This one hurts. Yeah I said it!!
The country is rejoicing in most quarters because of the announcement earlier this week that President Obama had " FIRED" Rick Wagoner,CEO of G.M.
Being I'm from Michigan and just outside of Detroit, I am sensitive to what happens to the big 2 and the lil fella Chrysler. So I know I'm biased, so shoot me!!!
It has been much too easy for those of my conservative counterparts to dump on the car companies because of the stupid contracts they let the UAW negotiate for their members. I get that, totally understand it. The UAW did do a bamboozle job and got away with murder on those contracts for the past 20 years. The CEO's of the companies were fools for allowing it.
The companies HAD renegotiated contracts with the union in 2007 to bring costs down to a level more in line with Toyota's beginning in 2011. Yeah I know, why 2011, I have no fricking idea but that's what it was. Something happened on the way to financial security though, the FINANCIAL and BANKING industry's IMPLODED and the credit market's froze. If there is ONE business expert that can show me a business model that allows for a company to lose 40 to 50 % of it's sales from NOV 07 to NOV 08 and weather the storm I would love to see it!!
Detroit does deserve a ton of blame for things it let fester for too many years.The list is WAY too long to mention.
This latest round of things that are happening now is not on that list. They should have moved quicker to achieve parity with Toyota earlier in the decade, but they had started to move in that direction and got caught up in this mess.
So Detroit goes to Washington and asks for 30 billion dollars in LOANS to weather this storm and give it time to implement it's new contracts. The way the grand standers in Washington acted you would have thought it was 300 billion, which by the way is only a 1/3 of what the financial sectors received with no where near the public grandstanding from our elected officials.Now because the government has a stake in the company, President Teleprompter now feels he can run GM better than Wagoner or any one else in the business. Good Luck!!!
So while I understand why my com padres in the conservative sphere are happy that the unions are going to be brought down to size and Detroit is going to have to reform faster than they would have planned, I wonder this aloud.
If you had been offered these incentive laden contracts that were negotiated by the companies and the unions, would you have turned them down?
No you would not.
I don't blame the guys over at AIG who signed contracts that are guaranteeing them a certain amount of money if they stay on during this transition in the companies history either. The rebuke that the govt and the media has given them is mild compared to the thrashing the auto companies have received.
In fact the next time a popular conservative writer such as Michelle Malkin writes a bad thing about the bonuses that are being given out to FAILING white collar sector bailouts, will be the FIRST time.
While I understand the anger, I can see the hypocrisy of how the auto companies have been treated ( poorly) and how the financial sector has been treated ( not so poorly). This bodes incredibly bad for the conservatives who hope to make inroads in the next election and for the future of gaining the " Reagan Democrats" who propelled us to victories in 1980,1984,1988.
Those blue collar democrats actually have much more in common with conservatives than most people know. Let's hope the finger in the eye treatment we have been giving them ends and we can begin to forge a road back to a more prosperous country sooner rather than later