Friday, December 19, 2008

Bail ME out!

Seventeen point four BILLION! So, our president, in his infinite wisdom has agreed to an emergency LOAN (hack, hack, cough, cough) to GM & Chrysler to bail them out. This fries my cookies. Where were the Feds when I wasn’t making any money selling tubas? Jeez, two hundred grand would have been plenty for me. I was buying a Christmas tree last Saturday and this topic came up. The guy was blaming the Auto Union. He said, “These guys are making $78 an hour. THEY (the union) sunk the automobile industry.” Whoa! My lawyer charges me $450 an hour. A shrink will cost you $300 a session. Hell, a decent massage will cost you a hundred bucks. Let’s say he’s right and most autoworkers will make $78 an hour. This totals about $162K a year. Figure a 30% tax bracket. This brings this down the yearly salary to $113K. If the average home in the US were about $250K the payments would be $2,500 a month, that’s ABOUT 25% of the monthly income. Right about where it SHOULD be for a decent standard of living. Even if he (the tree guy) WAS right, what about the guys with the seven- and EIGHT-figure salaries? Aren’t THEY the individuals who decide on what to build? Aren’t THEY the ones who decide what the American car buyer wants? Aren’t THEY the ones who design the autos? Aren’t THEY responsible for marketing? Unfortunately, the tree guy isn’t alone. My Dad (a STAUNCH Republican) feels exactly the same. I would guess many (if not all) Republicans would feel the same, or find the Union Men (AND WOMEN) to blame. Hey, how about building a car I would buy? My wife’s last FOUR cars were not American cars. The last American car I bought was in 1984 and had it for 3 years. Since then, I’ll buy well-crafted, German engineering, thank you. Except for my brother’s Vette, his family has been buying Nissans since they were Datsuns. Except for a few Saturns, I don’t know if anyone I know owns an American car. I see a lot of Japanese cars and a few Volvos. I have no faith in the American Automobile industry and it has NOTHING to do with the men & women who actually BUILD the vehicles. It’s the pencil pushers and the bean counters.


So, Mister President, when is this loan due and what interest are they paying? How come you can give them $17.4 BILLION, and I haven’t gotten my “Economic Stimulus” check yet.


  1. I urge everyone to read Naomi Klein's "Shock doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism." It's a history lesson and an eye-opener on the bad economic philosophies and practices that have been put in place in the last several decades in many countries, including our own. This needs to change but it will take a huge, worldwide education campaign.

  2. I am wondering why a person with a high school education and a skill can make $78/hr. I have a couple of skills (fairly good at the tuba, and I can sing and, oh yeah, I can teach little kids music), a BA, enough post-grad units to make a MA and 29 years of experience. I'd bet that nowhere in this state I could make more than $65/hour (I make about $47/hour now). I don't begrudge anyone a living wage, but...

  3. The $78 per hour INCLUDES health insurance, vacation/sick pay and retirement. I would guess the actual CASH figure is down around $60 something.

  4. Actually the $78 is far worse of a lie than you think. It's taking the full liability being paid for the workers, including health, vacation, sick pay and the MONEY BEING PAID AS PENSIONS TO RETIREES, and then divides it by the number of actual workers.

    The average GM assembly-line worker makes about $28.50 per hour. The starting hourly wage for a newly hired non-core assembly worker is $14.25, with minimal benefits.