By on July 25, 2010


Fiat is determined to drag their Italian operations into the 21st century, says The New York Times. Lacksadaisical attitudes produced some novel ways of shirking work. Some examples include calling sick at Fiat (remember, you get paid in full even if you call sick) and using that time to work another job or faking a doctor’s note. The latter is particularly used when a local football team is playing. Well, no more, according to Marchionne. He wants to impose foreign style work standards to encourage more pride in Italian workers’ jobs and improve the competitiveness of Italian factories. Some have an opposite view.

“He wants to impose American-style standards,” said Nello Niglio, a factory worker. Signore Niglio believes that Sergio wants to Italian workers to work longer hours and cut back on absences, but his reaction to this? “But too much work is going to kill our workers.” This might sound like hysteria from even the most paranoid Unionista, but don’t be so sure. Recently, the French government summoned the CEO of France Telecom to explain 23 staff suicides.

Marchionne will have a big job in front of him. He needs to reverse generations of bad attitude. As the NY Times puts it:

“But shifting a culture toward work and closing the divide with Italy’s northern neighbors won’t be easy. Embedded for generations here — and on other parts of Europe’s often-sweltering southern rim — is a lifestyle that values flexibility for workers.”

One thing which might help Marchionne push this new work ethic is the government. In July, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pushed through a cost cutting plan to try and reign in Italy’s huge budget issues. The impending “dark times” ahead may force Italian workers’ hands in order to value the job they have. But to give you an example of the kind of challenge Marchionne has in changing Italian mind-sets, here’s an example.

During the Football World Cup, Fiat put up a big television inside the factory so workers could watch the game whilst working. Sounds, good, right? Not to everyone. Despite being paid by Fiat to watch the football, some people STILL didn’t turn up.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Marchionne has already had some success in changing Italian workers’ in getting the Pomigliano plant to accept a new contract. But Mr Niglio, who is a member of the FIOM (which, if you remember, is the only union which voted against Marchionne’s plan in Pomigliano) is unwavering in his view of Marchionne. “There (China), they work super shifts that lead to increased suicide rates,” he said, “And workers are no longer humans, but machines.” He then went on to say that Fiat was crushing their right to strike and reckoned that longer hours would diminish the quality of work (hint, hint, hint.) Mind you, not everyone feels the same way as Mr Niglio. One factory worker, Mr Nacco (who didn’t want to be identified by christian name, for fear of reprisals) says “When one person is missing, it slows down the whole group and everyone has to pick up the slack…The production of 200 cars, for example, is slowed to 160 if a person is gone. Imagine when this is multiplied across the factory.”.  But I must take issue with Mr Niglio’s comments about China. Chinese worker treated like machines? If they are, nobody told Honda

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58 Comments on “Marchionne Starts Anti-Slacker Crusade...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Personally, I always admired the Italian work/life balance when I’ve gone to visit my relatives.** Sure, it resulted in FIAT or Olivetti not exactly turning out to be Toyota or Samsung, but the whole society seemed much more well-adjusted.

    I can’t help but think of the parental leave programs and early childhood education and how they likely play a huge role in the academic performance and lack of social problems (comparatively) that much of Europe sees.

    Maybe, instead of forcing equitable working conditions into a race to the bottom we should be trying a little harder to avoid “sweatshop nations”?

    P.S. The fellow in the caption photo looks a lot like, well, a number of friends of mine.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      I can’t help but think of the parental leave programs and early childhood education and how they likely play a huge role in the academic performance and lack of social problems (comparatively) that much of Europe sees.

      Euros have their of share social issues – especially with elderly retirees. During the summer of ’03 they steamed a good number of elderly into early graves. A more productive (and wealthy) society might have better HVAC.

    • 0 avatar
      The Guvna

      Agreed. A month spent in France a few years ago was revelatory—Christ, these people actually have their priorities in order? What the hell? Yes, it meant not being able to get a number of things done between twelve and two on a week day, but you know something? Everybody seemed better off for it. After a week or so of cultural adjustment, I was, too. But there was talk at the time of significantly increasing the number of hours in the average work week (which may indeed have since happened…anyone have any insight?), in order to lessen the perceived (actual) competitive disadvantage France had in relation to more industrious (and, anecdotally, substantially less happy…) nations, and as a future French resident retiree, it actually made me angry. Making France more like America is the sort of thing that, were it somehow theological in nature, would border on heresy.

      Here is a country that actually has an appropriate work/life balance, and quite sensibly prefers working to live rather than living to work, and now they want to more or less ruin it in order to compete with countries that really ought to be ashamed of how they live. Brilliant. At least more widgets will get built, right? Jesus…

      I can’t speak with any sort of authority on how the Italians differ from the French in that regard, but by and large, they would seem to have their shit together. Not economically, mind you, which is hardly a surprise given their markedly different cultural priorities. But it isn’t just America that Western Europe is changing to compete with: It’s competing with many nations with not only a vastly different work ethic, but indeed many countries with substantially less regard for the welfare of their workers. In my estimation, that’s not a race that, as a society, you really ought to be striving to win.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      A/C isn’t widespread in Europe because honestly they don’t need it 90% of the time. It’s only in recent years that they’ve gotten summers approaching anything like the eastern seaboard of the US. Historically their summers have been more along the lines of the Pacific Northwest, very mild.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Good luck to Marchionne. Sounds like he’d have an easier time of just shifting production overseas to American & Canadian factories, UAW or not.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    You think the UAW Parasites are simple-minded criminals then go to southern Italy where these infantile socialist parasites are the norm…They are entitlement-minded bratty losers who think they own other people’s property. The southern Italians are the greatest thieves in all of Europe whilst the northern Italians are industrious.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Ummm…

      Half my family is from a village outside Turin. “Industrious” is a relative term.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      My father is from the south of Italy and he’s not anything of what you have said.

      Not a thieve, not lazy and definitely not a socialist. He’s one of the hardest working persons I’ve seen and because of that he lost his health.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      AaronH – I lived three years in Napoli. Go there and see the challenges those people are up against. The 20-somethings have HUGE unemployment numbers – like 30% plus. Then there is the organized crime that has developed b/c people can’t find honest work. Then there is the gov’t that doesn’t work. Don’t ask which one caused the problems there. It’s a chicken or the egg situation. People there are opportunists b/c they have to be. The Italians companies have problems b/c of laws that make it very hard to fire people too.

      No I won’t tell you the southerners are better people or better employees than the north but I don’t subscribe to the notion that the north is better either. The North gets alot of advantages due to the Italian gov’t and like I said alot of people’s ways of life in the south are due to a lack of opportunities. Sometimes you have to work the system just to make ends meet there.

    • 0 avatar
      stationwagon

      It is interesting you brought up the north/south division, many nations have this division, usually it is the south that is looked down upon. the heart at this matter is that different peoples need different governing styles. You can’t force socialism or capitalism down peoples throats, the actions of the U.S.A and the U.S.S.R have proven this time and again. I think that Marchionne’s actions are justified, the only way for the workers to get their way would be to nationalize FIAT, but FIAT is a non-government corporation that needs to compete against other corporations. @ psarhjinian yes, it is a race to the bottom, but the only way to stop a race is to stop all the runners from running, if FIAT keeps business as usual, other car makers will dominate the non-Italian car markets, and FIAT will only be left with the Italian car market, if the Italian government has anti-car importation laws to keep the FIAT workers employed. There is nothing wrong with this but, for it to happen smoothly the government and FIAT will have to be one, under the control of the workers. In the ideal world people who wanted to work in Car factories would do so, and people who wanted to slack off would be in a business in which they work for themselves, that way no one can ask of them to do more than they desire.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It is interesting you brought up the north/south division, many nations have this division, usually it is the south that is looked down upon.

      In Italy’s case this has a lot to with how, when the chips are down, it’s not really a “country” as much as it’s a collection of city-states that were recently, and uneasily, glued together.** Canada has more of a national identity, fer crissakes.

      The friction can be directly linked with the years leading up to and continuing through World War II. The south didn’t fall in with Victor Emmanuel or Garibaldi and resented their efforts. The north took the same view of Mussolini when he cuckolded Victor Emmanuel III out and suffered for it, and it was northern partisans who largely ended up running the country after the war, for which the south suffered.

      You don’t see this kind of thing countries with a greater sense of manifest destiny. It is problematic in terms of policy-making and productivity on a national scale (look at how fractured the government is, for example), though I think it gives Italy a breadth of regional character that’s uncommon in many western nations, and it’s something they’re losing in the march to globalization.

      ** there are people in the southern United States, Quebec and parts of Britain excluding England who harbour similar feelings, but Italy takes it up a notch.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    My job allows for such flexibility. I work the days I want, and get 4/10’s. Having been here for 10 years I am up to 5 weeks paid vacation. No doctor’s note required unless more than two consecutive sick days are taken. Make no mistake, were my employer to force “American-style work ethic” on me, my contentment would plummet. I’d lay plans go somewhere else. As it is, I get to have some life of my own, even as my employer gets 40 hours of my service per week, something 8-5 Mondays through Fridays would destroy.
    Shall the work force be treated like beasts of burden or robots? Workers, are human beings too. There simply is too much greed and not enough compassion for each other out there these days.
    Life is so much more than making a profit.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      To be fair to FIAT, they need people to staff production lines, so flex-work isn’t as viable an option in blue-collar

      To be fair to the workers, line work sucks. A lot more than most white-collar chip-on-the-shoulder whiners realize. Having done the 60+ a week white collar and done a summer or two full time shifts in blue, I’d take white and heartily agree that they’re worth what they’re paid. Being able to take decent vacation makes it a little more bearable.

      This is not an easy thing. You want your blue-collar force happy because it increases quality, but you also don’t want to carry a large temp force to compensate for ad-hoc vacations, nor do you want to stop lines because you’re understaffed. And this all wouldn’t be so bad if production wasn’t moving wholesale to places where workers aren’t treated nearly so well.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      @ psarhjinian:
      To be fair to FIAT, they need people to staff production lines, so flex-work isn’t as viable an option in blue-collar

      Excellent point. Attendance is huge factor in running a production line or cell. Manufacturing requires a firm, yet flexible policy. It’s tough to do.

      In my experience, the biggest problem is often manager favoritism toward select employees regarding attendance. I’m often no fan of unions, but a good union shop (yes there are some) is often the result of crap management and favoritism.

      To be fair to the workers, line work sucks.

      Compared to what?
      Roofing? UPS or Fed-Ex driver? Marine rifleman?
      Line work can be physically difficult, but there are people who thrive with it. There’s something to be said for physical work done well.
      It should be compensated well, but you do need tough standards for attendance and promptness.

      My guess is that Italy is hopeless due to labor laws that make it difficult to effectively discipline the slackers.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      A lot of the price of new vehicles is due to labor costs, both for the current on the line and the pensions, healthcare, and retirement benefits of those long gone.

      I’m surprised we haven’t seen more automation in vehicle assembly. If a robot can skillfully place all the welds on the chassis, why can’t one install the engine/transmission, or fit the interior pieces? The first automaker that can release a vehicle comparable to their competition but with a 25% lower MSRP due to dramatically lower labor costs through automation will have a huge edge in the market.

      Not only would there be cost benefits, but it would likely bring up the overall quality of the vehicle with less variation due to human error. I had a high school teacher who had worked in Chrysler’s Newark Assembly back in the 70s, and he had plenty of stories about line workers hiding drug paraphernalia or flasks of liquor inside the doors and body panels of vehicles going down the line when supervisors would come by. I always wondered what would happen if some unsuspecting Dodge Aspen customer had gotten pulled over by the police and been pinched by the drug dogs due to something hidden inside the vehicle during assembly.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @NulloModo…. I find your comments on car selling very interesting b/c its your bread and butter,and you speak from experience.

      Your thoughts on cars assembly plants? Not so much. Labour costs on the average vehicle are about 12 percent,the rest is material. Next time your out in the shop,and you see a car with the door panel off, find me a place to stash a whisky bottle.

      Now..I’ll give you, dope smoking assembly workers are not uncommon. But guys leaving thier stash in a door panel? That just never happened ok.

      Here is another secret. Foremen of the seventies didn’t give a f– about dope smokers. The tokers never started fist fights,they kept to themselves,never mouthed of or were beligerant. For the most part they usually completed thier job assignment b/c they didn’t want the heat.

      Robots…With all the tech we got nothing, I mean nothing, replaces eye hand coordination. Automation has made huge srides and replaced many boring tedios jobs. But having worked with the best PLC’s in the world I’ve yet to see one make a judgement call.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Mikey –

      Regarding the contraband, I am just repeating what was told to me from someone who I had no real reason to suspect of embellishing or lying. Still, it is second hand information, which is why I never said I witnessed it, take it as you will.

      A friend of mine used to sell Saturns though, and in his showroom was a cutway car to show the plastic door panels and all of the intrusion beams and whatnot. It seemed to me that there was a lot of room between in interior door trim and the exterior skin. Is that space generally filled with something in actual production vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ NulloModo With all due respect to your teacher, most of the car plant stories you hear are “Urban Myth”. If you look at a modern car,the door space is filled with wires and electrics,and speakers,you name it. You also have to make allowance for the window to go up and down.

      Anyway dude, keep up the comments its great to hear from a true insider.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      There’s something to be said for physical work done well.
      It should be compensated well, but you do need tough standards for attendance and promptness.

      I agree with you, though I think we’re talking the same point from different angles.

      What I was making a point about was, as you note, compensation. People who work, oh, say a job like I have, whining about what high-school educated autoworkers earn versus them.

      There is something very wrong when we have people who make $30-60K begrudging people who make $65-80K doing a hard job when we have people making several orders of magnitude more (and often doing a poor job of it). The question shouldn’t be “Why does the UAW guy get X, when I get X-10?”,. it ought to be, “How come I don’t get X like the UAW guy, while the veeps are getting 2X*10^6?”

      Median earnings have been stuck in neutral for nearly thirty years, while the average has gone up and the upper percentiles have skyrocketed. Again, why is the UAW guy the problem, here?

      “Just be happy with what you have and be thankful we don’t outsource your job to ______” is, if things aren’t checked, going to go down in history as our society’s version of “Let them eat cake”.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    AaronH, You sound quite discontented, angry even. May I humbly suggest that you open your mind and look more deeply into your views? Sounds like your mind is being fed a steady diet of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

  • avatar

    Italians have always seemed too lazy and arrogant to actually do a quality job on anything less than a Ferrari.

    They’re even more massively arrogant than the French.

    I can’t believe Sergio is actually expecting them to be productive. Next thing you know, he’ll start asking for quality standards on lowly trolleys like the Panda.

    .
    Here’s an example of Italy’s zero-tolerance for high quality: If you’re in Med School and you fail, you can just keep re-taking the classes and exams until you pass.
    ->So, the profs & minders eventually get sick of seeing the same ninnies failing the same classes year after year and just pass a lot of complete hacks to get them out of their faces.
    Hence, a lot of crappy Italian doctors.

  • avatar
    skor

    “You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

    Orson Welles as Harry Lime — The Third Man

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    Italians have their issues but as a nation they master craftsmen in everything they touch; from clothes and shoes to cappuccino machines with Ferraris and Lambos in-between. Sure it’s mostly the northern Italians but they are still Italians.

    • 0 avatar

      Wrong. Italians peform significantly-better-than-their-normal-lazy-s*%&tiness Only when it involves, expensive, high-end goods.

      There is a big difference. They’re not Shakers, they’re bratty children.
      .
      .
      .
      On a side note, any self-respecting Japanese person would commit freaking suicide if they’d engaged in the shoddy workmanship that (Italy) the nation of prima-donnas frequently does.
      .
      .
      .
      (Hrm… that being said, Brunello de Montalcino and Cantina Zaccagnini are both Very nice wines.)

  • avatar
    AaronH

    I just don’t like when stupid little bratty weak-minded socialist/liberal parasites claim to own me and my income. Threats of political-legalized theft/violence is not for grown men…It is for cowardly runts (Like the one pictured above)and makes for a very uncivilized and oppressive society. “Industrious” – relatively.

    You public education is crap…Your Television is crap…Your food is crap…Your politicians are crap…..

    USA is becoming southern Italy…Gimme-Gimme Losers.

  • avatar
    Znork

    Ha, funny. Americans always complain about other continents labour practices because they themselves have no choice but to work themselves to death. If you were to pay a bit more taxes, you could have a life that didnt only involve working too. But no, you don’t even want free and equal healthcare for everyone…

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Your comment is very broad and does not apply to every American.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Znork, you are obviously a parasite who doesn’t have a job. If you did you would never say you should pay more taxes. It is your labor and you have the right to the fruits of it, not some thief paid by the government to do nothing. Only a thief would want more of someone else’s money.

      As far as life expectancy goes, if you weren’t aware of it, most of Europe does not include infant deaths in their calculations, the United States includes stillbirths and infant deaths which skew the tables out of line so that the comparisons are not valid.

      And as for health care, if you are sick I don’t want to pay for it and if I’m sick, well I’m man enough to take responsibility for myself. Anyone who doesn’t is no better than a child.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      @ MikeAR

      “Only a thief would want more of someone else’s money.”

      That would explain my friend’s ex-wife….

    • 0 avatar

      If we’d stop protetcting the euro=skum from their inner demons… we could lower taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      As far as life expectancy goes, if you weren’t aware of it, most of Europe does not include infant deaths in their calculations,

      This is patently false, but it still gets repeated. What is excluded are highly pre-term births (<22 weeks and/or under 500 grams) in some European countries. Normalize that out and the American system still sucks.

      And as for health care, if you are sick I don’t want to pay for it and if I’m sick, well I’m man enough to take responsibility for myself. Anyone who doesn’t is no better than a child.

      Very compassionate of you. Personally, I want a functioning society where, if you (and I mean *you* personally) say, suffer a stroke or heart attack that you and your dependents aren’t railroaded into poverty and all the problems that entails.

      Good for FIAT’s workers for not wanting to be dragged down to American, or worse, Chinese or Thai quality of life levels.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Strangelove

      @ MikeAR

      “And as for health care, if you are sick I don’t want to pay for it and if I’m sick, well I’m man enough to take responsibility for myself. Anyone who doesn’t is no better than a child.”

      True and yeomanly spoken. As to the fire brigade – who needs them, anyway we always piss on the camp fire. Police? We have guns, don’t we. Those will also take care of any health care problems that might prove difficult to solve otherwise.

      You Americans ARE poor suckers. I would hate to pay taxes, too, if all it bought me was a fat, bloated army and the world’s largest GULAG. It seems that decades of such abuse have damaged your entire concept of a functioning society.

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    Mr. Marchionne sure has guts.

  • avatar
    rwb

    So I propose, for those who are so absolutely incensed by the prospect of giving out a slice of their hard-earned paycheck to the socialib scum who run the planet, a plan: a large plot of land in the hemisphere and climate of our choosing, where we can live in a world without taxes, yes that’s right, no taxes or pesky government at all.

    All we need to do is work together with our fellow man to bring running water to every home, create electricity and a power grid, build and maintain a system of roadways, and of course educate future generations and defend our proud homeland, without compensation.

    We shall call this land, “No Lazy Liberals Allowed!” Viva free infrastructure!

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      It already exists … it is called, Somalia. No taxes, no government, freedom to do what you want, freeeeedoooommm.

      I heard it’s a beautiful place to raise a family (sarcasm, for those that don’t get it)

  • avatar

    Sounds sweet, I hate spending money on making sure the backward types don’t rebuild Industral sized death camps.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’ve worked with many Italians, and always found them to be warm friendly and fun loving people. An invitation to thier spotless homes usually means,a whole bunch of booze,and more food than you
    can eat.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Mikey – that happens in the south too. Outside of the house looks terrible so as not to attract thieves but the inside is clean and impressive.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I worked with an Italian guy and his Mama would pack him so much lunch,he had to give some of it away. Mama got wind of this,and packed him even bigger lunches. It was thirty years ago,and I still remember the home made pasta.

      I won’t stand for no dissing an Italian.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There are plenty of Americans abusing sick time to play hooky. It’s funny to hear people complaining about rules, having to go to work on a set schedule. What, are you 5 years old??

    At my dealership, we actually have one guy that prowls the showroom complaining if the sales manager doesn’t let him leave early when he asks. Hilarious. If he put the iPhone down and laid off the pot, he’d probably sell more than 5 cars a month.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Only complete morons would hire someone they could not fire…Don’t you think that is what is causing the unemployment problems? Despite what you “learn” from your idiot box programs…Business people are not morons.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Oh, yes. Business people aren’t morons.

      I forgot that General Motors and Chrysler’s leadership intended to burn through billions of dollars by designing shoddy product, squeezing suppliers and victimizing customers over a thirty-year period as part of a brilliant strategy, to, ah, uh…

      Not morons. Oh, no. Not at all.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I forgot that General Motors and Chrysler’s leadership intended to burn through billions of dollars by designing shoddy product, squeezing suppliers and victimizing customers over a thirty-year period as part of a brilliant strategy, to, ah, uh…

      Build personal wealth?

  • avatar
    AaronH

    …And here we have some bratty publik skewl retard who wants me to kill myself because I refuse to live for him….

    Move to Cuba little brat.

    How did Americans get so weak and childish? You people use to be the envy of the world and now you are just bratty gimme-gimme socialist runts.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      What if he went to private school? Would that make him bourgeoisie? Or simply elitist? Or a class traitor?

      It’s hard being a private-school socialist, the cognitive dissonance gives you such a headache.

    • 0 avatar
      shiney2

      HaHaHa – AaronH, loner tough guy fantasies are what adolescents and children have, real adults are smart enough to know that the health of ones society is a huge contributor to both ones productivity and lifestyle.

      We live in a world of laws and controlled markets, and how rewards are distributed has as much to do with how the system has been gamed as with absolute productivity or hard work. Do you really think hedge fund operators “earn” their billions? Or is their out-sized earning power a quirk created through massive lobbying and layers of laws and legalese. Should betting with money and earning capitol gains be taxed at half the rate working for money is?

      The job of an elected government is to do what is best for the long term health of the country and all of its people, not just you. I agree there are lots of real tax policy issues to discuss, but “Mine!Mine!Mine!” is the tantrum scream of an overtired two year old. Perhaps you would feel better after a nap.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    What is your idea of freeeedoooom? Having politicians steal for you so you can be “free” of productive effort?

    Freedom is defined as “the right to be left alone”.

    Or don’t they teach you that in your government-run indoctrination camps….

    • 0 avatar
      rwb

      Aaron, you need to move. You need to move to someplace where you can be left alone, without the benefits of a modern society.

      Leave the places on earth with infrastructure and convenience to those who are willing to pay for it, and just move.

      Obviously the taxes we pay as Americans go to many things, not all of which are unanimously agreed upon as beneficial, but I don’t think your broad brush is covering specifics, and as such, I think you’d be better off someplace where you can pay nothing, and receive nothing. I assume this is what you want.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Yeah yeah.
    The world outside Usa is full of crap like communists, socialists, parasites, lazy people, italians and other low lifes.

    All i need is a gun and freedom to do whatever i want whenever i want it.

    It looks like we have a lot of Bill O´Reilly followers here.

    I feel sorry that you have been brainwashed for centuries.

    Get out of your nuclear proof bunker and smell the real world.

  • avatar
    MrBostn

    I don’t despise a form of health care for others nearly as much as I despise paying for politiicans pension and health care for life. Sometimes even after they have committed crimes/fraud.

    Hard work (physical labor) never killed anyone. It’s the industrial/workplace accidents that kill.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    What this is about, is the freedom to hire & fire, and to maximize expenditures. Businesses create jobs. Usually this benefit outweighs their detriment to society.

    If a business can’t compete, it will die. No more jobs for anyone involved.

    Further, if a business can’t grow, it will stagnate until it dies. No more jobs for anyone involved.

    Ergo, if people don’t want to work, the business will die. No more jobs for anyone involved.

  • avatar
    BDB

    Aaron, were you drunk when you wrote those screeds? You sound like you have some anger issues.

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    Well, while I love social programs and stuff, like good conditions for workers, there are still cons. The glaring con is the pensions. The pensions are too generous and when a recession hit you’re screwed. These pensions doesn’t take into account that people lives longer now, and it doesn’t take into account that 1st/2nd world countries declining birth rate so there won’t be enough tax revenue to pay for these social programs.

    Take Spain for example. Their recession is huge! It’s 20% unemployment rate. Small businesses can’t get any loans now so they have to fire people, but their social programs forces those businesses to pay unemployment, for so and so days, for the workers they lay off, up front cost I believe. It sucks because they don’t have the money to pay those unemployment cost. They need the loans to do that.

    I think there is a need for more flexible social programs in case of recession and such. Or just a balance between social programs and capitalism.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    It amuses me when people go after Europe whole-hog as socialist, lazy and entitled.

    We are a bailout nation but we save corporations not people b/c corporations always act in the best interest of the nation and not their executives (who clearly need to make $40MM otherwise they would do something else). Business in the US has created jobs but most of these jobs seem to be overseas. Apple = jobs for Foxconn in Taiwan

    We bailed out the banks b/c they lend money and keep businesses running. It turns out what we got were 25% interest rates on credit cards and zero lending to small business

    When the bailouts are all said and done, the US Debt to GDP ratio will approach that of….Italy.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    WereWolf34 – I think I agree with you in principle.

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