Auto Bailout

If there is going to be an auto bailout, and there should be, this is the time to bargain with the Big 3 to improve domestic auto production and save the Janesville Assembly jobs.

Freeing up auto workers from the scientists to the lineworkers will have us making the world's best cars and trucks and that should be the fundamental bailout order. The problem has never been a lack of talent and skill in the American auto industry. The problem is the restriction and minimization of this talent by the auto bigshots and their diversion of billions to Madison Avenue rather than honest product innovation and quality. Unfortunately, U.S. auto's demise is constantly blamed on the auto workers.

American autoworkers are among the world's hardest workers and most have the work injuries to prove it. But rather than appreciation for their labor, human spirit and virtue, all they get is disparagement from the elite.

And that is the real basis not only the auto problem but for the American poverty problem as well. The richer-than-sin elites have nearly succeeded in destroying the goodness of most working people. They have attacked workers - from engineers to lineworkers - everywhere; attacked production talent & quality, cheapened production and betrayed our communities.

They have practically obliterated the truth that an economy is not for making a few people filthy rich. They deny the very purpose of an economy: Economies are to put food on everyone's table, to provide good work for everyone, happy futures for all our children and to elevate the human condition.

Because of the immense influence and power of these greedy elites - and we can count the anti-worker, modern and thoughtless UAW as no longer part of us but them - we are now in a crisis of epic proportions. The cheerleaders of the elite are going to use this crisis to punish the folks who do the work while protecting and extending the crooks who disabled American quality production and shifted it to slave states for dog-eat-dog profit maximization.

We need to stand up and fight these people.

There is the need for a bailout but the bailout must redress the faulty auto production systems.

As bailout conditions, we should demand the government:

1. Give Equity Shares to the folks who do the work in auto.

2. Return production to the folks who own the tools.

3. Revolutionize the unions to Auto Guilds to free and enhance engineering so that the people who do the work, truly work together in inspirational settings and make the calls in product conception, production design and quality of worklife.

4. Insure that all the workers in the industry are paid comfortable wages and benefits as well as profit sharing.

5. Return to the eight-hour day, 40-hour week with the 4-day, 32-hour week a close objective so as to raise employment.

6. Return to the truth that commerce exists to serve the community.

A look at the production philosophy and operations of Mondragon Corporation proves such a production system is not only successful but far superior to anything the Big 3 has done.

Tom Laney

Retired TC Ford Worker

E6305 866th Ave.

Colfax, WI 54730



Authentic Connecticut Republican Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 8:22:00 AM CST  

It looks like the folks in DC are hell-bent to give the stimulus package another try seeing as the first one didn't have any real effect.

This time it's the car industry.

While the sanity of blowing cash around and running the national debt up even further is questionable; it seems inevitable - so this time let's target unemployment, create AMERICAN jobs and pump up the economy all at one time.

Consider the following:

Manufacturing costs of motor vehicles are 65% labor (i.e.: W-2 income), that's not all direct but due to suppliers. GM alone has over 1300 suppliers. (That's a lot of jobs!)

1 in 10 Americans makes all or part of their income due to the automobile industry.

Money turns over 5 times in a year.
Thus a vehicle with a manufacturing cost of 20K produces 13,500 in W-2 income which in turn becomes a total of 65K in 12 months due to the 5 turnovers.
(This isn't magic, it's simply how the economy works.)

Our domestic car makers are saddled with legacy costs, most of which will reduce dramatically in 2010 due to contract changes. They need to survive to get there.

Our own over-zealous government with a virtual alphabet soup of regulatory agencies has been no help either.
Foreign competitors have worked off-shore collectively to meet various US gov't. imposed emission and safety standards, thus dramatically reducing those R&D costs. American car companies are prohibited from that by our FTC.

Make no mistake; it’s no surprise that once again government has been a major part of the problem.

Here's the solution.

Instead of either shipping cases of cash off to car makers; or sending us all another check:

Send out a voucher for say $1,000 good on a motor vehicle for the percentage of the vehicle that's domestic. (Civic = 70% Ford Explorer=80%)

Let those not interested in a new car sell or give away their vouchers (Ebay would be loaded with them in no time flat) and those that are so inclined can use as many as they can get their hands on up to the full MSRP of the vehicle.

This would bail out the car industry without giving them a dime directly
Further it would reduce the overall age of the nation’s cars which would in turn;
increase overall fuel economy
& decrease pollution.

Strengthen the dollar!

Since vehicles with a higher domestic content would be moving better this would reduce our imports, strengthening our dollar which would in turn further reduce what we pay for anything imported gas!


Instead of simply bailing out a few big companies, this would cause such a run that it would create employment throughout the industry affecting over 1300 suppliers and their workers.
That would give the economy good swift kick right where it needs one!

Pays for itself!

Since money turns over 5 times, and the vouchers are only good for the domestic content of the vehicle, every dime would be spent in the United States creating taxable income.
What is the income tax on 65,000 anyway?
(Remember? 20K manufacturing cost = $13,500 W-2 income x 5 = $65,000)

Another Stimulus Package?

I'm sure you'll agree that this makes more sense than simply sending out checks; many of which will be used to buy new flat screen TV's usually made in Malaysia or some such place.

W.LindsayWheeler Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:55:00 AM CST  

2. Return production to the folks who own the tools.

Who owns what tools? I thought the company owns the tools. I don't see factory workers carrying tools into factories.

Are you a socialist? a Communist? because reading this post sure does sound like it.

Malcolm Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:01:00 AM CST  

Time to read some books on Distributism Ms. Wheeler.

Richard Aleman Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:25:00 AM CST  

Are you a socialist? a Communist? because reading this post sure does sound like it.

Dear Mr. Wheeler,

I will attempt to reply to you later this evening, however, I would suggest you listen to the talk we have by Archbishop Sheen if you scroll down the home page.

The Church's position is that a worker should be given more than a wage (and if he received a wage, it should be just), not only in the form of stock, but in the form of co-ownership, if at all possible.

Labour, an integral part of production (as capital depends on labor to produce), works best when it owns the means of production.

Socialism and Communism advocates public ownership or collective ownership.

W.LindsayWheeler Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM CST  

Now, I worked as a farm laborer. What part of the farm do I own? I worked cutting hay---by hand. How can I own the means of production? I own hay? If I milked cows, what part of the barn or milk do I own?

Tell me how much Distributism is directed to farm labor?

Are you serious? So as a laborer on a farm, even though the farmer is poor, I get to own part of the farm as well?

Anonymous,  Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 6:37:00 AM CST  

MS Wheeler:

Who owns the tools?

Skilled trades workers own many of their tools in the sense that they buy them. Engineers to Production workers use tools that the corps buy out of the workers' productivity.

If you check the Distributist farms run by the Catholic Worker houses you will see that they are worker owned and operated as cooperatives.

As is Mondragon.

Is this Communism? No. It is the antithesis of Communism.

- Tom Laney

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