November 19, 2008

"There's some serious decisions to be made, and your pathetic politics is disgusting". Oh yeah. The uprising against endless bailouts has begun

The unions and their overpaid workers killed the Big 3. The parasite killed the host. Drove them straight into the ground, while f*cking their own dues-paying members.

Fine. GM, Ford and Chrysler are dead. Let them die. And then maybe they can be reborn, union free, and start making good, affordable, energy-efficient, well-designed cars again.

Unfortunately, the Dems and Obama owe too much to the unions themselves. So another bailout is probably on the way. But if a bailout is to be done, then a pre-packaged Chapter 11. Anything else is a big wet kiss to the damn unions.


keith said...

For the trolls that call me a leftie, I agree 100% on this issue with Mitt Romney, and I'm against what Obama and the Dems have cooking.

No f*cking bailout for Detroit. It'd be like giving a crack addict more crack. Instead, cut him off. Send him to rehab. Then see what he makes of himself when he gets out.

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Published: November 18, 2008

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

Anonymous said...

In the case of the Car Companies ,that is a industry in which the Unions really did mess up their ability to remain profitable .I believe that Union Contracts have to be more in sink with what the real profits are on a yearly basis for a Company . These fixed employment Contracts are killers . A pension
benefit that contributes yearly based on profits for that year for a Company would allow for a lower amount to be paid during down years . and a higher amount to be paid for up years toward the retirement kitty for each person . For health benefits to be paid for 10 years until a person reaches 65 if they retire at 55 is crazy .

But the Companies contracted as they did ,and of course they are
not giving the newly hired people as good a deal. Its the old contracts that are killing them .

If Car Companies go BK, than the government has to pick up the underfunded insurance ,so the taxpayers are going to be on the hook anyway for billions of dollars .

The car companies are asking for a loan of around 25 billion . The CEO's can't say how far that will take them and the suggestion was made that 25 billion might not be enough to get them to a better
economy ,according to my take on the Senate hearings . It would be a risk to give them the money, no question .

BK with re-structuring could allow the Car Companies to get out of contracts ,but the government would have to pick up the short fall in the insurance fund ,that Corporations have underfunded ,just like Banks underfunded FDIC .

Its brutal either way as to what the Unions and Corporations set up in the way of not being able to live up to their employment contracts .

So, should the government give them a chance to make a turn around in a better market with better cars , or should the government just let them Bk and re-structure with billions in obligations going to the tax-payer
because of the insurance fund ?

I think maybe the Car Companies are a perfect example of how
the Unions went to far with their demands . At the same time many jobs will be loss if the Companies fold .
Apparently a expert said that Ford was the strongest of the three .

One CEO claimed that the credit markets and the economy was the main reason for the stress ,and not what they had in store regarding their adjusted products for the future ,being smaller and more energy efficient .

George L said...

bailout or not they're still going broke.I see merger for them in the future,they will have no choice,it will happen.chapter 11 won't help.

trust me on this,things won't get better in this country until people start making something worth buying.

think the country will get better by sitting around waiting for a f@cking government check to buy crap?

Tom Grey said...

Your earlier post is right, too -- pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Where do pensions fit in the line of debtors, before or after bond holders? Equity gets wiped in all cases. Union pensions debts should be converted into equity in the new company.

The money bomb will 'work' in allowing faster re-allocation of resources -- unless it goes into rust belt money hole (really funny, thanks) same old companies.

The 'financial' bailout should stop, too. There are approx 50% too many bankers, and lots more need to lose their jobs. The right ones to lose should be the Big Banks with the silly over-leverage. They've had since 2006 to get away from Credit Default Swaps, and MBS / ABS paper and instruments. Other banks are OK, and are available for lending.

les said...

I would rather see money go to Tesla motors and other startups than be wasted on the big 3. The big 3 will burn through $25 billion in 3 months and will be back begging for more. AIG should be a lesson for us all.

Paul E. Math said...

I'm not trying to beat up on democrats here since, lord knows, the repubs have made a pretty big mess. I'm just trying to predict behaviour.

There is a democrat in the white house. Congress is controlled by democrats.

The president has said that now is not the time to worry about deficits. The democratic party continues it's traditional willingness to spend current and future taxpayer money.

The democratic party is the party of big labour unions and none is bigger than the uaw.

There will be some kind of bailout.

The best thing, and the likely thing, would be to allow GM to go through Chapter 11 but offer government guarantees on GM so that it is able to obtain the financing it will need in chapter 11.

Personally, I would let them fail. But for the reasons above, I don't think that's what Obama and Congress will do.

Anonymous said...

That's the unfortunate thing about elections. To get the right people into power, you always have to suck up to some that you would rather not have to be obligated to, i.e., the unions. Yes, the Democrats do have to be careful about how they treat them. It's a catch-22 situation. It's also unfortunate that a good thing in theory - unions - became so powerful that they eventually became part of the problem. The creation of unions was necessary to protect grossly abused workers, such as the mine workers of the 1920's. The fact that they have now taken control economically is sadly ironic.

went2puke said...

Obama has only one chance to show us what he's made of. So far, he's got a D from me due to his bad cabinet choices and the candidates slated for important positions-- the names, confirmed or being circulated, don't bode well for people like me who believed in Obama's message of change.
No matter what Obama says or does, his push to bail out the Big Three will be perceived as a reward to the Unions for their support during the elections.
I am not at all certain Obama will be any different. I am afraid it's going to be business as usual, especially after the blunder of keeping Liberman on top of the critical Senate Home Security Committee, where he had continuously turned a blind eye on Bush's illegal wiretapping of Americans.

If Hillary Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State, and with Rahm Emanuel as the man who'll be overseeing Obama's daily agenda, we'll end up with an administration run by former senators. Instead of throwing them out as we were all hoping, they seem to be bent on infesting the White House as well, thanks to Mr. Obama.

Anonymous said...

Unions, my dear friends, existed because there was no trickle down effect from the obscene profits corporations/ robber barrons were making. Working conditions were deplorable! Read about the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado for starters. Union members faught, yes with their lives, to change these conditions. You CANNOT leave corporations to their own device. We would all be working for the company store once again. It is because of the Unions that wages haven't fallen off of a cliff for everyone. Companies have to be somewhat competitive with pay. The Unions have influenced Non-Union companies to pay their workers better. If it wasn't for this check on corporations, we would ALL be working for minimum wage.

It is not the fault of the Unions that corporations are going bankrupt. It is the short term greed mentality of the corporation that is causing it's demise. They are no longer innovative. Their profits are padding corruption, but want to lay the blame at the feet of the Unions. They need to take responsibilty for their own ineptitude and greed. They would have plenty of money if they had long term vision and budgeted accordingly. They know that business goes in cycles and should have prepared for those down turns.

I'm for the Unions. They have lifted Americans out of the dark ages and gave us the middle class. Percentage wise, todays CEO's pay is outrageous compared to 20 years ago. A lot of us would not be enjoying our standard of living today, if it wasn't for our parents receiving a decent wage courtesy of the Unions.



keith said...

Unions served their purpose in the 30's - 60's.

Then they grew too big, too powerful and waaaaaaaaaaaay too corrupt.

They killed the hosts.

Which, of course, led to them killing themselves.

So, start from scratch. Let the hosts die. Let the unions die. And maybe they'll both learn their lessons.

It takes two to tango.

Working less for more killed 'em both.

Anonymous said...

GM too BIG to fail?


F*ck GM and everyone connected to it.


borkafatty aka the pig said...

I really hope the idiots who make up the majority of Republican primary voters (who voted for McCain and Huckabee)can quit worrying about teh gheys and abortion and nominate this guy next time.

Anonymous said...

Unions killes the Big 3... Or would that be that they just don't sale abroad because their cars can't cope with evironmental laws over there (even China). And more so, that you don't sell a gas guzzler in countries with high gasoline tax rates.

I may be retarded, but I just can't see how unions are involved in the technology choices of their company.

Anonymous said...

So what really did happen to Jimmy Hoffa?

Anonymous said...

At least they actually did/made something.

In sharp contrast to parasitic industries like real estate and finance that just massage piles of paper around.

Yes; let's get worked up over 1/30th of the $700Billion bailout of which we're not even privy to where it goes.

Anonymous said...

what is even more worrisome about the big 3 bailout is that I fear it will open the flood gate to bailing out any other sizable industry.

Home builders will ask for a bailout? and why not? they employ and indirectly employ millions.....

also, with the big 3 bailout will come congress dictating what type of car will be built. that alone will be a recipe for disaster.

Anonymous said...

Or would that be that they just don't sale abroad because their cars can't cope with evironmental laws over there (even China).


environmental laws in china? you're joking, right?

a lot of times those "environmental laws" are used as trade protections. the local manufacturers are given a "easy button" to get by them while the imports are held to the requirements without exception.

Anonymous said...

Yes; let's get worked up over 1/30th of the $700Billion bailout of which we're not even privy to where it goes.

that is not what I am getting worked up about. it is that whatever the amount is it won't fix the problem. it will be money tossed down a bottomless pit.

Anonymous said...

BO is turning the executive branch into an office of congress. now daschle has a sec position....

i guess that is what you get when you elect a congressman as president. more congress critters in the executive branch.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
So what really did happen to Jimmy Hoffa?"

The Bush family bought his stem cells and injected them into GWB.

Looks like the experiment FAILED with tragic results. Alcoholism, failed oil business ventures a reprehensible governorship and a presidency which killed a country in 8 short years of corrupt and stupid mistakes. They should have tried it out on a baboon first.

Oops, I guess they did...

Censure Bushco. Cheneyburton soon to be un the dock on other criminal matters...

Anonymous said...

Or would that be that they just don't sale abroad because their cars can't cope with evironmental laws over there (even China).


environmental laws in china? you're joking, right?

a lot of times those "environmental laws" are used as trade protections. the local manufacturers are given a "easy button" to get by them while the imports are held to the requirements without exception.

Afterthought said...

We conclude our over-hill-over-dale search for the villains of the piece and we come, again, to the people themselves.

They live in a world of unrestrained id.

As a Freudian Conservative I know that Civilization is the result of sublimated drives. Our forebearers had such sublimation and taboo, but Hollywood and Madison Avenue drilled it out of their children.

The Chinese have itl which is why they will rule over the world; not through conquest, but merely by picking up the shattered pieces of the former superpowers.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a million people instantly without health insurance, another million jobless and uninsured - no biggie. Unemployment in Michigan is already at 9%, lets go for 20%.

Pension Benefit Guarantee fund already bankrupt - let's push another 2 million pensions in there.

I'm glad to see how much you care about my 80 year old widowed grandmother who relies on a $800 a month GM pension to survive.

Management at these companies isn't going to be hurt if you bankrupt them, it's regular working people who shop at your stores, buy your products, and use your professional services.

Autoworkers never wrote cdo's or sivs - and their companies would still be solvent if it wasn't for the bankers and brokers.

Last month, GM had 600 million shares outstanding. 100 million were short. How many businesses can survive that?

How many businesses can survive a 30% loss in sales? Can yours for more than a couple of months?

Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, VW - they've all taken significant hits to their sales and they WILL be in the same boat in the near future if the banks don't start lending.

F*CK Mitt Romney

SeattleMoose said...

The crack addict analogy is spot on. If you juice Detroit now they'll just be back in 6 months crying for another hit.

The Recession is just under way. Does anyone really think people will be inclined to buy ANY new vehicles in the next couple of years?

So I say.....Buh By!!!!

borkafatty aka the pig said...

Sorry pal, but your grandmother is gonna have to take a pay cut. She can thank the UAW parasites that killed the host. They collectively made the decision to rape and plunder their employers and now their chickens are coming home to roost. Unfortunately, your grandma will be part of the collateral damage. The greedy selfish parasitic UAW workers should have thought of that before they demanded double the fair wages and benefits paid to American workers by their foreign competition. Incompetent management can also be thanked for allowing the rape to continue when those parasites should have been locked out years ago.

I would take a job in a Big 3 plant in Michigan tomorrow for half of what a UAW parasite gets paid to work there today. It would be more than I make now in a place that costs a quarter of what it costs to live where I am now. Maybe I will after the Chapter 11 judge righteously cleans their acts up. And that bailout money would be much better spent at the PBGC.

Anonymous said...

"Takes two to tango..."

That's right! Lenders AND Borrowers.

No bailouts, period! You cannot pick and choose. NOBODY gets a bailout. Nobody that does NOT deserve a house should have one.

This country needs to bleed off the excess debt the old fashioned way. And YES, its gonna hurt. Suck it up America!

Anonymous said...

I again wonder if you Union slammers know that the Union workers are not alone in overpayments or retirement benefits?

A person I spoke with has a uncle that earns 90K a year from one of the big 3 and he has been retired for years. He was a member of management when he retired.......

The big 3 wrote checks and then did not deposit the money in the bank account. DOn't blame a Union or any other person for the fact they underfunded their pension programs. Go ahead and refuse to lend them money, we will all eat ten times as much when the pension defaults and WE get to pick up the tab.

Banks have ZERO products they make and can sell to repay the bailout money they have received. They print paper and sell it to suckers. The suckers all figured out the paper is worthless and are passing on it. So, for banks to make the cash to repay the bailout (like that will happen). Expect crappy savings/deposit rates and a monkey-butt-load of new charges for everything they can find a way to charge for.

Face it folks, our last manufacturing base is fixing to deflate into a big pile of rotten feces. That will work out good for all of us, we can just print money forever and buy junk from overseas.

Anonymous said...

OK, so the carmakers pull a Chapter 11, killing the union contracts. The workers' wages drop in half. Guess what happens?

Michigan will outdo California with the foreclosures! You have a weapon of mass foreclosure that is ticking. Do you try to defuse it or let it explode as the market hits the reset button. Your move...

yoski said...

"The democratic party continues it's traditional willingness to spend current and future taxpayer money."
Wow dude, get your facts straight. Traditionally the Republicans are the ones running up huge deficits while the Democrats tend to fix the mess left behind.

As far as the UAW is concerned, looks like the slaugthered the cow they want to milk, too damn bad. Now the parasite is trying to find a new host, the American taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Obama, the crafter of the current economy along with Dodd, Schumer and Frank who forced lenders to give loans to those that could not pay, are the same people who are pushing for this UAW bailout.

Obama said if Bush does not sign it, he will.

This is more of the same behavior that is responsible for where we are today.

Of course, Obama made promises to the Unions. He is beholding to them and will be forced to screw the rest of the country by bailing out the UAW.

But you all voted for the Messiah, and I am sure he will be your savior.

Rational Renter said...

Keith, your anti-union tirade is unexpected and slightly disturbing. The UAW are the easiest target, and they're becoming enemy #1 for Republicans. But the auto companies have operated successfully with the UAW in the past. They are most CERTAINLY not to blame for the impending failures of these companies. Rather, management failed to position the Big 3 for the future. I support an auto bailout not only b/c of the devastating multiplier potential of their collapse, but also b/c I firmly believe that they (especially GM) will become worldwide leaders within 5 years. The Volt will sell like hotcakes. They just need a (admittedly substantial) bridge loan to get there. They fucked up, sure. But they'll get it right.

Anonymous said...

"...our last manufacturing base..."

What, the Olevia TVs made in California? Or would it be one of the many products that makes America the largest manufacturer in the world? What, exactly, is our last manufacturing base? Everything?

You've been played for a fool.

Anonymous said...

quote I would take a job in a Big 3 plant in Michigan tomorrow for half of what a UAW parasite gets paid to work there today. It would be more than I make now in a place that costs a quarter of what it costs to live where I am now. Maybe I will after the Chapter 11 judge righteously cleans their acts up.quote


You will huh? My little bro emigrated from Michigan last year. A Bachelor's degree from the UofM got him a whopping $7.25 hr part-time @ Staples.

Michigan is already a war zone.

The home my parents purchased in 1977 for $31k, and sold in 2000 for $85k recently was foreclosed and went for $30k at auction -

I think it's really brilliant that the republican cabal has been able to turn the discussion from the TRILLIONS they looted from the treasury to those "greedy parasites" who build cars - It's even more amazing that they can pump you idiots up with flag pins and gay marriage - you folks are so incredibly stupid and shortsighted that I am truly thankful I married a Canadian.

At least I have somewhere to run - and a plan thanks to all these housing fraudsters -
Max out the CC's buying gold on ebay, run for the border...

I have a feeling the taxes they currently pay are far less that ours will be in the very near future - if we survive.

Got Gold?

michelle said...

i'm a little late to the party, it seems.

keith, i respectfully disagree with you on the subject of unions.

don't get me wrong--unions can be counterproductive and tyranical under bad leadership. however, management needs an entity that will check its power, and unions are that sort of entity.

i myself am a member if a union (screen actors guild) so of course i come with a bias. union leaders can get greedy, just like ceo's.

that said, i DO oppose the detroit bailout, because i feel both management and the unions were greedy and shortsighted. to say that the big 3 went down because ofg the unions is a little silly, since the the UAW couldn't stop GM from exporting manufacturing jobs to mexico under nafta. i'm sure you remember michael moore's movie "roger and me". if the UAW had that much pull, the jobs would have stayed here. also, gm cannot blame UAW for selling the hybrid and electrical car technology to toyota. the management have themselves to blame for that.

i'm also pretty sure that the uaw cannot dictate what kind of models the big 3 makes--those decisions are up to the engineering, marketing, and management teams. if the engineers that gm, ford, and chrysler chooses to hire suck ass, it's not the uaw's fault. i don't think it was the uaw's decision for the big 3 to focus on manufacturing gas guzzling suv's, though they really should have said something about the direction of the companies (and they certainly didn't).

i don;t think it is accurate to call the unions the parasites on this one. a smart company, even one that is dealing with a powerful union, would have never run their business to the ground like this. there is plenty of blame to go around, and i don't think that the unions have 50% of the blame on this one.

i do think a shitty union with horrific leadership certainly won't help a business prosper. a proper union is one with a smart leadership that can fight for its members while promoting the business its members work for (after all, unions cannot exist without businesses to hire workers, just as business cannot exist without labor).

as for the anonymous posters who claim that it was the unions thats screwed any chance for the big 3 to remain profitable, i point to the bonehead decisions management made in the kind of cars they manufactured and sold, and the fact that unions could not stop them from laying off workers here to hire much cheaper wrkers south of the border. keith, i believe even you agree that part of the problem is that america didn';t make anything anymore.

for the big 3 to succeed, they need to sell, and frankly, they won't be able to sell to a population that have no jobs. one thing that unions were good for was that even though workers could become overpaid, that extra income meant that they were more likely to spend, more likely to buy the products they manufactured. not that we should overpay incompetent boobs--i think that car manufacturing wages SHOULD be high, but there should be strict quality control on who gets hired--make the worker EARN their union card (meaning new regukations on what kind of training or certification would qualify a worker for union membership). i mean, i don't want the worker who is making my car to be shaking from hunger as they place the wheels.

this comment is already too long, i'm sure i missed many important things. but then again, i'm not writing a dissertation.

Anonymous said...

"For the trolls that call me a leftie"

Hey Keith,

I called you a "left-wing nut job" in the past, but I apologize.

Anonymous said...

Its the health care benefits
for early retired workers between 55 and 65 that is costly for the car companies .Someone posited that the average retirement benefit for car workers is 1500 a month (regarding fixed contracts ,but new workers aren't being offered the same ).

What about the fact that the government has such low requirements on the funding of Corporation retirement plans ?
The Corporations promise workers benefits ,yet they feel they can be so underfunded that the government than has to back a insurance plan for pay offs . Its always a leverage game and when any money is in a fund for the future Corporations or the Government think they can rob the funds .

The more I think of it I don't like the fact that Corporations are screwing young workers out of benefits . A lot of this mess is a Corporation Management problem with stealing money from account that were earmarked for the future . Don't promise employees something and not make good on that contract .That being said , some Union Contract were not very well written to take into consideration the tides of business cycles .

borkafatty aka the pig said...

@ anonymous November 20, 2008 5:03 AM

For the record I am against that 700B bailout and have been since the beginning. I was also against the Fannie and Freddie bailout. I am an equal opportunity hater of government largesse and waste. I haven't forgotten and am still paying attention. Government has no business propping up failure.
No bailouts for anybody. Prosecutions and bankruptcies would be much better options.

I could also care less about whether or not a politician wears a stupid flag pin or if some homos want to marry. Its their free choice to make and neither has a shred of impact on my life whatsoever. That said, bailouts of crony capitalists like the banks, the big 3, and the UAW does have an impact on me directly as my taxes will have to rise now or in the future so i can subsidise these people. They made bad decisions and ruined their businesses and now I have to pitch in more tax money to prevent the failure they righteously deserve? And these people all make more than me. F*CK that! Their employees from the top all the way down the line should be pitcing in with pay cuts to save their company if they still want their jobs rather than coercing me to take one via taxes to support them so they dont have to.

Anonymous said...

Borkafatty -
put on you "big boy" pants and grow up. You're either paying the taxes and saving 3 million jobs (including your own, quite likely), or prepare for a trip to the soup lines, oops, did I say that?

In that "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and blame the worker for everything" country there AREN'T any souplines are there? Good luck with that - what a true patriot and a great human being you are.

I'm VERY proud that my great-grandfather was a sit-down striker and a union organizer. I don't blame you for your ignorance of how much his sacrifices made your life better - The beauty I see in America is that we can forgive and tolerate idiots and still function as a country. Sometimes the guys in the tinfoil hats are right, and we need your point of view - even if I personally don't think your opinion is worth spit.

I'm also very proud that my grandfather worked his entire life in a factory making REAL products that made life better and easier for his fellow Americans. My grandfather (described here as a "greedy parasite") never drank, used drugs or complained about the absolutely miserable working conditions he faced. He raised 6 kids who turned out to be pretty decent citizens. He died on the way to work, with one kid still in high school, leaving his widow with a nearly empty bank account and a mortgage only half paid off. Not a great epitaph to many people, but he didn't hurt you or any other American. He gave very generously to his church and to charity while he lived.

The dudes in the corporate jets are not angels. Feel free to disparage them all you want, I'll be glad to help. This "bailout" isn't for them, and if they squander it, again, feel free to stone them to death - I'd be glad to assist with that as well, this issue is THAT important.

I'm heartened to see that you're angry - it's about time for Americans to get angry. We need some real pitchforks and torches action, and we need it real soon. We need congressmen and corporate executives to think about people in their communities as REAL people, people who could literally tar-and-feather them for stealing from our treasury and lying to us.

You also need to realize that you are going to pay more in taxes, if we're going to retain our current system. If you want to burn it all and start over, I suspect you'll have help, but realize that dumping the automakers is the first step in that direction.

If Grandma gets stiffed on her pension, I don't feel ANY reason to support pensions for anyone. That includes congress, teachers, firefighters, military - you! Social Security? I knew in high school I wasn't getting any - F*ck it, if I have to pay for MY grandma, you can pay for yours!

Thats where this leads - work until you're dead, or take care of yourself.

anon e. moose said...

GM had ONE good idea back in the day, EV 1. They killed it, quite literally, crushed almost all the cars under lease, and destroyed the production facilities. So, who want's to give them money?
Big 3 should be allowed to fail, and emerge as smaller companies, offering competitive products that people actually want to buy. Only by being small and nimble will they able to do so. Anything else is prolonging the inevitable.

Lost Cause said...

Take away your housing panic blog, and what are we left with? An idiot.

Look, Europe and Japan both deal with unionized production workers, and they seem to be doing fine.

borkafatty aka the pig said...

@ anonymous 7:55

not sure you'll see this because its been so long but i hope you do. would have responded sooner but i've had no computer access since the last response.

I think you and I actually agree more than we disagree. I call them parasites because that's my opinion of the current UAW union collectively. That said, there are many individual UAW members who are not parasites and are just trying to make a living and feed their kids and that's the best option they have. There is nothing wrong with that but i still feel that that union is a parasitic organization, though it wasn't always so.

Its not a choice between bail them out or soup lines. The soup lines are coming anyway and the government would be better off making sure the soup kitchens have soup to give away rather than prop up failure. Even the government can run out of money - look at Zimbabwe.

I am not blaming the worker for everything. Labor and management are both very responsible for the demise of these companies. The UAW collectively raped and plundered the companies they worked for just as bad as these very same companies used to take advantage of their workers before the union existed in your great grandfather's day. Current management had every right to force a strike or lock them out as a result of their ridiculous demands in spite of deteriorating business. They were weak and chose not to, possibly due to incompetence but possibly because they didn't have the stones to pick the fight. My guess is a little bit of both.

I am also proud of your great grandfather for fighting for what was right in his time. Back in his day companies took serious advantage of their employees. You can call me many things but ignorant is not one of them. I know that if it weren't for guys like him we would be no better than China. We would still be working in deplorable conditions and our standard of living would be just as awful as theirs is now. I am forever grateful for guys like him who had the balls to stand up and demand to be treated fairly and fully understand that it was guys like him who made it possible for me to enjoy the perks i do get at my job. There were none in his day.

Your grandfather was not a greedy parasite. Most individual members of unions aren't either. I probably have about 20 friends and family members who are currently or were formally members of unions before retiring or dying, including myself. One of these is my boss and used to be a GM assembly line worker at the Linden NJ truck plant in the 70s (since closed and recently demolished). Of those 20 or so I can only name one i would consider a parasite (and no its not my boss.)

Labor and management are supposed to be a partnership that work together for the greater good of the membership and the companies who employ them. Back in Grandpa's day (50s 60s perhaps?) that was the case. It wasn't until the 70s that the pendulum started to swing the other way and the UAW went from being a good thing to a parasite. Jobs bank? Give me a f'n break! I have nothing against the individual union members but collectively that union is currently destructive, parasitic, and deserves everything they have coming to it.

The dudes in the corporate jets are not angels either. With the exception of Mulally, they deserve to be fired and I only give him the benefit of the doubt because of what he did at Boeing. Wagoner should have met the axe years ago and I'm more qualified to run a company than Nardelli is.

You're damn right i'm angry. I think its wrong that CEOs pay themselves more than 100 times what they pay their average worker (if they're conservative about it). I also think its wrong that banks, automakers, and other politically connected parties get bailed out with the little people's money when they fail while us little people get bankruptcy and feigned care from our government if and when we do. I think its wrong that public servants are compensated way better than the people they are supposed to be serving who pay them with their taxes from productive employment in the private sector. People in general need to start thinking about their fellow man instead of just themselves for once from the elite all the way down to the broke and destitute. That's why I drive a Chevy instead of a Honda and prefer to patronize small businesses instead of Wal Mart and their ilk.

I don't like our current system. It needs fundamental change, not bailouts to maintain the status quo for the cronies in the enchanted kingdom and rape for the rest of us who are forced to pay to maintain it for them. Dumping the automakers will not force them to go away, it will force their workers to accept fair compensation and their creditors to take a haircut. Chevys and Fords will still roll off assembly lines.

My grandma already got stiffed on her pension. Grandpa worked for what is currently Verizon and they didn't hold up their end of the bargain after he died. She lives in my fathers house and is probably better off for it rather than being alone all the time. Nobody in my generation (I'm 28) should be getting a pension but those in older generations who were promised that and planned accordingly are a different story. Thats why we have the PBGC. I knew i wasn't getting social security since high school too.

Your last sentence is exactly how it should be. Take care of yourself or work till you're dead. Thats how it is for the vast majority of people that aren't politically connected. Thats the way i have always assumed it to be for me. Responsibility should be rewarded. Failure should not.