than no job at all?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      There is two issues here. First issue,the Indy plant. The internatianal agreed to the purchase,complete with pay cuts,the local did not. There will no happy ending to this story. My heart goes out to the workers.

      Second isssue,Black lake. Ask yourself,if it was yours,and you wanted to sell it,but you didn’t have to, would you sell it in this market? I think I know the answer.

    • 0 avatar
      also Tom

      Mikey’s comments make a lot of sense- therefore some of the more doctrinaire types will have difficulty processing them.

    • 0 avatar
      also Tom

      Mikey’s comments make a lot of sense- therefore some of the more doctrinaire types will have difficulty processing them.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      I live in Indianapolis, and here is the deal, as it has been reported locally. First, there is a 50% pay cut. However, any GM employee who wants to transfer to another GM plant and keep current wages and benefits may do so. Also, any GM employee who is eligible to retire will be allowed to retire, keep his retirement benefits, and still keep the Norman job at the new lower rate. Also, every employee who stays gets something like a $35K lump sum payment from GM.

      The problem is that the plant is staffed largely by “GM Gypsies” who have transferred in from other closed plants, and plan to move elsewhere within GM once this plant closes, so they really don’t care if this plant stays open or not. The thing is, they don’t lose under the proposal, but the local is so upset with the international that the local will not even permit the proposal to come to a vote. When representatives from International came in to try to present the proposal, they were basically shouted out of the union hall and went back to Detroit.

      It seems to me that a vocal minority with no vested interest in the plant or the community is essentially guaranteeing that this plant closes. The vocal minority will move on. But the city loses a plant that would otherwise stay open (at a lower wage). The international union loses a plant that would hire new union members (at a lower wage).

      I understand that there can be disagreements about whether it is a good deal for the employees or not. But when the proposal cannot be presented to the members as a whole, and when the vocal mob prevents an up or down vote on the deal, it just reinforces why american manufacturing is going away, at least in the unionized northern states.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      I was reading the Indianapolis Star last week while visiting family, and this story was getting lots of press. If I remember correctly, a lot of the line workers (UAW) at this plant have transferred in from other GM plants, and they figure they will just transfer somewhere else if the plant closes. These guys don’t really care if the plant closes since they will just go on unemployment until another UAW job opens up somewhere else.

      The long time locals who don’t want to move do not want the plant to close, and voted for the pay cut. The “outsiders” and local militants combined to vote down the pay cut, and the rest is history. Not only are the current jobs lost, but blue collar jobs for the next couple of generations are gone.

      There is a logic to all of this. It is stupid, short sighted, and self serving, but it is a sort of logic.

  • avatar
    jaje

    I bet most UAW members don’t even know about this Executive resort. Can we approach the local staff who maintain and coddle the UAW reps at this resort and get them to unionize (not under the UAW)? We can then have them get lazy as employment is guaranteed and strike b/c they need more money and benefits.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      Your comment on organizing the resort staff reminds me of when the local union hall in Anderson (just north of Indy) closed up. Seems that the union decided not to pay any severance to the staff…..all while ranting and raving over how poorly Delphi was treating UAW workers by only offering buyouts of $140K when they shuttered operations there. I guess you only protect the little guy when it doesn’t affect your own wallet.

  • avatar
    Gregg

    Not making excuses but maybe they don’t want to take a bath in this real estate market. It could mean millions to them.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The UAW has turned cannibalistic in order to survive. That’s pretty much it.

    Of course there will be infighting. I wouldn’t want to be eaten, either.

    Tell me again, why would Toyota’s workers want to join the UAW?

  • avatar

    Not to defend the union brass, but this isn’t the best time to try to sell something like that. It’s probably better to just hang on to it.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      This is the UAW in a nutshell:

      Rank and file members = the union

      UAW management/executive level = Da Union

      Power corrupts. Power in the hands of UAW Management corrupts ABSOLUTELY…

  • avatar
    Steven02

    And some people wonder why the UAW has a bad name. The people in this video are terrible and disrespectful. I know that they are being asked to take a pay cut. Why don’t they find another job instead if the pay cut isn’t going to work? Having a job isn’t a right.

    On selling the resort, something they should have never bought, I do agree that this might not be the time to take such a big loss on it, although I am not sure that luxury resort in Michigan is going to jump in value any time soon.

  • avatar
    Superduty

    MikeAR, yes a 50% pay cut is worse than eliminating the jobs. Depending on how a person has taken care of personal finances a 50% pay cut may very well be a trip to bankruptcy and losing many or all of ones possesions. How many of us really live on less than 50% of our pay and save the rest? How many people could live on less than 50%? If an employer is intent on cutting pay in half and thereby to insure an employees financial ruin what practical difference to that employee would it make if the employer survives or not. At least by eliminating the job the employee can move on with life and be spared a slow, painful descent into ruin.
    jaje, yes just about all uaw employees know about Black Lake and what goes on there(both the good and bad). By the way, the most productive plants in North America are UAW plants. You obviously are uninformed and/or are biased. I work eight to ten hours a day on an assembly line for one of the big three and have worked in numerous other places and in varying lines of employment in the past and I can assure you a job on the line at one of the big three is more strenuous than most. There are very few “lazy” people on the line, because the line stops for no one. You either get up to speed in a quality manner or find another line of work

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Kick off your boots, stay a while… we could use your perspective around here.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “By the way, the most productive plants in North America are UAW plants.”

      I’d love to see the supporting data on this. When you say most productive, what do you mean? Highest product quality? Greatest number of units produced? Fewest manufacturing mistakes? Fewest injuries?

      Union members ought to start understanding that union leaders are much more concerned about the union than they are about the individuals in the union. They’re not one in the same.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Superduty:
      How many people could live on less than 50%

      Many people make do on 50% of the UAW wage – which I assume in this case is about $16/hour.

      It can be done. Yes, it is difficult. Lifestyle changes are severe – the same manual shift Corolla or Ranger is in the driveway for 7 to 10 years – instead of a new every two Silverado with generous discounts. Goodbye 2nd home, goodbye expensive Carribean vacations…

      Sidebar: In a state like NY, $16/hour isn’t competitive with welfare (when you include the housing subsidy, food stamps, generous Medicaid benefits). So there are huge incentives to collect unemployment and then go on the dole.

      However, with time, productivity, and WORK RULE changes, your wage can rise.

      Ex Delphi CEO Steve Miller nailed it a couple years ago: “We cannot continue to pay $65 an hour for someone to cut the grass and remain competitive.”

    • 0 avatar
      cardeveloper

      I have been in UAW auto plants, UAW supplier plants, and non union supplier plants. There is a world of difference between the plants where people have to work and the laisseze faire attitude in a UAW plant. I had a crap load of seat foam come falling down on top of me one day, because the union employee had built himself a nest in the middle of the day for his nap. Or watched a union guy keep his job after setting off fireworks in the plant, or who can forget the Detroit TV expose where they found the union workers sitting in the bar getting drunk. I had to deal with quality issues that kept showing up, because the worker was too lazy to do his job on both sides of the hood.

      Problem is, while 75% of the people work, the other 25% abuse the system to the point of being ridiculous. And even the ones that work, with most of them having nothing more then a HS education, being paid substantially more than most workers is nuts, especially in today’s economy.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Superduty: By the way, the most productive plants in North America are UAW plants.

      If I recall correctly, those productive UAW plants were those which produced a single type of vehicle that had been in production for many years in relatively unchanged form. An example would be the Ford plant in Atlanta that produced the final “old” Taurus (pre-500 based model) until it was closed. A plant had better be productive with those advantages.

      The transplants are more likely to use “flexible” production (they produce several vehicles in one plant) and, until recently, were more likely to update their vehicles on a regular basis.

      A more telling statistic is that the daily absentee rate at a UAW plant runs at about 10-12 percent; at a transplant factory, it is at about 1-2 percent.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      “the union employee had built himself a nest in the middle of the day for his nap”

      I’ve been in UAW plants that have more coardboard housing than Mexican border towns. Also, we had workers that use potting ovens for baking potatoes, garlic bread, etc. Try explaining to your customer that the reason you can’t ship is that there is butter contaminating your potted electronic components.

  • avatar
    Revver

    How much was the proposed executive pay cut?

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Seriously, who believes the market for real estate(A high end resort to boot) is ever coming back?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I’d say that most people realize that the market will come back, it might just take some time.

      Real Estate, at least land, is a limited resource, especially once you get close to developed areas. It’s going to take some time for the suburbs built out in the middle of nowhere to come back, because business development is going to have to catch up in those areas first, but if you want to live near city and town centers where stuff actually is, there are only so many homes, apartments, and condos available. As the economy shifts back into high gear and more high paying jobs start popping up there is going to be more competition for the houses convenient to those jobs.

      We might not see prices like we did a few years ago, but right now real estate can’t get much lower than it is, it’s a no brainer time to buy. Even if you only get a 20% return on your home in five or ten years, it’s a lot better than throwing your money away on rent.

    • 0 avatar

      seabrjim is right… it’s a freaking “$33m” golf club retreat in Michigan, not a fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Real estate markets are local, and high-end Michigan golf course retreats aren’t necessarily due for a major turnaround any time soon. The damn thing has cost $23m in upkeep over the last five years, and they’re as good as guaranteed to lose money on the sale no matter what, so why drag it out?
      Besides, putting the retreat on the market was a good sign. I know that within the UAW it’s a symbol of the union’s strength and Walter Reuther’s vision of family education, but to almost everyone else it’s a symbol of the union’s excess. The irony is that they could have kept Black Lake on the market indefinitely at that price, and it might never have sold. They could have had their symbolism and golfed in it too.
      Unless, of course, a couple Detroit’s golden-parachute luminaries decided to pool resources, buy up Black Lake, and create an exclusive resort for retired American auto executives…. After all, in today’s auto industry, they are the real winners.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ed –

      I should have followed your link instead of Googling for information. Apparently I found the other Black Lake Golf Resort, which is in CA.

      Who builds a golf course in North Michigan? Isn’t that area pretty much covered in snow for half of the year?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      How much would they actually lose on the sale? They bought the original property in the sixties. Anyway, unless they can drastically cut the annual losses, they’d have more to gain by selling now.

    • 0 avatar
      Slocum

      Who builds a golf course in North Michigan? Isn’t that area pretty much covered in snow for half of the year?

      Who? Everbody. Northern Michigan is full of golf courses (I’m guessing you’re not from the area).

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Slocum –

      I’m not, I’m from Florida, which is also full of golf courses, but which sort of makes sense because you can use them nearly 365 days a year. Then again, I guess the summer is nice in upper Michigan, and they have a golf course and a ski resort in the middle of the desert in Dubai, so maybe it doesn’t matter where you build it…

  • avatar
    eastcoastcar

    UAW has been selling out its members since Reagan. A couple of years ago when GM was headed into the tank, I thought it was telling that the UAW president went on TV to exclaim that the Chevy Tahoe had been given car of the year award. The UAW leadership did nothing to raise awareness in the country of what lay ahead for manufacturing—instead, UAW cut deals to further marginalize manufacturing and its workers, and kept it quiet. UAW workers surely knew what was coming, but they got no help from their leadership. Sounds like how Congress represents the nation—-they don’t. Notice now that GM is investing heavily in China and Brazil—using the freedom it got from the Obama bailouts, while Detroit returns to natural land. Unless we get control of the country’s agenda back, we all will be living in the woods, watching Obama eat steak with Congressional leadership as they laugh at us.

  • avatar
    segar925

    Once upon a time this country was the envy of the world, now we produce very little. All of this happened because of excessive government regulation, over-priced labor and inferior quality products. Obama & the democrats have us on the fast-track to being a third world country.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It was during Reagan and Bush Sr. that the majority of our nations wealth became consolidated into the hands of the very few. Clinton did a lot to help the average Joe prosper, but W’s poor economic policies undid most of it and set up the situation we have now. Obama has thankfully minimized the damage, but we have a long way to go before the great wealth divide in the US is fixed.

      I’m not talking about handouts to inner-city ghetto folk who would rather pop out babies for welfare checks or sling crack than work, but rather the blue and white collar middle class that has been decimated by tax breaks aimed at the rich and poor oversight of the banking industry and stock markets that have allowed the wealthiest and most incompetent businessmen in the nation to abscond with billions and left the hard working middle of the economy left holding their dicks.

      That being said, plenty of things are still made and designed in the USA that are the envy of the world, and our domestic automobile industry has been making great strides lately and is in many products on par with or surpassing the Japanese.

      We need to find ways to grow our economy, but simple manufacturing and production are dead ends. We can’t be the worlds greatest economy with the highest standard of living and still pay people to manufacture things at rates similar to what the Chinese, Indians, or Malaysions/Phillipinos can get away with.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      It is a very short sited view you have of history. Clinton got lucky with the telecom bubble, which also burst at the very end of his term (which many people forget). Also, economic policies take years to really see an effect. We have no way of knowing that anything Obama has done so far has been positive or negative for the economy. I can say that he hasn’t minimized any damage. Many say that he has created more damage with extra entitlements he has backed, the same types of entitlements that have hurt Greece, Spain, and several other countries who are running out of ways to pay for them.

      I am not backing the policies of Reagan, Bush Sr, or W, but Clinton was lucky with the telecom boom and Obama hasn’t shown anything yet.

  • avatar
    segar925

    Statistics show the Reagan tax cuts and economic policies fueled our longest post-war economic expansion. We can’t grow the economy by the current Obama policy of spending ourselves into prosperity and increasing our debt. If you don’t believe me, try it at home & see how well it works.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The economy only grows when people have money to spend. The unemployment rate needs to decrease so that people are confident enough to spend what they have. You can’t create jobs and increase consumer confidence without spending money.

      From the time when Reagan took office and the time Obama took office the average gap between CEO and employee salary had increased by over a factor of 10. Consolidating wealth into the hands of a few will not fuel recovery.

      As far trying it at home, obviously that is a broken metaphor. If I could print money at home I could spend myself into prosperity pretty quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      NulloModo,
      Raising taxes on people who provide jobs isn’t exactly the way to go in a recession either. I would also like to see some sources of your information.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Steven –

      Here is a graph showing executive pay as a multiple of employee pay. It has actually gone down a bit from it’s 2000 heydey, although that corresponds more with the trouble in the stock market and the dotcom bust more than W’s policies.

      Here is an unfortunately blurry graph showing top tax bracket rates. You can see the rates get slashed during Reagan’s second term even while average CEO salaries were skyrocketing, followed by a little relief from Clinton trying to bump them, and the W undoing everything he did as soon as he took office.

      Add to this that the very wealthy have access to financial loopholes and accounting gurus that the average middle class person can’t take advantage of nor afford, and the very wealthy often pay much less than even that scale shows.

      Someone making $1,000,000 per year and being taxed at 50% would still be motivated to make money, as they would be doing a lot better than someone making $60,000 per year and only being taxed 15%. The argument that you don’t want to tax those who create jobs is without foundation.

      It’s also important to look at what types of jobs are being created. Small businesses are getting squeezed out of the economy by huge corporations thanks to deregulation. A local chain of hardware stores would need to hire more higher employees to run accounting, marketing and management vs Wal-Mart or Home Depot moving in and hiring mostly minimum wage or close to minimum wage workers while outsourcing the higher level work to their central offices.

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      Wrong. Reaganomics the predomiant theory of the past 30 years has brought us to where we are today. De-regulation, tax breaks for the wealthiest, deficit spending, breaking the middle class, endless budget busting war. 18 months of Obama’s Presidency has anything to do with this? I’m begging you, stop watching Faux, it is clouding your critical thinking.
      Do you really believe giving a tax cut to the top one percent will have an effect. What will they buy? Put cash in the hands of the middle class and they will SPEND!! IMMEDIATELY!!
      Of the past thirty years the strongest economy and lowest unemployment occured in the ’90′s. Any employment boomlet in the 80′s was because we were coming out of a severe recession.
      Reagan the Supply Side theory are done. At last. We can’t stand any further damage.
      Stimulus programs are meant to get money flowing again in the economy, their cost made up in tax receipts down the road. Are we to just sit on our hands and let the “market” pull us out? How long do we wait? How much suffering is enough before action is taken? Thank God the likes of McConnell, Bonner and the moronic Palin(shiver) aren’t running the show.
      If there is to be any “taking back” of the country it is to responsible tax policy and smart regulation. Like to the 40 years prior to Reagan. History will not be kind.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      NulloMondo: From the time when Reagan took office and the time Obama took office the average gap between CEO and employee salary had increased by over a factor of 10. Consolidating wealth into the hands of a few will not fuel recovery.

      A meaningless statistic that really has nothing to do with what really matters, which is the standard of living. It completely ignores, for example such factors as prices and overall purchasing power. Since 1960, for example, the percentage of a worker’s paycheck needed for food and clothing has DECLINED as those items have become more affordable.

      This is one reason why obesity is a problem among the LOWER classes. America’s poor are so poor that…they can afford to stuff themselves with food. Go to a truly poor country, such as Haiti. Do you really think that members of the lower classes are associated with obesity, as in America?

      With cars, prices have been forced up by government regulations, customer demand for more safety equipment and customer demand for “loaded” vehicles. Even in 1980, when I graduated from high school, anything short of a Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler New Yorker/Fifth Avenue, Olds Ninety-Eight or Buick Electra that had power windows and power seats was considered to be “loaded” and somewhat extravagant. Most small cars did NOT have air conditioning, and power accessories in a Honda Civic or Chevrolet Chevette were not even available.

      Now, people turn up their noses at brand-new Ford Focuses and Honda Civics without power windows, air conditioning, power outside mirrors, AM/FM/CD player and stereo, and enough air bags to keep the Titanic afloat.

      It’s the same with houses. My parents moved to their first house in 1967, after seven years of apartment living. They built it, and it was considered a show place among my family because it had…an attached garage and a half bath in addition to the full bath (with a shower!).

      Wow.

      Today many young newylweds would look down upon it as a “starter” home at best (my parents, by the way, still live in it).

      It also ignores that fact that just because someone makes more money does not mean someone else makes less money. What is important is the overall standard of living, and anyone who says that we have declined in this area over the last 40 years has no idea of what life was like in 1970.

      The simple fact is that the poor today enjoy material comforts and goods that the rich did not have in 1970. Same with the middle class.

      Where people got into trouble, from what I can see, is that they thought everyone had to have two new or nearly new luxo-SUVs parked in front of the five-bedroom McMansion (even though they only have two children).

      (I have a friend like this – he always complains about not having enough money, but lives in a brand-new, huge house that, to my guess, is somewhat beyond his income level.)

      No wonder some people are in financial trouble today. That is not the fault of Republicans or Democrats. That is the death of common sense and good financial planning.

      NulloMondo: Here is an unfortunately blurry graph showing top tax bracket rates. You can see the rates get slashed during Reagan’s second term even while average CEO salaries were skyrocketing, followed by a little relief from Clinton trying to bump them, and the W undoing everything he did as soon as he took office.

      Again, irrelevant. Let’s compare the 1980s to the 1970s…are you really going to say that the latter was better?

      NulloMondo: Add to this that the very wealthy have access to financial loopholes and accounting gurus that the average middle class person can’t take advantage of nor afford, and the very wealthy often pay much less than even that scale shows.

      No. The wealthy pay a greater percentage of federal income taxes today than they did in the supposedly halycon 1950s, when the top rates were at 90+ percent. This has been proven repeatedly by valid research.

      Why? Because we’ve closed the loopholes that existed over the years. The dirty little secret regarding those high tax rates is that very few people actually paid them.

      Do you also realize that the bottom half of Americans pay NO federal income tax?

      If higher taxes on the rich are the answer, then why are New Jersey and California – with the first and sixth highest tax burden among all states, respectively – economic basket cases? Both have progressive tax structures with high rates on top earners, lavish social programs and regulations for virtually everything that moves. Yet they are both circling the drain…

      NulloMondo: Someone making $1,000,000 per year and being taxed at 50% would still be motivated to make money, as they would be doing a lot better than someone making $60,000 per year and only being taxed 15%. The argument that you don’t want to tax those who create jobs is without foundation.

      That’s not the way people think. The rich don’t sit around and compare themselves to the middle class, anymore than a middle-class person compares him- or herself to someone on welfare.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Nullo,
      The graphs don’t really show much actually. The period that executive pay went up the most was during the dotcom bubble, which was under Clinton, but honestly he had nothing to do with. I also don’t think the dotcom bubble can be attributed to any president, but more of a change in technology. Clinton was probably the luckiest president ever as far as that was concerned, and then the bubble burst.

      I also believe your tax examples of 1,000,000 at 50% are wrong. They aren’t motivated to make more money, they are motivated how to figure out how to pay less taxes. My point wasn’t that you don’t tax these people, but you don’t increase the tax on these people when you are trying to get out of a recession. That part should honestly be a no brainer.

      “It’s also important to look at what types of jobs are being created. Small businesses are getting squeezed out of the economy by huge corporations thanks to deregulation. A local chain of hardware stores would need to hire more higher employees to run accounting, marketing and management vs Wal-Mart or Home Depot moving in and hiring mostly minimum wage or close to minimum wage workers while outsourcing the higher level work to their central offices.”

      Big corporations don’t squeeze people out by deregulation. Seriously, were do you come up with this stuff? They squeeze out the little guy by running more efficiently. And, the bigger a corporate gets, typically the less efficient. People who work for minimum wage choose to work for minimum wage because they haven’t prepared themselves to be high payed employee somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Steven –

      Regarding taxation, how is raising the taxes on top income brackets during a recession a bad thing? Just because they have to pay more in taxes doesn’t mean they won’t be motivated to make even more money to make up for it. I’d would suggest some incentives along with the tax hikes to heavily benefit the decision to invest money back into the business, that way it helps even more people.

      Regarding deregulation, deregulation in media and telecom has allowed Clear Channel to gobble up tons of previously independent radio stations, and allows Comcast and other cable giants to gain huge chunks of marketshare due to competitors not being able to use the same infrastructure.

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    “Obama has thankfully minimized the damage, but we have a long way to go before the great wealth divide in the US is fixed.”
    Yeah, I guess that “wealth divide” will be “fixed” when we are all poor.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    A few oversights here…

    1) The longest period of economic prosperity took place during the Clinton presidency. That doesn’t make his presidency great in any way. It’s just a historical fact.

    2) The folks who have mentioned the health of the local economy when looking at any real estate property are absolutely spot on. You are investing in the ‘community’ and for the first time in my life, I’m even looking at properties.

    But I will ‘only’ look at those areas where I would personally enjoy living at. I deal enough in the lower end of the car market to know that some of those folks would make extremely bad neighbors. Seeing how tore up the cars can get, I would be scared stiff of giving a house to these types of renters.

    3) I am not a fan of Obama’s stimulus program. But having said that, it’s way too early to give him any accolades or insults. Economic policies usually take several years to come into effect.

    By the way, Reagan and Bush Sr. tripled the size of the federal government during their 12 year reign. At the same token Clinton’s presidency was really at it’s best when fiscal conservatives on both sides of the aisle were the predominant forces. His experiences as a governor and use of ‘triangulation’ were a great help in keeping things on course.

    George W Bush was a laughingly bad president and the rubber stamping of government pork by both parties makes me yearn for an abolition of political parties altogether. The R’s and D’s really mean nothing at this point. Most of these fellows will screw the common citizen if it means getting more votes at home during election time.

    McCain’s judgement was definitely a bit impaired given his media whorish running mate. I’m glad he’s not there. But having said that, I hope Obama gets a very strong whiff of fiscal conservatism within the next six months because his advisors are encouraging many of the same policies that gave us inflation back in the 1970′s.

    • 0 avatar
      somedaysyoucantgetridofabomb

      Same policies that gave us inflation in the 70s? To deal with massive Vietnam war debt, Nixon is going to shank Bretton Woods and take us off the gold standard again?

  • avatar

    The UAW is corporation. Within any corporation there’s a tendency for those with greater influence to shift the purpose and profits of the corporation to ever more self-serving ends. With most corporations the pressure from shareholders and from the market will counterbalance this tendency. And if it doesn’t, the company goes out of business.

    Unfortunately, thanks to special status and funding given to union bosses by the government, they’re corporations with no counterbalance. They don’t not need to make a profit in order to survive. In fact, they can attack market competitors who do make a profit. And since the government grants them special monopoly powers they can confiscate salaries and force participation in the workplace, there’s no way for their captive members to defund corrupt and incompetent managers by taking their money elsewhere.

    So, yeah, if you belong to the UAW they’ll screw you, bankrupt the industry where you make your livelihood, and take your money to fund their resorts. Why not?

  • avatar
    rnc

    I was taught to worship reagan as a kid (ofcourse my dad, a col. in the army, benefited greatly), but man you look back on the damage done and the fact that the only way to really undo it will cost people thier jobs (politicians, who’s concern has shifted from what’s best for the country to what’s best for them). Bush, Sr. however does not deserve the blame (clinton’s presidency and his could almost be combined in terms of policy, they have become friends for a reason). The recession at the end of his presidency, he did nothing, which was the right thing to do, the economy overheats and must correct some, he realized that and did the financially prudent thing, history will be very kind to him (in my opinion), reference also irag, he knew the mess that toppling SH would bring and left him in power, castrated, SA was protected and therfore our economy wasn’t destroyed at the time (and that would have been the end result if we hadn’t done anything).

    Bush Jr, when faced with the correction after the DotCom era…..and we are were we are today (along with two unwinnable wars and a doubling of the national deficit in 8 years that had taken the previous 40 to achieve), there is nothing that obama can do to change this, it will take time, alot of time, but just continuing with that course is suicide, just as turning off the spicket at one time would be as well (but just as long as you’re rich or need to be re-elected (which also means you are rich), who cares, lets just create a new enemy, even if it’s from within).

    I vote for however actually makes sense and sadly there are not many who do (term limits for congress would do wonders along with the line iterm veto)

  • avatar
    Angainor

    “By the way, the most productive plants in North America are UAW plants.”

    He read it in Solidarity magazine so it has to be true.

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      You must be a Faux viewer…the anger and sour personality gives you away.

      And for the sake of discussion, what would be the opposite of Solidarity magazine? Hmmm…how about “Fascist Today”?

      Thanks, but I’ll side with Labor…the foundation of the Middle Class. (Or what we formerly called the Middle Class).
      Now it’s all about suppressing labor costs, keeping the populace fearful, and wealth in the hands of a few.

      Thanks Faux! Keep on spreadin’ that fear! Last week, Immigrants!
      This week, Mosques!

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      calnj: And for the sake of discussion, what would be the opposite of Solidarity magazine?

      An unbiased source that doesn’t have an ax to grind against the transplant operations, for starters.

      calnj: Hmmm…how about “Fascist Today”?

      I could make a fortune teaching people what does NOT constitute either fascism or socialism. (Hint – it’s not a proposal or idea that you don’t like.)

      This lesson apparently is not being taught in today’s schools.

      calnj: Thanks, but I’ll side with Labor…the foundation of the Middle Class. (Or what we formerly called the Middle Class).

      I’ll side with the reality-based community that understands the difference between accurate history and union rhetoric.

      For one thing, we realize that ending the Jobs Bank and making UAW members pay for their Viagra prescriptions will not end the middle class as we know it. In fact, it will help out the middle class by enabling us all to purchase better vehicles for lower prices.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      “Put cash in the hands of the middle class and they will SPEND!! IMMEDIATELY!!”

      Isn’t this part of the problem? Doesn’t anyone save money? Put away for a rainy day? I was taught by my parents to save 50% and live off 50%….less if you can. Downturns in the economy affect me less because of this discipline.

      As an aside…..some people in the world are just plain and simple pig-headed. Any view that differs from the little box they live in result in reactionary knee-jerk comments and name calling about the news channel someone watches or who one must have voted for. Open your mind to different views, especially on topics that have no concrete answers……you might just learn something useful.

    • 0 avatar
      rcdickey

      Re: 1996MEdition (last reply)
      Very good point. I was thinking along the same line. Anyone can find information to support whatever view they have. Arguing is a waste of time between the far left and right. The truly intelligent listen to each other and discuss, not argue, and come away with more understanding whether his or her opinion was changed or not. Our country is severely divided now and I do not see an end in sight. Now on topic, I work for a transplant automaker. I do not have nor do I want union representation in the foreseeable future. I have been in unions and know the pros and cons. The cons far outweighed the pros both at the local and national level. In one of my former jobs the company was automating as rapidly as possible and cutting staff as rapidly as possible primarily because of the costs associated with labor. Because this union was not allowed to strike by law disputes always went to binding arbitration. Arbitration almost always split the difference. Bad employees almost always got their job back if the dispute made it that far. Early on the union learned to ask for the moon knowing it would result in a better settlement at arbitration. This company, even with automation, is still heavily dependent on labor. As a result it is being priced out of the market by other technologies. In another union job I had the company was small with a single proprietor. If the union membership pushed for much he could (already wealthy) just close the doors or fire everybody and start over. So I was paying union dues for no real benefit. I was in on negotiations for my union one time. The offer made by management was tailored to give greater benefit to the negotiators than the majority. Can you say bribed? How many people out there are truly going to say no to a greater reward for him or herself if it isn’t illegal? Not many. This is why longtime union members get more at the expense of new hires. Unions might be fair in the eyes of some and may benefit some. But my experience clearly demonstrates that unions lead to more unfairness in the long run.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      The story about the sole proprietor reminds me of a company I worked for in college (production work in a textile mill). Backgroud, this mill had been owned by the same family since right after the civil war, as other companies closed shop and moved overseas they invested in new technologies, he paid a fair wage with a year-end bonus based on net income, one of those companies that you could start at out of highschool and retire from 40 years later (and alot of people did). This family was very wealthy (as they had owned a large textile mill for over 100 years and invested wisely, not to be unexpected). The union that was trying to organize used this fact to get them to unionize “look they have lots of money, they’ll pay”, they unionized, next day the plant was shuttered (except for facility closure and discontinued operations), the 500 or so employees were just shocked at losing thier well paying jobs in an area without alot (the union basically told them they were martyrs for the greater good, not alot of comfort in that). The family converted the mill (beautiful 4 story brick building, in a beautiful area near the campus) into high priced loft condos, made the family that much richer and sold the very modern equipment to a company in SA. Getting to watch this as a college student (business school) was just as good as any case study we did. (Wish I could find the speech the owner gave to the employees that day, I can’t do it justice, but the hurt was apparant, they had taken very good care of thier workers, turns out the company had been running just over breakeven for years, his loyalty was rewarded with this, screw you was basically the message)

  • avatar
    chuckR

    I’m amazed at some of these comments.

    I cannot understand the vitriol directed at Palin. She does not have a politically connected Daddy (Pelosi), a rich husband (Feinstein) or a really politically connected (and now rich) husband (Hillary). She does not live like or espouse the philosophy of the coastal chattering classes and apparently poses some sort of existential threat to their unwarranted self-esteem. Of the four candidates for P and VP in 2008, she was the least bad of a not very well qualified lot. Incidentally, you can see Russia from Alaska – look up the Diomedes. However, you cannot find states 51 through 57 no matter how hard you look. The anti-Palin vitriol is not unnoticed by the middle 10% of voters who elect people because it goes against American’s basic sense of fairness. I hope the progressives keep it up.

    Suck it up people. If you want to know who to blame for the huge increase in non-productive government drones and in unfunded entitlements and in the extension of government power, look in the mirror. You voted for them. If you think D or R are exclusively to blame for our various predicaments, you haven’t been paying attention for the past few decades. And you’ve benefited from the undeserved largess we can’t continue to provide without beggaring our grandchildren.

    Also, please go to the official IRS website to see who pays taxes and who doesn’t. SS doesn’t count – it is a funded insurance/annuity program. True, Congress has stolen the proceeds but they have an awkward time describing it as a tax at this late date.

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      Huh? I am not going to explain Palin…if you don’t see the danger she represents in it’s multitude of forms by now, you won’t.
      She poses a threat to the country by dumbing down the culture with her bumper sticker solutions and general weak intellect.
      Not by any means a threat to the “chattering classes” as you call them.

      And no one is more connected, richer, or for that matter done more harm then the Bush clan. Next up, Jeb!

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      calnj: Huh? I am not going to explain Palin…if you don’t see the danger she represents in it’s multitude of forms by now, you won’t.

      Having ideas is now dangerous? Who knew? And here I thought that the left was all about freedom of debate and airing all ideas and letting the public judge their merit.

      calnj: She poses a threat to the country by dumbing down the culture with her bumper sticker solutions and general weak intellect.

      I guess “hope and change” is not a bumper-sticker slogan, but a well-developed plan that reflects the best product of our finest minds?

      calnj: Not by any means a threat to the “chattering classes” as you call them.

      Yes, because the chattering classes are as arrogant and out-of-touch as Big Three management and the UAW have been over the years.

  • avatar
    George B

    ENOUGH! I want a national divorce! Rather that this stupid bickering I’m about ready for a Red State/Blue state split. Then we can settle which way works best and be done with it.

    Regarding the golf resort, if it’s a bad time to sell, why not rent it out? Would the maintenance costs be lower if they mothballed it while waiting for a buyer? Seems that the UAW could reduce costs here if they tried.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    It’s instinct to make oneself appear superior when threatend. Animals do it by puffing out their feathers, standing on their hind legs, etc. When confronted with something that is threatening to their viewpoint or is not understood, people do the same by becoming vocal and belittling the threat.

  • avatar
    segar925

    The current occupant of the white house can’t even speak to a bunch of grade school kids without his teleprompter. How’s that for a wonderful example of weak intellect? The number of brainwashed and uninformed liberals in this country never ends. It’s easy to fool the uninformed masses when most of the newsmedia’s campainging for you. At least Palin had executive experience as the Governor of Alaska. All Obama ever did besides community organizing was show up once in a while and vote “present” on pending legislation. That way he could flim-flam his constituents by pretending to be on both sides of the issues, just like the current Mosque controversy. What a sorry excuse for leadership.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Are you really going to try to spin Obama as a poor orator? Take a moment to really compare Obama, who has been universally hailed as one of the best public speakers to hold the presidency, vs Bush who gave Baghdad Bob a run for his money with quotes such as “I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully”.

  • avatar
    segar925

    It’s a fact that Obama took his teleprompter when he went to visit a grade school class. Obama was also “Universally hailed” to be the savior of the planet by every liberal in the mainstream media. Every time Obama speaks “off Teleprompter” he puts his foot in his mouth just like Joe Biden. The man has absolutely no core beliefs, so he doesn’t know what to say unless it’s been scripted for him. That’s why Obama didn’t have a press conference for 18 months. Obama read “corpsman” from his teleprompter at least three times in a recent speach. I bet you didn’t hear that from the liberal press.


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