Friday, December 12, 2008


The Party of Lincoln Hoover

Um ... why did the short-term rescue of US automakers fail?

[Sen. Bob] Corker [Rep. KY.] said he proposed that wages and benefits of U.A.W. members be competitive with lower rates at American plants run by foreign rivals — Toyota, Honda, Nissan and B.M.W. — during 2009, and offered the union the opportunity to pick the date next year when the changes, which would be certified by the Labor Department, could be put in place.

Let's see ... we are in a deep financial crisis because millions of Americans are having their homes foreclosed because they can't pay their mortgages, retail sales are in the tank, deflation is rearing its ugly head and, generally, money is not circulating in the economy. So the Republican strategy is to further push down wages as fast as possible and send the retail side of the economy into a deeper freeze.

I suppose making sure there is a depression is one way to "fix" the economy. I'm sure it will be more efficient in 10 or 20 years when the recovery finally comes.

Vote Republican! Because one term of Herbert Hoover was not enough.

My wife got this email from a friend:

A Modern Parable.

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddle as, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...

Nobody is saying that the American auto makers haven't sucked for the last 40 years (at least). The bailout bill had some protections to prevent the management and shareholders from reaping all the benefits of the bailout (which won't be the case if the TARP is used).

The question is what you will do to replace several million jobs that will be lost if one or more of the companies collapse and take all the suppliers, dealers and numerous local business with them in the middle of an already severe recession? Heck, where are those efficient foreign car makers in the US gonna get their parts if all the part manufactures tank (GM owes them, I heard, about $8 billion)?
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