Level Field Contemplates CAFE: Read the Fine Print and Weep
The Level Field Institute calls itself "an automotive research organization founded by retired autoworkers." In practice, they're a Big 2.8-funded pressure group Hell bent on protecting Detroit's interests in Washington. Well, maybe. Their newly-launched manifesto on federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards argues against proposals to eliminate dual standards (separate foreign and U.S.-made fleet averages). They correctly conclude that this part of the Senate bill would kill U.S. small car production– which would be great for Detroit's profits and not so great for U.S. autoworkers. Conflict? The [s]Left[/s] Level Fielders' ad also state that the Senate bill should force automakers to produce flex fuel vehicle, as it will "encourage U.S. jobs in Midwestern states hardest hit by manufacturing job losses." Quite how the Institute's researchers decided Detroit should beat cars into plowshares without help from, say, the ethanol lobby, is something of a mystery. Unless…
How will the retirees receive benefits if 2.801 are building no-margin cars in the US? If I wanted to maintain my something-for-nothing retirement benefits, I would want 2.801 to actually make a profit...But that's just me. There are almost 5 retirees to 1 active in the UAW...UAW is like France.
Gas is wobbling around $3.00/gallon. Lobbying for CAFE relief is like lobbying for permission to go out of business. Detroit must build decent fuel-efficient cars to compete. It's farcical that Washington must threaten them with legislation to get them to do it. And Lutz can stop whining about the cost; Toyota builds decent small cars and they are making money the last time I checked. Come to think of it, what HAS Lutz' actual contribution to GM been? Is there something besides the SSR?