Archive for the ‘Anchor’ Category

Lansing, Michigan Mayor: Automotive Union Members Have Sacrificed Enough

February 18, 2009

Yesterday on Happening Now on FOX News, Virg Bernero, the Mayor of Lansing Michigan, said that auto industry workers have already sacrificed enough and it’s time for Wall Street to start making some sacrifices.  Watch the video (courtesy of FOX News), and I’ll discuss it below:

Alright, honestly, the mayor went nuts in my opinion, and kinda made a fool out of himself.  He said, “I was a little offended by your question, you know, have the unions given up enough, has the working man given up enough?  You know, my question is, has Wall Street given up enough, for the billions that they have taken?”  Um, the anchor (who’s  name slips my mind at this point) never said ANYTHING about union concessions or anything related to it!

The anchor points out that that wasn’t his question (go back to the beginning and check – it was NOT his question).  When asked if he thought that the UAW should have to “swallow some pay cuts,” Bernero focused solely on health benefits, again NOT answering the question that was asked!

Bernero late shows exactly what the problem with Michigan is, when he asks the question, “What are we going to produce in this country, if we allow the auto industry to go by the wayside?”  For too long, Michigan has relied on the auto industry as “our industry.”  The fact is that the auto industry isn’t what it used to be, and we can no longer rely on it as our only industry.  And to ask what we will produce if we don’t produce automobiles, as if saying that’s all we produce, is insulting to those who work in other manufacturing fields.

The anchor also brings up the fact that UAW members don’t need health care for life!  That’s one of the reasons that the Big 3 are suffering, because they’re giving health care to people who don’t work for them anymore.  Bernero says that the UAW has given concessions.  True, they have, but they need to give up WAY more.  UAW members are WAY overpaid and get WAY too many benefits.

If UAW members would just realize that he auto industry is in trouble and can’t afford to pay them what they have been up until now, and would take some pay/benefit cuts, then the auto industry could rebound.  But while the UAW shares the mentality that Bernero has, the auto industry is going to continue to suffer.  I’ve said time and time again that while the auto executives share some of the blame, a lot of the blame falls on the greedy UAW for keeping the auto industry in such a choke hold.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Another Perspective on the Auto Bailout

December 17, 2008

I came across a column by economist Thomas Sowell this morning entitled “Postponing Reality,” and I’d just like to discuss part of this column with you:

We are told that the collapse of the Big Three automakers in Detroit would have repercussions across the country, causing mass layoffs among firms that supply the automobile makers with parts, and shutting down automobile dealerships from coast to coast.

You should hear the news stations here in Detroit.  The news anchors night after night of covering House and Senate votes keep making comments like, “Some Senators just don’t understand how detrimental this will be to Detroit,” or “The Southern Senators don’t understand what’s happening here in Detroit” or “Talk to your friends in other states about contacting their representatives to explain how bad this would be for Michigan.”  And you can substitute the word Senators with Republicans for a lot of the news anchors, since the media here in Detroit tends to lean left (as does all of Wayne County).

A renowned economist of the past, J.A. Schumpeter, used to refer to progress under capitalism as “creative destruction”– the replacement of businesses that have outlived their usefulness with businesses that carry technological and organizational creativity forward, raising standards of living in the process.

It’s survival of the fittest, economic style.

Indeed, this is very much like what happened a hundred years ago, when that new technological wonder, the automobile, wreaked havoc on all the forms of transportation built up around horses.

For thousands of years, horses had been the way to go, whether in buggies or royal coaches, whether pulling trolleys in the cities or plows on the farms. People had bet their futures on something with a track record of reliable success going back many centuries.

Were all these people to be left high and dry? What about all the other people who supplied the things used with horses– oats, saddles, horse shoes and buggies? Wouldn’t they all go falling like dominoes when horses were replaced by cars?

Unfortunately for all the good people who had in good faith gone into all the various lines of work revolving around horses, there was no compassionate government to step in with a bailout or a stimulus package.

They had to face reality, right then and right there, without even a postponement.

He actually brings up a really good point here.  Industries go through cycles, and to stop these cycles with the use of  government funds is only going to harm us more in the long run.  Like I’ve said before, the main reason that Michiganders support this is because it helps Michigan.  If the technology industry were to suffer detrimental losses, I’d be willing to bet that you couldn’t find 30% of Michiganders who would be in favor of spending billions of tax dollars on helping Silicon Valley in California.

Who would have thought that those who displaced them would find themselves in a similar situation a hundred years later?

Actually the automobile industry is not nearly in as bad a situation now as the horse-based industries were then. There is no replacement for the automobile anywhere on the horizon. Nor has the public decided to do without cars indefinitely.

While Detroit’s Big Three are laying off thousands of workers, Toyota is hiring thousands of workers right here in America, where a substantial share of all our Toyotas are manufactured.

 But Toyota doesn’t have union workers.  Without unions, their workers make (on average) a measly $30/hour.  Wait a minute, that’s not measly.  In fact, that’s more than the average GM worker ($29.78/hour).  The difference comes in pensions and health care.   GM has to pay out an extra $39.22/hour (that includes pensions for retirees), while Toyota has to pay out an extra $18/hour (with far less retirees).  So, the average Toyota worker (assuming he worked 40 hours/week with 4 weeks of vacation), would make $57,600.  That’s not that bad folks.  You assume that his spouse works part time (20 hours/week at $10/hour), that’s another $9,600.  That’s a yearly total of $67,200, which is DEFINITELY enough to live off of (My family of 4 lived off of about $80,000/year until my mom got a job, but she did that more out of boredom than need for more cash inflow.  And we were decently well off.  We aren’t rich, but we’re definitely nowhere close to going broke.), even though they may get a little less when it comes to health care.

Will this save Detroit or Michigan? No.

Detroit and Michigan have followed classic liberal policies of treating businesses as prey, rather than as assets. They have helped kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So have the unions. So have managements that have gone along to get along.

EXACTLY!  I was just talking about this the other day.  Every time one of the Big 3 is in financial trouble, they go to the UAW and ask them to take a pay cut.  The UAW, being filled with greedy Americans says no.  So instead of setting a good example and taking a 50-75% pay cut, the management simply sat there and said, “You need to take a pay cut, otherwise we may go bankrupt.  The UAW continues to say, “No.  And if you don’t give in, we’ll go on strike.”  So, the company heads wind up giving in.  If I were head of any of the Big 3 right now, I’d immediately decrease my pay to $0.  Then, I’d tell the unions, “Take a pay cut, or go on strike.”  If they didn’t take a pay cut, I’d let them go on strike and hire new workers.  If a court ruled that I’m not allowed to hire new workers, I’d let the strike continue.  Eventually, the workers will have to come back to work or the company will fail.  If the company fails, it was the union’s fault for not showing up to work.  But the UAW wouldn’t let the company completely fail, because then their workers would be out of a job.  The corporate heads need to 1) lead by example, and 2) have some guts and stand up to the UAW.

Toyota, Honda and other foreign automakers are not heading for Detroit, even though there are lots of experienced automobile workers there. They are avoiding the rust belts and the policies that have made those places rust belts.

A bailout of Detroit’s Big Three would be only the latest in the postponements of reality. As for automobile dealers, they can probably sell Toyotas just as easily as they sold Chevvies. And Toyotas will require just as many tires per car, as well as other parts from automobile parts suppliers.

So, there you have it.  This was one of the best analyses I’ve seen on the auto bailout, and I couldn’t agree more.

Who’s at fault, the UAW or the corporate heads?  Both.  The UAW needs to stop being greedy and be willing to take a pay cut.  The leaders of the Big 3 need to lead by example and take MASSIVE pay cuts and start standing up to the unions.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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49% Think the Media Will Try to Help Obama Win

July 28, 2008

Here’s another story I heard about when I was on vacation: A recent Rasmussen Reports poll came out about media bias in the 2008 Presidential election.  I’ll post the results and then analyze them:

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted July 19, 2008
By Rasmussen Reports

1* When covering a political campaign, do most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage or do they try to help the candidate they want to win?

16% Offer unbiased coverage
71% Try to help the candidate they want to win
13% Not sure

Those 16% must be FOX viewers.  But seriously, FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR, EVERYBODY does it.  I think the word reporter might be a bad word to use in the question, since most people think of reporter as the guy with the microphone covering the story, when in actuality, the person who mostly shapes and directs the story is the anchor.  They’re the ones doing the analysis and either highlighting or suppressing certain parts of the story.

2* Think for a moment about the three major presidential candidates this year. Which candidate received the best treatment from the media so far—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain?

57% Barack Obama
11% Hillary Clinton
21% John McCain
10% Not sure

Again, somewhat of a bad question.  In 2007, you know who got a lot of press, after a couple of polls came out in New Hampshire?  John McCain.  And it was that press, I believe, that gave him the momentum to go on to Michigan, and place well there, to win South Carolina, etc….  After McCain won the nomination, his press died down, understandably.  So, the question is somewhat a bad question, but there is a point that Obama has been getting a LOT more press lately (especially with his trip to Iraq, where THREE major news anchors went with him.  When did they ever do that for McCain, or even Bush?)

3* Looking ahead to the campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, will most reporters try to help Barack Obama, offer unbiased coverage, or try to help John McCain?

49% Try to help Barack Obama
24% Offer unbiased coverage
14% Try to help John McCain
13% Not sure

Alright – I’ll agree with that.  But what I find interesting here is the bias in the people taking the poll.  Nobody wants to admit that their candidate is being unfairly helped by media bias, so notice the 8% jump from question 1 to question 3 saying that the media will be unbiased.  Now that’s ironic!

4* Suppose a reporter learned some news that might politically hurt a candidate they wanted to win. Would most reporters hide that information to help the candidate?

45% Yes
30% No
25% Not sure

Again, “reporter” here is a bad word to use.  Reporters really don’t have a say in what’s run on the news or edited in or out – that’s more the producers and the anchors.  But if you asked that question with “news station” in the place of “reporter,” I could agree with the answers to that poll.  I’d say yes, but you can’t do it too often, or people do see a bias.

5* When it comes to information about the Presidential campaign, who do you trust more—news reporters or family and friends?

29% News reporters
43% Family and friends
28% Not sure

And where are these family and friends going to get their information?  Are they interviewing the candidates?  They’re probably getting it from news reporters.  So, family and friends will place their bias on information that is, apparently, already biased!

 

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Alright, so there you have it – Most Americans think the media is biased, and we’ve shown that at least 8% of those polled, are afraid to admit that bias (at least which way the bias leans).

Interesting survey, although I do take issue with the word “reporter” being used, but overall, it’s a good indicator of how Americans feel about the media and its effects on the 2008 election.  As I’ve always said, sometimes the media needs to be put in its place!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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