Washington Post Compares Toyota To Slave Owners

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Washington Post Harold Myerson’s column starts by presenting readers with a stark choice: nationalization or more rigid regulation. Things get interesting in a car-oriented sort of way when Myerson talks about Motown’s simmering antipathy towards the southern senators who almost denied them their $17.4b suckle on Uncle Sugar’s teat. “If Abraham Lincoln were still among the living as he prepared to turn 200 six weeks from now, he might detect in the congressional war over the automaker bailouts a strong echo of the war that defined his presidency. Now as then, the conflict centered on the rival labor systems of North and South. Now as then, the Southerners championed a low-wage, low-benefits system while the North favored a more generous one. And now as then, what sparked the conflict was the North’s fear of the Southern system becoming the national norm. Or, as Lincoln put it, a house divided against itself cannot stand… “But, just as Lincoln predicted, the United States was bound to have one labor system prevail, and the debate over the General Motors and Chrysler bailout was really a debate over which system — the United Auto Workers’ or the foreign transplant factories’ — that would be. Where the parallel between periods breaks down, of course, is in partisan alignment. Today’s congressional Republicans are hardly Lincoln’s heirs. If anything, they are descendants of Jefferson Davis’s Confederates.” That’s just WAY out there.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Johnthacker Johnthacker on Jan 01, 2009
    How about those 50 plus years where Michigan was a donor state getting something like $.78 back from each dollar in taxes. How much do the Southern states get back from every dollar they put in? It is a vaild argument that nobody can ignore. That's because during those 50 plus years Michigan was one of the wealthiest states in the US. That's why it was a donor state. The Southern states received more in taxes thanks to being poorer. Congratulations, since Michigan's economy has been so bad, it's no longer a donor state. Personally, I'd take being wealthy and being a donor state in return over getting more out of taxes in exchange for being poorer. I didn't see the UAW or Michiganders arguing in any of those 50 years for some of that highly paid auto work to move down South, to the poorest states in the Union. No, they wanted their high-paying jobs to stay right there in the Midwest, preferably in Michigan. Any attempt to move down South would have been met with punishing strikes. So why exactly are the Southerners supposed to feel sympathy? The auto jobs in the South may be low-wage compared to the UAW jobs, but they're still much higher wages than the jobs that were there before. The foreign auto companies have produced far more local jobs for the South, good jobs, than the domestic auto companies ever have.
  • Luther Luther on Jan 01, 2009

    In other words, the choice is between Communism and Fascism according to some filthy government-worshiping parasite at the Washington Post...Shocking!

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Jan 01, 2009

    Leave it to the political Left to invoke trash-talking labels in lieu of rational debate. I recently visited the Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant where my Santa Fe was built with non-union labour, and I didn't see any shackles or chains. I did, however, meet a lot of nice people who really take pride in their work. I hear that the same conditions exist at Smyrna (Tennessee) and Alliston (Ontario), where my previous non-union cars came from... infinitely better products than the pieces of shit Detroit sold my family for 30 years. When the Big 3 go swirling down the bowl in part thanks to their gangster unions, we should all light a copy of the Washington Post in memoriam.

  • Nonce Nonce on Jan 03, 2009
    Residents of the unionized north enjoyed higher living standards That is true, thanks in part to unions. Then their current standard of living is the fault of the unions, as well. The car companies promised themselves an awesome lifestyle, and now the bill has come due.