Whose Crisis?

Discussion in 'The War Zone' started by Swansen, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I've just been thinking about it, and from all that i can gather, a decent number of dumb/fooled people are in a tight spot. Yes, the US economy is based on failed principles, you simply cannot sustain an economy just on consumer spending. Especially so, since consumers haven't seen pay increases since the 70's. Ok, so my theory is pretty simple, and its that the rich, just aren't as rich any more, so they are frustrated, and there answer to keep there enormous cash flow going is to cut out workers. I dunno, like i said, its just a theory, but maybe more like a hypothesis. GM recently ... "threatened" the US Gov and said they would shut down down Delphi if they didn't get an extreme amount of money... Seriously, greedy much? I mean really though, GM isn't going anywhere, the worst part is that they still aren't making very good vehicles, i see newer GM stuff in my friends repair shop all the time, as well, they haven't changed their philosophy ether. Lastly, they are making worse decisions than they used to, i didn't even realize that the new chevy aveo is a daewoo.... Really, even ask Jeremy Clarkson, Korean cars are just cheap, i mean, thats it, they are just cheap all around. God only knows why they didn't team up with suzuki again for their small car market.
    [ot]little off topic here, and i don't care who you are, and funnily enough, the only people that defend GM are just really confused, i mean, their engineers don't even defend them. They make crappy vehicles, and ugly to, and their to big, and their crappy. I hear the argument all the time that they have to cut corners to make ends meet because they pay their line workers x amount. Ok, fine, don't pay them so much, sounds harsh, but really, you shouldn't get paid 30/hr to do something so simple, i'm not saying pay them minimum wage, but be reasonable. Ok their quality, but i was talking to this engineer and i can't remember what years he was saying it was going on, but basically GM was putting to much money into their transmission department and they were lasting to long, so they cut the budget and fixed that problem... and i'm not even lieing, the guy told me that...[/ot]
     
  2. II Gorn II

    II Gorn II Geek

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I dont see why the US government keeps all these automakers a float with their buy out plans when the high ranking people in these business are still probably making outrageous amounts of money
     
  3. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    63
    We don't either. At least I don't.
    The problem is that some unions are looking for people to make crazy amounts of cash for very, very simple things that can be learned and perfected in short order. I work in retail, and probably have a more complex and demanding job that these people, yet I probably make 20% of what they do. Companies can't build a competitive product for the same price when they have to pay such large amounts of cash.

    This isn't to say the idea of a union is bad. It's not to say that every business is there to screw the employee. What I will say is that, while yes, there are greedy businesses out there, the same must be said for Unions. Unfortunately, when it comes to the auto industry, I see the Unions staunch in there stance that they have to make little to no concessions. Should the executives take a pay cut? Sure, but at the same time, if there's no leadership, then what? If the company goes under, then what?
    I see certain unions as being a leech, and that's part of the problem in the auto industry (among many).
     
  4. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I strongly dissagree here. I suggest the reason our auto industry can't stay competitive is because they haven't made the cars people want in a long time. Instead, they've been building unreliable, expensive, over-sized gas guzzlers because that's the cheapest to make with the most return for them. Unfortunately for them, the market passed them by. As for the wage issue, worker productivity has gone up over 30% since the 70's, but inflation has gone up and wages have gone down. I believe this is at least partially due to laws making unionization tougher to achieve coupled with classic Reagan-style deregulation over the last several decades. So we're working harder for longer with less people, making less money, and our money is less valuable than ever.

    In fact, people are so used to living the middle-class lifestyle they've become very debt poor to achieve the same standard of living people had 30 - 60 years ago in this country. That's the consumer factor in the great American sub-prime lending scandal. People wanted these loans to buy homes they could not afford, because their wages were too low to begin with. I'm still faulting the banks for their part, but that's a totally different issue and I don't want to get off track.

    Unions are the cloth that the American dream is cut from. You remove organized labor, and the US becomes more and more like Indonesia. Pretty soon people are working so long and making so little, even their kids have to work to help ends meet for the family. The only ones who profit are the corporate bosses. You know what? Money looks out for money, the devil for his own. Nobody needs to pick up the cause of the rich as if it was some righteous crusade. They wield the power to do that on their own, even run propaganda "news" broadcasts about it. For example, watch Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck and tell me whether they side with the American working class or with multi-national corporations.
     
  5. II Gorn II

    II Gorn II Geek

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    we should just make an America's Issues thread sense i see alot of threads about different issues dealing with America
     
  6. DaRuSsIaMaN

    DaRuSsIaMaN Geek Comrade

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Yeah, it's true that wages have relatively gone down compared to what we had in the post WWII golden years, like 50s and 60s. I read in an article that our economy has become more wage polarized as we have gained jobs in the underpayed services sector while losing intermediate wage jobs in the manufacturing sector. On the high end, we have *overpayed* jobs in the finance sector, like investment bankers and stock brokers and all those. So the general trend in recent decades has been this increased polarization in the form of overpayed and underpayed jobs.
     
  7. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Its funny how that works isn't it....
     
  8. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    i was just thinking about this today, but i've only ever owned 1 GM vehicle, and a buddy of mine loves them, and he was going over the changes from year to year of these Regals he has, and the stuff GM left out. Anyways, i've changed my mind, yes, we do generally pay line workers more than they should get, but even then, GM cuts corners and its Execs ultimately make to much money. They just don't do certain things they should be doing to save a dollar here and there. Ultimately and back on track we have a problem with the way business is run in the US, 10 people run a business with 5,000 employees, yet the people who do the work have no say in what goes on, and the people who do the work don't get paid like they do.. However, there are other problems, like greed.... lol, go figure, its up to corporate owners to put a business some place, and until their morality gets in check, nothing will change. They are content with modern forms of slavery, of having their products made in places with governments who don't care about their peoples well being, where some one makes a dollar a week.. I dunno, its all very intertwined, but they could very easily be sorted.
     
  9. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    63
    The problem I have with unions is that they appear to operate from a point of view that business is there to screw you. I believe there are genuinely greedy people out there, however, I would tend to believe that more often than not, it's executives who are driven at a particular standard by either themselves or by shareholders. Being human, they are apt to make poor choices to get the required end result.

    What is funny with Unions is that government workers have them, especially given the mantra by some that our government is benevolent and knows whats best.
     
  10. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Capitalism is by definition a greed motivated economy. Unless you add balancing mechanisms, capitalism unchecked will eventually cannibalize itself... as you're now seeing in this country. When your #1 concern is profit you will try to get away with paying the least amount possible, regardless of how it affects your employees or the greater economy in general.

    If human greed wasn't a problem, you wouldn't have multi-billionaires in the world at all. People who horde don't tend to be very keen on helping others out. If a company profits tens of billions a year and refuses to give their workers a $1 raise, there is a problem. The only way to peacefully pressure them into giving higher pay relative to labor is by organizing the labor. Then you have a position to bargain from. Even if you don't like labor unions and/or don't belong to one, you can still thank them for driving up the wages for everybody in their respective industry by messing up the curve.

    The only other way I can think of would be relying on Uncle Sam to enact better worker's rights laws. But looking at the campaign contributions to just about everyone on both sides of the isle, I can rest in the assurance that they will not come down in favor of poor working peasants like us, but rather with their business constituency, as they always have.


    Government workers already have the best benefits and are perhaps the hardest to fire when incompetent. In fact, government financing inherently rewards poor-performing departments by granting more money when they go over budget, and removing funds when they go under-budget. This all said, I worked for government as one of my first jobs. Even in IT, I made a shitty wage, and all of our pay raises were eventually frozen. Needless to say, I've always made a lot more money working for the private sector.
     
  11. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Here, perfect timing. Prof. Noam Chomsky just gave an interview to The Real News Network on this very topic:

    The Real News Network - Noam Chomsky on the economy and democracy Pt2

    "President Obama wanted to show his solidarity with working people, so he went to Illinois and talked at an industrial plant. The choice was striking: he chose Caterpillar. Now, he had to do that over the objections of church and human rights groups because of the devastating effect that Caterpillar machines are having in the Israeli-occupied territories, where they're wiping out agricultural land and destroying all of the roads and villages and so on. But nobody, as far as I can see, noticed something even more dramatic. I mean, Caterpillar has a role in US labor history. Caterpillar was the first plant in generations to bring in scabs to destroy a strike."
     
  12. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I ran into this lecture today and thought back on this conversation. I know this thread is dusty, but this clip is so concise and relevant to the topic I felt it was still worth posting.

     
  13. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    That dude has it pretty close, his definition and understanding of a few political ideas are slightly skewed and a little off, but overall i think he does a quality job of defining what the issues are.

    Like in Argentine when the entire nation was privatized and all the "big wigs" just sold off everything and shipped their money into foreign banks, plummeting the nation into a whole. The workers organized and started winning over factories. Once taken they have created an actual socialist structure, ie, democratic means of production. Not the totalitarian fantasies that are thrown around in the media.(but thats how this works, get everyone confused and fighting, mix up meanings, definitions, symbols and you get complete chaos) On a side note, it is really funny looking back and seeing where you were at one point in time, lol(my original post from just a year ago) ffuunnny

    Oh yeah, that lecture is found on google video also, and is available to download.
     

Share This Page