UAW Boss To Save The World, America, Detroit

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
uaw boss to save the world america detroit

The Detroit News is running a guest commentary today by UAW President Ron Gettelfinger that's as humble as it is helpful. Which is to say not at all. It turns out Mr. Gettelfinger (along with his union) has been intrigued by the whole "building more fuel-efficient cars" idea for some time now. He wishes Detroit had been as far-sighted and sage as he. Gettelfinger doesn't exactly gloat at the Black Tuesday slashing, since it ain't exactly great news for the UAW, but he does blame "industry, government and concerned citizens" for failing to plan for current conditions. Gettelfinger's implication is that if Detroit and DC had listened to the UAW's "Marshall Plan for the U.S. auto industry"– which was proposed "back when you could buy gas for $1.50 a gallon,"– the current orgy of shutdowns and layoffs wouldn't be happening. So, besides offering economic aid and free-trade measures to form a European bulwark against postwar communism, what did this "Marshall Plan" entail? Predictably, the major parallel is that Gettelfinger's plan involves the Government giving away huge amounts of money, preferably in areas where the UAW can easily sponge it up. Rather than giving consumers a tax credit to buy any fuel-efficient car they want, Gettelfinger would rather see government incentives pay for the production of UAW-made eco-whips. He also trots out the weary canard that increased CAFE standards "unfairly" cost the D3 more than their Japanese competition, and that this should be mitigated by… more government "incentives."

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  • Oldyak Oldyak on Jun 06, 2008

    If your not part of the solution... your part of the problem! Give him credit for being at least conscious!! His union is shot.. he will be blamed... and he will retire rich! I hope he doesn't go drinking with the rank and file.... but he will be too old by then for any member to kick his ass! too little too late... Unions were great as long as they could ride the gravey train. Now what are they going to do? strike? That would be really funny!!!

  • AJ AJ on Jun 07, 2008

    I hate to see American jobs lost, but it's time the corrupt UAW goes away. That will be the best thing that can happen to the Big 2.8.

  • on Jun 07, 2008

    The Germans call the times of the Marshall plan the economic miracle. If the UAW members worked slightly as hard to fix the industry as the Germans did do rebuild there devasted country the Big 3 would be humming along. Of course Gettlefinger wants the government money without any inconvenience for the coddled UAW membership.

  • Captain Tungsten Captain Tungsten on Jun 07, 2008

    In amongst the rhetoric, Gettlefinger makes one good point. If the government makes a policy decision to offer incentives to promote manufacture of advanced vehicles and components in the U.S., they should go to the producers, not the consumers. If the policy decision is to stimulate the market for advanced vehicles and components (with country of origin be damned), then consumer incentives are the correct choice. They are two different decisions, and RG is rightly supporting the one that supports the union that pays his salary. Of course, you could also argue that government should stay the hell out of it and let the market decide, unfortunately, that decision puts the U.S. industry at a disadvantage against other countries whose governments have made policy decisions to invest in these vehicles and technologies.